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Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) Truck Size and Weight Provisions

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Questions and Answers Full List [Updated December 7, 2016]

U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration

Memorandum


Subject: Information: Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) Truck Size and Weight Provisions Date: February 24, 2016
From: Jeffrey A. Lindley [Signature on file]
Associate Administrator for Operations
In Reply Refer To:
HOFM
To: Division Administrators
Directors of Field Services
Director of Technical Services Lands Highway (HFL-1)
Empty Cell

On December 4, 2015, the President signed into law the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) (P.L. 114-94), which authorized Federal surface transportation programs for five fiscal years (FY 2016-2020). This memorandum provides guidance on the following FAST Act truck size and weight provisions: Milk Products (Sec. 1409), Interstate Weight Limits (Sec. 1410), Emergency Route Working Group (Sec. 5502), Additional State Authority (Sec. 5516), Automobile Transporter (Sec. 5520), Commercial Delivery of Light- and Medium-Duty Trailers (Sec. 5523), and a Report to Congress (Sec. 5525) relating to the safety and enforcement impacts of several commercial motor vehicle provisions. The effective date of the amendments made in the FAST Act is October 1, 2015 unless otherwise specified. References to the "date of enactment" are to December 4, 2015.

Division Offices should take notice that the truck size and weight provisions of the FAST Act may affect States' compliance with 23 CFR 650 Subpart C, the National Bridge Inspection Standards. Of particular importance are the potential impacts on bridge load rating and posting requirements. Division Offices should work with the States to determine whether the FAST Act's weight limit changes will require bridges to be re-rated and posted (restricted) with respect to the maximum load-carrying capacity in accordance with 23 CFR 650 Subpart C.

If you have any questions, please contact Crystal Jones of the Office of Operations at 202-366-2976, or Lubin Gao of the Office of Infrastructure at 202-366-4604.

Attachment

FAST ACT TRUCK SIZE AND WEIGHT PROVISIONS

  1. BACKGROUND
  2. GOVERNING AUTHORITIES
  3. DESCRIPTION OF FAST ACT TRUCK SIZE AND WEIGHT PROVISIONS
  4. TERMS AND DEFINITIONS
  5. QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
  1. BACKGROUND

    Section 127 of title 23 of the United States Code establishes weight limitations for vehicles operating on the Interstate System. The maximum weight limitations are: 20,000 pounds on a single axle; 34,000 pounds on a tandem axle; and 80,000 pounds gross weight, or the maximum allowed by the Federal Bridge Formula. Section 127 states that the overall gross weight may not exceed 80,000 pounds, including all enforcement tolerances, except for those vehicles and loads which cannot be easily dismantled or divided, and have been issued permits in accordance with applicable State laws. [23 U.S.C. 127(a)]

    Sections 31111, 31112, 31113 and 31114 of title 49 of the United States Code establish limitations with respect to: length, property carrying units, width, and reasonable access for vehicles operating on the National Network (NN).

  2. GOVERNING AUTHORITIES

    The following United States Code provisions are applicable to truck size and weight provisions under the FAST Act:

    1. 23 U.S.C. 127 – Vehicle weight limitations – Interstate System
    2. 49 U.S.C. 31111 – Length limitations
    3. 49 U.S.C. 31112 – Property-carrying unit limitation
    4. 49 U.S.C. 31113 – Width limitation
    5. 49 U.S.C. 31114 – Access to the Interstate System
  3. DESCRIPTION OF FAST ACT TRUCK SIZE AND WEIGHT PROVISIONS

    Section 1409 Milk Products – The FAST Act amends 23 U.S.C. 127(a) to establish that a vehicle carrying fluid milk products shall be considered a load that cannot be easily dismantled or divided (non-divisible). States may, therefore, issue permits for such vehicles, in accordance with State law, to exceed the gross weight limit of 80,000 pounds or the maximum weight allowed by the Federal Bridge Formula. [23 U.S.C. 127(a)(13)]

    Section 1410 Interstate Weight Limits – The FAST Act amends 23 U.S.C. 127 with respect to the following types of vehicles on the Interstate System:

