A waiver on size restrictions and permit fees for oversized loads of hay traveling on Louisiana highways has been extended through the end of the year.

The original waiver, issued by Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s office on May 12, 2011, was set to expire on Sept. 30.

The extension of the waiver will allow truck drivers to move oversized loads of hay without having to pay extra permit fees to areas where the ongoing drought has severely curtailed hay production. 

“Louisiana cattlemen and their cattle are suffering drastic losses due to an extended drought that has hurt hay production,” said Mike Strain, Louisiana Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner, D.V.M. “The lifting of the size restrictions will allow hay producers to transport more hay at the lowest possible cost.”

Strain said the state departments of Transportation and Development, Public Safety and Revenue will allow vehicles transporting round hay bales to be loaded side by side across trailers up to 12 feet in width and 14 feet in height.

Carriers, owners and drivers are responsible for verifying in advance that the actual dimension and weight of the vehicles and loads are acceptable for all routes traveled.

The oversize vehicles may only travel during daylight hours, not exceed weight limits for bridges and similar structures, be equipped with proper mirrors and the loads must be securely bound.