Some Wisconsin Farmers Will Need Permits to Drive Rural Roads

Some Wisconsin Farmers Will Need Permits to Drive Rural Roads

Wisconsin has passed Act 377, also known as the Implements of Husbandry (IoH) law. IoH vehicles include tractors, combines, forage harvesters and towed implements such as wagons, trailers and cultivating equipment.

Why is this important? The law requires any IoH exceeding “allowable size” to require a No Fee Agricultural Vehicle Permit or face fines for driving on rural roadways.

As of Jan. 1, the original grace period has ended, and operators can be cited for size and weight violations if they do not have the exemption permit. Matt Solymossy, safety manager for Landmark Services Cooperative, has been urging farmers to apply now for permits that are vehicle- and route-specific.

“You can amend it later if needed,” he says. “And be sure to carry a time-stamped copy of your application until the permit is officially granted.”

Farmers should also have gross motor vehicle weight, maximum axle weight in operation mode and axle measurements handy, Solymossy adds. There is no height limitation in the new rules – rather, the driver is responsible for safe overhead clearance, he says. Length restrictions with specifics for single, two- and three-vehicle combinations is spelled out in the code. Weight restrictions depend on the number of axles and axle spacing.

“In general, there is a 15% increase in allowable weight,” he says. “That’s 92,000 lbs. Gross Vehicle Weight, or 23,000 lbs. per axle.”

More changes from Act 377 will continue in 2015, Solymossy says. New lighting and marking requirements go into effect Nov. 1. Implements manufactured after Jan. 1, 2014, must be equipped with all original lighting and marking devices, and must be in good working order and visible at all times of operation.

Making tractor safety a priority on your farm? The Florida Cooperative Extension Service has developed a comprehensive safety checklist for tractor operators. Visit for details.

Dairy Today editor Jim Dickrell covered the controversial Act 377 at length last fall in his article, "Implements of Frustration." Read more at

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