The Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) applauds the recent approval by Ohio’s Joint Committee on Rule Review (JCARR) of new weight limits for trucks hauling grain and other products in shipping containers bound for international markets. The weight limit permits will be issued by the Ohio Department of Transportation and will allow a truck plus its cargo to weigh up to 94,000 pounds on state roadways, exceeding the current legal limit of 80,000 pounds. The new rules become effective October 28th.
The permits will cover the container’s travel between its loading location on a truck and an intermodal facility, where it would then be loaded on a train, barge or ship. The permits require the loading location and intermodal facility to be located in Ohio.
OSA advocated for these new rules and OSA president, Jeff Wuebker, signed a letter of support, as part of an agricultural coalition including the Ohio AgriBusiness Association, Ohio Farm Bureau Federation and the Ohio Corn Growers Association. The Ohio Manufacturers’ Association also advocated for the new rules.
“We’re very excited about the new weight limits,” Wuebker said. “These will help keep Ohio farmers competitive with other states that already have similar limits and also help increase the competitiveness of the containerized shipping industry for specialty soybeans.”
Research conducted this past year by the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean checkoff had identified containerized exports as a good growth opportunity that could benefit Ohio soybean farmers.
The new permits put Ohio on a level playing field with neighboring states such as Illinois and Indiana, which already have this type of permit for overweight trucks carrying export containers. Ohio shippers are optimistic that the volume of containerized exports of grain and other products from Ohio will increase now that the per-bushel transportation costs are competitive with other sources of supply.
“This weight adjustment is important to Ohio farmers so they will be able to get their products to international markets,” said Sen. Tim Grendell, R-Chesterland, a member of JCARR. “It is also very important that we do all we can to support our agricultural industry in Ohio.”
The members of the JCARR committee are Sen. and chair Tom Niehaus, R-New Richmond; Rep. Clyde Evans, R-Rio Grande; Sen. Karen Gillmor, R-Tiffin; Sen. Grendell; Rep. Sandra Harwood, D-Niles; Rep. Ross McGregor, R-Springfield; Rep. Mike Moran, D-Hudson; Sen. Sue Morano, D-Lorain; Rep. Mike Skindell, D-Lakewood; and Sen. Fred Strahorn, D-Dayton.