23 U.S.C. § 127 - Vehicle weight limitations-Interstate System

Cite as:23 U.S.C. § 127
Currency:Current through P.L. 116-259 (12/23/2020)

(a) IN GENERAL.-

(1) The Secretary shall withhold 50 percent of the apportionment of a State under section 104(b)(1) in any fiscal year in which the State does not permit the use of The Dwight D. Eisenhower System of Interstate and Defense Highways within its boundaries by vehicles with a weight of twenty thousand pounds carried on any one axle, including enforcement tolerances, or with a tandem axle weight of thirty-four thousand pounds, including enforcement tolerances, or a gross weight of at least eighty thousand pounds for vehicle combinations of five axles or more.

(2) However, the maximum gross weight to be allowed by any State for vehicles using The Dwight D. Eisenhower System of Interstate and Defense Highways shall be twenty thousand pounds carried on one axle, including enforcement tolerances, and a tandem axle weight of thirty-four thousand pounds, including enforcement tolerances and with an overall maximum gross weight, including enforcement tolerances, on a group of two or more consecutive axles produced by application of the following formula:

LN

W=500 (__________+12N+36)

N-1

where W equals overall gross weight on any group of two or more consecutive axles to the nearest five hundred pounds, L equals distance in feet between the extreme of any group of two or more consecutive axles, and N equals number of axles in group under consideration, except that two consecutive sets of tandem axles may carry a gross load of thirty-four thousand pounds each providing the overall distance between the first and last axles of such consecutive sets of tandem axles (1) is thirty-six feet or more, or (2) in the case of a motor vehicle hauling any tank trailer, dump trailer, or ocean transport container before September 1, 1989, is 30 feet or more: Provided, That such overall gross weight may not exceed eighty thousand pounds, including all enforcement tolerances, except for vehicles using Interstate Route 29 between Sioux City, Iowa, and the border between Iowa and South Dakota or vehicles using Interstate Route 129 between Sioux City, Iowa, and the border between Iowa and Nebraska, and except for those vehicles and loads which cannot be easily dismantled or divided and which have been issued special permits in accordance with applicable State laws, or the corresponding maximum weights permitted for vehicles using the public highways of such State under laws or regulations established by appropriate State authority in effect on July 1, 1956, except in the case of the overall gross weight of any group of two or more consecutive axles on any vehicle (other than a vehicle comprised of a motor vehicle hauling any tank trailer, dump trailer, or ocean transport container on or after September 1, 1989), on the date of enactment of the Federal-Aid Highway Amendments of 1974, whichever is the greater.

(3) Any amount which is withheld from apportionment to any State pursuant to the foregoing provisions shall lapse if not released and obligated within the availability period specified in section 118(b).

(4) This section shall not be construed to deny apportionment to any State allowing the operation within such State of any vehicles or combinations thereof, other than vehicles or combinations subject to subsection (d) of this section, which the State determines could be lawfully operated within such State on July 1, 1956, except in the case of the overall gross weight of any group of two or more consecutive axles, on the date of enactment of the Federal-Aid Highway Amendments of 1974.

(5) With respect to the State of Hawaii, laws or regulations in effect on February 1, 1960, shall be applicable for the purposes of this section in lieu of those in effect on July 1, 1956.

(6) With respect to the State of Colorado, vehicles designed to carry 2 or more precast concrete panels shall be considered a nondivisible load.

(7) With respect to the State of Michigan, laws or regulations in effect on May 1, 1982, shall be applicable for the purposes of this subsection.

(8) With respect to the State of Maryland, laws and regulations in effect on June 1, 1993, shall be applicable for the purposes of this subsection.

(9) The State of Louisiana may allow, by special permit, the operation of vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of up to 100,000 pounds for the hauling of sugarcane during the harvest season, not to exceed 100 days annually.

(10) With respect to Interstate Routes 89, 93, and 95 in the State of New Hampshire-

(A) State laws (including regulations) concerning vehicle weight limitations that were in effect on January 1, 1987, and are applicable to State highways other than the Interstate System, shall be applicable in lieu of the requirements of this subsection; and

(B) effective June 30, 2016, a combination of truck-tractor and dump trailer equipped with 6 axles or more with a gross weight of up to 99,000 pounds shall be permitted if the distances between the extreme axles, excluding the steering axle, is 28 feet or more.

(11)

(A) With respect to all portions of the Interstate Highway System in the State of Maine, laws (including regulations) of that State concerning vehicle weight limitations applicable to other State highways shall be applicable in lieu of the requirements under this subsection.

