Purpose and scope.
What is the purpose and scope of this administrative code chapter for vehicle size and weight?
(1) This chapter provides rules necessary for the implementation of certain sections of chapter 46.44
RCW, to include the issuance of special permits that allow vehicles, or combinations of vehicles, to move in a legal or extra-legal configuration on the public highways. The chapter also includes rules on safety and operations as they relate to the permitting of extra-legal configurations.
(2) The chapter avoids, where possible, the restating of revised code and therefore should be used in conjunction with the revised code.
(3) The chapter has been written in a "question and answer" format to enhance communication with users.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 46.44.090
. WSR 05-04-053, § 468-38-001, filed 1/28/05, effective 2/28/05.]
What vehicle size and weight words and phrases are used commonly in addition to those codified in chapter 46.04 RCW?
A-dolly: A converter dolly that is towed from a single hitch at the center line of the tow vehicle and contains the lower half of the fifth wheel assembly that when connected by kingpin to a semi-trailer converts the combined configuration into a full trailer.
A-train double: A combination of vehicles composed of a tractor, a semi-trailer and either an A-dolly and a semi-trailer or a full trailer attached to the rear of the forward semi-trailer as if an A-dolly were used.
The common axis of rotation of one or more wheels, either power-driven or freely rotating, in one or more segments in the same transverse plan. (Expanded from the definition in chapter 46.04
Axle group: Any set of two or more parallel axles associated with a single vehicle or vehicle combination.
Axle group weight: The part of the gross vehicle weight transmitted to the highway by the defined axle group.
Axle spacing (spread): The longitudinal distance between the centers of the foremost and rearmost axles of an axle group measured from center to center of the defined axles.
B-train double: A combination of vehicles composed of a tractor, a semi-trailer and a second semi-trailer connected by kingpin to the lower half of a fifth wheel assembly mounted on the rear of the forward semi-trailer.
C-dolly: A converter dolly that is equipped with a single axle that is self-steering, towed from two hitches located in a horizontal transverse line on the towing unit, and is so designed that when the trailer converter dolly is coupled to a towing trailer, the trailer converter dolly cannot pivot horizontally with respect to the towing trailer.
Axle spacing report: A report stating the maximum amount of weight a vehicle, or vehicle combination, can carry, both legally and under permit, based on the number of axles, the axle spacings, and the number and sizes of tires on the vehicle, or vehicle combination.
Combination length: The total length of a combination of vehicles, i.e., truck-tractor—semi-trailer—trailer combination, measured from front extremity of the first vehicle to the rear extremity of the last vehicle, including the connecting space between vehicles and any overhanging load.
Combined trailer length: The total length of a combination of trailers measured from the front extremity of the first trailer to the rear extremity of the last trailer including the connecting space and any overhanging load.
Converter dolly: A vehicle unit that is designed, usually with the bottom half of a fifth wheel assembly, to convert a semi-trailer with kingpin into a full trailer.
C-train double: A combination of vehicles composed of a tractor, a semi-trailer, a C-dolly and a second semi-trailer.
Daylight hours: One-half hour before sunrise until one-half hour after sunset.
Extra-legal vehicle: A vehicle, laden or unladen, which exceeds legal dimensions and/or weights and operates on highways by permit.
Gross weight: The weight of a vehicle and/or combination of vehicles plus the weight of any load thereon.
Height: The total vertical dimension of a vehicle above the ground surface including any load or appurtenance.
Length: The total longitudinal dimension of a single vehicle, vehicle combination (see combination length), or individual trailer or semi-trailer. Trailer length is measured from the front of the cargo-carrying unit to its rear, exclusive of all overhangs from safety or energy efficiency devices (see also measurement exclusive devices). Length of a loaded trailer must include any overhangs of load when determining compliance with length limits or the need for a special permit.
Longer combination vehicle: A combination of truck tractor, semi-trailer, and trailer that exceeds legal length dimensions and operates on highways by permit for transporting reducible loads.
Maximum off track: The maximum difference in the path created by the center of the steering axle and the center of the rearmost axle of the vehicle or vehicle combination during the negotiation of a turn.
Multilane highway: A highway with two or more lanes of travel in the same direction.
Measurement exclusive devices: Certain devices that provide added safety, energy conservation, or are otherwise necessary, and are not designed to carry cargo.
National network: Those interstate and other federal-aid primary highways on which commercial vehicles of the dimensions authorized by the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982 are allowed to operate.
Night: Night means one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise.
Nondivisible load: A load that cannot be readily or reasonably dismantled and is reduced to a minimum practical size and weight. Portions of a load can be detached and reloaded on the same hauling unit when the separate pieces are necessary to the operation of the machine or equipment which is being hauled: Provided, That the arrangement does not exceed permit limits for the configuration without the reloaded pieces. The federal definition of nondivisible load to be used for vehicles operating on the interstate is as follows: Any load or vehicle exceeding applicable length or weight limits that, if separated into smaller loads or vehicles, would: Compromise the intended use of the vehicle, destroy the value of the load or vehicle, require more than eight work hours to dismantle using appropriate equipment.
Permit: A written or electronic authorization to:
(a) Move or operate a vehicle, or combination of vehicles, on a highway;
(b) With or without a load;
(c) Of size and/or weight exceeding the limits prescribed for vehicles in regular operation.
Pilot/escort vehicle: A motor vehicle used for the express purpose as a warning and guide vehicle for extra-legal vehicles.
Pounds per inch of tire width: A measure of load restriction based on rated tire size. The pounds per inch of tire width are determined by dividing the weight carried on the axle group by the number of tires in the group and dividing again by the manufacturer's rated tire width as indicated on the sidewall of the tire.
Rear overhang: The distance from the center of the last axle to the end of the load, or portion of the vehicle whichever is longer.
Regional permit: Permits issued for interstate movement of certain nondivisible overweight and/or oversize vehicles and/or loads on highways designated by the jurisdictions participating in the "Western Regional Agreement for the Issuance of Permits for Overweight and/or Oversize Vehicles and/or Loads Involved in Interstate Travel."
Regular operation: The movement over highways of motor vehicles with dimensions and weights specified by state and federal codes.
Retractable axle: An axle that can be separately raised and lowered by the driver of the vehicle but may not have its weight bearing capacity regulated from within reach of the driver's compartment. Also known as "lift axle" and "booster axle," or more formally known as a "variable load suspension" (VLS) axle.
Rocky mountain double: A combination of vehicles including a truck-tractor pulling a long semi-trailer and a shorter trailer.
Single axle: An assembly of two or more wheels whose centers are in one transverse vertical plane and which are transmitting weight to the highway.
Single unit: A motor vehicle with no attached vehicles, i.e., truck, bus, truck-tractor.
Steering axle: The axle or axles on the front of a motor vehicle that are activated by the operator to directly accomplish guidance or steerage of the vehicle and/or a combination of vehicles.
A superload is any load that would require special analysis and approval by one or more state permit offices because of dimensions or weight. Criteria for superloads in Washington state are found in WAC 468-38-405
Any two consecutive single axles whose centers may be included between parallel transverse vertical planes spaced at least four feet but not more than eight feet apart, extending across the width of the vehicle, articulating from a common attachment, or designed to automatically equalize the load between the two axles. This working definition is extrapolated from RCW 46.44.041
Tote: Common term for a motor vehicle used to transport manufactured housing.
Tridem axle: Any three consecutive single axles whose extreme centers may be included between parallel transverse vertical planes spaced not more than twelve feet apart, extending across the width of the vehicle, and are articulated from a common attachment to the vehicle, or are designed to automatically equalize the load between the three axles.
A motor vehicle used primarily for pulling other vehicles but not specifically constructed to carry a load other than a part of the weight of the vehicle and load being pulled. This vehicle may include a small freight compartment (also referred to as a dromedary box), deck or plate not more than eight feet in length used for carrying a load. Federal rule allows the interstate use of a vehicle with a dromedary box only if the vehicle was in operation prior to December 1, 1982, proof to be provided by the vehicle operator. This working definition was extrapolated from RCW 46.04.655
and Code of Federal Regulation, 23 C.F.R. 658.13(f).
Trunnion axle: An axle configuration with two individual axles mounted in the same transverse plane, with four tires on each axle, connected at a pivot point that allows each individual axle to oscillate in a vertical plane to provide constant and equal weight distribution on each individual axle.
Trunnion axle group: Two or more consecutive trunnion axles, that are individually attached to, and/or articulated from, the vehicle, and may include a weight equalizing suspension system.
Turnpike double: A combination of vehicles including a truck-tractor pulling a long semi-trailer and an additional long trailer.
Wide base tire: A tire whose nominal section (sidewall to sidewall) width, as identified by tire nomenclature, is over fourteen inches.
Width: The total outside transverse dimension of a vehicle including any load or load-holding devices thereon, but excluding approved safety devices and tire bulge due to load.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 46.44.090
. WSR 05-04-053, § 468-38-005, filed 1/28/05, effective 2/28/05.]
Temporary additional tonnage permits.
(1) What vehicle type or vehicle combination is eligible for the temporary additional tonnage permit provided in RCW 46.44.095?
Temporary additional tonnage permits may be issued to the following types of vehicles: Three or more axle single unit trucks; three or more axle truck-tractors, including those equipped with a legal dromedary area; and a truck-tractor with two axles pulling double trailers.
(2) What is the maximum amount of additional tonnage that can be purchased?
Tonnage may be purchased up to the legal capacity of the vehicle(s), not to exceed one hundred five thousand five hundred pounds, based on number of axles and axles spacings (RCW 46.44.041
), and number and size of tires.
(3) Are temporary additional tonnage permits ever issued to the trailer? Temporary additional tonnage permits are only issued to power units.
(4) Can a department of licensing trip permit be used in lieu of licensed tonnage, to meet the forty thousand pound (single unit) or eighty thousand pound (combination) requirement needed before an additional tonnage permit can be issued?
Yes, as provided for in RCW 46.16.160
(5) Can the additional tonnage permit extend beyond the valid license period? The additional tonnage permit may not extend beyond the valid license period. In the case where department of licensing trip permits are used in lieu of licensed tonnage, a minimum of two three-day trip permits must be used because the additional tonnage permit is sold for a minimum of five days. Only three trip permits can be issued to a vehicle within a thirty-day period, allowing for a maximum of nine days of additional tonnage in any thirty-day period.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 46.44.090
. WSR 05-04-053, § 468-38-030, filed 1/28/05, effective 2/28/05; WSR 94-07-054 (Order 142), § 468-38-030, filed 3/11/94, effective 3/11/94; WSR 89-23-110 (Order 68), § 468-38-030, filed 11/22/89, effective 12/23/89; WSR 82-18-010 (Order 31, Resolution No. 156), § 468-38-030, filed 8/20/82. Statutory Authority: 1977 ex.s. c 151. WSR 79-01-033 (DOT Order 10 and Comm. Order 1, Resolution No. 13), § 468-38-030, filed 12/20/78. Formerly WAC 252-24-030.]
Special permits for extra-legal loads.
(1) When can the department or its agents issue a permit for an extra-legal move? The following general conditions must be met:
(a) Application can be made in face-to-face over-the-counter transactions with the department or its agents and the applicant has shown there is good cause for the move. The requestor may self-issue a special motor vehicle permit for their vehicles when applicable. Application may be made in written or electronic format to the department's agents.
(b) The applicant has shown the configuration is eligible for a permit.
(c) The vehicle, vehicle combination and/or load has been thoroughly described and identified.
(d) The points of origin and destination and the route of travel have been stated and approved.
(e) The move has been determined to be consistent with public safety. The permit applicant has indicated that appropriate safety precautions will be taken as required by state law, administrative rule or specific permit instruction.
(2) How must a vehicle(s), including load, be configured to be eligible for a special permit to move on the state highways?
A vehicle(s), including load, that can be readily or reasonably dismantled must be reduced to a minimum practical size and weight. Portions of a load may be detached and reloaded on the same hauling unit when the separate pieces are necessary to the operation of the machine or equipment which is being hauled: Provided, that the arrangement does not exceed special permit limits. Detached and reloaded pieces must be identified on the special permit. Permit requests for specific divisible loads are authorized under WAC 468-38-071
(3) Are there any exceptions to dismantling the configuration? Yes. A vehicle, vehicle combination or load may stay assembled if by separating it into smaller loads or vehicles the intended use of the vehicle or load would be compromised (i.e., removing the boom from a self-propelled crane), the value of the load or vehicle would be destroyed (i.e., removing protective packaging), and/or it would require more than eight work hours to dismantle using appropriate equipment. The permit applicant has the burden of proof in seeking an exception. Configurations that fall under the exception must not exceed special permit limits.
(4) What does the applicant affirm when he/she signs the permit? The permit applicant affirms:
(a) The vehicle or vehicle combination and operator(s) are properly licensed to operate and carry the load described in accordance with appropriate Washington law and administrative code.
(b) They will comply with all applicable requirements stipulated in the permit to move the extra-legal configuration.
(c) The move (vehicle and operator) is covered by a minimum of seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars liability insurance: Provided, that a noncommercial move (vehicle and operator) shall have at minimum three hundred thousand dollars liability insurance for the stated purpose.
(d) Except as provided in RCW 46.44.140
, the official department special permit signed by the permittee, or a copy of the signed permit, must be carried on the power unit at all times while the permit is in effect. Moves made by designated emergency vehicles, receiving departmental permit authorization telephonically, are exempt from this requirement.
(e) A copy of a signed permit as noted in (d) of this subsection includes the electronic display of the signed permit on an electronic device with the following requirements:
(i) When a permittee chooses to display the permit electronically, the permittee accepts all liability for any damage or loss of display to the device during transport, inspection by enforcement personnel, or other times that the permit is to be displayed.
(ii) The displayed permit must be verifiable by law enforcement through the Washington state permitting system known as the electronic system network overweight oversize permit information (eSNOOPI) system.
(iii) The permittee agrees to authorize law enforcement to have physical control of the device for inspection of the permit when requested.
(iv) Permits containing routing information require the electronic device to have a screen display of no less than three and a half inches by five inches. Other permit types may have smaller screen displays.
(v) Display of the permit must be legible or the electronic device must have the ability to zoom the image so it is legible.
(vi) The permittee must comply with the requirements for electronic display of a permit or must have a paper copy of the permit carried on the power unit at all times while transporting the permitted load.
(5) What specific responsibility and liability does the state assign to the permit applicant through the special permit? Permits are granted with the specific understanding that the permit applicant shall be responsible and liable for accidents, damage or injury to any person or property resulting from the operation of the vehicle covered by the permit upon public highways of the state. The permit applicant shall hold blameless and harmless and shall indemnify the state of Washington, department of transportation, its officers, agents, and employees against any and all claims, demands, loss, injury, damage, actions and costs of actions whatsoever, that any of them may sustain by reason of unlawful acts, conduct or operations of the permit applicant in connection with the operations covered by the permit.
