The State Senate today approved legislation sponsored by Senator Wayne Langerholc, Jr. (R-35) that is intended to help Pennsylvania’s farmers by increasing the allowable width for farm equipment on roads in the Commonwealth.
Under Senate Bill 338, the allowable width for farm equipment under the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code would increase from 16 feet to 18 feet to accommodate the more common, larger equipment that farmers are using on their land.
“Over the years, farm machinery has grown in size and has become more technologically advanced,” Langerholc said. “Specialized commercial services such as custom harvesting, planting and hauling are becoming a critical component of Pennsylvania’s agricultural operations and rely on this larger equipment to be productive and viable.”
In 2012, Pennsylvania’s Vehicle Code was updated to allow for a modest increase to the current 16-feet allowable width with important safety restrictions.
“However the standard width for many combines is in excess of the current 16-foot width restriction, placing our farmers in danger of being cited merely while performing farming duties on their own land,” Langerholc said. “My bill would ensure that our farmers and our state’s number one industry can continue to contribute to our economy and maintain successful operations.”
He added that the increase will not supersede any requirement of the Vehicle Code related to safety that is currently imposed on wider farm machinery while on the roads.
Senate Bill 338 now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.
The measure is one of seven bills making up the Farming First legislative initiative designed to ensure Pennsylvania agricultural operations remain competitive and profitable for current and future generations of farmers.
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