Baton Rouge, La. – The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development will begin issuing special permits to vehicles transporting hay during the current hay shortage. Those who raise cattle in the southern part of the state, particularly along and south of Interstate 10, are experiencing severe shortages of hay due to the impacts of Hurricane Ida. § RS 32:387 (6) grants the DOTD secretary the authority to issue special permits to vehicles transporting hay due to a disaster or emergency.
Permit fees will be $10 and will be valid for only as long as the hay shortage exists, not to exceed one year.
Restrictions that apply are the following:
- The total length of the vehicle and trailer shall not exceed 65 feet on non-interstate routes and the load and trailer shall not exceed 59 feet 6 inches on interstate routes. The total weight of the vehicle and trailer shall not exceed 80,000 pounds for a 5-axle rig and 83,400 pounds for a 6-axle rig, which also must include a tridem. Vehicles transporting hay bales loaded side by side across trailers shall not exceed 12 feet in width and 14 feet in height.
- Travel is limited to daylight hours beginning at sunrise and ending at sunset and is limited by all no-movement requirements on certain holidays.
- Vehicles must travel with the required signs and flags properly placed and indicating that they carry oversized loads.
- Vehicles must be equipped with mirrors that allow drivers to have a clear view of the highway to least 200 feet to the rear of the vehicle.
- Loads must be securely bound to the transporting vehicles.
- Carriers, owners and drivers of any vehicle being operated are responsible for verifying in advance that the actual dimensions and weights of the vehicles and loads are acceptable for all routes being traveled.
- It is the responsibility of the carriers, owners, and drivers to track the status of the declared emergencies. In the event the emergency expires prior to the one-year period, the owner, carrier, and driver shall be responsible for terminating use of the permit. Information regarding the status of declared emergencies may obtained by calling the DOTD Permit Office toll free at (800) 654-1433 or (225) 343-2345 for the Baton Rouge area.
No vehicle shall exceed weight limits posted for bridges and similar structures, or relieve any vehicle or carrier, owner or driver of any vehicle from compliance with any restrictions other than those specified, or from any statute, rule, order or other legal requirement
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