(6) When and where can a special permit be acquired? The following options are available:
(a) Special permits may be purchased at any authorized department of transportation office or agent Monday through Friday during normal business hours.
(b) Companies that would like to self-issue permits for their own vehicles may apply to the department for this privilege. Department representatives will work with the company to determine if self-issuing is appropriate.
(c) The department will maintain and publish a list of authorized permit offices and agents.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 46.44.090
. WSR 16-11-011, § 468-38-050, filed 5/5/16, effective 6/5/16. Statutory Authority: RCW 46.44.090
, and 46.44.101
. WSR 11-17-130, § 468-38-050, filed 8/24/11, effective 9/24/11. Statutory Authority: RCW 46.44.090
. WSR 05-04-053, § 468-38-050, filed 1/28/05, effective 2/28/05. Statutory Authority: RCW 46.44.090
. WSR 91-10-023 (Order 71), § 468-38-050, filed 4/23/91, effective 5/24/91. Statutory Authority: RCW 46.44.090
. WSR 89-23-110 (Order 68), § 468-38-050, filed 11/22/89, effective 12/23/89; WSR 82-18-010 (Order 31, Resolution No. 156), § 468-38-050, filed 8/20/82. Formerly WAC 468-38-150. Statutory Authority: 1977 ex.s. c 151. WSR 79-01-033 (DOT Order 10 and Comm. Order 1, Resolution No. 13), § 468-38-050, filed 12/20/78. Formerly WAC 252-24-050.]
Maximums and other criteria for special permits—Nondivisible.
(1) Are there maximum dimensions established for moving nondivisible over-dimensional vehicles and/or loads? Yes. In all instances the general safety of the public is considered paramount and will ultimately govern over-dimensional moves. There are some general rules; however, physical barriers determine most maximums for over-dimensional moves. Over-dimensional maximums are addressed as follows:
As stipulated in RCW 46.44.092
, fourteen feet on any two-lane highway; twenty feet on any multiple-lane highway where a physical barrier serving as a median divider (i.e., jersey barrier, cyclone fence, guardrail, etc.) separates the oncoming and opposing traffic lanes; thirty-two feet on any multiple-lane undivided highway. Permits may be issued for widths in excess of the preceding limits when traveling on highway segments that by design can accommodate the greater width.
Any move involving height, especially permitted moves exceeding fourteen feet, are governed by the ability to clear overhead obstructions such as bridges, underpasses, wires, overhead signs, and other objects. The issuance of a permit does not insure the route to be free of overhead obstructions. It is the responsibility of the permit applicant to check, or prerun, the proposed route and provide for safe maneuvers around the obstruction or detours as necessary. Structures owned by the state should be reviewed with department field personnel to determine safe navigation of the move, including options for temporary removal of obstructions. Detours off the state route onto county or city roads require authorization from those jurisdictions. A traffic control plan (see WAC 468-38-405
(3)(d)) may be requested for approval by the department before a permit is issued.
(c) Overlength: Routes will be limited to over-dimensional moves based on ability to negotiate curves, interchanges, entrance and exit roadways and other obstacles.
(2) Are there maximum weights established for moving nondivisible overweight vehicles and/or loads?
Yes. Weight maximums for the movement of a nondivisible load under special permit are established in RCW 46.44.091
. In addition, tire loading for the movement of a nondivisible load is limited to the lesser of six hundred pounds per inch width of tire or the tire manufacturer's rating with proper inflation, as determined by the nomenclature imprinted on the tire.
(3) Are there maximums and/or other criteria established for the use of specific vehicle combinations when moving over-dimensional nondivisible loads? Yes. The maximums for specific vehicle combinations are as follows:
(a) Truck-tractor pulling a semi-trailer or full trailer: Trailers in excess of legal length and/or width dimensions, or the permitted length of fifty-six feet, shall not exceed the length or width of the nondivisible load being transported. The department may grant an exception when the added dimension is necessary to spread the weight of the load to comply with requirements established by the department to protect the infrastructure. Jeeps and/or boosters may be added to the trailer to help distribute weight as necessary. A "pusher" power unit may also be added to the configuration upon approval of the department. Jeeps, boosters and pusher power units will be considered part of the trailing unit plus load measurement.
(b) Truck-tractor pulling semi-trailer and full trailer (or two semi-trailers in B-train configuration): The combined trailer length, including the space between trailers, may not exceed sixty-one feet. This combination is limited to nondivisible loads not to exceed ten feet wide. Both trailers may carry a nondivisible load, with the widest load carried on the first trailer. Trailers in excess of legal width shall not exceed the width of the nondivisible load being transported. This combination may not carry overheight, overlength or overweight loads.
(c) Truck and trailer: There are three scenarios for this combination:
(i) Both truck and trailer carrying loads: The combined overall length of the combination when carrying a nondivisible overlength load must not exceed eighty-five feet. Any nondivisible overlength load is restricted to only one vehicle. The trailer may be loaded with the overhang entirely to the rear of the trailer, or the truck may be loaded with the overhang entirely to the front of the truck. Both truck and trailer may carry overwidth and overheight loads. The truck and/or trailer in this configuration may not carry an overweight nondivisible load.
(ii) Unladen truck and trailer: The unladen truck may be treated as a truck-tractor and the combination addressed as described in (a) of this subsection: Provided, That the truck-tractor is not carrying any load of any kind, and that its use as an unladen truck is specified on the special permit. The trailing unit is measured from the foremost point of the draw bar or load, whichever is greater, to the rearmost part of the trailer or load, whichever is greater. This combination may carry a nondivisible overweight load on the trailer. For example, an unladen dump truck may acquire a special permit to pull a tilt trailer with a dozer or backhoe where the trailer load causes the axles to exceed legal weight. An unladen truck with unladen trailer must not exceed an overall length of eighty-five feet.
(iii) Log truck with pole trailer - nondivisible poles: A log truck with pole trailer hauling a single load of nondivisible poles, where the log truck is supporting a proportionate share of the load, must be permitted for overlength based on load length, similar to a truck tractor semi-trailer configuration. Measurement will be taken from the front of load or bunks, whichever comes first, to the end of the load. No portion of the pole trailer may extend beyond the load in an overlength configuration.
(4) Can a vehicle, or vehicle combination, carry multiple pieces when using an over-dimensional nondivisible special permit? Yes, under the following conditions:
(a) The vehicle(s) and load are transported at legal weights.
(b) The largest nondivisible piece(s) must be loaded to its practicable minimum. No single piece may create a dimension greater than the dimension it would create if loaded properly and carried by itself.
(c) Additional pieces may be added within the envelope dimension created by the largest piece(s) loaded to its practicable minimum. The envelope should be viewed as an imaginary cube with height, length and width defined by the extremities, regardless of shape, of the over-dimensional piece(s) and other legal dimensions as necessary. The department will provide an illustrative example upon request.
(5) Are there any circumstances when an over-dimensional vehicle(s) can move a legal size load? Yes, when the following conditions have been met:
(a) The vehicle(s) are making the move in conjunction with being in route to pick up a nondivisible load under special permit (front haul); or
(b) The vehicle(s) are making the move in conjunction with returning from a delivery of a nondivisible load under special permit (back haul); and
(c) The route traveled is the same route that would have been used if a legal load had not been moved; and
(d) The front haul or back haul is noted on the special permit used for the nondivisible move.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 46.44.090
. WSR 06-07-025, § 468-38-070, filed 3/7/06, effective 4/7/06; WSR 05-04-053, § 468-38-070, filed 1/28/05, effective 2/28/05; WSR 00-11-019 (Order 197), § 468-38-070, filed 5/9/00, effective 6/9/00; WSR 98-21-019 (Order 183), § 468-38-070, filed 10/13/98, effective 11/13/98; WSR 98-09-029 (Order 172), § 468-38-070, filed 4/10/98, effective 5/11/98; WSR 96-23-003, § 468-38-070, filed 11/7/96, effective 12/8/96; WSR 83-16-018 (Order 39, Resolution No. 195), § 468-38-070, filed 7/25/83; WSR 82-18-010 (Order 31, Resolution No. 156), § 468-38-070, filed 8/20/82. Formerly WAC 468-38-170. Statutory Authority: 1977 ex.s. c 151. WSR 79-01-033 (DOT Order 10 and Comm. Order 1, Resolution No. 13), § 468-38-070, filed 12/20/78. Formerly WAC 252-24-080.]
Maximums and other criteria for special permits—Divisible.
(1) Can a vehicle, or vehicle combination, acquire a permit to exceed the dimensions for legal vehicles in regular operation when moving items of a divisible nature? Yes. There are specific configurations that receive extra length, extra width, or extra height when carrying a divisible load.
(2) What configurations can be issued a permit, and how are they measured? The configurations and measurement criteria are:
(a) An overlength permit may be issued to a truck-tractor to pull a single trailer or semi-trailer, with a trailer length not to exceed fifty-six feet. The measurement for the single trailing unit will be from the front of the trailer (including draw bar when used), or load, to the rear of the trailer, or load, whichever provides the greater distance up to fifty-six feet. Rear overhang may not exceed fifteen feet.
(b) An overlength permit may be issued to a truck-tractor to pull a set of double trailers, composed of a semi-trailer and full trailer or second semi-trailer, with a combined trailer length not to exceed sixty-eight feet. The measurement for double trailers will be from the front of the first trailer, or load, to the end of the second trailer or load, whichever provides the greatest distance up to sixty-eight feet. Note: If the truck-tractor is carrying an allowable small freight compartment (dromedary box), the total combined length of the combination, combined trailer length notwithstanding, is limited to seventy-five feet.
(c) An overlength permit may be issued to a log truck pulling a pole-trailer, trailer combination, carrying two distinct and separate loads, as if it was a truck-tractor pulling a set of double trailers. Measurement for the log truck, pole-trailer, trailer combination will be from the front of the first bunk on the truck to the rear of the second trailer, or load, whichever provides the greatest distance up to sixty-eight feet.
(d) An overheight permit may be issued to a vehicle or vehicle combination, hauling empty apple bins, not to exceed fifteen feet high. Measurement is taken from a level roadbed. This permit may be used in conjunction with either of the overlength permits in (a) or (b) of this subsection. The permit may also provide an exemption from a front pilot/escort vehicle as required by WAC 468-38-100
(1)(h). The exemption does not limit the liability assumed by the permit applicant.
(e) An overheight permit may be issued to a vehicle or vehicle combination owned by a rancher and used to haul the rancher's own hay from the rancher's own fields to feed the rancher's own livestock, not to exceed fifteen feet high, measured from a level roadbed. This permit may be used in conjunction with either of the overlength permits in (a) or (b) of this subsection. The permit may also provide an exemption from a front pilot/escort vehicle as required by WAC 468-38-100
(1)(h). The exemption does not limit the liability assumed by the permit applicant.
(f) An overwidth permit, termed a tarping system permit, may be issued to a vehicle or vehicle combination for a divisible load when such vehicle is equipped with a tarping system as defined in WAC 468-38-073
(5)(n) and under the following conditions:
(i) The divisible load must be authorized by a tarping system permit in order to display the special conditions on the permit;
(ii) A tarping system permit is required for any divisible load exceeding one hundred and two inches (eight feet six inches) in width but not exceeding nine feet in width, all of which must be within the confines of the tarping system dimensions. For example, bulging of the tarping material, to accommodate the load, is not authorized;
(iii) A tarping system permit is authorized to be used in conjunction with either of the overlength permits authorized under (a) or (b) of this subsection; and
(iv) Vehicles operating with a tarping system permit are exempt from the requirements and restrictions listed in WAC 468-38-075
(3) Are there any measurement exclusive devices related to these permits? Measurements should not include nonload-carrying devices designed for the safe and/or efficient operation of the vehicle, or vehicle combination components, for example: An external refrigeration unit, a resilient bumper, an aerodynamic shell, etc. Safety and efficiency appurtenances, such as, but not limited to, tarp rails and splash suppression devices, may not extend more than three inches beyond the width of a vehicle. The examples are not all inclusive.
(4) Are overweight permits available for divisible loads? Yes. There are specific criteria authorizing overweight permits to divisible loads.
(a) The secretary of transportation, or designee, may issue permits to department vehicles used for the emergent preservation of public safety and/or the infrastructure (i.e., snow removal, sanding highways during emergency winter conditions, emergent debris removal or retainment, etc.). The permits will also be valid for the vehicles in transit to or from the emergent worksite. The special permits may allow:
(i) Weight on axles in excess of what is allowed in RCW 46.44.041
(ii) Movement during hours of the day, or days of the week, that may be restricted in WAC 468-38-175
(iii) Exemption from the sign requirements of WAC 468-38-155
(7) if weather conditions render such signs ineffectual; and
(iv) Movement at night, that may be restricted by WAC 468-38-175
(3), by vehicles with lights that meet the standards for emergency maintenance vehicles established by the commission on equipment.
(b) Additional weight allowances are authorized through special permit for a segment of US-97 from the Canadian border to milepost 331.12 designated as a heavy haul industrial corridor. The permits will authorize vehicles to haul divisible loads weighing up to the Canadian inter-provincial weight limits and must comply with the following requirements:
(i) Vehicles applying for the Canadian weight special permit must be licensed to their maximum legal weight limit in Washington state.
(ii) Displaying the US-97 heavy haul industrial corridor permit does not waive registration fees, fuel taxes, operating authority requirements, future legislative or regulatory changes. Except as provided in the provisions for the heavy weight industrial corridor on US-97, all Washington state and federal laws must be complied with.
(iii) Routes of travel are strictly limited: Both directions of US-97 from the Canadian border at milepost 336.48 to milepost 331.12.
(iv) A Washington state axle spacing report is required for Canadian weight verification.
(v) The following descriptions indicate the maximum weight limits that will be permitted:
(A) Primary steering axle - 600 lbs. (272 kg) per inch (25.4 mm) of width of tire* with a maximum limit of 12,100 lbs.
(B) Other axles - 500 lbs. (227 kg) per inch of width of tire*.
(C) Single axles - 20,000 lbs. (9,100 kg) maximum.
(D) Tandem axles - 37,500 lbs. (17,000 kg) maximum.
*Width of tire is determined by tire side-wall nomenclature.
(E) Tridem axles.
94" (2.4m) to < 118" (3.0m)
118" (3.0m) to < 141" (3.6m)
141" (3.6m) to < 146" (3.7m)
When computing allowable weights, the most conservative figure (whether weight per width of tire, axle weights, or gross weights) will govern.
(F) Maximum gross weight - Pounds (kilograms).
Number of Axles
Truck and Pup
Tractor and Semi
95,900 - 102,500*
*Semi tridem axle spacing and weight limits:
94" to < 118" (2.4m to < 3.0m) spread - 95,900 lbs. (43,500 kg).
118" to < 141" (3.0m to < 3.6m) spread - 100,310 lbs. (45,500 kg).
141" to < 146" (3.6m to < 3.7m) spread - 102,500 lbs. (46,500 kg).
