View all text of Chapter 1 [§ 101 - § 190]

§ 127.
Vehicle weight limitations—Interstate System
(a)
In General.—
(1) The Secretary shall withhold 50 percent of the apportionment of a State under section 104(b)(1) in any fiscal year in which the State does not permit the use of The Dwight D. Eisenhower System of Interstate and Defense Highways within its boundaries by vehicles with a weight of twenty thousand pounds carried on any one axle, including enforcement tolerances, or with a tandem axle weight of thirty-four thousand pounds, including enforcement tolerances, or a gross weight of at least eighty thousand pounds for vehicle combinations of five axles or more.
(2) However, the maximum gross weight to be allowed by any State for vehicles using The Dwight D. Eisenhower System of Interstate and Defense Highways shall be twenty thousand pounds carried on one axle, including enforcement tolerances, and a tandem axle weight of thirty-four thousand pounds, including enforcement tolerances and with an overall maximum gross weight, including enforcement tolerances, on a group of two or more consecutive axles produced by application of the following formula:
LN
W=500 AXXXXX+12N+36B
N−1
where W equals overall gross weight on any group of two or more consecutive axles to the nearest five hundred pounds, L equals distance in feet between the extreme of any group of two or more consecutive axles, and N equals number of axles in group under consideration, except that two consecutive sets of tandem axles may carry a gross load of thirty-four thousand pounds each providing the overall distance between the first and last axles of such consecutive sets of tandem axles (1) is thirty-six feet or more, or (2) in the case of a motor vehicle hauling any tank trailer, dump trailer, or ocean transport container before September 1, 1989, is 30 feet or more: Provided, That such overall gross weight may not exceed eighty thousand pounds, including all enforcement tolerances, except for vehicles using Interstate Route 29 between Sioux City, Iowa, and the border between Iowa and South Dakota or vehicles using Interstate Route 129 between Sioux City, Iowa, and the border between Iowa and Nebraska, and except for those vehicles and loads which cannot be easily dismantled or divided and which have been issued special permits in accordance with applicable State laws, or the corresponding maximum weights permitted for vehicles using the public highways of such State under laws or regulations established by appropriate State authority in effect on July 1, 1956, except in the case of the overall gross weight of any group of two or more consecutive axles on any vehicle (other than a vehicle comprised of a motor vehicle hauling any tank trailer, dump trailer, or ocean transport container on or after September 1, 1989), on the date of enactment of the Federal-Aid Highway Amendments of 1974, whichever is the greater.
(3) Any amount which is withheld from apportionment to any State pursuant to the foregoing provisions shall lapse if not released and obligated within the availability period specified in section 118(b).
(4) This section shall not be construed to deny apportionment to any State allowing the operation within such State of any vehicles or combinations thereof, other than vehicles or combinations subject to subsection (d) of this section, which the State determines could be lawfully operated within such State on July 1, 1956, except in the case of the overall gross weight of any group of two or more consecutive axles, on the date of enactment of the Federal-Aid Highway Amendments of 1974.
(5) With respect to the State of Hawaii, laws or regulations in effect on February 1, 1960, shall be applicable for the purposes of this section in lieu of those in effect on July 1, 1956.
(6) With respect to the State of Colorado, vehicles designed to carry 2 or more precast concrete panels shall be considered a nondivisible load.
(7) With respect to the State of Michigan, laws or regulations in effect on May 1, 1982, shall be applicable for the purposes of this subsection.
(8) With respect to the State of Maryland, laws and regulations in effect on June 1, 1993, shall be applicable for the purposes of this subsection.
(9) The State of Louisiana may allow, by special permit, the operation of vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of up to 100,000 pounds for the hauling of sugarcane during the harvest season, not to exceed 100 days annually.
(10)
With respect to Interstate Routes 89, 93, and 95 in the State of New Hampshire—
(A) State laws (including regulations) concerning vehicle weight limitations that were in effect on January 1, 1987, and are applicable to State highways other than the Interstate System, shall be applicable in lieu of the requirements of this subsection; and
(B) effective June 30, 2016, a combination of truck-tractor and dump trailer equipped with 6 axles or more with a gross weight of up to 99,000 pounds shall be permitted if the distances between the extreme axles, excluding the steering axle, is 28 feet or more.
