September 1 triggers the availability of the Illinois Harvest Permid (IHP) in Illinois. Obtaining the permit allows commodity haulers to exceed their gross, axle, and registered weights by up to 10%. The intent of the permit is to help commodities be moved faster and more efficiently during harvest season.

To obtain the permit, a carrier must apply to each road jurisdiction on whose roads they intend to travel, including state and local.

For state routes, the permit comes from the Illinois Department of Transportation’s ITAP website. The state permit is only available online.

The state’s permit comes with a route authorization that determines the route the truck can take. That route authorization is good for 14 days. The point of the route authorization is to ensure that the vehicle does not cross a posted road or structure.

For local routes, consult your county engineer or road commissioner to see if they will offer the permit. Local jurisdictions have the option to not allow the permit to be issued for their routes. They also can waive the requirement to carry an individual written permit and declare (in writing) that all of their routes will allow overweight loads.

None of these permits allow vehicles to exceed weight limit postings. Those postings preserve the integrity of the roadway. Be sure to check with highway officials for posted structures in the area you plan to travel.

Those operating under a permit must carry the permit with them, whether paper or electronic. The 14-day route authorization must be carried along with IDOT’s form OPER 993. This form outlines the permitting provisions. One requirement is a flashing, rotating or oscillating amber light visible from all directions from 500 feet.

Be sure to read all permit provisions and make sure that your route does not have a posted structure that will not permit your load to cross.

Access IDOT’s permitting manual at the ITAP website for more information.

Have a trucking- or transportation-related question or questions? If so, email us at ViewFromTheRoad@ilfb.org, and we’ll do our best to answer each one. You can also visit IFB's IHP resources here.

Kirby Wagner serves as assistant director of transportation and infrastructure for Illinois Farm Bureau.