**Double trailer vehicles definition for this section:
A-Train: Double trailers coupled by a single drawbar.
B-Train: Two semi-trailers coupled by a fifth wheel mounted to rear of first trailer.
C-Train: Double trailers coupled by double drawbars with self-steering dolly axle(s).
(c) Additional weight allowances are authorized through a special permit for the transportation of divisible loads on state highways during national emergencies or major disasters declared by the president. Emergency permits are available for loads that comply with the conditions following:
(i) The national emergency must be declared by the president of the United States;
(ii) Permits are issued exclusively for vehicles and loads that are delivering relief supplies for any destination that is part of the geographical area covered by the emergency declaration;
(iii) The entire permitted load must consist of emergency supplies; and
(iv) The weight limits for an emergency permit are as follows:
(A) Single axle weight not to exceed 21,500 lbs.;
(B) Tandem axle weight not to exceed 43,000 lbs.;
(C) Tridem axle group weight not to exceed 53,000 lbs. (Tridem axle group defined for this section as three consecutive axles more than 8 feet apart but less than 13 feet apart measured from the center of the first axle of the group to the center of the last axle of the group);
(D) 160,000 lbs. gross weight;
(E) Must comply with all bridge and road weight restrictions;
(F) When requested by law enforcement, documents must be displayed describing the permitted load and that it is destined for the declared emergency area;
(G) Emergency permits under this section will expire no later than one hundred twenty calendar days after the date of the emergency declaration; and
(H) Permits authorized by the emergency declaration will not be issued for loads originating in the declared emergency area except for activities that clear roadways, staging areas, or locations for temporary structures in specific areas in the disaster area.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 46.44.098
, and Public Law 112-141, MAP 21, Section 1511. WSR 13-18-009, § 468-38-071, filed 8/22/13, effective 9/22/13. Statutory Authority: RCW 46.44.090
, and 46.44.101
. WSR 11-17-130, § 468-38-071, filed 8/24/11, effective 9/24/11. Statutory Authority: RCW 46.44.090
. WSR 08-13-042, § 468-38-071, filed 6/12/08, effective 6/12/08. Statutory Authority: RCW 46.44.090
. WSR 05-04-053, § 468-38-071, filed 1/28/05, effective 2/28/05; WSR 98-21-019 (Order 183), § 468-38-071, filed 10/13/98, effective 11/13/98; WSR 96-23-003, § 468-38-071, filed 11/7/96, effective 12/8/96.]
Measurement exclusive devices.
(1) What are the criteria for being a measurement exclusive device? Generally, measurement exclusive devices are vehicle appurtenances designed and used for reasons of safety, aerodynamics, or efficient vehicle operation. A measurement exclusive device must not carry property, create a space that property could occupy outside of legal or permitted dimensions, or exceed the specific dimensional limitations stated in this section.
(2) What devices at the front of a single unit vehicle, or power unit in a vehicle combination, are excluded from length determinations? The following devices have been identified as measurement exclusive when determining length from the front of a single unit vehicle or power unit in a vehicle combination:
(a) Resilient bumpers that do not extend more than six inches from the vehicle;
(b) A fixed step up to three inches deep at the front of an existing automobile transporter until April 29, 2005. It will be the responsibility of the operator of the unit to prove that the step existed prior to April 29, 2002. Such proof can be in the form of a work order for equipment modification, a receipt for purchase and installation of the piece, or any similar type of documentation. After April 29, 2005, the step shall no longer be excluded from a vehicle's length.
(3) What devices at the front of a semi-trailer or trailer are excluded from length determinations? The following devices have been identified as measurement exclusive when determining length from the front of a semi-trailer or trailer:
(a) A device at the front of a trailer chassis to secure containers and prevent movement in transit;
(b) A front coupler device on a semi-trailer or trailer used in road and rail intermodal operations;
(c) Aerodynamic devices, air deflector;
(d) Air compressor;
(e) Certificate holder (manifest box);
(f) Door vent hardware;
(g) Electrical connector;
(h) Gladhand (air hose connectors joining tractor to trailer);
(j) Hazardous materials placards and holders;
(m) Nonload carrying tie-down devices on automobile transporters;
(n) Pickup plate lip (plate at front of trailer to guide fifth wheel under trailer);
(o) Pump offline on tank trailer;
(p) Refrigeration unit;
(q) Removable bulkhead;
(r) Removable stake;
(s) Stabilizing jack (antinosedive device);
(t) Stake pocket;
(v) Tarp basket;
(w) Tire carrier; and
(4) What devices at the rear of a single unit vehicle, semi-trailer or trailer are excluded from length determinations? The following devices have been identified as measurement exclusive when determining length from the rear of a semi-trailer or trailer:
(a) Aerodynamic devices that extend up to a maximum of five feet beyond the rear of the vehicle, provided such devices have neither the strength, rigidity nor mass to damage a vehicle, or injure a passenger in a vehicle, that strikes a vehicle so equipped from the rear, and provided also that they do not obscure tail lamps, turn signals, marker lamps, identification lamps, or any other required safety devices, such as hazardous materials placards or conspicuity markings (i.e., reflective tape);
(c) Hazardous materials placards and holder;
(e) Loading and unloading device not to exceed two feet;
(f) Pintle hook;
(g) Removable stake;
(h) Splash and spray suppression device;
(i) Stake pocket; and
(5) What devices at the side of a vehicle are excluded from width determinations? The following devices have been identified as measurement exclusive, not to exceed three inches from the side of the vehicle, when determining width of a vehicle:
(a) Corner cap;
(b) Handhold for cab entry/egress;
(c) Hazardous materials placards and holder;
(d) Lift pad for trailer on flatcar (piggyback) operation;
(e) Load induced tire bulge;
(f) Rain gutter;
(g) Rear and side door hinge and protective hardware;
(h) Rearview mirror;
(i) Side marker lamp;
(j) Splash and spray suppressant device, or component thereof;
(k) Structural reinforcement for side doors or intermodal operation (limited to one inch from the side within the three-inch maximum extension);
(l) Tarping system for open-top cargo area;
(m) Turn signal lamp;
(n) Movable device to enclose the cargo area of a flatbed semi-trailer or trailer, usually called "tarping system," where no component part of the system extends more than three inches from the sides or back of the vehicle when the vehicle is in operation. This exclusion applies to all component parts of a tarping system, including the transverse structure at the front of the vehicle to which the sliding walls and roof of the tarp mechanism are attached, provided the structure is not also intended or designed to comply with 49 C.F.R. 393.106, which requires a headerboard strong enough to prevent cargo from penetrating or crushing the cab; the transverse structure may be up to one hundred eight inches wide if properly centered so that neither side extends more than three inches beyond the structural edge of the vehicle. Also excluded from measurement are side rails running the length of the vehicle and rear doors, provided the only function of the latter, like that of the transverse structure at the front of the vehicle, is to seal the cargo area and anchor the sliding walls and roof. On the other hand, a headerboard designed to comply with 49 C.F.R. 393.106 is load bearing and thus limited to one hundred two inches in width. The "wings" designed to close the gap between such a headerboard and the movable walls and roof of a tarping system are width exclusive, provided they are add-on pieces designed to bear only the load of the tarping system itself and are not integral parts of the load-bearing headerboard structure;
(o) Tie-down assembly on platform trailer;
(p) Wall variation from true flat; and
(q) Weevil pins and sockets on a platform or low-bed trailer (pins and sockets located on both sides of a trailer used to guide winch cables when loading skid mounted equipment).
(6) Are there weight measurement exclusive devices? Yes. Any vehicle equipped with idle reduction technology, designed to promote reduced fuel usage and emissions from engine idling, may have up to four hundred pounds in total gross, axle, tandem or bridge formula weight exempt (excluded) from the weight measurement. To be eligible for the weight exemption, the vehicle operator must be able to prove:
(a) By written certification the weight of the idle reduction technology; and
(b) By demonstration or certification, that the idle reduction technology is fully functional at all times.
The weight exemption cannot exceed five hundred fifty pounds or the certified weight of the unit, whichever is less.
(7) Can exclusion allowances be combined to create a larger allowance (i.e., adding a five-foot aerodynamic device to a two-foot loading/unloading device for a total exclusion of seven feet)? No. Each exclusion allowance is specific to a device and may not be combined with the exclusion allowance for another device.
(8) Can a device receive exclusion if it is not referenced in law or administrative rule? If the device meets the criteria in subsection (1) of this section, a request for measurement exclusion may be made to the administrator for commercial vehicle services. If approved for an exclusion allowance, the administrator will provide the requestor a written authorization.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 46.44.090
, and P.L. 112-141 MAP 21 section 1510. WSR 13-20-002, § 468-38-073, filed 9/19/13, effective 10/20/13. Statutory Authority: RCW 46.44.090
. WSR 07-16-083, § 468-38-073, filed 7/30/07, effective 8/30/07. Statutory Authority: RCW 46.44.090
and 2005 c 189. WSR 05-12-002, § 468-38-073, filed 5/18/05, effective 6/18/05.]
Special permit exemptions for authorized vehicles and/or loads.
(1) What special permit requirements/restrictions are exempted for an authorized overlength vehicle and/or load? The following exemptions for authorized overlength vehicles and/or loads include:
(a) The requirement to display "OVERSIZE LOAD
" signs (WAC 468-38-155
(b) The requirement to cease operation on routes governed by commuter hour restrictions, and during holiday travel restrictions (WAC 468-38-175
(1) and (2));
(c) The requirement that approved night movement be stated on the special permit (WAC 468-38-175
(d) The restriction for movement during winter road conditions when the following sign is displayed: "TRACTION ADVISORY/OVERSIZED VEHICLES PROHIBITED
" (WAC 468-38-095
(8)). In addition to being an authorized vehicle, the vehicle must also comply with WAC 204-24-050
Use of tire chains or other traction devices.
(2) What overlength vehicles and/or loads are authorized to receive the exemptions? The following vehicles and/or loads are exempted from the requirements/restrictions identified in subsection (1) of this section:
(a) A truck-tractor/semi-trailer combination where the single trailer does not exceed fifty-six feet, including load;
(b) A truck-tractor/semi-trailer/trailer combination where the combined trailer length does not exceed sixty-eight feet, including load;
(c) A vehicle or vehicle combination with a front overhang not exceeding four feet beyond the three foot legal limit set in RCW 46.44.034
(see also bumper criteria set in RCW 46.37.517
), and/or a rear overhang not exceeding fifteen feet;
(d) A single unit fixed load vehicle not exceeding an overall length of forty-five feet including the allowable overhangs in (c); and
(e) A nondivisible load, including the trailer upon which it is carried, not exceeding sixty-one feet.
(3) Are there exemptions for permitted vehicles exceeding legal height or width? Yes. A vehicle or vehicle combination that does not exceed a defined envelope of twelve feet wide, fourteen feet six inches high and an overall combined length of one hundred five feet is exempt from the restriction on movement at night, as referenced in subsection (1)(c) of this section.
(4) Are there exemptions for vehicles operating with an overweight special permit? Yes. A vehicle or vehicle combination operating on a special permit for overweight only, in compliance with all legal dimension limits, is exempt from all of the requirements/restrictions included in subsection (1)(a) through (d) of this section: Provided, That the vehicle or vehicle combination can maintain posted speed limits. This exemption may be used in conjunction with the height and width exemption in subsection (3) of this section.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 46.44.090
. WSR 06-07-025, § 468-38-075, filed 3/7/06, effective 4/7/06; WSR 05-04-053, § 468-38-075, filed 1/28/05, effective 2/28/05; WSR 02-06-106, § 468-38-075, filed 3/5/02, effective 4/5/02; WSR 94-07-055 (Order 143), § 468-38-075, filed 3/11/94, effective 3/11/94; WSR 93-21-008 (Order 139), § 468-38-075, filed 10/8/93, effective 11/8/93.]
Emergency load restrictions for heavy vehicles.
(1) When would the department implement a load restriction?
Pursuant to RCW 46.44.080
, when the department determines that an emergency road condition exists, a freeze thaw condition for example, and that vehicles with gross tire loadings exceeding acceptable limits will damage the highway or endanger other traffic using the highway, the department shall without delay restrict or close that highway segment temporarily to all vehicles or to a designated class of vehicle.
(2) How will vehicle operators be notified of the restrictions? Signs will be erected at each end of the closed/restricted highway segment, and at all intersecting state highways. Depending upon conditions, one of the following signs will be in use:
EMERGENCY LOAD RESTRICTIONS
TUBELESS OR SPECIAL WITH .5 MARKING
SEVERE EMERGENCY LOAD RESTRICTIONS
TUBELESS OR SPECIAL WITH .5 MARKING
The department recommends that carriers check the department's web site www.wsdot.wa.gov/freight/mcs for possible advance warning on road restrictions.
(3) Are the tires identified in the aforementioned table the only tires authorized for use under permit when the signs in subsection (2) of this section are posted? During periods when "emergency load restrictions" or "severe emergency load restrictions" are in effect, only vehicles equipped with tires required by the table in subsection (2) of this section may operate under permit.
(4) Will there be an allowance for any second axle that is suspended from the frame of a vehicle independent of the regular drive axle, commonly known as a "rigid trail axle"? No.
(5) Will there be an allowance for more than two tires on the steering, or front, axle? No.
(6) What restrictions are there on axle load distributions? The load distribution on any axle must not load the tires on that axle in excess of the prescribed load listed in subsection (2) of this section: Provided, That a truck, truck-tractor, passenger bus or school bus having conventional 10:00 x 20 tires or 11:00 x 22.5 tires, or larger, may carry a maximum load of ten thousand pounds on the front axle over any highway placed under emergency load restrictions.
(7) Is there a permitting process to allow necessary vehicles to use the restricted highway segment? Permits may be issued by the department to allow the operation of school buses and vehicles transporting perishable commodities or commodities necessary for the health and welfare of local residents. These vehicles will be subject to specific weight and speed restrictions, as directed by the department.
(8) Will a temporary additional tonnage permit supersede the restrictions? Operators of vehicles that have been issued a temporary additional tonnage permit must comply with the posted restriction and related rules.
(9) Can this rule supersede or modify any rule in force that has established a lower load limitation on a state highway bridge? No.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 46.44.090
. WSR 05-04-053, § 468-38-080, filed 1/28/05, effective 2/28/05; WSR 82-18-010 (Order 31, Resolution No. 156), § 468-38-080, filed 8/20/82. Formerly WAC 468-38-130. Statutory Authority: 1977 ex.s. c 151. WSR 79-01-033 (DOT Order 10 and Comm. Order 1, Resolution No. 13), § 468-38-080, filed 12/20/78. Formerly WAC 252-24-090.]
Emergency road restrictions due to weather or other conditions.
(1) Who has the authority to implement emergency procedures to restrict the movement of a vehicle(s) operating on state highways?
provide authority for the chief or another officer of the state patrol, or the secretary of transportation or designee, to restrict vehicle movement by closing or restricting movement on a section(s) of state highway(s) to all vehicles or specific class of vehicles.