    • Covered Heavy-Duty Tow and Recovery Vehicles – A "Covered Heavy-Duty Tow and Recovery Vehicle" means a vehicle that is transporting a disabled vehicle from the place where the vehicle became disabled to the nearest appropriate repair facility; and has a gross vehicle weight that is equal to or exceeds the gross vehicle weight of the disabled vehicle being transported. The weight limitations under 23 U.S.C. 127 do not apply to a covered heavy-duty tow and recovery vehicle. [23 U.S.C. 127(m)]
    • Operation of Vehicles on Certain Highways in the State of Texas – If any segment in the State of Texas of United States Route 59, United States Route 77, United States Route 281, United States Route 84, Texas State Highway 44, or another roadway is designated as Interstate Route 69, a vehicle that could operate legally on that segment before the date of the designation may continue to operate on that segment, without regard to any requirement under 23 U.S.C. 127. [23 U.S.C. 127(n)]
    • Certain Logging Vehicles in the State of Wisconsin – The U.S. DOT must waive, with respect to a "covered logging vehicle," the application of any vehicle weight limit established under 23 U.S.C. 127. A covered logging vehicle means a vehicle that: is transporting raw or unfinished forest products, including logs, pulpwood, biomass, or wood chips; has a gross vehicle weight of not more than 98,000 pounds; has not less than 6 axles; and is operating on a segment of Interstate Route 39 in the State of Wisconsin from mile marker 175.8 to mile marker 189. [23 U.S.C. 127(o)]
    • Operation of Certain Specialized Vehicles on Certain Highways in the State of Arkansas – If any segment of United States Route 63 between the exits for highways 14 and 75 in the State of Arkansas is designated as part of the Interstate System, the single axle weight, tandem axle weight, gross vehicle weight, and bridge formula limits under 23 U.S.C. 127(a), and the width limitation under 49 U.S.C. 31113(a), shall not apply to that segment with respect to the operation of any vehicle that could operate legally on that segment before the date of the designation. [23 U.S.C. 127(p)]
    • Certain Logging Vehicles in the State of Minnesota – The U.S. DOT must waive, with respect to a "covered logging vehicle," the application of any vehicle weight limit established under 23 U.S.C. 127. A covered logging vehicle means a vehicle that: is transporting raw or unfinished forest products, including logs, pulpwood, biomass, or wood chips; has a gross vehicle weight of not more than 99,000 pounds; has not less than 6 axles; and is operating on a segment of Interstate Route 35 in the State of Minnesota from mile marker 235.4 to mile marker 259.552. [23 U.S.C. 127(q)]
    • Emergency Vehicles – A State shall not enforce against an emergency vehicle a vehicle weight limit (up to a maximum gross vehicle weight of 86,000 pounds) of less than— 24,000 pounds on a single steering axle; 33,500 pounds on a single drive axle; 62,000 pounds on a tandem axle; or 52,000 pounds on a tandem rear drive steer axle. An "emergency vehicle" means a vehicle designed to be used under emergency conditions: to transport personnel and equipment; and to support the suppression of fires and mitigation of other hazardous situations. [23 U.S.C. 127(r)]
    • Natural Gas Vehicles – A vehicle, if operated by an engine fueled primarily by natural gas, may exceed any vehicle weight limit (up to a maximum gross vehicle weight of 82,000 pounds) under 23 U.S.C 127, by an amount that is equal to the difference between: the weight of the vehicle attributable to the natural gas tank and fueling system carried by that vehicle; and the weight of a comparable diesel tank and fueling system. [23 U.S.C. 127(s)]

    Section 5502 Emergency Route Working Group – The FAST Act requires U.S. DOT to establish a working group to determine best practices for State approval of special permits for vehicles involved in emergency response and recovery. DOT will issue further information on the establishment of this group soon.

    Section 5516 Additional State Authority – The FAST Act provides South Dakota the opportunity to update and revise the routes designated as qualifying Federal-aid Primary System highways under section 31111(e) of title 49, United States Code, as long as the update shifts routes to divided highways or does not increase centerline miles by more than 5 percent and is expected to increase safety performance. FHWA plans to provide the State of South Dakota implementing guidance on this provision at a later date.

