In an effort to get more crops to market while using considerably less fuel, State Representative Bjorn Olson (R-Elmore) will author legislation that will raise farm truck weight limits.
“This bill is a no brainer, as it helps farmers save time and money while at the same time saving considerable amounts of diesel,” Olson said. “The bill is a win for agriculture and a win for the environment.”
Olson’s bill allows all raw farm products to be hauled by farmers over Intra-state roads at 88,000 pounds beginning at the start of harvest until November 30th. The current legal limit is 80,000 pounds. The bill also requires that a farmer’s truck needs to be safely capable of hauling at a higher rate, including appropriate tires.
As a farmer, Olson understands the need for the change. He notes that by allowing farmers to haul 10% more weight that they can save nearly 10% more fuel. As an example, if a million gallons of diesel fuel are used hauling beets during harvest, then this bill would save nearly 100,000 gallons. He also notes there would be no overweight permit fee as current law says you can haul at a higher rate if you pay the permit fee, which is substantial.
“I believe these savings estimates are on the very low end,” Olson said. “There are 25 million acres of farmland in Minnesota, and if House Democrats truly want to prioritize the environment, I believe they will jump at the chance to save hundreds of thousands of gallons of diesel fuel from being burned every year.”