(2) Under what conditions would a road restriction be put in place? A restriction or closure may be put in place whenever the department or the state patrol believe that weather or other conditions have created a substantial risk to public safety.
(3) How are the restrictions maintained? The department and the state patrol shall exchange notices of conditions that require a restriction(s) or closure to be placed on the highway, and notices when conditions change that will allow the restriction to be terminated. Either the department or the state patrol, whichever agency can best respond to the condition, shall manually control traffic as needed until the restriction is terminated or until the department can install traffic control devices.
(4) How will the notification of a restriction be communicated to the highway users? The department and the state patrol have a joint responsibility to provide notice of both the placement and removal of highway restrictions/closures. Notices shall be provided to the news media, affected law enforcement agencies, and other appropriate organizations, both public and private. For areas requiring vehicles to apply tire chains, see subsection (8) of this section.
(5) At what point does visibility play a factor in the movement of a vehicle operating under special permit? Moves must not be made when visibility is reduced to one thousand feet or less. If visibility is reduced during transport, the vehicle or vehicle combination must clear the highway at the nearest safe location.
(6) Can an individual move under special permit be restricted through enforcement intervention? Yes. An enforcement officer, at his/her discretion, may require the driver of the permitted vehicle or vehicle combination to pull off of the highway when weather or other conditions become unsafe for further movement. The enforcement officer may direct or escort the permitted vehicle to a place of safety where it may be parked until the unsafe conditions abate.
(7) Do vehicles carrying hazardous or radioactive cargo have greater opportunity of being affected by restrictions?
Yes. Due to the potential risks to the public, RCW 47.01.270
have provided the department and the state patrol with the specific authority to close a section(s) of the highway(s) to transporters of placarded radioactive or hazardous cargo. The basis for closure is the same as stated in subsection (2) of this section.
(8) Who has authority to prohibit permitted vehicles from chain/approved traction device control areas, and how is this communicated?
The department and the state patrol may prohibit a vehicle, whether moving under special permit for oversize/overweight or not, from entering chain/approved traction device control areas. Prohibitions are put in place when it is determined the vehicle will experience difficulty in safely traveling the area. Traffic control signs will generally communicate prohibitions (i.e., "TRACTION ADVISORY/OVERSIZED VEHICLES PROHIBITED," "CHAINS REQUIRED ON ALL VEHICLES EXCEPT ALL WHEEL DRIVE," "VEHICLES OVER 10,000 GVWR CHAINS REQUIRED,"
etc.). In addition, specific vehicle combinations may be required to operate with specified traction devices (i.e., "TRACTORS PULLING DOUBLE TRAILERS MUST CHAIN UP
"). Also, refer to WAC 204-24-050
(2)(h) for a list of areas where sufficient tire chains must be carried on the vehicle(s) between November 1 and April 1 of each year.
(9) What penalties are in place for vehicles moving in prohibited areas?
Movement into a restricted area when the vehicle is prohibited, or without the specified traction device, is a violation of the special permit, which is a traffic infraction, and subject to the penalties of RCW 46.44.105
(10) What responsibilities must the operator of a vehicle(s) operating under special permit, during winter road conditions, assume when signs or other traffic control devices are not present? A vehicle, or vehicle combination, operating under special permit for oversize, must stop movement at the nearest safe location during periods when:
(a) Snow is falling to a degree that visibility is limited to less than one thousand feet; or
(b) Immediately following a severe storm when snow removal equipment is operating; or
(c) When fog or rain limits visibility to less than one thousand feet; or
(d) When compact snow and ice conditions require the use of chains.
Movement must not resume until conditions have abated and clearance obtained from the nearest department or state patrol office. Failure to stop is a violation of the permit and subject to the penalties of RCW 46.44.105
(11) What services may a business or person provide under the department's tire chain service provider program, as authorized under chapter 47.04 RCW?
If the department has issued a permit as provided under subsection (18) of this section to a business or person, hereinafter permittee(s), they are only allowed to install and/or remove motorist-provided tire chains under this program. Providing other services for a fee on highway right of way is prohibited. Permittees are not allowed to sell or rent tire chains to motorists on the highway right of way. If needed, minor repair of motorist-provided tire chains or selling elastic cords to motorists to ensure the proper fit of chains to tires is allowed as part of the installation or removal of tire chains. For example, a minor repair may be the replacement of a link that is missing from a tire chain.
(12) Where on the highway right of way will permittees be allowed to establish work stations? The department will designate chain-on and chain-off areas. Permittees will be allowed to establish work stations in authorized locations only in these designated areas. Permittees are prohibited from establishing work stations on the highway right of way outside of department specified locations. Permittees shall set up a sign to identify their work station. The sign shall display the permittee's permit number and prices charged for services.
(13) When may permittees establish work stations in designated areas? Permittees may establish work stations in designated areas only when they are requested to do so by the department's maintenance personnel responsible for highway operations. Department maintenance personnel will also notify permittees when chains are no longer required and work stations must be closed. Establishing work stations without a request from department maintenance personnel is prohibited.
(14) Are motorists required to use tire chain installation and/or removal services? Use of tire chain services is voluntary. Motorists installing or removing their own tire chains will be able to use designated chain-on and chain-off areas for this purpose.
(15) What fees may permittees charge for their services? A set fee schedule will be annually determined by the department with input from interested parties. All permittees will charge the same fee schedule for services provided. The schedule will include fees for minor repairs and selling elastic cords to motorists for the proper fit of chains to tires. Charging amounts outside of the set fee schedule while working on the highway right of way is prohibited.
(16) What worker safety standards do permittees have to meet while working on the highway right of way? All permittees must follow, at a minimum, all safety work standards and requirements that are listed in the permit. Safety apparel worn by chain installers will meet standards of the American National Standard Institute and the International Safety Equipment Association (ANSI/ISEA). The permittee's permit number shall be visibly displayed on his/her vest, jacket, or other outer garment.
(17) If multiple permittees are authorized to work on highway right of way, how will a fair opportunity to work be afforded to all permittees? If multiple permittees are permitted, the department will utilize a rotational call-out system.
(18) What process is available for acquiring a permit?
An application/permit form must be completed and submitted to the department. An orientation session provided by the department, must be attended by all chain installers. Chain installers must exhibit tire chain installation/removal competency. After the applicant has participated in the orientation session, the department may issue a permit to the applicant. The department may limit the number of permits issued on a first-come first-served basis. The department, in issuing a permit for the installation or removal of tire chains, assumes no responsibility for the actions, inactions, competence, or reliability of the permittee in performing those services and shall not be liable for the damages relating to acts or omissions of the permittees in accordance with RCW 47.04.270
(19) What happens if any permit condition is violated by the permittee or if the permittee has made false or misleading statements on the permit application? If a permittee violates any permit condition or if the permittee has made a false or misleading statement on the permit application, the department may immediately revoke the permit. The permittee is not entitled to a permit revocation hearing.
[Statutory Authority: Chapter 47.04
RCW. WSR 06-22-015, § 468-38-095, filed 10/23/06, effective 11/23/06. Statutory Authority: RCW 46.44.090
. WSR 05-04-053, § 468-38-095, filed 1/28/05, effective 2/28/05.]
Pilot/escort vehicle and operator requirements.
(1) A certified pilot/escort operator, acting as a warning necessary to provide safety to the traveling public, must accompany an extra-legal load when:
(a) The vehicle(s) or load exceeds eleven feet in width: Two pilot/escort vehicles are required on two lane highways, one in front and one at the rear.
(b) The vehicle(s) or load exceeds fourteen feet in width: One escort vehicle is required at the rear on multilane highways.
(c) The vehicle(s) or load exceeds twenty feet in width: Two pilot/escort vehicles are required on multilane undivided highways, one in front and one at the rear.
(d) The trailer length, including load, of a tractor/trailer combination exceeds one hundred five feet, or when the rear overhang of a load measured from the center of the rear axle exceeds one-third of the trailer length including load of a tractor/trailer or truck/trailer combination: One pilot/escort vehicle is required at the rear on two-lane highways.
(e) The trailer length, including load, of a tractor/trailer combination exceeds one hundred twenty-five feet: One pilot/escort vehicle is required at the rear on multilane highways.
(f) The front overhang of a load measured from the center of the front steer axle exceeds twenty feet: One pilot/escort vehicle is required at the front on all two-lane highways.
(g) The rear overhang of a load on a single unit vehicle, measured from the center of the rear axle, exceeds twenty feet: One pilot/escort vehicle is required at the rear on two-lane highways.
(h) The height of the vehicle(s) or load exceeds fourteen feet six inches: One pilot/escort vehicle with height measuring device (pole) is required at the front of the movement on all highways.
(i) The operator, using rearview mirrors, cannot see two hundred feet to the rear of the vehicle or vehicle combination when measured from either side of the edge of the load or last vehicle in the combination, whichever is larger: One pilot/escort vehicle is required at the rear on all highways.
(j) In the opinion of the department, a pilot/escort vehicle(s) is necessary to protect the traveling public. Assignments of this nature must be authorized through the department's administrator for commercial vehicle services.
(2) Can a pilot/escort vehicle be temporarily reassigned a position relative to the load during a move? When road conditions dictate that the use of the pilot/escort vehicle in another position would be more effective, the pilot/escort vehicle may be temporarily reassigned. For example: A pilot/escort vehicle is assigned to the rear of an overlength load on a two-lane highway. The load is about to enter a highway segment that has curves significant enough to cause the vehicle and/or load to encroach on the oncoming lane of traffic. The pilot/escort vehicle may be temporarily reassigned to the front to warn oncoming traffic.
(3) Can a certified flag person ever substitute for a pilot/escort vehicle? In subsection (1)(d) and (e) of this section, the special permit may authorize a riding flag person, in lieu of a pilot/escort vehicle, to provide adequate traffic control for the configuration. The flag person is not required to ride in the pilot/escort vehicle but may ride in the transport vehicle with transporter's authorization.
(4) Must an operator of a pilot/escort vehicle be certified to operate in the state of Washington? Yes. To help assure compliance with the rules of this chapter, consistent basic operating procedures are needed for pilot/escort vehicle operators to properly interact with the escorted vehicle and the surrounding traffic. Operators of pilot/escort vehicles, therefore, must be certified as having received department-approved base level training as a pilot/escort vehicle operator and must comply with the following:
(a) A pilot/escort vehicle operator with a Washington state driver's license must have a valid Washington state pilot/escort vehicle operator certificate/card which must be on the operator's person while performing escort vehicle operator duties.
(b) A pilot/escort vehicle operator with a driver's license from a jurisdiction other than the state of Washington may acquire a Washington state escort vehicle operator certificate/card, or operate with a certification from another jurisdiction approved by the department, subject to the periodic review of the issuing jurisdiction's certification program. A current list of approved programs will be maintained by the department's commercial vehicle services office.
(c) A pilot/escort vehicle operator certification does not exempt a pilot/escort operator from complying with all state laws and requirements of the state in which she/he is traveling.
(d) Every applicant for a state of Washington pilot/escort operator certificate shall attend an eight-hour classroom training course offered and presented by a business, organization, government entity, or individual approved by the department. At the conclusion of the course, the applicant will be eligible to receive the certification card after successfully completing a written test with at least an eighty percent passing score. State of Washington pilot/escort vehicle operator certification cards must be renewed every three years.
(5) What are the pretrip procedures that must be followed by the operator of a pilot/escort vehicle?
(a) Discuss with the operator of the extra-legal vehicle the aspects of the move including, but not limited to, the vehicle configuration, the route, and the responsibilities that will be assigned or shared.
(b) Prerun the route, if necessary, to verify acceptable clearances.
(c) Review the special permit conditions with the operator of the extra-legal vehicle. When the permit is a single trip extra-legal permit, displaying routing information, the pilot/escort operator(s) must have a copy of the permit, including all special conditions and attachments.
(d) Determine proper position of required pilot/escort vehicles and set procedures to be used among the operators.
(e) Check mandatory equipment, provided in subsections (9) and (10) of this section. Each operator is responsible for his or her own vehicle.
(f) Check two-way communication system to ensure clear communications between the pilot/escort vehicle(s) and the transport vehicle and predetermine the channel to be used.
(g) Acknowledge that nonemergency electronic communication is prohibited except communication between pilot/escort operator(s) and the transport vehicle during movement.
(h) Adjust mirrors, mount signs and turn on lights, provided in subsections (8)(e) and (9)(a) and (b) of this section.
(6) What are the responsibilities of the operator of a pilot/escort vehicle when assigned to be in front of the extra-legal movement? The operator shall:
(a) Provide general warning to oncoming traffic of the presence of the permitted vehicle by use of signs and lights, provided in subsection (9) of this section;
(b) Notify the operator of the extra-legal vehicle, and the operator(s) of any trailing pilot/escort vehicle(s), about any condition that could affect either the safe movement of the extra-legal vehicle or the safety of the traveling public, in sufficient time for the operator of the extra-legal vehicle to take corrective action. Conditions requiring communication include, but are not limited to, road-surface hazards; overhead clearances; obstructions; traffic congestion; pedestrians; etc.;
(c) Provide guidance to the extra-legal vehicle through lane changes, egress from one designated route and access to the next designated route on the approved route itinerary, and around any obstacle;
(d) In the event of traffic buildup behind the extra-legal vehicle, locate a safe place adjacent to the highway where the extra-legal vehicle can make a temporary stop. Notify the operator of the extra-legal vehicle, and the operator(s) of any trailing pilot/escort vehicle(s), in sufficient time for the extra-legal vehicle to move out of the traffic flow into the safe place, allowing the following traffic to pass safely;
(e) In accordance with training, be far enough in front of the extra-legal vehicle to allow time for the extra-legal vehicle to stop or take corrective action as necessary when notified by the front pilot/escort operator. Be far enough in front of the extra-legal vehicle to signal oncoming traffic to stop in a safe and timely manner before entering any narrow structure or otherwise restricted highway where an extra-legal vehicle has entered and must clear before oncoming traffic can enter;
(f) In accordance with training, do not be any farther ahead of the extra-legal vehicle than is reasonably prudent, considering speed of the extra-legal vehicle, other traffic, and highway conditions. Do not exceed a distance between pilot/escort vehicle and extra-legal vehicle that would interfere with maintaining clear two-way radio communication; and
(g) Assist in guidance to a safe place, and/or traffic control, in instances when the extra-legal vehicle becomes disabled.
