WSR 99-18-019

PERMANENT RULES

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION


[ Order 192-- Filed August 23, 1999, 8:24 a.m. ]

Date of Adoption: August 20, 1999.

Purpose: To modify the rule covering the movement of oversize farm implements in order to relieve the economic hardship imposed by certain permitting requirements and escort vehicles requirements. The proposed rule provides specific exemptions for movement of farm implements.

Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 468-38-290 Farm implements.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 46.44.090.

Adopted under notice filed as WSR 99-14-047 on June 30, 1999.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 1, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 1, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 1, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.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: Thirty-one days after filing.

August 20, 1999

Gerald E. Smith

Deputy Secretary, Operations

OTS-1677.3


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 46, Resolution No. 243, filed 5/20/85)

WAC 468-38-290
Farm implements.

(1) A farm implement ((means)) 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((.  It must)), 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 ((and must be less than twenty feet wide)).

((Spray rigs including fertilizer or chemical applicator rigs or equipment auxiliary to any of these rigs are farm implements.

(2) Permits: Farm implements less than fourteen feet wide do not require a special permit for movement on state highways other than fully controlled limited access highways.

A quarterly or annual permit to move farm implements may be purchased by a farmer or by a person engaged in the business of selling or maintaining farm implements.  Such a permit or copy will allow the person or company identified on the permit to draw, drive, or haul any farm implement on state highways.

(3) Movements of oversize farm implements are subject to the following regulations:

(a) An unescorted farm implement shall travel at least five hundred feet behind other vehicles so as to allow other drivers to pass.

(b) If five or more vehicles line up behind a farm implement, the operator of the farm implement shall pull off the road at the first point wide enough to allow traffic to pass safely.

(c) Oversize farm implements may be moved only during daylight hours.  Such movements are prohibited at the times and on those days listed in WAC 468-38-230.

The department may permit movements outside daylight hours during an emergent harvest season to a company or farmer who requests and receives permission in writing.  Pilot cars are required for such movements as prescribed in subsection (4)(c) of this section.

(d) Convoying with pilot cars may be used to move farm implements.  Two-way radio equipment shall be provided to the pilot cars.

(e) Lights: Requirements for hazard warning lights visible from one thousand feet, clearance lights, reflectors, and other lights shall be as prescribed in RCW 46.37.160.

(4) Flags, signs, and escorts are required for the movement of farm implements as follows:

(a) Flags: If the farm implement is over eight and one-half feet wide, it must display red flags at least twelve inches square so as to wave freely on all four corners of the vehicle and at the extreme ends of all protrusions, projections, or overhangs.

(b) Signs: If the farm implement is over eight and one-half feet wide, oversize load signs visible to oncoming and overtaking traffic must be displayed.  These signs must meet the requirements of WAC 468-38-190.  A farm implement preceded and followed by pilot cars is not required to display such signs.

(c) Escort cars: On two-lane state highways, escort cars must precede and follow if the farm implement is over twelve and one-half feet wide.  Vehicles or loads whose width is between ten and twelve and one-half feet are exempt from having escort cars only when operating within fifty miles of the business owning the equipment.

On multiple-lane state highways, one escort car in the rear is required if vehicle or load is more than fourteen feet wide.

Other requirements for escort cars and their operation are prescribed by WAC 468-38-110.

When approval to use a flagperson instead of an escort vehicle is given, the permit shall specifically state that exemption.

(d) Posting a route may be used in lieu of escort cars 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 shall be placed at points before the oversize farm implement enters or leaves the highway and at any entry points along the way.  These signs must be removed immediately after the oversize movement has been completed.)) (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, is exempt from WAC 468-38-110 (5)(a) and (b), (6), (11)(e), and (16)(a) and (b) when operating 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 must 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.  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.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office