Gov. Bruce Rauner declared a state harvest season emergency earlier this month, giving road jurisdictions authority to issue Harvest Season Emergency Permits.

Cook County farmers will need to seek a permit from the Cook County Transportation and Highway Department for Cook County roads.  A Transportation and Highway Department official indicated the department would use an automated permit, available at https://www.cookcountyil.gov/service/transportation-and-highways.

Under a harvest season emergency, a farmer with a permit may haul up to a maximum of 10 percent more than the standard weight restriction of the gross, axle and registered weight restrictions.

Harvest season permits are not available for interstate highways.

With individual permits, local authorities may put restrictions, such as which roads are designated for the permits or times of day the permit is valid, or special conditions, such as not valid during a rainstorm.  

In addition, farmers need to talk to township road commissioners for township roads and street departments for municipal streets.

When operating with a harvest season emergency permit, a farmer will need to carry a printed or electronic copy of each permit; copy of the form “OPER 993,” a special vehicle movement provision; and a copy of the governor’s declaration.

For more information, call Bona Heinsohn at (708) 354-3276.