    Section 5520 Automobile Transporter – The FAST Act amends 49 U.S.C. 31111(a) by striking the word "specifically" from the definition of "automobile transporter." The FAST Act further provides that an automobile transporter shall not be prohibited from the transport of cargo or general freight on a backhaul, so long as it complies with weight limitations for a truck tractor and semitrailer combination. "Backhaul" means the return trip of a vehicle transporting cargo or general freight, especially when carrying goods back over all or part of the same route. Section 5520 also mandates that a State may not prescribe or enforce a regulation of commerce that imposes a vehicle length limitation of less than 80 feet on a stinger-steered automobile transporter with a front overhang of less than 4 feet and a rear overhang of less than 6 feet. The previous limitations were 75 feet for the overall length, and 3-foot front and 4-foot rear overhangs.

    Section 5523 Commercial Delivery of Light- and Medium-Duty Trailers – The FAST Act amends 49 U.S.C. 31111(a), to include the term "trailer transporter towing unit," which means a power unit that is not used to carry property when operating in a towaway trailer transporter combination. "Towaway trailer transporter combination" means a combination of vehicles consisting of a trailer transporter towing unit and 2 trailers or semitrailers with a total weight that does not exceed 26,000 pounds; and in which the trailers or semitrailers carry no property and constitute inventory property of a manufacturer, distributor, or dealer of such trailers or semitrailers. A State may not prescribe or enforce a regulation of commerce that has the effect of imposing an overall length limitation of less than 82 feet on a towaway trailer transporter combination. [49 U.S.C. 31111(b)(1)(H)]

    Section 5525 Report – The FAST Act requires U.S. DOT to submit to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate, and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives, a report describing the safety and enforcement impacts of sections 5520, 5521, 5522, 5523, 5524, and 7208 of the FAST Act. The report is due by December 4, 2019.

  4. TERMS AND DEFINITIONS

    Automobile transporter – Any vehicle combination designed and used for the transport of assembled highway vehicles, including truck camper units. An automobile transporter shall not be prohibited from the transport of cargo or general freight on a backhaul, so long as it complies with weight limitations for a truck tractor and semitrailer combination. [49 U.S.C. 31111(a)(1)]

    Backhaul – The return trip of a vehicle transporting cargo or general freight, especially when carrying goods back over all or part of the same route. [49 U.S.C. 31111(a)(5)]

    Bridge Formula – Congress enacted the Bridge Formula in 1975 to limit the weight-to-length ratio of a vehicle crossing a bridge. This is accomplished either by spreading weight over additional axles or by increasing the distance between axles.

    Compliance with Bridge Formula weight limits is determined by using the following formula:

    W=500[LN/(N-1)+12N+36] - Formula - W = the overall gross weight on any group of two or more consecutive axles to the nearest 500 pounds.  L = the distance in feet between the outer axles of any group of two or more consecutive axles.  N = the number of axles in the group under consideration.

    W = the overall gross weight on any group of two or more consecutive axles to the nearest 500 pounds. L = the distance in feet between the outer axles of any group of two or more consecutive axles. N = the number of axles in the group under consideration. [23 U.S.C. 127(a)(2)]

    Covered heavy-duty tow and recovery vehicle – A vehicle that is transporting a disabled vehicle from the place where the vehicle became disabled to the nearest appropriate repair facility; and has a gross vehicle weight that is equal to or exceeds the gross vehicle weight of the disabled vehicle being transported. [23 U.S.C. 127(m)]

    Emergency vehicle – A vehicle designed to be used under emergency conditions— to transport personnel and equipment; and to support the suppression of fires and mitigation of other hazardous situations. [23 U.S.C. 127(r)]

    Non-divisible – Means any load or vehicle exceeding applicable length or weight limits which, if separated into smaller loads or vehicles, would: (1) Compromise the intended use of the vehicle, i.e., make it unable to perform the function for which it was intended; (2) Destroy the value of the load or vehicle, i.e., make it unusable for its intended purpose; or (3) Require more than 8 workhours to dismantle using appropriate equipment. The applicant for a non-divisible load permit has the burden of proof as to the number of workhours required to dismantle the load. A State may (but is not required to) treat emergency response vehicles, casks designed for the transport of spent nuclear materials, and military vehicles transporting marked military equipment or material as non-divisible vehicles or loads. [23 CFR 658.5]

