Illinois uniform truck weight limits take effect Jan. 1

Generally truck length limit not changed on local roads

Published on: Dec 18, 2009
The General Assembly passed and Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation that included authorization for uniform truck weight limits up to 80,000 pounds. The change takes effect Jan. 1, 2010.

Kevin Rund, Illinois Farm Bureau senior director of local government, has provided answers to common questions about the new law:

Will 80,000-pound trucks be allowed on every road?

Rund: No. State and local road jurisdictions retain the authority to temporarily and/or permanently post roads and bridges with lower weight limits. Some roads will be posted at lower limits; many bridges already have been posted.

How am I supposed to know what limit applies?

Rund: The 80,000-pound gross vehicle weight limit applies unless a lower weight limit has been posted on signs along that road.

Will limits be uniform on all roads in 2010?

Rund: The state will have uniform default weight and width limits on all roads starting in 2010. Any variations must be posted. However, allowable truck length differences will exist still. Generally they are 65 feet on state roads but 55 feet on local roads.

Does this mean all roads have to be rebuilt to handle 80,000-pound trucks?

Rund: No. There is no mandate to re-engineer road systems. Many local roads, when dry or frozen, easily can accommodate the heavier trucks.

What about width restrictions?

Rund: Legislation also established a uniform truck width of 102 inches on all roads starting Jan. 1, 2010.

What about vehicle lengths?

Rund: Allowable lengths for truck and trailer combinations were not changed. Combinations on non-designated local roads still are limited to 55 feet in overall length.

After Jan. 1, if a road is posted at a maximum limit of 73,280 pounds of gross vehicle weight, will lower axle weight limits also apply?

Rund: No. The 2009 legislation eliminates the old formula. Unless reduced axle weight limits are posted on a road, the federal bridge formula limits for axles apply regardless of the posted maximum gross weight limit.

What is the bridge formula?

Rund: It is an engineering equation used to calculate the maximum gross and axle weight for trucks and trailers. The calculated weight limits apply to both bridges and pavement.

Will overweight permits still be available?

Rund: Yes. However, they can be issued for only non-divisible loads and are not typically issued for roads that have a weight limit posting.

Will harvest season permits still be available?

Rund: Yes. These can be issued for loads of grain. Remember they provide only for increased axle weights -- not gross weights -- and they must be obtained from each road jurisdiction on whose roads the driver will be traveling.

Will bridges and roads be treated uniformly or differently?

Rund: The limit posted for a road might be higher or lower than the limit posted for a bridge along the same route. On state routes, drivers should see advance warnings of bridge weight limits, giving them a chance to take a different route. Local roads authorities are not required to provide advance notice of bridge weight postings, so drivers will need to scout local routes in advance to know what weights are allowed.

How will overweight violations be treated?

Rund: The 2,000-pound tolerance provision will remain in effect, but the overweight fines will double in 2010.

Will weight limits change for farm equipment?

Rund: No. Implements of husbandry, other than cargo units, generally remain exempt from standard weight limits. Farm wagons, fertilizer buggies, sprayers, and nurse tanks are all limited to 36,000 pounds gross vehicle weight.

Have speed limits for trucks been affected?

Rund: Yes. In 2010, the maximum speed limit for big trucks on interstate highways will be 65 mph. However, as long as the lower speed limit signs remain posted, that lower limit will apply.
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  1. Dan-O says:

    The 80,000 lb. gravel trucks running though residential areas on the north side of Gurnee on Stearns School Road are LOUD, speeding and cause a real distress for residents of this area. These trucks are taking a cut-through on this small county road, part of a circuitous route south from Antioch to the SB I-94 tollway entrance at Grand Ave. in Gurnee, to avoid weigh-ins and tolls on other larger, more direct routes; Rt. 41 and I94. As it stands now, residents have NO rights to restrict these loud, oversized trucks to other roads and protect the peace of their homes. Yes, this cut through is all residential. Safety and quality of life here are greatly compromised. Truckers rights win out over ours. THIS IS WRONG. Localities should be able to restrict trucks from roads like these, surrounded by homes.

  2. Dan-O says:

    I wish some of the people making comments against trucks, and the police that think there really protecting and serving,{ at least thats what it used to say on the cars,} could see what its like to be stopped 3 times a week just to see if they can fine$$ you. And stop and think how your food and gas and roads all get magically delivered and repaired, your garbage gets picked up and on and on!!! .Its sad the way truck drivers are treated, the majority of drivers are law abiding citizens working hard to raise there families.

  3. Dan-O says:

    You coppers are shooting your self in the foot! QUOTE "The importamt thing is these ARE NOT overweight violations.  They are tickets for either violating a sign ($75 moving violation) or violating a local ordinace (up to $750)." Now why in the world would you want to take a way your cash cow and make these moving violations?? Duh! You better think twice about issuing that "moving violation" your coffers will dry up!!

  4. Dan-O says:

    Hi , I have been told and fined for 72,240 and I fall under the 5 axle less than 42 feet SHV paid plated for 73,280 catagory, Is it 72,000lbs  O  tolerance and fines double since Jan 2010, ???Anyone that has ever hauled stone, sand,dirt,grain, etc. knows you cant get an exact weight everytime. Has it come to putting working people out of buisness to get money for fines.

  5. Dan-O says:

    What is illinois law as far as pulling grainwagons behind trucks to local elevators? I have a grain pup behind my 6 wheeler truck ,is it  the same as a wagon as far as liciening it and inspecting it .

  6. Dan-O says:

    We live in a very tiny Village and get very little money fir the oiling and repair of our streets. The streets are very narrow. Do we still have to allow big Semi-trucks access to our roads? It is also dangerous because we have no sidewalks for our own personal use and have to use the streets for walking and riding bikes. How can I get information on this matter?   Thank You       E-mail address is,

  7. Anonymous says:

    Local load limits posted by counties/municiplaities on a permanent or sesonal basis apply to all vehicles.  Farm trucks are not exempt.  The importamt thing is these ARE NOT overweight violations.  They are tickets for either violating a sign ($75 moving violation) or violating a local ordinace (up to $750).  Bridge weight limits are still overweight tickets, and the fines have doubled.

    The SHV provision for 5-axle combinations, 42' or less, still applies.  The maximum gross weight is 72,000, but axle weights have increased to 20,000 single axle/34,000 tandem.

    Please sign up with the Illinois Truck Enforcement Association to learn more about these laws.

  8. Anonymous says:

    if the roads do have a posted limit less than 80,000 lbs. , will this lessor limit apply to everyone including farm trucks /

  9. Anonymous says:

    How will this affect those of us running short trailers that were grandfathered in under the old 72000 weight?