Floater Questions & Answers

The Iowa Department of Transportation, in conjunction with AAI has developed the following Q & A for owners of Self Propelled Implements of Husbandry with Floatation Tires.  The new regulations become law on July 1, 2007.  Permitted floaters must be in compliance after that date.

1.  What types of implements are covered?

A.  Self propelled implements of husbandry equipped with flotation tires used exclusively to apply plant food materials, agricultural limestone, or agricultural chemicals.  The law ONLY applies to “newly manufactured” implements made or ordered before February 1, 2007 that exceed legal axle weight limits as manufactured.

2.  What is the legally allowed weight under the new law?

A With a permit, the implement may carry up to 25,000 pounds on any one axle.

3. Where can the implements travel?

A.  With a permit, the implement may travel in up to 10 counties; HOWEVER, the new law PROHIBITS the implement from crossing any bridge, even if that bridge is not embargoed.

4.  How do I get a permit and what does it cost?

A.  Permits will be issued by the DOT Office of Motor Carrier Services and must be carried in the vehicle.  Applications are due prior to July 1, 2007.  Permits are good for travel in up to 10 counties; the fee is $600 each for the first 5 counties.  If you intend to operate in 10 counties, the law caps the fee at $3,500. Implements subject to permitting (those that exceed the 20,000/pound axel weight) that are not registered are in violation of the law and subject to a $10,000 fine.

5.   Is MVE going to target these implements?

A. No, operators of implements will not be targeted; the law will be enforced just as all other laws are; if you are in violation you may be ticketed.

6.  Does Iowa law address the speed limit for implements?

A.  The law provides that it is a scheduled violation for said implement to be operated on a public highway in excess of 35 miles per hour.

7.  Is a slow moving vehicle sign required?

A.  Yes, a slow moving vehicle sign is currently required for all implements since they are implements of husbandry limited to a speed of  35 mph or less by definition.

8.  Is there a difference for laden and un-laden?

A.  No.  There is no mention in the legislation regarding laden or un-laden.  The axle and gross weight limits would apply for non-permitted implements (20,000 lbs per axle max) and permitted implements (25,000 lbs per axle max).

9. What is the definition of a ‘TAG’ Axle?  (Manufacturers are working on a TAG axel)

A. A retractable axle ( Tag Axle ) is an axle that can be raised or lowered to help with weight distribution as necessary.   To be counted in a group of axles, other than a tandem, the retractable axle must carry at least as much weight as it increases the weight allowed on the group axles involved.  The retractable axle would still count as an axle for determining gross weight even though it may not have met the Enforcement Policy for a particular group.  There is also some requirements for the control valves of these axles they are found in Iowa Code 321.467 which says, a vehicle, which is a model year 1999 or later vehicle shall not operate on a highway of this state with a retractable axle unless the weight on the retractable axle can only be adjusted by means of a manual device located on the vehicle that is not accessible to the operator of the vehicle during operation of the vehicle.  However, the controls for raising and lowering the retractable axle may be accessible to the operator of the vehicle while the vehicle is in operation.