Get the skinny on IOH from Rob Richard…
I will be the first to admit that Wisconsin’s Implements of Husbandry (IOH) law can be confusing. The last thing I want is for you not to have the answers you need to legally move farm equipment down the road.
The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation has been involved in sorting out our state’s issues pertaining to IOH for years. The issues heated up in the fall of 2011 when a significant weight infraction by a manure hauler took place in Marathon County.
It sparked a conversation that spread statewide about the operation of farm machinery on Wisconsin roads. Farmers, law enforcement and the elected officials charged with maintaining roads all had valid concerns. After much study and discussion, the IOH law became official in April of 2014.
As complex as the law might be for many, its passage was important for one simple reason: Even though farm machinery has gone through an incredible evolution in sheer size in the last 25 years, farm equipment has never been exempt from road weight laws.
Many farmers thought otherwise, meanwhile weight enforcement was becoming more prevalent across the state. Something had to happen. That something was legislation to give farmers the opportunity to legally and safely operate their equipment on Wisconsin roads.
Having traveled throughout Wisconsin for the last year giving dozens of presentations on the law, I know it can be difficult to understand. I could never explain the entirety of the law in one column. Instead, what I would like to do is offer myself up as a resource.
I have read many emails, blogs, Facebook posts and letters-to-the-editor that ask good questions from people who cannot easily find the answers about the law. There are also many mistruths or misunderstandings about the IOH law that need clarification.
I want to be helpful because I know the overwhelming majority of farmers and agriculturists want to abide by the law, but have a hard time grasping what the law says and does. If you have a question or don’t understand what something means, comment on this blog post and I’ll get back to you either by responding to your comment or directly by email.
Rob Richard is the WFBF’s Senior Director of Governmental Relations. Rob is the Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s point person for legislation taking place at the State Capitol in Madison.