(11)
(A) With respect to all portions of the Interstate Highway System in the State of Maine, laws (including regulations) of that State concerning vehicle weight limitations applicable to other State highways shall be applicable in lieu of the requirements under this subsection.
(B) With respect to all portions of the Interstate Highway System in the State of Vermont, laws (including regulations) of that State concerning vehicle weight limitations applicable to other State highways shall be applicable in lieu of the requirements under this subsection.
(12)
Heavy duty vehicles.—
(A)
In general.—
Subject to subparagraphs (B) and (C), in order to promote reduction of fuel use and emissions because of engine idling, the maximum gross vehicle weight limit and the axle weight limit for any heavy-duty vehicle equipped with an idle reduction technology shall be increased by a quantity necessary to compensate for the additional weight of the idle reduction system.
(B)
Maximum weight increase.—
The weight increase under subparagraph (A) shall be not greater than 550 pounds.
(C)
Proof.—
On request by a regulatory agency or law enforcement agency, the vehicle operator shall provide proof (through demonstration or certification) that—
(i) the idle reduction technology is fully functional at all times; and
(ii) the 550-pound gross weight increase is not used for any purpose other than the use of idle reduction technology described in subparagraph (A).
(13)
Milk products.—
A vehicle carrying fluid milk products shall be considered a load that cannot be easily dismantled or divided.
(b)
Reasonable Access.—
No State may enact or enforce any law denying reasonable access to motor vehicles subject to this title to and from the Interstate Highway System to terminals and facilities for food, fuel, repairs, and rest.
(c)
Ocean Transport Container Defined.—
For purposes of this section, the term “ocean transport container” has the meaning given the term “freight container” by the International Standards Organization in Series 1, Freight Containers, 3rd Edition (reference number IS0668–1979(E)) as in effect on the date of the enactment of this subsection.
(d)
Longer Combination Vehicles.—
(1)
Prohibition.—
(A)
General continuation rule.—
A longer combination vehicle may continue to operate only if the longer combination vehicle configuration type was authorized by State officials pursuant to State statute or regulation conforming to this section and in actual lawful operation on a regular or periodic basis (including seasonal operations) on or before June 1, 1991, or pursuant to section 335 of the Department of Transportation and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1991 (104 Stat. 2186).
(B)
Applicability of state laws and regulations.—
All such operations shall continue to be subject to, at the minimum, all State statutes, regulations, limitations and conditions, including, but not limited to, routing-specific and configuration-specific designations and all other restrictions, in force on June 1, 1991; except that subject to such regulations as may be issued by the Secretary pursuant to paragraph (5) of this subsection, the State may make minor adjustments of a temporary and emergency nature to route designations and vehicle operating restrictions in effect on June 1, 1991, for specific safety purposes and road construction.
(C)
Wyoming.—
In addition to those vehicles allowed under subparagraph (A), the State of Wyoming may allow the operation of additional vehicle configurations not in actual operation on June 1, 1991, but authorized by State law not later than November 3, 1992, if such vehicle configurations comply with the single axle, tandem axle, and bridge formula limits set forth in subsection (a) and do not exceed 117,000 pounds gross vehicle weight.
(D)
Ohio.—
In addition to vehicles which the State of Ohio may continue to allow to be operated under subparagraph (A), such State may allow longer combination vehicles with 3 cargo carrying units of 28½ feet each (not including the truck tractor) not in actual operation on June 1, 1991, to be operated within its boundaries on the 1-mile segment of Ohio State Route 7 which begins at and is south of exit 16 of the Ohio Turnpike.
(E)
Alaska.—
In addition to vehicles which the State of Alaska may continue to allow to be operated under subparagraph (A), such State may allow the operation of longer combination vehicles which were not in actual operation on June 1, 1991, but which were in actual operation prior to July 5, 1991.
(F)
Iowa.—
In addition to vehicles that the State of Iowa may continue to allow to be operated under subparagraph (A), the State may allow longer combination vehicles that were not in actual operation on June 1, 1991, to be operated on Interstate Route 29 between Sioux City, Iowa, and the border between Iowa and South Dakota or Interstate Route 129 between Sioux City, Iowa, and the border between Iowa and Nebraska.
(2)
Additional state restrictions.—
(A)
In general.—
Nothing in this subsection shall prevent any State from further restricting in any manner or prohibiting the operation of longer combination vehicles otherwise authorized under this subsection; except that such restrictions or prohibitions shall be consistent with the requirements of sections 31111–31114 of title 49.