    Single axle weight limit – The total weight transmitted to the road by all wheels whose centers may be included between two parallel transverse vertical planes 40 inches apart, extending across the full width of the vehicle. The Federal single axle weight limit on the Interstate System is 20,000 pounds. [23CFR 658.5]

    Stinger-steered – A truck tractor semitrailer wherein the fifth wheel is located on a drop frame located behind and below the rear-most axle of the power unit. [23 CFR 658.5]

    Tandem axle weight limit – The total weight transmitted to the road by two or more consecutive axles whose centers may be included between parallel transverse vertical planes spaced more than 40 inches and not more than 96 inches apart, extending across the full width of the vehicle. The Federal tandem axle weight limit on the Interstate System is 34,000 pounds. [23 CFR 658.5]

    Towaway trailer transporter combination – A combination of vehicles consisting of a trailer transporter towing unit and 2 trailers or semitrailers— with a total weight that does not exceed 26,000 pounds; and in which the trailers or semitrailers carry no property and constitute inventory property of a manufacturer, distributor, or dealer of such trailers or semitrailers. [49 U.S.C. 31111(a)(7)]

    Tractor or truck tractor – A non-property-carrying power unit that operates in combination with a semitrailer or trailer; or power unit that carries as property motor vehicles when operating in combination with a semitrailer in transporting motor vehicles. [49 U.S.C. 31111(a)(3)]

    Trailer transporter towing unit – A power unit that is not used to carry property when operating in a towaway trailer transporter combination. [49 U.S.C. 31111(a)(6)]

  5. QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

    Milk Products (FAST Act Section 1409)

    Question 1: Are vehicles carrying fluid milk products considered non-divisible loads?

    Answer 1: Yes. The FAST Act amended Section 127(a) of title 23, United States Code, to reflect that a vehicle carrying fluid milk products shall be considered a load that cannot be easily dismantled or divided (non-divisible).

    Question 2: May States issue overweight permits for vehicles carrying fluid milk products that exceed the 80,000 pounds gross weight or the maximum Federal bridge formula limit for the Interstate System?

    Answer 2: Yes. A State may, in accordance with applicable State laws and at its discretion, issue non-divisible load permits for vehicles carrying fluid milk products.

    Question 3: Is there a maximum weight limit for a non-divisible load permit for fluid milk products?

    Answer 3: No. The FAST Act does not set a maximum weight limit. Non-divisible load permits for vehicles carrying fluid milk products should be issued in accordance with applicable State laws.

    Question 4: What guidelines can States use to determine whether and when they should issue a non-divisible load permit for vehicles carrying fluid milk products?

    Answer 4: States are responsible for establishing guidelines and conditions for the issuance of non-divisible load permits. States are encouraged to establish guidelines that consider achieving the outcomes of preventing premature deterioration of highway pavements and structures and providing a safe driving environment. States should take notice that 23 CFR 650 Subpart C requires load rating and posting (if necessary) of bridges for unrestricted routine permit loads.

    Question 5: Are there any reporting requirements associated with the issuance of a non-divisible load permit for a vehicle carrying fluid milk products?

    Answer 5: Yes. Under 23 CFR 657.9, a State's plan for vehicle size and weight enforcement must include identification of policies and practices addressing permits for overweight vehicles and loads. Administrative directives, booklets, or other written criteria shall be included in the State's enforcement plan. In addition, the annual certification described in 23 CFR 657.15 requires States to report the number of permits issued for overweight loads. Those reports must specify the number of permits issued for divisible and non-divisible loads, and whether the permits were issued on a per-trip or annual basis.

    Question 6: How do State enforcement officials determine if a vehicle is transporting fluid milk products?

    Answer 6: Roadside enforcement of this provision should be done in accordance with State procedures and guidelines established to verify non-divisible load permits. If there are no guidelines or procedures in place, verification can be accomplished through methods that include, but are not limited to, a visible inspection of the vehicle and load, or examination of shipment documentation such as a bill of lading.

