WSR 08-10-052



[ Filed May 2, 2008, 9:07 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 08-07-092 and 08-07-093.

Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: WAC 468-38-071 Maximums and other criteria for special permits -- Divisible, revision of the rule is to comply with a legislative revision to RCW 46.44.0915 creating a heavy haul industrial corridor on US 97 from the Canadian border to milepost 331.22 in Oroville, Washington. This industrial corridor will authorize vehicles additional weight that will reflect weight limits in Canada.

WAC 468-38-290 Farm implements, revision of the rule is to comply with a legislative revision to RCW 46.44.140 increasing the weight limit to farm implements eligible for an annual farm implement permit.

Hearing Location(s): Transportation Building, Commission Board Room, 1D2, 310 Maple Park Avenue S.E., Olympia, WA 98504, on June 10, 2008, at 9:00 a.m.

Date of Intended Adoption: June 10, 2008.

Submit Written Comments to: James L. Wright, P.O. Box 47367, Olympia, WA 98504-7367, e-mail, fax (360) 704-6350, by June 2, 2008.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Grant Heap by June 10, 2008, TTY (360) 705-7760 or (360) 705-6808.

Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: The proposal amending WAC 468-38-071 describes the requirements for vehicles using the US 97 heavy haul industrial corridor established by the legislature. The new rule addresses weight limitations reflecting Canadian weight limits that are authorized for the heavy haul corridor.

The proposal amending WAC 468-38-071 increases the weight limit for farm implements that are eligible to request an annual farm implement permit. The new rule will adopt the legislative increase to the weight limit revised in RCW 46.44.140.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: The proposed rule changes will aid in the administration and enforcement of movements of oversize farm implements utilizing annual farm permits and vehicles using the heavy haul industrial corridor on US 97. The proposed rule changes also reflect the revisions to legislative revisions to statute.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 46.44.090 and 46.44.0915.

Statute Being Implemented: SSB 6273 and SSB 6857.

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

Name of Proponent: WSDOT traffic office, commercial vehicle services, governmental.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting: Jim Wright, 7345 Linderson WA [Way] S.W., Tumwater, WA, (360) 704-6345; Implementation: Anne Ford, 7345 Linderson WA [Way] S.W., Tumwater, WA, (360) 705-7341; and Enforcement: Captain Darrin Grondel, 210 11th Street, General Administration Building, Olympia, WA, (360) 753-0350.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. The new rules adopt current state requirements of farm implements and vehicles using heavy haul corridors without material change as referenced in RCW 34.05.310 (4)(c).

A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328. There is no additional cost related to these proposals. The proposals identify the conditions for vehicles transporting loads when vehicles are issued permits pursuant to RCW 46.44.0915 and 46.44.290.

April 29, 2008

Stephen Reinmuth

Chief of Staff


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 05-04-053, filed 1/28/05, effective 2/28/05)

WAC 468-38-071   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 some very specific configurations that can receive extra length 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 his own hay from his own fields to feed his 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.

(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:

(((a))) (i) Weight on axles in excess of what is allowed in RCW 46.44.041;

(((b))) (ii) Movement during hours of the day, or days of the week, that may be restricted in WAC 468-38-175;

(((c))) (iii) Exemption from the sign requirements of WAC 468-38-155(7) if weather conditions render such signs ineffectual; and

(((d))) (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 331.22 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 331.22.

(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.

Axle Spread Pounds Kilograms
94" (2.4m) to < 118" (3.0m) 46,300 21,000
118" (3.0m) to < 141" (3.6m) 50,700 23,000
141" (3.6m) to < 146" (3.7m) 52,900 24,000

Note: 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 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Truck 36,000 (16,350) 53,000 (24,250)
Truck and

Full Trailer









Truck and Pup 56,200 (25,450) 74,000 (33,550) 91,000 (41,250) 99,800 (45,250)
Tractor and Semi 52,300 (23,700) 69,700 (31,600) 87,100 (39,500) 95,900 - 102,500*
A-Train** 92,500 (41,900) 109,800 (49,800) 118,000 (53,500) 118,000 (53,500)
B-Train** 90,000 (40,700) 107,200 (48,600) 124,600 (56,500) 137,800 (62,500)
C-Train** 92,500 (41,900) 109,800 (49,800) 120,500 (54,600) 130,000 (58,500)

*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).

