Robert E. Dunham, Appellant-Defendant,
State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff.
FROM THE HENRY CIRCUIT COURT THE HONORABLE DAVID L. MCCORD,
JUDGE TRIAL COURT CAUSE NO. 33C03-1803-IF-868
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT JON A. KEYES ALLEN WELLMAN MCNEW
HARVEY, LLP GREENFIELD, INDIANA
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE CURTIS T. HILL, JR. ATTORNEY GENERAL
OF INDIANA TYLER G. BANKS DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL
SHEPARD, SENIOR JUDGE.
The General Assembly has established a weight limit for heavy
equipment on highways, but there is an exception for farm
drainage machinery. Robert E. Dunham appeals the trial
court's determination that he violated the weight limit,
a Class C infraction,  claiming his equipment fell under the
exception. We reverse.
Dunham raises three issues, which we restate as: whether the
court erred in determining he was guilty of a Class C
and Procedural History
The facts are not in dispute. Robert Dunham worked for
Drainage Construction Unlimited, Inc. (DCU), a company
specializing in farm drainage work. The Henry County Drainage
Board hired DCU to install drain tiles at a farm near the
intersection of Interstate 70 and Indiana Highway 3.
On February 26, 2018, Dunham installed drain tiles on the
farm using an excavator. When he was finished, Dunham put the
excavator on a trailer and towed the trailer away from the
farm by truck.
On the way back to DCU's office, Dunham was pulled over
by Indiana State Trooper Todd Wallace. Dunham told Wallace he
had been doing excavation work for the county. Wallace asked
Indiana State Trooper Brandon Steffey to weigh the truck,
trailer, and excavator. This was accomplished, and Steffey
determined the truck, trailer, and excavator collectively
weighed 85, 300 pounds, in violation of the statutory limit
of 80, 000 pounds.
Steffey issued a citation to Dunham for exceeding the weight
limit. Appellant's App. Vol. 2, p. 6. Dunham contested
the ticket, and the trial court held a bench trial on May 11,
2018. The court determined Dunham was guilty of a Class C
infraction and imposed a fine of $35.50, plus $135.50 in
Dunham argues the trial court erred in determining he had
violated the weight limit for heavy equipment on state
highways. The parties agree this appeal presents a question
of law, which we review de novo with no deference to the