(7) What are the responsibilities of the operator of a pilot/escort vehicle when assigned to be at the rear of the extra-legal movement? The operator shall:
(a) Provide general warning to traffic approaching from the rear of the extra-legal vehicle ahead by use of signs and lights, provided in subsection (9) of this section;
(b) Notify the operator of the extra-legal vehicle, and the operator(s) of any leading pilot/escort vehicle(s), about any condition that could affect either the safe movement of the extra-legal vehicle or the safety of the traveling public, in sufficient time for the operator of the extra-legal vehicle to take corrective action. Conditions requiring communication include, but are not limited to, objects coming loose from the extra-legal vehicle; flat tires on the extra-legal vehicle; rapidly approaching traffic or vehicles attempting to pass the extra-legal vehicle; etc.;
(c) Notify the operator of the extra-legal vehicle, and/or the operator of the lead pilot/escort vehicle, about traffic buildup or other delays to normal traffic flow resulting from the extra-legal move;
(d) In the event of traffic buildup behind the extra-legal vehicle, notify the operator of the extra-legal vehicle, and the operator(s) of any pilot/escort vehicle(s) in the lead, and assist the extra-legal vehicle in its move out of the traffic flow into the safe place, allowing the following traffic to pass safely;
(e) In accordance with training, be far enough behind the extra-legal vehicle to provide visual warning to approaching traffic to slow or stop in a timely manner, depending upon the action to be taken by the extra-legal vehicle, or the condition of the highway segment (i.e., limited sight distance, mountainous terrain, narrow corridor, etc.);
(f) Do not follow more closely than is reasonably prudent, considering the speed of the extra-legal vehicle, other traffic, and highway conditions. Do not exceed one-half mile distance between the pilot/escort vehicle and the extra-legal vehicle in order to maintain radio communication, except when necessary to safely travel a long narrow section of highway; and
(g) Pilot/escort operators shall not perform tillerman duties while performing escorting duties. For this section, tillerman refers to an individual that operates the steering of the trailer or trailing unit of the transport vehicle; and
(h) Assist in guidance to a safe place, and/or traffic control, in instances when the extra-legal vehicle becomes disabled.
(8) What kind of vehicle can be used as a pilot/escort vehicle? In addition to being in safe and reliable operating condition, the vehicle shall:
(a) Be either a single unit passenger car, including passenger van, or a two-axle truck, including a nonplacarded service truck;
(b) Not exceed a maximum gross vehicle weight or gross weight rating of sixteen thousand pounds;
(c) Have a body width of at least sixty inches but no greater than one hundred two inches;
(d) Not exceed the legal limits of size and weight, as defined in chapter 46.44
(e) Be equipped with outside rear-view mirrors, located on each side of the vehicle.
(f) Not tow a trailer while escorting.
(9) In addition to equipment required by traffic law, what additional equipment is required on the vehicle when operating as a pilot/escort, and when is it used?
(a) A minimum of one flashing or rotating amber (yellow) light or strobe, positioned above the roof line, visible from a minimum of five hundred feet to approaching traffic from the front or rear of the vehicle and visible a full three hundred sixty degrees around the pilot/escort vehicle. Light bars, with appropriately colored lights, meeting the visibility minimums are acceptable. Lights must only be activated while escorting an extra-legal vehicle, or when used as traffic warning devices while stopped at the side of the road taking height measurements during the prerunning of a planned route. The vehicle's headlights must also be activated while escorting an extra-legal vehicle.
(b) A sign reading "OVERSIZE LOAD," measuring at least five feet wide, ten inches high with black lettering at least eight inches high in a one-inch brush stroke on yellow background. The sign shall be mounted over the roof of the vehicle and shall be displayed only while performing as the pilot/escort of an extra-legal load. When the vehicle is not performing as a pilot/escort, the sign must be removed, retracted or otherwise covered.
(c) A two-way radio communications system capable of providing reliable two-way voice communications, at all times, between the operators of the pilot/escort vehicle(s) and the extra-legal vehicle(s).
(d) Nonemergency electronic communications is prohibited except communication between the pilot/escort vehicle(s) and the transport vehicle during movement.
(10) What additional or specialized equipment must be carried in a pilot/escort vehicle?
(a) A standard eighteen-inch STOP AND SLOW paddle sign.
(b) Three bi-directional emergency reflective triangles.
(c) A minimum of one five-pound B, C fire extinguisher, or equivalent.
(d) A high visibility safety garment designed according to Class 2 specifications in ANSI/ISEA 107-1999, American National Standard for High Visibility Safety Apparel, to be worn when performing pilot/escort duties outside of the vehicle. The acceptable high visibility colors are fluorescent yellow-green, fluorescent orange-red or fluorescent red.
(e) A highly visible colored hard hat, also to be worn when performing pilot/escort duties outside of the vehicle, per WAC 296-155-305
(f) A height-measuring device (pole), which is nonconductive and nondestructive to overhead clearances, when required by the terms of the special permit. The upper portion of a height pole shall be constructed of flexible material to prevent damage to wires, lights, and other overhead objects or structures. The pole may be carried outside of the vehicle when not in use. See also subsection (14) of this section.
(h) A flashlight in good working order with red nose cone. Additional batteries should also be on hand.
(11) Can the pilot/escort vehicle carry passengers? A pilot/escort vehicle may not contain passengers, human or animal, except that:
(a) A certified individual in training status or necessary flag person may be in the vehicle with the approval of the pilot/escort operator.
(b) A service animal may travel in the pilot/escort vehicle but must be located somewhere other than front seat of vehicle.
(12) Can the pilot/escort vehicle carry any other items, equipment, or load? Yes, as long as the items, equipment or load have been properly secured; provided that, no equipment or load may be carried in or on the pilot/escort vehicle that:
(a) Exceeds the height, length, or width of the pilot/escort vehicle, or overhangs the vehicle, or otherwise impairs its immediate recognition as a pilot/escort vehicle by the traveling public;
(b) Obstructs the view of the flashing or rotating amber lights, or "OVERSIZE LOAD" sign on the vehicle;
(c) Causes safety risks; or
(d) Otherwise impairs the performance by the operator or the pilot/escort vehicle of the duties required by these rules.
(13) Can a pilot/escort vehicle escort more than one extra-legal load at the same time? No, unless the department determines there are special circumstances that have resulted in an express authorization on the special permit.
(14) When and how must a pilot/escort vehicle use a height-measuring device? The height-measuring device (pole) must be used when escorting an extra-legal load in excess of fourteen feet six inches high, unless an alternative authorization has been granted by the department and stated on the special permit. The height pole must extend between three and six inches above the maximum height of the extra-legal vehicle, or load, to compensate for the affect of wind and motion. The height measuring device (pole) shall be mounted on the front of the lead pilot/escort vehicle. When not in the act of escorting an extra-legal height move, or prerunning a route to determine height acceptance, the height pole shall be removed, tied down or otherwise reduced to legal height.
(15) Do the rules change when a uniformed off-duty law enforcement officer, using official police car or motorcycle, performs the escorting function? While the spirit of the rules remains the same, specific rules may be modified to fit the situation.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 46.44.090
. WSR 16-11-012, § 468-38-100, filed 5/5/16, effective 6/5/16. Statutory Authority: RCW 46.44.090
. WSR 06-07-025, § 468-38-100, filed 3/7/06, effective 4/7/06; WSR 05-04-053, § 468-38-100, filed 1/28/05, effective 2/28/05; WSR 89-23-110 (Order 68), § 468-38-100, filed 11/22/89, effective 12/23/89; WSR 82-18-010 (Order 31, Resolution No. 156), § 468-38-100, filed 8/20/82. Formerly WAC 468-38-180. Statutory Authority: 1977 ex.s. c 151. WSR 79-01-033 (DOT Order 10 and Comm. Order 1, Resolution No. 13), § 468-38-100, filed 12/20/78. Formerly WAC 252-24-100.]
Transport of extra-legal manufactured housing.
(1) How many vehicles can be combined in the move of a manufactured home? The vehicle combination is limited to two vehicles, a towing unit, sometimes referred to as a "toter," and the semi-trailer designed housing unit.
(2) What are the dimensional limits of the combination? While the overall combination is not limited by dimension, the following limits are established:
(a) Length: The length of the manufactured housing unit may not exceed seventy-five feet, including the length of the tongue.
(i) The department's administrator for commercial vehicle services, or designee, is authorized to issue permits, on an individual basis, authorizing the transport of a unit when the length exceeds that specified in (a) of this subsection, but the housing unit will not exceed eighty feet in length, including the length of the tongue.
(ii) In issuing permits under this rule, the administrator will determine the following:
(A) The safety of other highway users will not be impaired; and
(B) The adjacent states, through which the manufactured home may be transported, must also authorize the movement.
(b) Width: The width of the manufactured housing unit must not exceed a box (base) width of sixteen feet. The unit may have an eave provided it does not extend beyond either side by:
(i) More than thirty inches for units with a box width less than sixteen feet wide; or
(ii) More than sixteen inches for a unit with a box width of sixteen feet; however, the overall width shall not, under any circumstances, exceed eighteen feet.
(c) Width exemptions: External features, such as doorknobs, window fasteners, eave cap, clearance lights, and load securing devices, that extend no more than two inches on each side of the unit, are exempt from the overall width measurement.
(d) Height: The height of the unit is limited to the actual overhead clearance of the route.
(3) What are the criteria for receiving an annual/monthly special permit versus a single trip special permit?
(a) Annual/monthly permits
are issued only to dealers or manufacturers described in chapter 46.70
RCW or licensed transporters described in chapter 46.76
RCW. Use of the annual/monthly permit is restricted to the movement of housing units with a box width not exceeding fourteen feet wide, plus an eave not to exceed twelve inches, and a height not to exceed fifteen feet measured from level ground when in transit mode.
(b) Single trip permits
are required when the permit applicant is not a qualified dealer or transporter as described in (a) of this subsection, or when the width of the housing unit box exceeds fourteen feet wide, the overall width exceeds fifteen feet wide, and/or the height exceeds fifteen feet measured from level ground when in transit mode. Housing units that exceed sixteen feet wide and/or sixteen feet high must also comply with the requirements of WAC 468-38-405 Superloads,
prior to the issuance of a special permit.
(4) When is it necessary to include a pilot/escort vehicle(s) in the movement of a manufactured house?
The requirements for a pilot/escort vehicle escorting a manufactured home are the same as those found in WAC 468-38-100
, except that the use of a height measuring device (pole) on the front pilot/escort vehicle is not required until the overall height of the housing unit exceeds fifteen feet. With respect to pilot/escort requirements for height in this section, the term housing unit includes modular homes as defined in RCW 46.04.303
. The vehicle or load width referenced in WAC 468-38-100
is to be interpreted as overall width when measuring a manufactured home.
(5) What are the insurance requirements, and what special reporting responsibilities does the transporter have in case of an accident?
(a) Insurance requirements for the movement of a manufactured home are outlined in RCW 46.44.180
(b) When an incident occurs while transporting a manufactured house under special permit, the transporter must immediately notify the nearest state patrol office if the damage to the manufactured home is greater than two hundred fifty dollars or if the damage to other vehicles or structures exceeds one hundred dollars. The transport of the home must not resume without permission from the state patrol.
(6) What requirements must a manufactured home meet for axles, brakes, tires and other suspension components before it can be transported?
(a) Axles on each housing unit in transport must be in sufficient number to support enough tires to comply with (c)(i) and (ii) of this subsection. Any housing unit exceeding fourteen feet wide must have a minimum of four axles.
must be designed and installed to activate if the housing unit accidentally breaks away from the towing vehicle. The brakes on all vehicle/housing unit combinations must be capable of complying with the braking performance requirements of RCW 46.37.351
. In addition, there must be compliance with the following special installation criteria:
(i) For housing units manufactured prior to June 15, 1976, brake installation must, at a minimum, comply with the following table:
Width of Unit at Base
Number of Axles Required
Wheels w/ Brakes
˃ 8' 6" but
2 or more
All wheels on 2 axles (a towing unit w/minimum. 9,000 GVWR all wheels on 1 axle)
10' to 14' (under 60' in length)
2 or more (3 or more if ˃ 60' long)
All wheels on 2 axles (tires w/minimum 8:00 x 14.5, 10 ply)
(ii) For all vehicle/housing unit combinations exceeding fourteen feet wide, all wheels on at least three of the axles must be properly equipped with brakes.
(c) Tire loadings are dependent on when the housing unit was manufactured and must comply as follows:
(i) Tire loadings on housing units manufactured after January 1, 2002, (labeled pursuant to Code of Federal Regulation, 24 C.F.R. 3282.362 (c)(2)(i)) may not exceed the manufacturer's rating as marked on the sidewall. In the absence of a sidewall marking, the tires on the housing unit must comply with the load rating specified in any of the publications of any organization listed in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Standard (FMCSS) No. 119 (49 C.F.R. 571.119, S5.1 (b)). Housing units with no verifiable date of manufacture must also not exceed the manufacturer's tire load rating.
(ii) Tire loadings on housing units manufactured before January 1, 2002, (labeled pursuant to 24 C.F.R. 3282.362 (c)(2)(i)) must not exceed more than eighteen percent above the manufacturer's rating as marked on the sidewall. In the absence of a sidewall marking, the tires on the housing unit must not exceed eighteen percent above the load rating specified in any of the publications of any organization listed in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Standard (FMCSS) No. 119 (49 C.F.R. 571.119, S5.1 (b)). Housing units transported on tires overloaded by nine percent or more must not be moved at speeds exceeding fifty miles per hour (eighty kilometers per hour).
(d) Tow spare tires, inflated and ready for use, must be carried during transport.
(e) The manufacturer's rating must not be exceeded for any wheel, axle, drawbar, hitch, or other suspension device.
(7) Does a tow vehicle (toter) have any special requirements? Yes. The tow vehicle must:
(a) Be equipped with dual wheels on the drive axle.
(b) Have a combined minimum gross axle weight rating, assigned by the manufacturer, of thirty-two thousand pounds, if the housing unit being transported exceeds fourteen feet wide.
(c) Have sufficient engine horsepower to maintain towing speeds of forty-five miles per hour on the interstate and thirty-five miles per hour on other highways.
(8) What unique travel requirements must be complied with? Requirements for signs, lights, unit covering, routes, speed, moving multiple units at the same time and lane of travel are as follows:
for the towing unit and housing unit must comply with WAC 468-38-155
(7). The sign for the housing unit must be mounted on the rear of the unit, on a horizontal plane, between five and seven feet above the road surface.
(b) In addition to any other lighting requirements in law or rule, two six-inch flashing amber lights, with a minimum of thirty-five candle power, a flashing cycle of sixty to one hundred twenty times per minute during transit, must be mounted on the rear of the housing unit, on a horizontal plane, at least ten feet above the road surface. An additional two lights, of the same specifications, must be mounted above the roofline of the towing vehicle, either on the towing vehicle roof or the front of the housing unit. The two lights at each location, front and rear, must be located as close to the outside extremities of the housing unit as practical.