    Question 7: What is an example of a vehicle carrying fluid milk products?

    Answer 7: A "Bulk Milk Hauler Pickup Tanker" (reference: U.S. Food & Drug Administration-Pasteurized Milk Ordinance 2007), is an example of a vehicle carrying fluid milk products. A "Bulk Milk Hauler Pickup Tanker" is a vehicle that transports raw milk from a farm and/or raw milk products to or from a milk plant, receiving station or transfer station.

    Interstate Weight Limits (FAST Act Section 1410)

    Question 1: What is a "Covered Heavy-Duty Tow and Recovery Vehicle?"

    Answer 1: A "Covered Heavy-Duty Tow and Recovery Vehicle" is a vehicle that is transporting a disabled vehicle from the place where the vehicle became disabled to the nearest appropriate repair facility and has a gross vehicle weight that is equal to or exceeds the gross vehicle weight of the disabled vehicle being transported.

    Question 2: Are Covered Heavy-Duty Tow and Recovery Vehicles subject to Federal weight limitations?

    Answer 2: No. The vehicle weight limitations set forth in 23 U.S.C. 127 do not apply to a covered heavy-duty tow and recovery vehicle. However, States will need to establish guidelines for the safe operation of these vehicles on Interstate highway bridges consistent with the requirements of 23 CFR 650 Subpart C on load rating and posting, and any applicable State standards on vehicle weight limitations.

    Question 3: Is a tow truck subject to the Federal weight limits when it is not transporting a disabled vehicle?

    Answer 3: Yes. A tow truck, when not transporting a disabled vehicle, is subject to the Federal weight limits under 23 U.S.C 127.

    Question 4: How will the Federal weight limits affect vehicles in the State of Texas on any segment of United States Route 59, United States Route 77, United States Route 281, United States Route 84, Texas State Highway 44, or another roadway once such segments are designated as Interstate Route 69?

    Answer 4: A vehicle that could operate legally on such a segment before the date of designation as Interstate Route 69 may continue to operate on that segment without regard to the weight requirements of 23 U.S.C. 127.

    Question 5: What is a "Covered Logging Vehicle" in the State of Wisconsin?

    Answer 5: A Covered Logging Vehicle is a vehicle that is transporting raw or unfinished forest products, including logs, pulpwood, biomass, or wood chips, has a gross vehicle weight of not more than 98,000 pounds; has no fewer than 6 axles; and is operating on a segment of Interstate Route 39 in the State of Wisconsin from mile marker 175.8 to mile marker 189.

    Question 6: Are Covered Logging Vehicles in the State of Wisconsin subject to Federal weight limitations?

    Answer 6: No. The Federal vehicle weight limitations set forth in 23 U.S.C. 127 do not apply to Covered Logging Vehicles in the State of Wisconsin.

    Question 7: What are the Federal size and weight limits for United States Route 63 between the exits for highways 14 and 75 in the State of Arkansas if any segment of this route is designated as part of the Interstate System?

    Answer 7: The single axle weight, tandem axle weight, gross vehicle weight, and Bridge Formula limits under 23 U.S.C. 127(a), and the width limitation under 49 U.S.C. 31113(a) do not apply to any such segment with respect to the operation of any vehicle that could legally operate on such segment before the designation of the route as an Interstate.

    Question 8: What are the Federal weight limits on certain logging vehicles in the State of Minnesota?

    Answer 8: A logging vehicle in the State of Minnesota is not subject to Federal weight limits if it is: transporting raw or unfinished forest products, including logs, pulpwood, biomass, or wood chips; has a gross vehicle weight of not more than 99,000 pounds; has no fewer than 6 axles; and is operating on a segment of Interstate Route 35 in the State of Minnesota from mile marker 235.4 to mile marker 259.552.

    Question 9: What is an "Emergency Vehicle"?

    Answer 9: An Emergency Vehicle is a vehicle designed to be used under emergency conditions to transport personnel and equipment to support the suppression of fires and to mitigate other hazardous situations.

    Question 10: What are the Federal weight limits for an Emergency Vehicle?