(B)
Minor adjustments.—
Any State further restricting or prohibiting the operations of longer combination vehicles or making minor adjustments of a temporary and emergency nature as may be allowed pursuant to regulations issued by the Secretary pursuant to paragraph (5) of this subsection, shall, within 30 days, advise the Secretary of such action, and the Secretary shall publish a notice of such action in the Federal Register.
(3)
Publication of list.—
(A)
Submission to secretary.—
Within 60 days of the date of the enactment of this subsection, each State (i) shall submit to the Secretary for publication in the Federal Register a complete list of (I) all operations of longer combination vehicles being conducted as of June 1, 1991, pursuant to State statutes and regulations; (II) all limitations and conditions, including, but not limited to, routing-specific and configuration-specific designations and all other restrictions, governing the operation of longer combination vehicles otherwise prohibited under this subsection; and (III) such statutes, regulations, limitations, and conditions; and (ii) shall submit to the Secretary copies of such statutes, regulations, limitations, and conditions.
(B)
Interim list.—
Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this subsection, the Secretary shall publish an interim list in the Federal Register, consisting of all information submitted pursuant to subparagraph (A). The Secretary shall review for accuracy all information submitted by the States pursuant to subparagraph (A) and shall solicit and consider public comment on the accuracy of all such information.
(C)
Limitation.—
No statute or regulation shall be included on the list submitted by a State or published by the Secretary merely on the grounds that it authorized, or could have authorized, by permit or otherwise, the operation of longer combination vehicles, not in actual operation on a regular or periodic basis on or before June 1, 1991.
(D)
Final list.—
Except as modified pursuant to paragraph (1)(C) of this subsection, the list shall be published as final in the Federal Register not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this subsection. In publishing the final list, the Secretary shall make any revisions necessary to correct inaccuracies identified under subparagraph (B). After publication of the final list, longer combination vehicles may not operate on the Interstate System except as provided in the list.
(E)
Review and correction procedure.—
The Secretary, on his or her own motion or upon a request by any person (including a State), shall review the list issued by the Secretary pursuant to subparagraph (D). If the Secretary determines there is cause to believe that a mistake was made in the accuracy of the final list, the Secretary shall commence a proceeding to determine whether the list published pursuant to subparagraph (D) should be corrected. If the Secretary determines that there is a mistake in the accuracy of the list the Secretary shall correct the publication under subparagraph (D) to reflect the determination of the Secretary.
(4)
Longer combination vehicle defined.—
For purposes of this section, the term “longer combination vehicle” means any combination of a truck tractor and 2 or more trailers or semitrailers which operates on the Interstate System at a gross vehicle weight greater than 80,000 pounds.
(5)
Regulations regarding minor adjustments.—
Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this subsection, the Secretary shall issue regulations establishing criteria for the States to follow in making minor adjustments under paragraph (1)(B).
(e)
Operation of Certain Specialized Hauling Vehicles on Interstate Route 68.—
The single axle, tandem axle, and bridge formula limits set forth in subsection (a) shall not apply to the operation on Interstate Route 68 in Garrett and Allegany Counties, Maryland, of any specialized vehicle equipped with a steering axle and a tridem axle and used for hauling coal, logs, and pulpwood if such vehicle is of a type of vehicle as was operating in such counties on United States Route 40 or 48 for such purpose on August 1, 1991.
(f)
Operation of Certain Specialized Hauling Vehicles on Certain Wisconsin Highways.—
If the 104-mile portion of Wisconsin State Route 78 and United States Route 51 between Interstate Route 94 near Portage, Wisconsin, and Wisconsin State Route 29 south of Wausau, Wisconsin, is designated as part of the Interstate System under section 103(c)(4)(A), the single axle weight, tandem axle weight, gross vehicle weight, and bridge formula limits set forth in subsection (a) shall not apply to the 104-mile portion with respect to the operation of any vehicle that could legally operate on the 104-mile portion before the date of the enactment of this subsection.
(g)
Operation of Certain Specialized Hauling Vehicles on Certain Pennsylvania Highways.—
If the segment of United States Route 220 between Bedford and Bald Eagle, Pennsylvania, is designated as part of the Interstate System, the single axle weight, tandem axle weight, gross vehicle weight, and bridge formula limits set forth in subsection (a) shall not apply to that segment with respect to the operation of any vehicle which could have legally operated on that segment before the date of the enactment of this subsection.
