Sprayers can carry up to 25,000 lbs. of crop protection products on state highways
By Diego Flammini
Iowa farmers can carry more crop protection products in three-wheeled sprayers when traveling to fields.
The weight on “any one axle of a self-propelled implement of husbandry” used to apply chemistry cannot exceed 25,000 pounds when operated on highways, Senate File 555 states.
That weight increase represents a 5,000-pound gain from previous legislation.
The Iowa Senate passed the bill last week with a unanimous 49-0 vote. The House voted 73 to 25 in favor of the bill on Tuesday.
The bill now heads to Gov. Kim Reynolds’s office for consideration and signature.
Some lawmakers are concerned about how the increased weight will affect local infrastructure, however.
More weight means more stress on roads, said Cindy Winckler, a Democratic Representative from Davenport who opposed the change.
“As we continue to have heavier and heavier farm equipment and raise weight limits, we are putting our roads and bridges in jeopardy,” she said, RadioIowa reported.
The technology available for sprayers will help prevent damage to roads, supporters of the bill said.
Tires, for example, allow for proper weight distribution, said Norlin Mommsen, a Republican Representative from DeWitt.
“When you drive these vehicles, they spend most of their life in a field, (where) we have to deal with compaction. So, it’s necessary to spread that weight out so we don’t compact our soils,” he said, RadioIowa reported. “I believe, with these flotation tires, we’ll be doing less damage to the roads, even with the increased weight limit.”
The factory tank capacities on some large sprayers don’t approach the 25,000-pound weight limit.
Hagie’s STS16 sprayer, for example, has a 1,600-gallon (13,352-pound) tank.
John Deere’s R4045 and Case IH’s Patriot 4440 sprayers each have a 1,200-gallon (10,014-pound) tank capacity.
But Sprayflex, a system that can be attached to a truck chassis, manufacturers a tank with a 2,400-gallon (20,028-pound) capacity.
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