(B) With respect to all portions of the Interstate Highway System in the State of Vermont, laws (including regulations) of that State concerning vehicle weight limitations applicable to other State highways shall be applicable in lieu of the requirements under this subsection.

(12) HEAVY DUTY VEHICLES.-

(A) IN GENERAL.-Subject to subparagraphs (B) and (C), in order to promote reduction of fuel use and emissions because of engine idling, the maximum gross vehicle weight limit and the axle weight limit for any heavy-duty vehicle equipped with an idle reduction technology shall be increased by a quantity necessary to compensate for the additional weight of the idle reduction system.

(B) MAXIMUM WEIGHT INCREASE.-The weight increase under subparagraph (A) shall be not greater than 550 pounds.

(C) PROOF.-On request by a regulatory agency or law enforcement agency, the vehicle operator shall provide proof (through demonstration or certification) that-

(i) the idle reduction technology is fully functional at all times; and

(ii) the 550-pound gross weight increase is not used for any purpose other than the use of idle reduction technology described in subparagraph (A).

(13) MILK PRODUCTS.-A vehicle carrying fluid milk products shall be considered a load that cannot be easily dismantled or divided.

(b) REASONABLE ACCESS.-No State may enact or enforce any law denying reasonable access to motor vehicles subject to this title to and from the Interstate Highway System to terminals and facilities for food, fuel, repairs, and rest.

(c) OCEAN TRANSPORT CONTAINER DEFINED.-For purposes of this section, the term "ocean transport container" has the meaning given the term "freight container" by the International Standards Organization in Series 1, Freight Containers, 3rd Edition (reference number IS0668-1979(E)) as in effect on the date of the enactment of this subsection.

(d) LONGER COMBINATION VEHICLES.-

(1) PROHIBITION.-

(A) GENERAL CONTINUATION RULE.-A longer combination vehicle may continue to operate only if the longer combination vehicle configuration type was authorized by State officials pursuant to State statute or regulation conforming to this section and in actual lawful operation on a regular or periodic basis (including seasonal operations) on or before June 1, 1991, or pursuant to section 335 of the Department of Transportation and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1991 (104 Stat. 2186).

(B) APPLICABILITY OF STATE LAWS AND REGULATIONS.-All such operations shall continue to be subject to, at the minimum, all State statutes, regulations, limitations and conditions, including, but not limited to, routing-specific and configuration-specific designations and all other restrictions, in force on June 1, 1991; except that subject to such regulations as may be issued by the Secretary pursuant to paragraph (5) of this subsection, the State may make minor adjustments of a temporary and emergency nature to route designations and vehicle operating restrictions in effect on June 1, 1991, for specific safety purposes and road construction.

(C) WYOMING.-In addition to those vehicles allowed under subparagraph (A), the State of Wyoming may allow the operation of additional vehicle configurations not in actual operation on June 1, 1991, but authorized by State law not later than November 3, 1992, if such vehicle configurations comply with the single axle, tandem axle, and bridge formula limits set forth in subsection (a) and do not exceed 117,000 pounds gross vehicle weight.

(D) OHIO.-In addition to vehicles which the State of Ohio may continue to allow to be operated under subparagraph (A), such State may allow longer combination vehicles with 3 cargo carrying units of 28½ feet each (not including the truck tractor) not in actual operation on June 1, 1991, to be operated within its boundaries on the 1-mile segment of Ohio State Route 7 which begins at and is south of exit 16 of the Ohio Turnpike.

(E) ALASKA.-In addition to vehicles which the State of Alaska may continue to allow to be operated under subparagraph (A), such State may allow the operation of longer combination vehicles which were not in actual operation on June 1, 1991, but which were in actual operation prior to July 5, 1991.

(F) IOWA.-In addition to vehicles that the State of Iowa may continue to allow to be operated under subparagraph (A), the State may allow longer combination vehicles that were not in actual operation on June 1, 1991, to be operated on Interstate Route 29 between Sioux City, Iowa, and the border between Iowa and South Dakota or Interstate Route 129 between Sioux City, Iowa, and the border between Iowa and Nebraska.

(2) ADDITIONAL STATE RESTRICTIONS.-

(A) IN GENERAL.-Nothing in this subsection shall prevent any State from further restricting in any manner or prohibiting the operation of longer combination vehicles otherwise authorized under this subsection; except that such restrictions or prohibitions shall be consistent with the requirements of sections 31111-31114 of title 49.

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