Industry News

VT Issues Chain Requirements for Oversize Load Vehicles

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The Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles has issued a weather alert for drivers of large vehicles, over 26,000 pounds, including oversize and overweight vehicles.

These vehicles will be required to use tire chains on Vermont Route 9 during inclement weather.

For more information, please visit the chain requirements for vehicles with weight ratings of more than 26,000 pounds here.

I-45 in Houston Closed for Bridge Repair

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Due to damage caused by an oversize load, I-45 in Downtown Houston will be closed for four weekends for bridge repairs.

The West Dallas Bridge, located in Downtown Houston, will be demolished and reconstructed during the four weekend closure.

Texas DOT reported I-45 will be closed in both directions between Interstate 10 and US 59, Nov. 4-7, Nov. 18-21, Dec 2-5 and Dec. 9 -12.

Each weekend’s closure will begin on Friday at 9 p.m. and will last through Monday at 5 a.m.

This demolition is the result of an oversize load being lodge underneath, damaging the bridge in September.

TN: Inter-agency Agreement Between State DOT and Department of Safety and Homeland Security

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According to the State of TN Department of Transportation, upon procuring TDOT request, the contracting agency (Department of Safety and Homeland Security) agrees to furnish the law enforcement services of its Tennessee Highway Patrol Troopers to control traffic and otherwise assist in securing the public safety where TDOT had issued permits for super heavy and /or extra-over dimensional movements on interstate Highways or highways on the state highway system when load exceeds the following dimensions:

  • Sixteen feet (16’) wide on any highway other than interstate or federal-aid highways
  • Eighteen feet (18’) wide on interstate or federal-aid highways
  • One hundred thirty feet (130’) overall length on any highway
  • Seventeen feet (17) high on any high way
  • Anytime deemed necessary due to complexity of route or load.
  • The Tennessee Highway Patrol will conduct at a minimum a Level II North American Standard inspection prior to performing escort services.
  • Substitution of local law enforcement will not be allowed for over-dimensional loads listed in Sections A. through A.5
  • If your permit request meets the criteria outlined above, your permit issuance and approval will be contingent upon THP availability.

Please build in extra time in your permit process to anticipate delays that this new process might create.
We are in the early stages of formalizing a standard operating procedure (SOP) between all the stakeholders involved in this process.

I-90 Toll Plaza Demolition Project to Affect Oversize Load Travel

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Toll plaza demolition will begin in Massachusetts on Friday, October 28, including 23 active work zones. MassDOT is asking all drivers, including oversize loads to drive slow and courteous during this time.

Stage 1: October 28th – November 22nd

During the demolition and roadway reconstruction process, vehicles will be channelized into lanes and guided through the construction work zone with barrels, barriers, and signage.

Stage 1: During the first stage of demolition and reconstruction, the travel lanes on the outside portions of the toll plazas will be used to accommodate traffic while the interior portion of the toll plaza area is being demolished.

For safety reasons, drivers will be required to maintain the posted 15 MPH speed limits during this phase of demolition. Police details will be onsite to ensure the efficient flow of traffic and to enforce the speed limits.

Travel Tips and Resources

MassDOT is moving to all electronic tolling to improve safety, relieve traffic congestion, and reduce greenhouse gases. During this transition process, drivers will need to travel at reduced speeds in work zones.

MassDOT is asking drivers to allow extra time to reach their destinations, demonstrate common courtesies when merging and changing lanes of travel, minimize distractions such as the use of cell phones, and consider travel at off-peak hours or travel on mass transit.

Oversize Load Travel Affected by Hurricane Matthew

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Hurricane Matthew has affected oversize load travel in some states.

As of noon EST, the following states have posted updates. Check back in for more updates as the storm progresses.

George – No restrictions, operating as normal

Florida – No restrictions, operating as normal

South Carolina – No oversize permits are being issued on I-95 or East of I-95, although the office is open and issuing other permits.

North Carolina – The Governor has issued a State of Emergency, although the state is continuing to issue permits, but are asking all carriers to please use best judgment. Office is currently open, but could close depending on how the storm progresses.

SC&RA Inquires About VA Permit Delays

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The Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association inquired last week about the State of Virginia’s recent oversize load permit delays.

During a meeting on Sept. 9, SC&RA asked VA transportation and motor vehicle officials to upgrade its automated permit system, and join other states that “auto issue” oversize load permits at or about 14-6 high, 110-feet long and 150,000 pounds.

VA state officials responded to the inquiries by saying personnel issues were the cause of some major permit delays this summer, including some that lasted several hours to several days.

SC&RA reported that VA officials agreed to meet with them in six months to give a progress update on automation plans.

According to the SC&RA, over 35 states have automated permitting and routing systems.

OH: Update to One-Mile Permit Access Rule

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Effective Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016, there will be a change in Ohio’s one-mile permit access rule, which will grant specialized carriers access to off permit routes for food, fuel, rest, repair, etc.

The permittee is authorized to exit the permitted route at any State Highway intersection for food, fuel, rest or repair provided that the hauler doesn’t travel more than 5,280 feet (1 mile) from the interchange (measure as a lane mile from the junction of the off ramp), and doesn’t cross under (if permitted height exceeds 13’6″) or over any structure which is 10′ wide or greater.

Upon re-entering the permitted route, the permittee must abide by the same restrictions as when exiting the permitted route. By traveling more than 5,280 feet (1 mile) or crossing over or under (if permitted height exceeds 13’6″) any structure the permittee will be considered off route.

If the permittee travels beyond the one-mile limit, crosses a structure within the one-mile variance, or violates any other provision of the permit, the permittee is in violation and subject to applicable fines and penalties. It’s necessary that the structure be in plain visibility to the permittee where they are stopping off the permitted route.

IA Increases Tandem Weight to 46,000 Pounds

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Effective August 17, 2016, vehicles operating in Iowa under an oversize/overweight permit are allowed a tandem axle weight of up to 46,000 pounds on a single tandem truck axle, and also a single tandem trailer axle. A maximum of two axles at the 46,000 pounds will be allowed for each permitted load (one each on the truck and trailer).

Previously, the limit was 20,000 pounds per axle.

According to the SC&RA, the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) successfully passed the bill earlier this year through the state legislature. The Iowa DOT agreed with SC&RA that the lower weight allowance made it costlier to do business, resulting in a competitive disadvantage for Iowa truckers.

CA: New Legal Requirements for Safety Flags

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California state law requirements for safety flags on oversize loads with certain dimensions has recently changed its standard.

Previously, state law required a 16-inch red or fluorescent orange flag on oversize loads (refer to CA Code under Chapter 2 commencing with section 35100). Now, an 18-inch red or fluorescent orange flag is required if the vehicle or equipment is being operated other than during darkness.

WCS Permits & Pilot Cars manufacturers and sells red and fluorescent orange flags via their online store, store.wcspermits.com.

I-70 Construction to Impact Oversize Travel

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Interstate 70 construction is expected to impact all travel – including oversize load travel – starting Monday, July 11 west of Boonville, Missouri at Mile Marker 93.

Westbound traffic will narrow to one lane late Monday night, and eastbound traffic will also narrow to one lane on Wednesday, July 13 at which time all vehicles will share a bride.

The work zone area will be especially difficult for trucks, including oversize load vehicles due to the location at of the zone at the bottom of an extended river valley. Trucks traveling in each direction will decelerate down a hill, navigate the work zone and then accelerate up a gradual pitch.

Due to these difficulties for trucks and oversize loads, it is predicted that significant backups will occur.

Alternate routes can be taken, including US 50, US 36 and US 24, although the bridge at Jefferson City is also undergoing maintenance.