Wisconsin Department of Transportation

Alert: The following services will be unavailable on Saturday, January 5, 2013 from 12 a.m. (midnight) to 6 a.m. CST due to system maintenance.

Agricultural equipment and vehicles

Agricultural vehicle driving on the highway with a tractor sign along the edge of the highway

In April 2014, several changes were made to Wisconsin laws directing the way agricultural vehicles operate on public roads. The most significant change was increasing the weight limits for these vehicles.

In general, under the new law, vehicles defined as Implements of Husbandry (IoH) and Agricultural Commercial Motor Vehicles (Ag CMVs) are allowed to operate at 15 percent higher weight limits than previously allowed. The agricultural weight limits are now 23,000 pounds per axle or 92,000 pounds Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW), dependent on number of axles and axle spacing and subject to seasonal or special postings. Certain IoH (Category B) may be given an axle weight exemption on local roads. The new higher weight limits are not allowed on interstate highways.

Other changes included:

  • Creating a new "no-fee permit" issued by the WisDOT and local authorities for agricultural vehicles that exceed statutory length or weight limits.
  • Granting local governments the authority to adopt a resolution or ordinance setting maximum gross vehicle and axle weight limits allowable on roads they maintain, if different than the weight limits existing in current law.

Act 15 took effect on April 30, 2015, to clarify and modify certain provisions. The most significant changes include:

  • Modified the definition of an Ag CMV and allows Ag CMVs that directly harvest farm products, distribute feed to livestock, or apply lime, spray, seeds, or fertilizer (but not manure) to have the same axle weight exemption of Category B IoH
  • Requiring farm implement dealers to disclose the axle weight, in addition to the gross vehicle weight, at the time of sale.
  • Authorizing IoH with rubber tracks to operate on the road as long as it does not damage the highway
  • Allowing for the transport of IoH and Ag CMVs by trailer or semi-trailer at the increased agricultural vehicle weight limits from farm to field, field to field or farm to farm. A trailer or semi-trailer that is hauling an IoH or Ag CMV and exceeds the agricultural weight limits may apply for a no-fee permit.
  • Allowing a vehicle authorized by permit or local resolution/ordinance to cross an intersecting highway under a different jurisdiction
  • Changing the date by which a local unit of government must adopt an ordinance for it to be effective in the following year to November 30. A copy of the ordinance must be sent to the department by January 20 of that year.

The permit application forms will soon be revised to reflect the changes included in Act 15. NOTE: All no-fee permit applications, submitted prior to April 30, 2015, that are currently under review by the department will be reviewed in accordance with the changes included in Act 15.

A new interactive map is now available to help operators of agricultural vehicles determine if they need a no-fee permit or more than one permit for equipment that exceeds the increased weight limits.

Contacts

For more info. about the new IoH and Ag CMV regulations, contact:

  • AgVehicles@dot.wi.gov
  • Phone: (608) 266-7320
  • Fax: (608) 264-7751
  • Wisconsin Department of Transportation
    PO Box 7980
    Madison, WI 53707-7980

For more info. about the IoH Study, contact:


For more info. on a specific vehicle, contact:

  • Your local equipment dealer

SSI contacts Questions about the content of this page:
WisDOT Division of Transportation System Development (DTSD), division-office.dtsd@dot.wi.gov
Last modified: May 27, 2015

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