Tama County Supervisors By: Joyce Wiese
October 25, 2013
County Engineer Lyle Brehm and the Tama County Board of Supervisors discussed some of the dangers in fall harvesting. Brehm told supervisors he had been contacted by various people about grain carts on public roads. The grain carts being referred to are the type with one axle and pulled by a tractor. Brehm says there is a lot of weight on this one axle when the cart is loaded. Despite the large flotation tires, operating loaded carts on roads causes significant damage to the roads. Brehm says IOWA LAW ALLOWS VEHICLES LIKE THIS TO CARRY UP TO 28,000 POUNDS ON ONE AXLE AT THIS TIME OF YEAR. IF THESE VEHICLES WERE TO BE STOPPED BY WEIGHT ENFORCEMENT PERSONNEL, THERE WOULD BE A SIGNIFICANT FINE TO THE DRIVER. UNFORTUNATELY THE DAMAGE TO ROADS IS PRESENT WHETHER THESE HEAVY VEHICLES ARE STOPPED OR NOT. OPERATORS WHO USE THESE CARTS TO LOAD A SEMI ON A PUBLIC ROAD CAUSE DAMAGE IN A SMALLER AREA. OPERATORS WHO USE THESE TO CARRY GRAIN BACK TO A STORAGE SITE CAUSE MORE. FURTHERMORE, THE DAMAGE TO ANY BRIDGES THESE MAY CROSS HAS THE POTENTIAL TO BE CATASTORPHIC. Brehm went on to tell supervisors there is not a bridge designed to handle this kind of weight for these roads so it is potentially dangerous. Shelled corn weights approximately 56 pounds per bushel. A wagon hauling 450 bushel plus the weight of the wagon and tractor would far exceed the 28,000 pound limit. Most people do not realize it is illegal to exceed this pound limit. Brehm is asking farmers to be considerate of the law and the damage that can be done to the roads. Brehm also told supervisors as fall progresses they will be looking for places to work along the edge of fields. Often the dirt is higher along a fence line. Brehm says they can also prevent drifting snow if the fence is removed and they are given permission from the landowner to blade the dirt along the fence line out into the field. Road work is being done on K Avenue south of Highway E43. They will reshape the road as they have been given permission from landowners to go on private property. In these locations they will push the black dirt from the surface back, remove the underlying clay and place it on the road, and finally replace the black dirt. The county auditor’s quarterly report was approved. It shows $2034.15 received for maps, plat books and GIS shapefiles, and miscellaneous of $39.00 with $102.00 deducted for a replacement check., leaving a total of $1971.15. Claims approved for the past week to be paid came to $55,208.16.
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