Emergency Order Helps Tennessee Hay Haulers

Gov. Bill Haslam has issued an executive order allowing them to move heavier and larger loads for the next 60 days, because of the drought situation.

Truckers hauling hay in Tennessee can move heavier and larger loads, as long as they observe other safety rules, until Sept. 8 thanks to an executive order issued by Gov. Bill Haslam in response to drought conditions and extreme heat, according to the statement released by his office July 11.

The order allows hay haulers to operate semi-truck trailers up to 95,000 pounds gross vehicle weight, not to exceed 20,000 pounds per axle, with a maximum height of 13 feet 6 inches and a maximum width of 14 feet during daylight hours. This will allow them to haul round hay bales that are 6 to 7 feet in size side by side.

"What started out as a very promising year has quickly turned devastating for many farmers who are facing a short supply of hay due to the drought," Haslam said. "This order will help ensure that hay can be shipped safely without delay across the state as needed."

During 2011, Tennessee farmers produced an estimated 3.9 million pounds of hay worth more than $332 million, according to the statement.

Weekly crop reports from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture are available at this website.

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