February 02, 2011

Overweight Loads of Commodities Temporarily Allowed for Emergency Relief

This is a joint news release from the Missouri Department of Agriculture and the Missouri Department of Transportation

Farmers throughout Missouri have livestock to feed, and for some, supplies are running low. The Missouri Department of Agriculture requested, and the Missouri Department of Transportation agreed, to allow slightly overweight loads of agricultural commodities to move on Missouri highways, subject to strict rules.

Farmers can request a no-cost permit to haul up to 10 percent more than their truck's legal weight. However, the heavy loads are not allowed to use interstate routes.

The special overweight permits will stay in effect as long as Missouri Emergency Declaration 11-01, issued by the Missouri Department of Public Safety, remains in effect. Currently the declaration expires at noon Central Time, on Sunday, February 6. During that time, drivers may also exceed hours of service regulations while providing assistance related to the weather emergency and returning vehicles after such service, according to the waiver of certain federal regulations under 49 CFR 390.23.

For current information about Missouri Emergency Declaration 11-01, visit www.dps.mo.gov.

The emergency permit may be used for multiple trips. Fees for this permit and these trips will be waived along with the increased insurance requirements normally required of overweight loads.

"We understand that many people are facing challenges as a result of this winter weather," said Director of Agriculture, Dr. Jon Hagler. "We will continue to monitor and assess the situation across the state. The emergency hauling declaration will certainly help and we appreciate MoDOT's continued cooperation."

Those who wish to obtain the special permits must supply the following information to MoDOT's Motor Carrier Services:

  1. The year, make, license plate number and vehicle identification number (VIN) of the truck;
  2. The truck's gross vehicle licensed weight, gross vehicle weight and axle spacings;
  3. An e-mail address or fax number for delivery of the permit; and,
  4. Unless they have requested an oversize or overweight permit in the past, it is likely farmers need to provide the information that is in Motor Carrier Services' new customer form at this address: www.modot.org/mcs/documents/NewCustomerForm-fillable.pdf

Drivers of these loads are reminded, as are all motorists, to check road condition information and to drive deliberately. Drive according to the conditions of the road, the vehicle and the driver's skill. Road condition information is available at www.modot.org or by calling MoDOT toll-free, 1-888-275-6636.

Contact MoDOT Motor Carrier Services' emergency permit team at (573) 291-4517 or (573) 291-4853. If the information listed above is provided, it will take about 10-15 minutes to process the permit request.

For more information on Missouri Department of Agriculture programs, visit mda.mo.gov.