Farmers can now operate and transport equipment up to 18-feet wide
By Diego Flammini
Producers in Pennsylvania will be allowed to legally transport and operate larger machinery on state roads.
Governor Tom Wolf’s US$24-million Farm Bill includes a change in state vehicle laws that will permit farm equipment up to 18-feet wide to travel on state roads. The previous restriction capped farm equipment widths at 16 feet unless the operator had an exemption permit.
The expansion reduces red tape for farmers who already have big equipment, said Richard Crone, a cash crop grower from Danville, Penn.
“Some of us are already over width anyway with some of our equipment, so this makes it legal for us to be on the roads,” he told Farms.com.
Seeing the governor increase the width limits isn’t surprising considering the size of modern equipment, Crone said.
“The largest thing I take on the road is my combine and that’s 17-and-a-half feet wide,” he said. “So, I’m already almost over the new width restriction.”
Some farmers, however, are concerned with how tight some roads in the state already are.
Putting larger farm machinery on some roads could lead to accidents if everyone isn’t driving safely, said Russell McLucas, a cash crop farmer from McConnellsburg, Penn.
“It doesn’t matter if this is a good idea or a bad idea until we get proper enforcement of laws about passing slow-moving vehicles,” he told Farms.com. “This is a real concern. Our highways are going to have a horrible time accommodating 18-foot equipment. We’ve got some roads that can only handle 14-foot machinery.”