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Size and weight matter when moving farm products on Virginia’s roads

RICHMOND—When using a large truck to move farm products, it’s important to know size and weight limits on state and federal roads.

The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicle’s Virginia’s Size, Weight and Equipment Requirements for Trucks, Trailers and Towed Vehicles booklet is available online at under “Forms and Publications” as DMV 109. The booklet also is available from DMV offices.

“This guide is a great resource for truck drivers operating on Virginia roadways,” said Andrew Smith, Virginia Farm Bureau Federation senior assistant director of governmental relations.

The maximum width for any vehicle on interstate and designated highways is 102 inches, excluding mirrors and any warning devices installed on a school bus. The maximum height for all vehicles is 13 feet 6 inches.

For weight, interstate travel is restricted to a maximum of 80,000 pounds; however, motor carriers can purchase an appropriate overload permit to extend their maximum weight by 5 percent to 84,000 pounds to travel on non-interstate highways. Vehicles registered as farm vehicles, also known as F-tag vehicles, can operate as if they purchased the
5 percent permit for free. If they are found to be operating at more than the 5 percent allowance, they must purchase an overload permit.

Registered farm vehicles hauling Virginia-grown forest or farm products from the place where they were first produced, harvested or felled to the location where they are first processed also can receive an additional 5 percent extension of the single axle, tandem axle and gross weight limits.

Vehicles with “farm use” tags are not eligible for the weight overages.

“It really is beneficial to the farmer when he can register his truck as a farm vehicle to get the benefit of extra weight allowances during harvest season,” Smith said.

No vehicle can travel on Virginia highways with a single axle weight in excess of 20,000 pounds, tandem axle weight in excess of 34,000 pounds or a gross weight of 80,000 pounds.

Also, no permit allows the operation of any vehicle on the federal interstate system with a single axle weight in excess of 20,000 pounds, a tandem axle weight in excess of 34,000 pounds or a gross weight greater than that permitted based on axle spacing or a gross weight, regardless of axle spacing, in excess of 80,000 pounds.

Contact Smith at 804-290-1021.
Posted in: Farm Safety


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