Pennsylvania Law Improves Forestry Product Haulers and Husbandry Safety


A new PA rule, voted on in July 2022, revises three statutes that cover forestry product hauler loads, commercial implements of husbandry, and baled garbage loads.

The changes came into effect in September with the goal to improve public safety.

Senator Boscola said on her bill, “I am proud to have completed this bipartisan matter. We have worked closely with the Pennsylvania Forest Products Association to ensure this adjustment results in licensed truckers safer transportation of their forest products on our Commonwealth’s highways.”

Below are the three provision changes.

Forestry Product Haulers Provision

Pennsylvania’s forest products industry employs approximately 64,000 Pennsylvanians in nearly 2,100 operations and produces over $36 billion in total economic impact.

The new law adjusts the statutory language regarding heavy hauling permits on pulpwood and wood chips that restricted the number of axles that a tractor-trailer combination may use.

Effective in Sept. 2022, heavy haulers have the option to choose equipment with additional axles which would allow them to haul 95,000 pounds (5 axles) and 107,000 pounds (6 axles).

This is important for public safety because additional axles can provide increased braking power while spreading the vehicle’s weight over a larger surface area, reducing the impact of the load on road surfaces, reducing roadway maintenance costs, and improving a hauler’s ability to come to a controlled stop.

Commercial Implement Husbandry Provision

An implement of husbandry is described as a self-propelled vehicle that is used exclusively for agricultural operations.

The law authorizes a commercial implement of husbandry not exceeding 12 feet in width, including wheels and tires, to be driven between sunrise and sunset on freeways.

The permission does not apply to travel on the Pennsylvania Turnpike or an interstate highway and is subject to all the following guidelines.

The commercial implement of husbandry:

  • Can reach speeds of 40 mph at all times when being driven on the freeway
  • Has tires with a speed rating from the manufacturer of at least 40 mph
  • Is not driven for more than 30 miles on the freeway
  • Is equipped with one or more flashing or revolving yellow lights
  • Is driven only in the right lane of the freeway unless when required to exit the freeway
  • Is being driven to or from a farm, or farms, and the business location of the owner of the commercial implement of husbandry
  • Is covered by minimum levels of liability insurance coverage as required under Chapter 17 by owner of registered motor vehicles
  • The height, length, or weight doesn’t exceed the max height, length, or weight established in section 4922, 4923, and 4941


  • The freeway has a max speed of 65 mph at the location being driven
  • Individual driving in at least 18 years of age with valid driver’s license

Baled Garbage Provision

The garbage provision states that all waste, refuse or rubbish in a tightly compacted and baled form being transported within the state is to be securely fastened to the vehicle and be covered over all exposed areas by being placed within a woven bag or with a canvas cover or cover of a comparable type.

The cover shall be securely attached to the underside of all sides of the truck, trailer or semitrailer by straps.

The purpose of a woven bag, canvas cover or cover is to prevent any of the material from the bales from escaping.

No part of any bale shall be uncovered, except for inspection, at any time during transportation within or through the state until arrival at the disposal site.

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