    Answer 10: A State shall not enforce against an emergency vehicle a weight limit (up to a maximum gross vehicle weight of 86,000 pounds) of less than: 24,000 pounds on a single steering axle; 33,500 pounds on a single drive axle; 62,000 pounds on a tandem axle; or 52,000 pounds on a tandem rear drive steer axle. However, States must consider these vehicle weight limits when load rating and posting highway bridges to maintain compliance with 23 CFR 650, Subpart C.

    Question 11: What is the Federal Weight Limit for Natural Gas Vehicles?

    Answer 11: A Natural Gas Vehicle, if operated by an engine fueled primarily by natural gas, may exceed any vehicle weight limit (up to a maximum gross vehicle weight of 82,000 pounds) under 23 U.S.C. 127 by an amount that is equal to the difference between: the weight of the vehicle attributable to the natural gas tank and fueling system carried by that vehicle; and the weight of a comparable diesel tank and fueling system.

    Question 12: Is the weight allowance only for Gross Vehicle Weight (up to 82,000 pounds)?

    Answer 12: No. The Single Axle, Tandem Axle and Bridge formula weights may be exceeded by an amount that is equal to the difference between: the weight of the vehicle attributable to the natural gas tank and fueling system carried by that vehicle; and the weight of a comparable diesel tank and fueling system.

    Question 13: May the weight allowance for the Idle Reduction Technology/Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) of up to 550 pounds, be added to the weight allowance for the Natural Gas Vehicle?

    Answer 13: Yes. For example, if a Natural Gas Vehicle with a 2,000-pound allowance for fuel systems has a 550 pound APU, the total weight of these allowances would be 2,550 pounds.

    Question 14: Does the weight allowance for Natural Gas Vehicles preempt State enforcement of State weight limits on all highways?

    Answer 14: No. The Natural Gas Vehicle allowance does not preempt State enforcement of State weight limits on all highways; rather, it prevents the FHWA from imposing funding sanctions if a State authorizes the additional weight limit on its Interstate system. Therefore, it remains for each State to decide whether it will allow the increased weight limits for Natural Gas Vehicles. However, a State must adhere to the provisions of 23 U.S.C. 127(s) if it chooses to allow the additional weight.

    Question 15: Are there any other programs impacted by the weight provisions of this section?

    Answer 15: The FAST Act's truck size and weight provisions may impact highway bridge and tunnel safety. Of particular importance are the potential impacts on bridge and tunnel load rating and posting. A portion of the national bridge inventory, especially those bridges originally designed for vehicular live loading lower than AASHTO HS-20, and those bridges with capacity reduced by deterioration or structural modifications, may require load posting for the additional loads allowed by the FAST Act.

    Question 16: What actions must a State take to implement these provisions?

    Answer 16: States may need to update their statutes, regulations, and procedures to implement these provisions regarding vehicle weights, as appropriate. In addition, the rating vehicles a State uses for load rating and posting calculations may need to be updated, and agencies responsible for vehicle weight enforcement and posted bridge enforcement may need to update their procedures and enforcement practices.

    Question 17: When do the new provisions take effect? Can we start implementation now?

    Answer 17: The effective date of the amendments made in the FAST Act is October 1, 2015 unless otherwise specified. References to the "date of enactment" are to December 4, 2015.

    Implementation guidance not covered in this memorandum or issues that are specific to a State, should be directed to the FHWA Division Office Truck Size and Weight Specialist in your State. A list of FHWA Division Office Truck Size and Weight Specialists is available at http://ops.fhwa.dot.gov/freight/sw/contact/index.htm#fhwa.

    Question 18: Where are resources available for Vehicle Size and Weight?

    Answer 18: FHWA has numerous resources available at http://ops.fhwa.dot.gov/freight/sw/index.htm.

    Automobile Transporter (FAST Act Section 5520)

    Question 1: May Automobile Transporters transport cargo or general freight on a backhaul?

    Answer 1: Yes. An Automobile Transporter is not prohibited from the transport of cargo or general freight on a backhaul, as long as it complies with weight limitations for a truck tractor and semitrailer combination.

