Date of Adoption: February 16, 2000.
Purpose: To modify the rule covering the requirements for moving farm implements as they relate to the operation of pilot/escort vehicles. Specifically, adds farm implement dealers, and agri-chemical dealers (and employees of each) to the exemption to certain pilot/escort vehicle operational requirements.
Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 468-38-290 Farm implements.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 46.44.090.
Under RCW 34.05.350 the agency for good cause finds that immediate adoption, amendment, or repeal of a rule is necessary for the preservation of the public health, safety, or general welfare, and that observing the time requirements of notice and opportunity to comment upon adoption of a permanent rule would be contrary to the public interest.
Reasons for this Finding: The current rule places an economic hardship on the agricultural community. Enforcement of WAC 468-38-110 Escort vehicle requirements, commences April 1, 2000. Without the emergency adoption of this rule a large segment of the agricultural community will be in noncompliance and subject to enforcement action, including fines and penalties.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 1, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 1, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0. Effective Date of Rule: Immediately.
February 16, 2000
Gerald E. Smith
Deputy Secretary, Operations
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 192, filed 8/23/99, effective 9/23/99)
(1) A farm implement includes any device that directly affects the production of agricultural products, including fertilizer and chemical applicator rigs and equipment auxiliary to them. For purposes of this section, it must weigh less than forty-five thousand pounds, be less than twenty feet in width, and move on pneumatic tires, or solid rubber tracks having protuberances that will not hurt the highway, when on public highways.
(2) Self-propelled farm implements, including a farm tractor pulling no more than two implements (no vehicle capable of carrying a load may pull more than one trailing implement, i.e., a truck of any kind) up to sixteen feet wide are exempt from acquiring a special motor vehicle permit for movement: Provided, That the movement of the implement(s) complies with the following safety requirements:
(a) Oversize signs: If the farm implement exceeds ten feet wide, it must display an "oversize load" sign(s) visible to both oncoming and overtaking traffic. Signs must comply with the requirements of WAC 468-38-190. If the implement is both preceded and followed by escort vehicles a sign will not be required on the implement itself.
(b) Curfew/commuter hours: Movement of a farm implement in excess of ten feet wide must also comply with any published curfew or commuter hour restrictions.
(c) Red flags: If the farm implement, moving during daylight hours, exceeds ten feet wide, the vehicle configuration must display clean, bright red flags at least twelve inches square, so as to waive freely at all four corners, or extremities, of the overwidth implement and at the extreme ends of all protrusions, projections or overhangs. If the transported implement exceeds the end of the trailer by more than four feet, one flag is required at the extreme rear, also, if the width of the protrusion exceeds two feet, there shall be required two flags at the rear of the protrusion to indicate the maximum width.
(d) Warning lights: Lamps, and other lighting must be in compliance with RCW 46.37.160 Hazard warning lights and reflectors on farm equipment -- Slow moving vehicle emblem. The slow moving vehicle emblem is for equipment moving at a speed of twenty-five miles per hour or less.
(e) Convoys: Farm implement convoys shall maintain at least five hundred feet between vehicles to allow the traveling public room to pass safely. If five or more vehicles become lined up behind an implement, escorted or unescorted, the driver/operator of the transported implement, and escorts, if any, shall pull off the road at the first point wide enough to allow traffic to pass safely. Convoying of farm implements is permitted with properly equipped escort vehicles.
(f) Escort vehicles: In general, the use of escort vehicles must comply with WAC 468-38-110 Escort vehicle requirements and WAC 468-38-100, which covers when escort vehicles are required. The following specific exemptions are provided:
(i) A farmer ((
operating his own equipment, or operated by
his employee (to include farmers working in a cooperative effort
with their neighbors, but not to include commercial for hire
farming operations), in transport between his own fields)), farm
implement dealer, or agri-chemical dealer (including employees of
each) is exempt from WAC 468-38-110 (5)(a) and (b), (6) relative
to passengers, WAC 468-38-110 (11)(e), and (16)(a) and (b) when
(( operating)) moving a farm implement off of the interstate and
on the following rural interstate segments:
I-90 between Exit 109 (Ellensberg) and Exit 270 (Tyler);
I-82 between junction with I-90 (Ellensberg) and Exit 31 (Yakima);
I-82 between Exit 37 (Union Gap) and Exit 102 (West Richland);
I-82 between Exit 114 and the Washington/Oregon border;
I-182 between junction with I-82 (West Richland) and junction with SR-395;
I-5 between Exit 208 (near Marysville) and Exit 250 (near Bellingham).
(ii) On two-lane highways, one escort vehicle must precede the implement(s) and one escort vehicle must follow the implement(s) when the width exceeds twelve and one-half feet wide; implements not exceeding twelve and one-half feet wide are exempt from using escort vehicles.
(iii) On multiple-lane highways, one escort in the rear is required if the vehicle exceeds fourteen feet wide.
(iv) A flagperson(s) may be used in lieu of an escort(s) for moves of less than five hundred yards. This allowance must be stated on any permit that may be required for the move.
(g) Road posting: Posting a route may be used in lieu of escort vehicles if the route to be traveled is less than two miles. Signs reading "oversize vehicle moving ahead" on a square at least three feet on each side (in diamond configuration), with black lettering on orange background, shall be placed at points before the oversize implement enters or leaves the highway and at any entry points along the way. The signs must be removed immediately after the move has been completed.
(3) Farm implements exceeding sixteen feet wide, but not
more than twenty feet wide, are required to have a special motor
vehicle permit for movement on state highways. A quarterly or
annual permit may be purchased by a farmer, or any person engaged
in the business of selling and/or maintaining farm implements, to
move within a designated area, generally three to four counties. The permit is required to be physically present at the time of
movement. In addition to the safety requirements listed in
subsection (2) of this section, notification of a move ((
should be made to all (( Washington state patrol detachment
offices or)) Washington department of transportation maintenance
areas affected by the move, to determine if the route is
passable. Phone listings are provided with each permit.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 46.44.090. 99-18-019 (Order 192), § 468-38-290, filed 8/23/99, effective 9/23/99; 85-11-062 (Order 46, Resolution No. 243), § 468-38-290, filed 5/20/85; 83-16-018 (Order 39, Resolution No. 195), § 468-38-290, filed 7/25/83; 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. 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.]