(c) Coverings of open sides may be with a rigid material such as plywood or hardboard, or a sufficiently strong ply plastic. When plastic is used, a grillwork of lumber or similar material must be applied to prevent tears and/or billowing of the material.
of travel with restrictions must be strictly adhered to. Housing units in transport mode that exceed sixteen feet high or sixteen feet wide must be approved for travel on a case-by-case basis, as per WAC 468-38-405
, Superloads. Dealers selling extra-legal manufactured homes must advise the prospective purchaser in writing that not all state highways are approved for the transport of manufactured homes in excess of twelve feet wide.
of the in-transit housing unit is governed by WAC 468-38-175
(f) Multiple housing units moving together
must comply with WAC 468-38-175
(6), Moves in convoy.
(g) The right-hand lane must be used for travel, except when passing or avoiding an obstruction. On two-lane highways, housing units must not pass other vehicles except when required to pass a slow moving vehicle that is hindering safe traffic flow.
(9) Is a decal from the county treasurer required before a manufactured home can be transported?
Yes, except as provided for in RCW 46.44.170
(2)(a) and (b), a decal issued by the county treasurer must be displayed on the rear of the manufactured home during transport on public highways of this state. If the manufactured home is being transported as multiple units (double-wide or more), an individual decal must be displayed on each unit being transported.
(10) How is the county treasurer decal issued? The decal is issued at the same time the county treasurer issues the tax certificate that shows all taxes have been paid to date.
(11) RCW 46.44.170 requires the department to design the decal for uniform implementation. What are the design specifications?
The decal must:
(a) Be at least eight and one-half inches square.
(b) Be printed on Appleton Radiant Fluorescent Bristol (weight .010) or paper of comparable quality.
(c) Be fluorescent orange in color.
(d) Disclose the make, model and serial number of the manufactured home, the date issued, the name of the transporter, the transporter's WUTC permit number ID required, the department of transportation special motor vehicle permit number, and the name of the county issuing the decal.
(e) Clearly display the expiration date of the decal, which must not be more than fifteen days after the date issued.
(12) Can decals be transferred to other housing units? Under no circumstance can the decal be transferred.
(13) What other vehicles are treated like manufactured housing for permitting purposes? Any enclosed structure built on a manufactured housing type chassis with its own axles must comply with the provisions of this section to receive an overlegal permit, including, but not limited to: Portable construction offices, portable classrooms, and "park-model" trailers.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 46.44.090
. WSR 16-11-010, § 468-38-120, filed 5/5/16, effective 6/5/16. Statutory Authority: RCW 46.44.090
. WSR 12-18-007, § 468-38-120, filed 8/23/12, effective 9/23/12. Statutory Authority: RCW 46.44.090
. WSR 06-07-025, § 468-38-120, filed 3/7/06, effective 4/7/06; WSR 05-04-053, § 468-38-120, filed 1/28/05, effective 2/28/05. Statutory Authority: RCW 46.44.090
. WSR 02-17-004, § 468-38-120, filed 8/8/02, effective 9/8/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 46.44.090
. WSR 98-16-087 (Order 180), § 468-38-120, filed 8/5/98, effective 9/5/98; WSR 96-18-053, § 468-38-120, filed 8/30/96, effective 9/30/96; WSR 95-24-073, § 468-38-120, filed 12/4/95, effective 1/4/96; WSR 87-20-040 (Order 62, Resolution No. 307), § 468-38-120, filed 10/1/87; WSR 86-21-115 (Order 58, Resolution No. 286), § 468-38-120, filed 10/21/86. Statutory Authority: RCW 46.44.170
. WSR 85-22-003 (Order 51, Resolution No. 254), § 468-38-120, filed 10/24/85. Statutory Authority: RCW 46.44.090
. WSR 83-16-018 (Order 39, Resolution No. 195), § 468-38-120, filed 7/25/83; WSR 82-18-010 (Order 31, Resolution No. 156), § 468-38-120, filed 8/20/82. Statutory Authority: 1977 ex.s. c 151. WSR 79-01-033 (DOT Order 10 and Comm. Order 1, Resolution No. 13), § 468-38-120, filed 12/20/78. Formerly WAC 252-24-150.]
Safety equipment for special permit moves.
In addition to any codified vehicle safety requirements, what other safety equipment may be required on a special permit move? The following items may be required on a vehicle or vehicle combination making a move under special permit:
(a) Braking equipment must comply with the performance and maintenance requirements of RCW 46.37.360
, unless specifically stated on the special permit.
(b) A special permit will not be issued to a vehicle "in tow" of another vehicle without brakes unless a three-axle truck or truck-tractor with a minimum unladen weight of fifteen thousand pounds is employed as the power unit. The power unit must also have sufficient power and brakes to control the towed unit at all times.
(a) The drawbar or other connection between vehicles in combination must be of sufficient strength to hold the weight of the towed vehicle on any grade where operated.
(b) No trailing unit shall whip, weave, or oscillate or fail to follow substantially in the course of the towing vehicle.
(a) Flags must be displayed on all four corners of all overwidth loads, and at the extreme ends of all protrusions, projections, or overhangs as required by RCW 46.37.140
. During hours of darkness, lights as required by RCW 46.37.140
shall be located at each point where flags are required.
(b) When the distance between the towed vehicle and the towing vehicle exceeds fifteen feet, a white flag or cloth not less than eighteen inches square must be fastened at the approximate middle of the span.
Vehicles, whether factory direct or custom built, used in the transport of extra-legal loads must be equipped with brake lights and turn signals as required by RCW 46.37.200
(5) Two-way communications. When pilot/escort vehicle(s) are required, the transport vehicle must be equipped with a two-way radio communications system capable of providing reliable two-way voice communications at all times between the operators of the pilot/escort vehicle(s) and the transport vehicle.
(6) Rear-view mirrors.
(a) Rear-view mirrors must be mounted in compliance with RCW 46.37.400
(b) Pilot/escort vehicles may be used in lieu of the two hundred-foot rear sight/distance requirement in RCW 46.37.400
(7) Safety chains and devices.
(a) A load being moved by special permit must be securely fastened and protected by safety chains or other load securing devices pursuant to Code of Federal Regulation, 49 C.F.R. Part 393.100.
(b) Dragging of the load on the highway shall not be permitted.
(c) A vehicle with a boom or other aerial device attached must have the boom or device secured in such a manner that it cannot elevate (ratchet up) or sway during transport.
(a) Warning signs displaying "OVERSIZE LOAD" shall be mounted in the front and rear of the transporting vehicle where the lights and license plate(s) are not blocked and the sign is visible from the front and rear of the transport vehicle.
(b) Signs are to be displayed only during transit of an over dimensional load and must be removed or retracted at all other times.
(c) An "OVERSIZE LOAD" sign must be at least seven feet wide and eighteen inches high with black lettering at least ten inches high in with a brush stroke between 1.4 and 1.5 inches on yellow background.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 46.44.090
. WSR 16-11-012, § 468-38-155, filed 5/5/16, effective 6/5/16. Statutory Authority: RCW 46.44.090
. WSR 05-04-053, § 468-38-155, filed 1/28/05, effective 2/28/05.]
Highway travel restrictions—Days, times and highway use.
What restrictions are imposed on vehicles operating under special permit relative to days, times and use of the highway? Day, time and highway use are divided into the following categories:
(1) Days when travel is restricted:
Vehicles operating under special permit for overweight/overdimensional, except as provided for in WAC 468-38-075
, may be restricted from the state highways on the holidays of New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and commencing at noon of the day preceding said holidays.
(2) Commuter traffic restrictions:
Vehicles operating under special permit for overweight/overdimensional, except as provided for in WAC 468-38-075
, may be restricted from specified sections of state highways having excessive volumes of traffic during morning and afternoon commuting hours. The department shall identify and publish on the internet, and as an addendum to the special permit, specific areas, hours and vehicle widths relating to the restrictions.
(3) Nighttime travel:
Vehicles or combinations operating under a special permit for overweight/overdimensional may be permitted to move at night on state highways subject to department preferred hours and routes of travel. "Night movement approved" must be stated on the permit, except as provided for in WAC 468-38-075
. Overdimensional moves authorized to move at night must have lighting equipment that complies with the Code of Federal Regulation
, 49 C.F.R., Part 393.11. No movements shall be made when visibility is reduced to five hundred feet or when hazardous roadway conditions exist (including, but not limited to: Snow, ice, mudslide, wind or water flooding over roadway). It is the responsibility of the vehicle operator to discontinue the move and exit the highway to a safe location when any of the above conditions exist.
(4) Reversible lane use:
Trucks carrying flammable liquid cargoes, as described in chapter 470-12
WAC, are restricted from using the reversible lanes on SR 5, Seattle freeway, between James Street and 110th Street N.E. The term flammable liquid as applied to this rule shall be as defined in RCW 46.04.187
. This rule applies to all vehicles, whether operating under special permit or not.
(5) Speed limits: Speed of travel must comply with the following:
(a) Unless otherwise stated, maximum speed for a vehicle(s) under special permit shall be the same speed limit posted for trucks.
(b) When travel on the roadway shoulder is required on a two-lane highway to allow overtaking traffic to pass, the speed must not exceed twenty-five miles per hour.
(c) If a speed limit is stated on the special permit, it becomes one of the conditions under which the permit was issued. This stated speed must not be exceeded; however, if a lower speed is posted, it shall take precedence. Violation of the speed limit stated on the permit shall render the permit null and void.
(6) Moves in convoy:
Extra-legal vehicles or loads requiring pilot/escort accompaniment must not travel in convoy, unless specifically authorized to do so by the department, or as provided for in WAC 468-38-290
[Statutory Authority: RCW 46.44.090
. WSR 06-07-025, § 468-38-175, filed 3/7/06, effective 4/7/06; WSR 05-04-053, § 468-38-175, filed 1/28/05, effective 2/28/05.]
Tow trucks—Permitting for oversize/overweight.
(1) What classes of tow trucks are eligible for special permits?
Special permits may be issued to Class B and Class C tow trucks, including Class E tow trucks with either a Class B or Class C rating.
(2) What is the duration of a special permit issued to tow trucks?
The special permit issued specifically to tow trucks is an annual permit from date of purchase.
(3) Are there size and weight limitations and/or requirements to the special permit for tow trucks?
Permit limits and/or requirements are categorized as follows:
(a) Weight of tow truck: Maximum weights for tow trucks are as follows:
(i) All classes of tow trucks must conform to RCW 46.44.041
when towing a disabled unit by draw bar or tow chain method.
(ii) When any portion of the weight of the disabled unit rests upon a Class B, C or E (with B or C rating) tow truck; the weight must not exceed:
(A) Six hundred pounds per inch width of tire up to twenty-two thousand pounds per single axle; or
(B) Forty-three thousand pounds per tandem axle set; or
(C) The weight allowed for axle groups per formula in RCW 46.44.091
(iii) The tow truck steer axle must carry sufficient weight to maintain safe operation.
(iv) A Class B tow truck steer axle must carry a minimum of three thousand pounds at all times.
(v) A Class C tow vehicle steer axle must carry a minimum of three thousand five hundred pounds at all times.
(vi) A Class E tow truck with B or C rating must meet the requirement for minimum steer axle load for the rating.
(vii) The special permit does not allow a tow truck to exceed legal weight limits when not in tow or haul status.
(b) Weight of disabled unit: Maximum weight for disabled units towed under an annual special permit are as follows:
(i) When being towed by a Class B, C or E (with B or C rating) tow truck, using a draw bar or tow chain method, the weight of the disabled unit must conform with weight limits in RCW 46.44.041
, or to the limits of any special permit issued to the disabled unit.
(ii) When a Class B, C or E (with B or C rating) tow truck carries a portion of the weight of the disabled unit, the first load bearing axle(s) of the disabled unit must not exceed:
(A) Six hundred pounds per inch width of tire;
(B) Twenty-two thousand pounds per single axle;
(C) Forty-three thousand pounds per tandem axle set; and
(D) Weight limits for axle groups per formula in RCW 46.44.091
(iii) A load recovery vehicle configured as a truck-tractor/semi-trailer, or solo vehicle may carry either a divisible or nondivisible load. The recovery vehicle is limited to weight limits in RCW 46.44.041
when carrying divisible loads, or to the weight limits in (a)(ii) of this subsection when carrying nondivisible loads. The recovery vehicle must be rated as either a Class B or Class C tow truck in order to be issued the annual special permit.
(c) Height and width: No disabled unit, including load, shall exceed fourteen feet in height or eight feet six inches in width, except:
(i) When the disabled unit is authorized under a special permit allowing a greater height or width. The allowances granted under the special permit shall apply only to the route identified on the special permit; or
(ii) Where an accident or collision has caused a disfigurement of the disabled unit resulting in a width greater than eight feet six inches, but not exceeding ten feet in width. In this event, during daylight hours the disabled unit must be flagged per WAC 468-38-155
, and during the hours of darkness the extreme width must have clearance lights that comply with the requirements of Code of Federal Regulation
, 49 C.F.R. 393.11.
(iii) Rear view mirrors may exceed the width authorized in the special permit to a point that allows the driver a view to the rear along both sides of the vehicle(s) in conformance with Federal National Safety Standard 111 (49 C.F.R. 571.111).
(d) Length: All classes of single unit tow vehicles may not exceed forty feet in length. The length of the disabled unit shall not exceed the length for such vehicle established in statute or as allowed by a special permit issued to the disabled unit. The towing of a vehicle combination (i.e., tractor/trailer or truck/trailer) is not authorized, except during an emergent situation when directed by the state patrol or the department to remove the disabled combination to the nearest safe location off the highway.
(e) Restrictions and postings: An annual special permit must not be used to exceed published road and bridge restrictions, or posted bridges. Restrictions and postings should be reviewed online daily for changes, each permit will contain this instruction. It is the operator's responsibility to remain current with bridge restriction and posting information.
(f) Exceptions: Exceptions to the rules provided in this section will be handled on an individual basis by separate special permit, after the disabled unit has been moved to the nearest safe location.
(4) Is there ever a time when a Class A or D tow truck is authorized to exceed legal weight?
Class A and D tow trucks are not eligible for special permits. In an emergent situation, when no other class of truck is available, either class truck may make or assist in making short moves, at the direction of the state patrol or the department, to the nearest safe location off the highway.
(5) What constitutes an emergent situation?
An emergent situation, for purposes of this section, is defined as a disabled vehicle on any public highway, including shoulders and access ramps.
(6) Is there ever a time when a heavy duty tow truck can move in combination exceeding legal weights without a permit?
When a heavy duty tow truck weighs the same or greater than the disabled vehicle, a permit is not required to move the disabled vehicle from the place where the vehicle became disabled to the nearest appropriate repair facility. The operator shall check the restrictions on WSDOT's commercial vehicle web site prior to each movement. The load bearing axle(s) of the combination shall not exceed:
(a) Six hundred pounds per inch width of tire;
(b) Twenty-two thousand pounds per single axle;
(c) Forty-three thousand pounds per tandem axle set;
(d) Weight limits for axle groups per formula in RCW 46.44.091
(e) Posted limits and restrictions listed on WSDOT's commercial vehicle services web site on the route traveled.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 46.44.090
. WSR 17-04-023, § 468-38-265, filed 1/23/17, effective 2/23/17; WSR 04-16-060, § 468-38-265, filed 7/30/04, effective 8/30/04. Statutory Authority: RCW 46.44.090
. WSR 03-19-026, § 468-38-265, filed 9/8/03, effective 10/9/03. Statutory Authority: RCW 46.44.090
. WSR 95-24-074, § 468-38-265, filed 12/4/95, effective 1/4/96.]