(h)
(1)
In general.—
Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense, may waive or limit the application of any vehicle weight limit established under this section with respect to the portion of Interstate Route 95 in the State of Maine between Augusta and Bangor for the purpose of making bulk shipments of jet fuel to the Air National Guard Base at Bangor International Airport during a period of national emergency in order to respond to the effects of the national emergency.
(2)
Applicability.—
Emergency limits established under paragraph (1) shall preempt any inconsistent State vehicle weight limits.
(i)
Special Permits During Periods of National Emergency.—
(1)
In general.—
Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, a State may issue special permits during an emergency to overweight vehicles and loads that can easily be dismantled or divided if—
(A) the President has declared the emergency to be a major disaster under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq.);
(B) the permits are issued in accordance with State law; and
(C) the permits are issued exclusively to vehicles and loads that are delivering relief supplies.
(2)
Expiration.—
A permit issued under paragraph (1) shall expire not later than 120 days after the date of the declaration of emergency under subparagraph (A) of that paragraph.
(j)
Operation of Vehicles on Certain Other Wisconsin Highways.—
If any segment of the United States Route 41 corridor, as described in section 1105(c)(57) of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991, is designated as a route on the Interstate System, a vehicle that could operate legally on that segment before the date of such designation may continue to operate on that segment, without regard to any requirement under subsection (a).
(k)
Operation of Vehicles on Certain Mississippi Highways.—
If any segment of United States Route 78 in Mississippi from mile marker 0 to mile marker 113 is designated as part of the Interstate System, no limit established under this section may apply to that segment with respect to the operation of any vehicle that could have legally operated on that segment before such designation.
(l)
Operation of Vehicles on Certain Kentucky Highways.—
(1)
In general.—
If any segment of highway described in paragraph (2) is designated as a route on the Interstate System, a vehicle that could operate legally on that segment before the date of such designation may continue to operate on that segment, without regard to any requirement under subsection (a).
(2)
Description of highway segments.—
The highway segments referred to in paragraph (1) are as follows:
(A) Interstate Route 69 in Kentucky (formerly the Wendell H. Ford (Western Kentucky) Parkway) from the Interstate Route 24 Interchange, near Eddyville, to the Edward T. Breathitt (Pennyrile) Parkway Interchange.
(B) The Edward T. Breathitt (Pennyrile) Parkway (to be designated as Interstate Route 69) in Kentucky from the Wendell H. Ford (Western Kentucky) Parkway Interchange to near milepost 77, and on new alignment to an interchange on the Audubon Parkway, if the segment is designated as part of the Interstate System.
(3)
Additional highway segments.—
(A)
In general.—
If any segment of highway described in clauses (i) through (iv) of this subparagraph is designated as a route of the Interstate System, a vehicle that could operate legally on that segment before the date of such designation may continue to operate on that segment, without regard to any requirement under subsection (a), except that such vehicle shall not exceed a gross vehicle weight of 120,000 pounds. The highway segments referred to in this paragraph are as follows:
(i) The William H. Natcher Parkway (to be designated as a spur of Interstate Route 65) from Interstate Route 65 in Bowling Green, Kentucky, to United States Route 60 in Owensboro, Kentucky.
(ii) The Julian M. Carroll (Purchase) Parkway (to be designated as Interstate Route 69) in Kentucky from the Tennessee state line to the interchange with Interstate Route 24, near Calvert City.
(iii) The Wendell H. Ford (Western Kentucky) Parkway (to be designated as a spur of Interstate Route 69) from the interchange with the William H. Natcher Parkway in Ohio County, Kentucky, west to the interchange of the Western Kentucky Parkway with the Edward T. Breathitt (Pennyrile) Parkway.
(iv) The Edward T. Breathitt (Pennyrile) Parkway (to be designated as a spur of Interstate Route 69) from Interstate 24, north to Interstate 69.
(B)
Nondivisible load or vehicle.—
Nothing in this paragraph shall prohibit the State from issuing a permit for a nondivisible load or vehicle with a gross vehicle weight that exceeds 120,000 pounds.
(m)
Covered Heavy-duty Tow and Recovery Vehicles.—
(1)
In general.—
The vehicle weight limitations set forth in this section do not apply to a covered heavy-duty tow and recovery vehicle.
