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April 17, 2022

Crossing Indiana State Lines With A Farm Plated Truck – Does The Weight Matter?

If you are a farmer in Indiana and own a semi-tractor or a trailer, and intend to haul your own products, you can place a 30,000 lbs farm plate on your tractor. The Indiana Bureau of motor vehicles license branch is going to facilitate this. You can haul your loads across the state roads of Indiana. You can also take it to the Indiana interstate highways even if the gross weight is 80,000 LBS. However, there are a few limitations to this rule. These are as follows:

  • Every load that you are carrying should have originated from your farm. It must be the products that you have produced. You can transport grain from your farmland to other locations in Indiana. 
  • You can also transport grain from your fields to the bins and farm machinery located across various fields throughout numerous locations in Indiana.
  • Once you have taken a load from your farm and unloaded it at another location, it will not be possible for you to pick up any other load and bring it back to your farm. Whenever you return, your trailer must be completely empty. You are allowed to bring any loads from the field back to your yard or you can bring any rejected loads back to your property. These are the loads that have originated on your farm. 
  • If you pick up any other load from any other location that does not belong to your farm and bring it back to your farm, in case you are caught with it, you will have to pay a fine for this violation. This fine will be for the entire weight of the truck, the load, and the trailer that you are driving.
  • You cannot haul any kind of loads for hire which is the case with every farm plated tractor. If you intend to haul any load for pay, your regular plate is not going to cut it. You will have to plate your tractor commercially. 
  • There is a BMV plate that you must use if you want to haul within your state. Also, you can use an IRP plate if you intend to cross state lines. If you haul any products for hire, you must register for Indiana fuel stickers. Alternatively, you can register for IFTA stickers if you want to cross state lines. 
  • You must register for a US DOT number as well if you want to cross state lines in addition to a Unified Carrier Registration filing. 

The Rule Of 10% Overweight

In case you intend to haul any grain, you will be allowed a 10% overweight. If you are hauling 80,000 LBS on state roads, this will be allowed. You have to keep your weight at a lower limit on county roads. You will also have to be careful of the bridges that span throughout your state. Traveling on Indiana interstate highways is allowed with a 30,000 LBS farm plate. 

However, you cannot exceed the 80,000 LBS limit because there is no allowance for overweight journeys for any vehicle that has a 30,000 LBS farm plate. If you are traveling on the interstate highways with a weight of 80,000 LBS, you will have to pay a fine for the excess weight which is the weight in excess of 30,000 LBS. This means that you will end up with a $10,000 fine. Your tractor or trailer will be impounded until you pay up this fine.

If you have a farm vehicle with a farm plate of 30,000 LBS in Indiana, it is going to run $202.75 for a full year. The exercise tax on it will be $189 for 12 months. This means that the total stands at $391.75. In case you have a county wheel tax, this will also be added to the cost of your plate.

If you have a farm vehicle with 78,000 LBS farm plate, it is going to cost you $682.75 for the plate for the entire year. Now combine this with a $654 exercise tax. Again, add the county wheel tax if there is any and you have a very hefty amount to pay.

Plating Your Tractor With A BMV License Branch

Many farmers decide to plate their tractors from the BMV license branch that facilitates a regular commercial plate. This allows them to travel anywhere across Indiana. If you intend to do the same, you must remain within the state borders. 

  • You can haul any non-hazardous products but not any household goods. 
  • You must also register for proof of liability insurance with the state and apply for a USDOT number as well. 
  • In addition to this, you will also have to register for Indiana fuel tax. 
  • In case the title of your tractor shows that you have been the owner of it for more than 60 days when you had applied for a plate, you must provide enough documentation to prove that you have submitted a 2290 federal highway use tax form. This form will be submitted to the IRS on your tractor.

It is applicable if the weight of the tractor is above 54,000 lbs for the current year. Remember that whenever you file your 2290 federal highway use tax form, you must also have your Employer Identification Number which is the federal ID number.

Crossing State Lines With A Farm Plate

Crossing state lines with a farm plate is only possible when the plate says the exact weight which is that of your trailer, tractor, and load. You must have a USDOT number and should also register for IFTA fuel stickers. In order to cross state lines, you should also apply for your UCR and you can only haul loads that are your produce and nothing else across state lines.

Hauling Loads For Pay Across State Lines

There are a few requirements that you will have to fulfill if you want to haul loads across state lines with your vehicle. 

  • You must have a USDOT number in addition to an IRP license plate. Register for IFTA fuel tax as well. Unified carrier registration is also necessary if you are hauling any exempt commodities.
  • There are a few items (that you might choose to haul) that would require you to obtain the MC authority if you want to transport them across state lines. Take fertilizers, for example, because for them, you will need to have a federal motor carrier MC authority with you.
  • You will have to show to the state office that issues IRP license plates that you are legal to haul loads across state lines when the plate was issued.
  • It is important that you separate your farm business from your trucking business because of various legal liability issues. You can form an LLC for this purpose. This can be done very easily and for this, you will have to understand the various IRP office requirements. 

The one person that can handle all these responsibilities and formalities is your DOT compliance partner. You can get in touch with them right away and ditch all this stress once and for all.

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