(1) Why are certain vehicles designated as specialized equipment?
Certain vehicles are designed and built for very unique functions other than transporting persons. The federal highway administration classifies and references some of these vehicles as specialized equipment in Title 23 C.F.R. Part 658.13(e) and sets minimum and/or maximum parameters for the vehicle to operate. The department adopted these specialized classifications and accepted or further defined the legal parameters for operation on state highways. In addition to federal rule, the department has also recognized certain specially designed vehicles that, by necessity, exceed one or more of the vehicle size and weight parameters in chapter 46.44
RCW. The department has also classified these over-legal vehicles as specialized equipment in order to authorize their movement on state highways, using a special motor vehicle permit, and provide a consistent administrative and enforcement treatment. All vehicles exceeding legal requirements are subject to the requirements of this section and the requirements of chapter 46.44
(2) What vehicle types are classified by Title 23 Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.) 658.13(e) as specialized equipment, including size limits, and authorized to operate on the state highways without a special permit? Listed in alphabetical order:
Automobile transporter: To be considered an automobile transporter, the power unit and the trailing unit must be modified to carry assembled automobiles. If the combination consists of a truck and stinger-steered trailing unit, the overall dimension for length must not exceed eighty feet, plus a front overhang of four feet and rear overhang of six feet. If the combination consists of a tractor and semi-trailer (traditional high mount), overall dimension for length will not exceed sixty-five feet, plus three-foot front overhang and four-foot rear overhang.
• The conventional and stinger steered automobile transporter is authorized to haul general freight on a backhaul. Backhaul for this section means a return trip back over all or part of the same route.
Boat transporter: See automobile transporter.
Driveaway saddlemount vehicles: A combination consisting of a maximum of four trucks or truck tractors used in driveaway service where three of the vehicles are towed by the fourth in triple saddlemount position. The overall dimension for the length of the saddlemount combination will not exceed ninety-seven feet. Such combinations may include all axles of one vehicle loaded upon another, known as a fullmount.
Munitions carriers with dromedary equipment: A truck tractor equipped with a dromedary unit operating in combination with a semi-trailer transporting Class 1 explosives and/or any munitions related security material, as specified by the U.S. Department of Defense in compliance with 49 C.F.R. 177.835, overall dimension for length not to exceed seventy-five feet.
(3) What other vehicle types does the department recognize as specialized equipment for the purpose of oversize and overweight permitting? The following specialized equipment, including size and weight parameters, can operate with special permit. Listed in alphabetical order:
Concrete pumper trucks:
As a single unit fixed load vehicle, may exceed the legal weight limits in RCW 46.44.041
with a special motor vehicle permit, but must comply with the requirements in RCW 46.44.091
. Tire loading for the movement is limited to the lesser of six hundred pounds per inch width of tire or the tire manufacturer's rating with proper inflation, as determined by the nomenclature imprinted on the tire. Pumper hose extensions and a volume of water to flush the system, when the pumping process is complete.
Equipment used primarily for off-road heavy construction activity may be permitted for use on designated highway segments identified in RCW 46.16.010
(5)(h)(i)(B) and (C) and must comply with the weight limits in RCW 46.44.091
. Equipment may operate without permit on highway segments designated as part of the construction zone.
As a single unit fixed load vehicle, may exceed the legal weight limits in RCW 46.44.041
with a special motor vehicle permit but must comply with the requirements in RCW 46.44.091
. Tire loading for the movement is limited to the lesser of six hundred pounds per inch width of tire or the tire manufacturer's rating with proper inflation, as determined by the nomenclature imprinted on the tire. Cranes may be permitted with standard working components that are included within the rated capacity of the crane. A boom trailer or boom dolly will be permitted only when the boom is attached to the crane upper works, for the purpose of transferring load to meet weight requirements. A crane may be permitted with counterweights, outrigger assemblies, load block, hook and cable tension ball assembly also loaded on the boom trailer or boom dolly, as long as those components are included in the rated capacity of the crane and do not cause the vehicle to exceed permitted weight limits.
Well drilling trucks:
As a single unit fixed load vehicle, may exceed the legal weight limits in RCW 46.44.041
with a special motor vehicle permit but must comply with the requirements in RCW 46.44.091
. Tire loading for the movement is limited to the lesser of six hundred pounds per inch width of tire or the tire manufacturer's rating with proper inflation, as determined by the nomenclature imprinted on the tire. The vehicle may carry drill extensions as part of the fixed load.
(4) Can specialized equipment tow a licensed vehicle used for commute purposes? A specialized self-propelled single unit vehicle registered as a fixed load, operating under a fixed load permit, and/or cranes operating under an oversize/overweight permit (exclusive of boom dollies or trailers), may be permitted to tow a vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating not to exceed eight thousand pounds. The overall length of the combination must not exceed seventy-five feet. The towed vehicle must be used for the sole purpose of commuting to and from the job site where the specialized equipment is in service.
(5) Does a specialized vehicle operating under an overweight or fixed load permit receive any exemption from weight postings or weight restrictions placed on highway infrastructure?
No. Specialized mobile equipment must not cross load-restricted infrastructure when the equipment, either as a result of gross weight, axle weight or tire loadings, exceeds the stated capacity of the posting or restriction. However, exemptions to specific requirements, in WAC 468-38-075
, may apply to specific fixed loads as identified in WAC 468-38-075
[Statutory Authority: RCW 46.44.090
. WSR 16-21-093, § 468-38-270, filed 10/19/16, effective 11/19/16. Statutory Authority: RCW 46.44.090
, and 46.44.101
. WSR 11-17-130, § 468-38-270, filed 8/24/11, effective 9/24/11. Statutory Authority: RCW 46.44.090
and 2005 c 189. WSR 05-12-001, § 468-38-270, filed 5/18/05, effective 6/18/05. Statutory Authority: RCW 46.44.090
. WSR 82-18-010 (Order 31, Resolution No. 156), § 468-38-270, filed 8/20/82. Formerly WAC 468-38-380. Statutory Authority: 1977 ex.s. c 151. WSR 79-01-033 (DOT Order 10 and Comm. Order 1, Resolution No. 13), § 468-38-270, filed 12/20/78. Formerly WAC 252-24-336.]
(1) What criteria must a retractable axle meet in order to carry the weight provided in RCW 46.44.041?
The retractable axle must meet three criteria:
(a) The retractable axle must have a manufacturer's rating of at least eight thousand pounds. The weight carried on the axle must not exceed the design load capacity as indicated by an attached data plate or written certification from the vendor/manufacturer; and
(b) The weight carried per tire must not exceed the lesser of manufacturer's rating or five hundred pounds (six hundred when operating under a special permit for overweight) per inch width of tire as described in RCW 46.44.042
(c) The axle must be self-steering.
(2) Are there restrictions on the location of the operating controls for the retractable axle? Yes. The simple "up/down" control may be in the driver's compartment; however, any variable control used to adjust axle loadings, by regulating air pressure or other means, must not be within reach of the driver's compartment.
(3) Are there any exceptions to the self-steering requirement? Yes. The self-steering requirement does not apply when:
(a) The retractable axle, equipped with four tires, is used for the purpose of weight distribution on a truck or truck-tractor and gives the appearance of, but does not function as, a tandem axle drive configuration. The distance between the drive axle and the retractable axle must not exceed sixty inches.
(b) A retractable axle is used adjacent to a fixed axle on a trailing unit and distance between the two axles does not exceed sixty inches.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 46.44.090
. WSR 06-07-025, § 468-38-280, filed 3/7/06, effective 4/7/06; WSR 05-04-053, § 468-38-280, filed 1/28/05, effective 2/28/05; WSR 95-24-075, § 468-38-280, filed 12/4/95, effective 1/4/96; WSR 93-19-056 (Order 138), § 468-38-280, filed 9/10/93, effective 10/11/93; WSR 85-22-002 (Order 50, Resolution No. 253), § 468-38-280, filed 10/24/85; WSR 82-18-010 (Order 31, Resolution No. 156), § 468-38-280, filed 8/20/82. Formerly WAC 468-38-390. Statutory Authority: 1977 ex.s. c 151. WSR 79-01-033 (DOT Order 10 and Comm. Order 1, Resolution No. 13), § 468-38-280, filed 12/20/78. Formerly WAC 252-24-339.]
(1) For purposes of issuing special farm implement permits and certain permit exemptions, what is considered a farm implement?
A farm implement includes any device that directly affects the production of agricultural products, including fertilizer and chemical applicator apparatus (complete with auxiliary equipment). For purposes of this section, the implement must be nondivisible, weigh less than sixty-five thousand pounds, and comply with the requirements of RCW 46.44.091
. The implement must be less than twenty feet in width and not exceed sixteen feet in height. However, for purposes of this section, farm implements must not exceed fourteen feet in height in the counties of Whatcom, Skagit, Island, Snohomish, and King. If the implement is self-propelled, it must not exceed forty feet in length, or seventy feet overall length if being towed. The implement must move on pneumatic tires, or solid rubber tracks that will not damage public highways with parts that extend beyond the tracks. Implements exceeding any of these criteria must meet all requirements for special permits as referenced in other sections in this chapter and chapter 46.44
(2) What dimensional criteria requires a special permit to move extra-legal farm implements? Self-propelled farm implements, including a farm tractor pulling no more than two implements, that exceed fourteen feet in height or sixteen feet in width, but less than twenty feet in width, are required to get a special permit for movement of farm implements on state highways. Note: A tow vehicle capable of carrying a load (i.e., a truck of any kind) may not tow more than one trailing implement.
(3) Will the opportunity to purchase a special permit to move oversize farm implements be affected if the implement(s) is carried on another vehicle? The opportunity to purchase a special permit for farm implements as defined in subsection (1) of this section will not be affected unless one of the following circumstances occurs:
(a) The authorized users of the permit outlined in subsection (5) of this section use a commercial for-hire service to move the implement(s); or
(b) The loaded farm implement creates a combined height that exceeds sixteen feet; or
(c) The loaded farm implement causes the hauling vehicle to exceed legal weight limits. The farm implement weight may exceed sixty-five thousand pounds when carried on another vehicle; however, the combined gross weight of the hauling unit carrying the implement may not exceed the legal weight limits established in RCW 46.44.041
Maximum gross weights—Wheelbase and axle factors.
If any of these circumstances occur, the provisions of this subsection will not apply to the movement of the farm implement. The movement will be required to comply with the requirements for special permits as provided in chapter 46.44
RCW and in other sections in this chapter.
(4) How does the special permit farm implement application process differ from the special permit process outlined in WAC 468-38-050?
Due to the size of the implement and the potential for use in multiple jurisdictions, the written application must be submitted to the department's Olympia office for approval. Permits can be requested for three-month periods up to one year. Once approved, a special permit may be generated from the Olympia office by facsimile or a letter of authorization will be sent authorizing the applicant to acquire a special permit at the nearest permit sales location. If the movement of the farm implement(s) is confined to a single department maintenance area, the applicant may make direct written application to that maintenance area office in lieu of the Olympia office.
(5) Who is authorized to purchase a farm implement special permit? The purchase and use of a special permit to move farm implements is restricted to a farmer, or anyone engaged in the business of selling, repairing and/or maintaining farm implements.
(6) Will the special permit restrict the movement to a specific area? The special permit to move farm implements is generally restricted to six contiguous counties or less. With proper justification, the area can be expanded. Farm implements may only travel on highway structures that are designed to support the weight of the farm implement.
(7) Is department notification required before moving implement(s)?
Affected department maintenance areas must be notified at least eight (8) hours in advance of implement(s) movements in excess of sixteen feet wide. Movements of implements that exceed the legal weight limit established in RCW 46.44.041
must contact all affected department maintenance areas at least eight hours in advance for weight restriction information. The notification is for the purpose of ensuring that there will not be any planned activity or weight restrictions that would restrict the move. Locations of department maintenance area offices and phone listings are provided with each letter authorizing the purchase of the farm implement special permit.
(8) What safety precautions must be taken when moving extra-legal farm implement(s)? The movement of extra-legal farm implements must comply with the safety requirements following:
(a) Oversize load signs:
If the farm implement exceeds ten feet in width or exceeds fourteen feet in height from the road surface, it must display an "OVERSIZE LOAD
" sign(s) visible to both oncoming traffic and overtaking traffic. Signs must comply with the requirements of WAC 468-38-155
(7). If the implement is both preceded and followed by pilot/escort vehicles, a sign is not required on the implement itself.
(b) Curfew/commuter hours: Movement of a farm implement in excess of ten feet wide or fourteen feet in height must comply with any published curfew or commuter hour restrictions, which are an attachment to the farm implement special permit.
(c) Red flags: If the farm implement is moving during daylight hours, and exceeds ten feet in width, the vehicle configuration must display clean, bright red flags. The red flags must measure at least eighteen inches square and be able to wave freely. The red flags are to be positioned at all four corners, or extremities, of the overwidth implement and at the extreme ends of all protrusions, projections or overhangs. If a transported implement overhangs the rear of a transporting vehicle or vehicle combination by more than four feet, one red flag is required at the extreme rear. If the width of the rear overhang or protrusion exceeds two feet, two red flags must be positioned at the rear to show the maximum width of the overhang or protrusion.
(d) Warning lights and slow moving emblem:
Lamps and other lighting must be in compliance with RCW 46.37.160
. In addition to lighting requirements, RCW 46.37.160
requires the use of a "slow moving emblem" for moves traveling at twenty-five miles per hour or less.
(e) Convoys: Convoys, the simultaneous movement of two or more individually transported implements, are authorized when the criteria are met following:
(i) A minimum of five hundred feet is maintained between vehicles to allow the traveling public to safely pass;
(ii) If five or more vehicles are lined up behind any one of the convoy implements, the operator must pull off the road at the nearest point wide enough to accommodate the implement(s) and to allow the vehicles to safely pass; and
(iii) The convoy is preceded and followed with properly equipped pilot/escort vehicles.
(9) Are there any unique requirements or exemptions regarding the use of farm implement(s) pilot/escort vehicles?