(2)
Covered heavy-duty tow and recovery vehicle defined.—
In this subsection, the term “covered heavy-duty tow and recovery vehicle” means a vehicle that—
(A) is transporting a disabled vehicle from the place where the vehicle became disabled to the nearest appropriate repair facility; and
(B) has a gross vehicle weight that is equal to or exceeds the gross vehicle weight of the disabled vehicle being transported.
(n)
Operation of Vehicles on Certain Highways in the State of Texas.—
If any segment in the State of Texas of United States Route 59, United States Route 77, United States Route 281, United States Route 84, Texas State Highway 44, or another roadway is designated as Interstate Route 69, a vehicle that could operate legally on that segment before the date of the designation may continue to operate on that segment, without regard to any requirement under this section.
(o)
Certain Logging Vehicles in the State of Wisconsin.—
(1)
In general.—
The Secretary shall waive, with respect to a covered logging vehicle, the application of any vehicle weight limit established under this section.
(2)
Covered logging vehicle defined.—
In this subsection, the term “covered logging vehicle” means a vehicle that—
(A) is transporting raw or unfinished forest products, including logs, pulpwood, biomass, or wood chips;
(B) has a gross vehicle weight of not more than 98,000 pounds;
(C) has not less than 6 axles; and
(D) is operating on a segment of Interstate Route 39 in the State of Wisconsin from mile marker 175.8 to mile marker 189.
(p)
Operation of Certain Specialized Vehicles on Certain Highways in the State of Arkansas.—
If any segment of United States Route 63 between the exits for highways 14 and 75 in the State of Arkansas is designated as part of the Interstate System, the single axle weight, tandem axle weight, gross vehicle weight, and bridge formula limits under subsection (a) and the width limitation under section 31113(a) of title 49 shall not apply to that segment with respect to the operation of any vehicle that could operate legally on that segment before the date of the designation.
(q)
Certain Logging Vehicles in the State of Minnesota.—
(1)
In general.—
The Secretary shall waive, with respect to a covered logging vehicle, the application of any vehicle weight limit established under this section.
(2)
Covered logging vehicle defined.—
In this subsection, the term “covered logging vehicle” means a vehicle that—
(A) is transporting raw or unfinished forest products, including logs, pulpwood, biomass, or wood chips;
(B) has a gross vehicle weight of not more than 99,000 pounds;
(C) has not less than 6 axles; and
(D) is operating on a segment of Interstate Route 35 in the State of Minnesota from mile marker 235.4 to mile marker 259.552.
(r)
Emergency Vehicles.—
(1)
In general.—
Notwithstanding subsection (a), a State shall not enforce against an emergency vehicle a vehicle weight limit (up to a maximum gross vehicle weight of 86,000 pounds) of less than—
(A) 24,000 pounds on a single steering axle;
(B) 33,500 pounds on a single drive axle;
(C) 62,000 pounds on a tandem axle; or
(D) 52,000 pounds on a tandem rear drive steer axle.
(2)
Emergency vehicle defined.—
In this subsection, the term “emergency vehicle” means a vehicle designed to be used under emergency conditions—
(A) to transport personnel and equipment; and
(B) to support the suppression of fires and mitigation of other hazardous situations.
(s)
Natural Gas and Electric Battery Vehicles.—
A vehicle, if operated by an engine fueled primarily by natural gas or powered primarily by means of electric battery power, may exceed the weight limit on the power unit by up to 2,000 pounds (up to a maximum gross vehicle weight of 82,000 pounds) under this section.
(t)
Vehicles in Idaho.—
A vehicle limited or prohibited under this section from operating on a segment of the Interstate System in the State of Idaho may operate on such a segment if such vehicle–
(1) has a gross vehicle weight of 129,000 pounds or less;
(2) other than gross vehicle weight, complies with the single axle, tandem axle, and bridge formula limits set forth in subsection (a); and
(3) is authorized to operate on such segment under Idaho State law.
(u)
Vehicles in North Dakota.—
A vehicle limited or prohibited under this section from operating on a segment of the Interstate System in the State of North Dakota may operate on such a segment if such vehicle—
(1) has a gross vehicle weight of 129,000 pounds or less;
(2) other than gross vehicle weight, complies with the single axle, tandem axle, and bridge formula limits set forth in subsection (a); and
(3) is authorized to operate on such segment under North Dakota State law.
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