Haslam Extends Recently Suspended Truck Rules to Help Farmers
NASHVILLE – Gov. Bill Haslam recently extended an executive order to allow haulers of hay to carry larger loads in their trucks as long as they observe safety requirements. The order is in response to drought and extreme weathers conditions in Texas and across the Southeast, which has left some farmers without access to hay for livestock.
“Last year was a tough year for farmers across the Southeast, and we want to be responsive to their needs,” Haslam said. “This order will continue to ensure that much needed hay can be shipped safely and without delay through Tennessee and along our major interstate corridors.”
The order allows for an increase in gross vehicle weight to 95,000 pounds, not exceeding 20,000 pounds per axle load, for semi truck/trailers. The order also increases the height of trailer loads to 13 feet, 6 inches and the width to a maximum of 14 feet during daylight hours. The increase in width allows haulers to transport standard six- to seven-foot round hay bales side by side, increasing the capacity being hauled per truck without a permit.
The executive order extension will expire on May 13.
“The governor’s order will continue to help farmers in our own state who may need hay, and it will ensure that market supply and demand is met,” Johnson said. “I applaud the governor for recognizing that farming is a tough but important business in our state and across the region.”
Tennessee is a major producer of hay, ranking fifth in the nation. The USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service forecast that Tennessee farmers produced 1.9 million acres of hay last year, excluding alfalfa, for a total of 4.3 million tons. For more information on Tennessee farm production, visit www.nass.usda.gov/tn.