Pilot/escort vehicles must comply with the requirements of WAC 468-38-100
, except for the specific exemptions related only to special permits for moving farm implement(s) following:
(a) A farmer, farm implement dealer, or agri-chemical dealer (including employees of each) is exempt from WAC 468-38-100
(4) regarding operator certification, WAC 468-38-100
(8)(a) and (b) regarding pilot/escort vehicle physical description, WAC 468-38-100
(10)(f) regarding use of height measuring device when the implement does not exceed fifteen feet in height measured from the road surface, and WAC 468-38-100
(11) regarding passengers, when moving a farm implement off the interstate and to the interstate segments following:
(i) I-90 between Exit 109 (Ellensburg) and Exit 270 (Four Lakes);
(ii) I-82 between Junction with I-90 (Ellensburg) and Exit 31 (Yakima);
(iii) I-82 between Exit 37 (Union Gap) and Washington/Oregon border;
(iv) I-182 between Junction with I-82 (West Richland) and Junction with SR-395; or
(v) I-5 between Exit 208 (Arlington) and Exit 250 (south of Bellingham).
(b) On two lane highways, one pilot/escort vehicle must precede and one must follow the implement(s) when the width exceeds twelve feet six inches. Implements up to twelve feet six inches wide are exempt from using pilot/escort vehicles.
(c) On all highways, one pilot/escort vehicle equipped with a height measuring device in compliance with WAC 468-38-100
(10)(f) and (14) must precede the farm implement when the height of the farm implement exceeds fifteen feet measured from the road surface. Movements within a sixty mile radius from the place where the implement(s) is principally used or garaged are exempt from this requirement.
(d) A flag person(s) may be used in lieu of a pilot/escort vehicle for moves under five hundred yards. This allowance must be stated on any farm implement special permit that may be required for the move.
(e) Posting a route may also be used in lieu of a pilot/escort vehicle(s) when the route is less than two miles. Signs must state, "OVERSIZE VEHICLE MOVING AHEAD" on a background square at least three feet on each side (in diamond configuration), with black lettering on orange background. The signs must be placed at points before the oversize implement enters or leaves the highway, and at access points along the way. Signs must be immediately removed after the move has been completed.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 46.44.140
. WSR 11-13-074, § 468-38-290, filed 6/15/11, effective 7/16/11. Statutory Authority: RCW 46.44.090
. WSR 08-13-042, § 468-38-290, filed 6/12/08, effective 6/12/08. Statutory Authority: RCW 46.44.090
. WSR 06-07-025, § 468-38-290, filed 3/7/06, effective 4/7/06; WSR 05-04-053, § 468-38-290, filed 1/28/05, effective 2/28/05; WSR 00-17-060, § 468-38-290, filed 8/9/00, effective 9/9/00; WSR 00-11-038 (Order 199), § 468-38-290, filed 5/10/00, effective 6/10/00; WSR 99-18-019 (Order 192), § 468-38-290, filed 8/23/99, effective 9/23/99; WSR 85-11-062 (Order 46, Resolution No. 243), § 468-38-290, filed 5/20/85; WSR 83-16-018 (Order 39, Resolution No. 195), § 468-38-290, filed 7/25/83; WSR 82-18-010 (Order 31, Resolution No. 156), § 468-38-290, filed 8/20/82. Formerly WAC 468-38-460. Statutory Authority: 1977 ex.s. c 151. WSR 79-01-033 (DOT Order 10 and Comm. Order 1, Resolution No. 13), § 468-38-290, filed 12/20/78. Formerly WAC 252-24-342.]
(1) Are there special requirements for the movement of a house/building that is not defined as a manufactured house or modular building? The department's regional administrator, or designee, must approve an application for movement of buildings or houses exceeding sixteen feet wide on two lane roads, or twenty feet on multilane roads with a median barrier.
(2) Is there a limit to the distance a building/house can move? A building/house that exceeds the dimensions in subsection (1) of this section is limited to a distance of five miles. Additional consecutive five-mile permits will not be issued to exceed the five-mile limitation. The regional administrator, or designee, may grant an exemption if the special permit applicant can justify the move as in the public interest or as the avoidance of extreme hardship. Justification will generally require independent documented evidence, to include, but not be limited to:
(a) Cost, equity and sales data;
(b) Historic significance;
(c) Public benefit; or
(d) National defense.
(3) How much lead-time is necessary to have an application for special permit reviewed? The application (DOT Form 720-028) must be completed and submitted to the regional office at least ten working days before the proposed move.
(4) If the weight of the building meets the criteria for a superload (WAC 468-38-405), does the superload lead-time requirement apply?
Yes. Generally loads of two hundred thousand pounds or more require review and analysis by the department's bridge condition office and the pavements office, both located in the Olympia area. Per RCW 46.44.091
, a written application must be submitted at least thirty calendar days in advance of the proposed move to accommodate the review and analysis process.
(5) What information must be included on the application? The application must show at a minimum:
(a) Name, address and contact phone number of the owner;
(b) Name, address and contact phone number of the mover, if different than the owner;
(c) Proposed route - complete with traffic control plan;
(d) Physical description of the structure, including estimated weight and dimensions;
(e) Arrangements for moving overhead obstacles;
(f) Number and configuration of hauling vehicles (tow unit, dollies, etc.); and
(g) Any additional requirements outlined in this section.
(6) Will inspections be performed prior to the move? When deemed necessary, a department employee will make a visual inspection of the structure, hauling vehicles, and proposed route. The owner will provide equipment necessary for the inspection, such as a ladder, on-site. The inspection must, at a minimum:
(a) Verify dimensions of the structure, including all appurtenances, i.e., porches, eaves, etc., that could not be removed without affecting the structural integrity;
(b) Check for appropriate strapping for brick or other masonry;
(c) Verify all overhead obstacles, including traffic signals, wires, and/or mast arms have been identified and approved for movement by the region traffic engineer;
(d) Insure all dollies are not equipped with hard rubber or solid cushion rubber tires;
(e) Verify tow vehicles (a back-up vehicle may be required) have a valid certificate of inspection from the state patrol; and
(f) Determine if state forces will be required to participate in the move (state force work will be estimated and paid in advance with a billing/refund adjustment made after the move is completed).
(7) What is the maximum speed of travel for a building/house move governed by this section? The maximum speed must not exceed twenty-five miles per hour.
(8) Is there a limit to the amount of time traffic can be delayed? Time allotted for traffic delays will be at department discretion, but must not exceed five minutes.
(9) Is there consideration for emergency vehicles? Reasonable accessibility for emergency vehicles navigating around the move must be maintained.
(10) Must the applicant notify the state patrol of the move? The applicant must notify the state patrol forty-eight hours in advance of the scheduled move. The notification must provide the state patrol with the time of the move and the route. The region may also require the applicant to contract, at applicant expense, with the state patrol to assist with traffic control.
(11) What precautions must be taken regarding railroad crossings? If railroad tracks are to be crossed, the applicant must notify the appropriate railroad company of the move. Contact information must be obtained in order to communicate with the railroad immediately prior to accessing the crossing to ensure safe passage. This information must be part of the traffic control plan submitted with the application.
Additionally, each crossing must have a pretrip analysis to assure vehicle(s) will clear the grade crossing.
(12) Is there an insurance requirement for the mover of the structure? The permit applicant must provide proof of insurance in the following amounts:
(a) Commercial operators must have at least seven hundred fifty thousand dollars of liability insurance; and
(b) Noncommercial operators must have at least three hundred thousand dollars of liability insurance.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 46.44.090
. WSR 05-04-053, § 468-38-360, filed 1/28/05, effective 2/28/05; WSR 93-04-071 (Order 136), § 468-38-360, filed 1/29/93, effective 3/1/93; WSR 82-18-010 (Order 31, Resolution No. 156), § 468-38-360, filed 8/20/82. Formerly WAC 468-38-440. Statutory Authority: 1977 ex.s. c 151. WSR 79-01-033 (DOT Order 10 and Comm. Order 1, Resolution No. 13), § 468-38-360, filed 12/20/78. Formerly WAC 252-24-363.]
(1) What are the criteria that defines a superload in Washington state? A superload is any nondivisible load that exceeds two hundred thousand pounds and/or exceeds outside dimensions of sixteen feet in height, or sixteen feet in width or have a trailing unit(s) plus load in excess of one hundred twenty-five feet in length.
(2) Will a special permit applicant need to provide additional lead-time for processing the superload application?
Pursuant to RCW 46.44.091
(5), applicants attempting to move loads in excess of two hundred thousand pounds must submit their application at least thirty calendar days in advance of the proposed move. Applicants that are attempting to move a load that does not meet the weight criteria for a superload but does meet the dimensional criteria must submit their application at least seven calendar days before the proposed move. All applications must be submitted in written form. Electronic submissions are considered as written format. These lead-times are necessary to allow the department sufficient time to perform an analysis of pavements and structures that would be affected by the proposed move.
(3) Are there requirements for additional information to accompany the standard application form? All, or selections from, the following information may be required as part of the standard application:
(a) Documentation that the move is in the public interest and that an alternative method of transport is not feasible.
(b) A schematic or photograph of the item to be moved, including an explanation of why it cannot be moved in smaller pieces.
(c) A schematic of the loaded vehicle(s), including axle loadings, axle spacings (measured from the center of each axle), tire sizes, number of tires per axle, and the proposed height, length and width of the configuration.
(d) A traffic control plan depicting the route and specific procedures to be followed to provide safe movement along the route, including:
(i) Identified locations where anticipated traffic delays will occur and where the delays can be allowed to clear;
(ii) Description of any lane restrictions;
(iii) How pilot/escort vehicles and flag persons will be used;
(iv) Arrangements for the movement of overhead obstacles;
(v) Identification of railroad crossings and contact information, including a pretrip analysis of each crossing to assure vehicle(s) will clear the grade;
(vi) Provisions for emergency vehicles to navigate around the configuration; and
(vii) Contact information for on-call services in case of mechanical failure (i.e., need to replace tow vehicle during movement).
(4) Will the applicant bear any of the cost of analysis performed by the department? If, due to the size of the configuration, the analysis will require a significant expenditure of department resources, the applicant may be required to share in those costs. Estimates would be provided to the applicant prior to beginning the analysis, allowing the applicant to make the decision on whether or not to proceed.
(5) If either pavements or structures are found to be inadequate, what options does the applicant have? When either the pavement or a structure on the proposed route is found to be inadequate, the permit application will be denied. The applicant must find an alternative acceptable route, or reconfigure the transported item on a vehicle(s) that can conform to the limitations of the proposed route.
(6) Will a superload require the use of pilot/escort vehicles beyond the requirements established in WAC 468-38-100(1)?
Additional pilot/escort vehicles, and/or law enforcement vehicles, may be required as a result of the dimension of the load relative to the route and the time of day the move will be made. As indicated in WAC 468-38-100
(1)(j), assignments of this nature must be authorized through the department's administrator for commercial vehicle services. The motor carrier when planning a superload move must take into consideration the potential for additional vehicles.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 46.44.090
. WSR 05-04-053, § 468-38-405, filed 1/28/05, effective 2/28/05; WSR 95-24-076, § 468-38-405, filed 12/4/95, effective 1/4/96.]
(1) What is the difference between posted bridges and restricted bridges, and how do they apply to legal and extra-legal vehicles?
(a) Posted bridges:
The department performs periodic inspections and evaluates the capacity to carry loads on all bridges on state highways. Bridges that are identified as unable to safely carry vehicles with legal weight, per RCW 46.44.041
, must be posted (signed) with the maximum weight limits. Applications for extra-legal weight moves that exceed a posted bridge limit on the requested route will be returned to the applicant by the department. The applicant may change the vehicle configuration to comply with the posted limit or change the proposed route. Vehicles that exceed the posted load limit must not cross the bridge.
(b) Restricted bridges:
Most bridges on state highways can safely carry legal vehicle weights, per RCW 46.44.041
; however, some bridges may not be capable of carrying extra-legal weights, provided for in RCW 46.44.091
. The department, based on periodic inspections and evaluations, may determine that a vehicle cannot safely cross a bridge at extra-legal weights. As a result, the department must restrict axle weights on the identified bridges. These restrictions are not posted on the bridge, but are disclosed to the special permit applicant during the permitting process. Applications that exceed a bridge restriction on the requested route are returned to the applicant by the department. The applicant may change the vehicle configuration to comply with the restriction or change the proposed route. Vehicles with extra-legal weight authorized by special permit must comply with any bridge restriction noted on the permit. A violation of any restriction will cause the special permit to become null and void.
(2) Is there a published list of posted and restricted bridges? Yes. The department publishes and maintains both lists on the department's web site. A hard copy is also available upon request, but has limited value due to the frequency of changes.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 46.44.090
. WSR 05-04-053, § 468-38-420, filed 1/28/05, effective 2/28/05; WSR 82-18-010 (Order 31, Resolution No. 156), § 468-38-420, filed 8/20/82. Statutory Authority: 1977 ex.s. c 151. WSR 79-01-033 (DOT Order 10 and Comm. Order 1, Resolution No. 13), § 468-38-420, filed 12/20/78. Formerly WAC 252-24-381.]
Permitting for emergency responses.
(1) What constitutes an emergency? The term "emergency," as used in this section, shall mean an event or set of circumstances that meet the following criteria:
(a) Demand immediate action to preserve public health, protect life, protect public property, or to provide relief to any stricken community overtaken by such occurrences; or
(b) Reaches such a degree of destructiveness as to warrant the governor declaring a "state of emergency."
Notification will normally come to the department from the public agency responsible for responding to the emergency, but may also be made by a utility or railroad entity when applying for a permit.
(2) Do oversize and/or overweight vehicles responding to an emergency require a special motor vehicle permit?
Yes. RCW 46.44.090
provides for the authorization to move oversize or overweight vehicles by special permit only after application and good cause being shown. "Good cause," in the event of an emergency, is interpreted to mean that by issuing a special motor vehicle permit to a responding oversize and/or overweight vehicle it is reasonable to assume that said vehicle will provide relief of the conditions causing the declaration of emergency.
(3) Why is acquiring a permit important for emergency responders?
The infrastructure was designed to be used by vehicles that fall within the specific size and weight parameters of RCW 46.44.010
. Vehicles exceeding these parameters must be screened to determine if they can safely move on a specific route given their over-dimension or overweight status. A permit provides for the authorization and may also contain any restrictions or special conditions that apply to the overlegal vehicle using a specific route.
(4) What processes are available for acquiring a permit in an emergent situation? Application for emergency permits can be requested directly from the office of motor carrier services during normal business hours Monday through Friday. During nonbusiness hours requests must be submitted through one of the department's traffic management centers (TMCs). Contact information and specific procedures will be maintained, and posted electronically, by the office of motor carrier services. Certain carriers that perform emergency response on a routine basis may contact the office of motor carrier services to explore other permitting options.
(5) Are there specific compliance requirements for obtaining an emergency special motor vehicle permit?
Yes. The emergency must be verifiable through the entity declaring the emergency. The vehicle configuration to be permitted must comply with all size and weight criteria for permitted moves as provided in chapter 46.44
RCW and chapter 468-38
WAC, except for WAC 468-38-175
Highway travel restrictions—Days, times and highway use subsections (1), (2), (3) and (6).
[Statutory Authority: RCW 46.44.090
. WSR 06-12-036, § 468-38-425, filed 5/31/06, effective 7/3/06.]