    Question 2: What are the weight limitations for an Automobile Transporter hauling cargo or general freight on a backhaul?

    Answer 2: An Automobile Transporter must comply with the weight limitations for a truck tractor and semitrailer combination mandated in 23 U.S.C. 127(a).

    Question 3: What is a "backhaul"?

    Answer 3: The term "backhaul" refers to the return trip of a vehicle transporting cargo or general freight, especially when carrying goods back over all or part of the same route.

    Question 4: How may roadside enforcement officials verify a backhaul trip?

    Answer 4: Law enforcement personnel may review the bill of lading for the part of the trip that occurred prior to the backhaul.

    Question 5: What are the new provisions relating to Stinger-Steered Automobile Transporters?

    Answer 5: The FAST Act prohibits States from setting a length limitation of less than 80 feet on a stinger-steered automobile transporter. Beyond the 80-foot overall limit of the stinger-steered automobile transporter, an overhang of 4 feet in the front and 6 feet in the rear is allowed.

    Question 6: How does the provision affect reasonable access as provided in 23 CFR 658.19?

    Answer 6: Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 31114, automobile transporters have had and therefore will continue to have reasonable access to the National Network (NN). States may continue to regulate their length when no portion of a movement is on the NN.

    Question 7: Does the backhaul provision apply to all Automobile Transporters?

    Answer 7: Yes. Both Conventional Automobile Transporter Combinations and Stinger-Steered Auto Transporter Combinations may haul cargo on a backhaul.

    Question 8: What actions must a State take to implement the changes the FAST Act made to 49 U.S.C. 31111(a)?

    Answer 8: States may need to update their statutes, regulations, and procedures to implement the FAST Act changes regarding lengths and backhaul. In addition, enforcement agencies may need to update their procedures and enforcement practices.

    Commercial delivery of light- and medium-duty trailers (FAST Act Section 5523)

    Question 1: What are the length limitations of a towaway trailer transporter combination?

    Answer 1: No State may impose an overall length limitation of less than 82 feet on a towaway trailer transporter combination.

    Question 2: Are there any other limitations on a "Towaway Trailer Transporter Combination?"

    Answer 2: The "towaway trailer transporter combination" consists of a "trailer transporter towing unit" and 2 trailers or semitrailers with a total weight that does not exceed 26,000 pounds and in which the trailers or semitrailers carry no property and constitute inventory property of a manufacturer, distributor, or dealer of such trailers or semitrailers.

    Question 3: May the "trailer transporter towing unit" carry cargo?

    Answer 3: No. The "trailer transporter towing unit" is defined as a power unit that is not used to carry property when operating in a towaway trailer transporter combination.

    Question 4: Must "towaway trailer transporter combinations" be allowed access between the National Network (NN) and terminal, facilities for food, fuel, repairs and rest, and point of loading and unloading?

    Answer 4: Yes. A State may not enact or enforce a law denying reasonable access for towaway trailer transporter combinations between the NN and terminal, facilities for food, fuel, repairs and rest, and point of loading and unloading.

    Question 5: What was the previous length limit for a "towaway trailer transporter combination" type of vehicle prior to enactment of the FAST Act?

    Answer 5: Each trailer would be limited to 28 feet or 28.5 feet (if the combination was in lawful operation on December 1, 1982 and did not exceed 65 feet), unless a longer vehicle was allowed pursuant to the ISTEA Longer Combination Vehicle (LCV), and Cargo Carrying Unit Freeze, required under 23 U.S.C. 127(d) (23 CFR 658, Appendix C).

    Reports (FAST Act Section 5525)

    Question 1: What consultation will the U.S. DOT do with States, State law enforcement agencies, and others to satisfy the reporting requirement in Section 5525 of the FAST Act?

    Answer 1: The FAST Act requires the U.S. DOT to submit to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives a report describing the safety and enforcement impacts of sections 5520, 5521, 5522, 5523, 5524, and 7208 of the FAST Act. The FHWA will develop a mechanism to collect safety and enforcement information for this report as part of the State enforcement plan required under 23 CFR 657.

Questions and Answers Full List [Updated December 7, 2016]

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