WSR 00-08-047



[ Filed March 31, 2000, 9:13 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 00-05-088.

Title of Rule: WAC 468-38-290 Farm implements.

Purpose: The rule provides requirements and certain exemptions for the movement of over-dimensional farm implements, as defined in RCW 46.44.130 and [46.44.]140.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 46.44.090.

Summary: The amended rule includes farm implement dealers, agri-chemical dealers, and employees of both into the exemptions for farmers from certain escort vehicle operation requirements.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: Addresses a collective farm economic hardship with minimal impact to the safety of the motoring public.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting and Implementation: Barry Diseth, Washington State Department of Transportation, Motor Carrier Services, (360) 664-9497; and Enforcement: Captain Colleen McIntyre, Washington State Patrol, Commercial Vehicle Division, (360) 753-0350.

Name of Proponent: Washington State Department of Transportation et al., governmental.

Agency Comments or Recommendations, if any, as to Statutory Language, Implementation, Enforcement, and Fiscal Matters: Consistent with statutory language. Provides minor changes to criteria for enforcement. No fiscal impact.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: The overall rule provides criteria for the movement of overdimensional farm implements as defined in RCW 46.44.130 and [46.44.]140. These rules differ in some degree to rules associated with other overdimensional rules due to the economic burden placed on the farm community to comply with the general rules. As a consequence, certain exemptions are provided to those engaged in farming activities, specifically, when permits and escort vehicles are required, and certain exemptions from escort vehicle operation requirements (size of escort vehicle passengers, and operator certification).

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: The proposal adds implement dealers, agri-chemical dealers and their employees, to the farmer in receiving exemptions. It also provides a minor adjustment to the routes where the exemptions apply, and two spelling corrections.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. Does not provide any adverse effects to small business.

RCW 34.05.328 does not apply to this rule adoption. Rule was created and now proposed for modification under RCW 46.44.090.

Hearing Location: Department of Transportation, Commission Board Room 1D2, Transportation Building, Olympia, Washington 98504, on May 9, 2000, at 8:30 a.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact TDD (800) 833-6388, by May 3, 2000.

Submit Written Comments to: Barry Diseth, Motor Carrier Services, P.O. Box 47367, Olympia, WA 98504-7367, fax (360) 664-9440, by May 3, 2000.

Date of Intended Adoption: May 9, 2000.

March 28, 2000

Gerald E. Smith

Deputy Secretary, Operations


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 192, filed 8/23/99, effective 9/23/99)

WAC 468-38-290
Farm implements.

(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)) wave 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)) Ellensburg) and Exit 270 (Tyler);

I-82 between junction with I-90 (((Ellensberg)) Ellensburg) 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)) 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.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office