[Statutory Authority: RCW 46.44.090. 05-04-053, 468-38-071, filed 1/28/05, effective 2/28/05; 98-21-019 (Order 183), 468-38-071, filed 10/13/98, effective 11/13/98; 96-23-003, 468-38-071, filed 11/7/96, effective 12/8/96.]

AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 06-07-025, filed 3/7/06, effective 4/7/06)

WAC 468-38-290   Farm implements.   (1) For purposes of issuing special 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 ((forty-five)) 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 fourteen feet high. 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 having protuberances that will not damage public highways. Implements exceeding any of these criteria must meet all appropriate requirements for special permits as referenced in other sections throughout this chapter.

(2) What dimensional criteria must be met before a special permit is required to move extra-legal farm implements? Self-propelled farm implements, including a farm tractor pulling no more than two implements, that exceeds sixteen feet in width, but less than twenty feet wide, 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 ability to acquire a special permit to move oversize farm implements be affected if the implement(s) is carried on another vehicle? The ability to use 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 fourteen feet; or

(c) The loaded farm implement causes the hauling vehicle to exceed legal weight limits. The farm implement may weigh up to forty-five thousand pounds; however, the combined gross weight of implement and hauling unit may extend to the limits established in RCW 46.44.041 Maximum gross weights -- Wheelbase and axle factors.

If any of the 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 appropriate requirements for special permits as referenced in chapter 46.44 RCW and in other sections throughout this chapter.

(4) How does the application process for a special permit for farm implements differ from the 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 a three-month period up to one year. Once approved, the special permit may be generated from the Olympia office by facsimile or a letter of authorization will be sent allowing the applicant to acquire a 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 acquire this specific special permit? The acquisition 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) Does the 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. The farm implement may only travel on highway structures that are designed to support the weight of the farm implement.

(7) Are notifications of movement required? Movements of vehicles in excess of sixteen feet wide must be communicated to all department maintenance areas affected at least eight hours in advance. Movements of implements that exceed the legal weight limit established in RCW 46.44.041 must contact all of the maintenance department areas affected at least eight hours in advance for weight restriction information. The communication is for the purpose of ensuring there will not be any planned activity or weight restrictions that would restrict the move. Locations of maintenance area offices and phone listings are provided with each letter authorizing the purchase of the special permit.

(8) What safety precautions must be taken when moving extra-legal farm implements? The movement of extra-legal farm implements must comply with the following safety requirements:

(a) Oversize load signs: If the farm implement exceeds ten feet wide, 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 must comply with any published curfew or commuter hour restrictions.

(c) Red flags: If the farm implement is moving during daylight hours, and exceeds ten feet wide, the vehicle configuration must display clean, bright red flags. The flags must measure at least twelve inches square and be able to wave freely. The 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 transporting vehicle or vehicle combination by more than four feet, one flag is required at the extreme rear. If the width of the rear overhang/protrusion exceeds two feet, there must be two flags positioned at the rear to indicate the maximum width of the overhang/protrusion.

(d) Warning lights and slow moving emblem: Lamps and other lighting must be in compliance with RCW 46.37.160. In addition to the lighting requirements, RCW 46.37.160 also 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 following criteria are met:

(i) A minimum of five hundred feet is maintained between vehicles to allow the traveling public to pass safely;

(ii) If five or more vehicles are lined up behind any one of the implements, the operator must pull off the road at the nearest point wide enough to allow the vehicles to pass safely; 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 pilot/escort vehicles with farm implements? Pilot/escort vehicles must comply with the requirements of WAC 468-38-100, except for the following specific exemptions related only to special permits for moving farm implements:

(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 escort vehicle physical description, WAC 468-38-100 (10)(f) regarding use of height measuring device, and WAC 468-38-100(11) regarding passengers, when moving a farm implement off the interstate and on the following interstate segments:

(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; and

(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) A flag person(s) may be used in lieu of a pilot/escort(s) for moves under five hundred yards. This allowance must be stated on any permit that may be required for the move.

(d) 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 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 removed immediately after the move has been completed.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 46.44.090. 06-07-025, 468-38-290, filed 3/7/06, effective 4/7/06; 05-04-053, 468-38-290, filed 1/28/05, effective 2/28/05; 00-17-060, 468-38-290, filed 8/9/00, effective 9/9/00; 00-11-038 (Order 199), 468-38-290, filed 5/10/00, effective 6/10/00; 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