Indiana’s New Oversize Trucking Regulations Start July 1
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New regulations pertaining to overweight trucks are scheduled to take effect in Indiana on July 1.
The adjustments to the oversize, overweight motor carrier regulations were included in House Enrolled Act 1190, which became law in April.
The legislation removes the list of commodities and the specific weight limitations for certain goods from the definition of “overweight divisible load.” The act defines this term as a tractor-trailer and load that can be traditionally separated, meet other requirements for height, length and width, and has a gross vehicle weight of more than 80,000 pounds but fewer than 120,000 pounds.
Overweight commodity permit rules previously were extended only to certain items, such as metal and agricultural products. Gary Langston, president of the Indiana Motor Truck Association, said the steel industry is particularly huge in the state.
“The intent was to not list commodities and just say any commodity can be under the 120,000-pound law so that everybody’s treated fairly and they can move forward,” Langston told Transport Topics. “It’s good for those who want to do it.”
Under the new law, carriers can apply for overweight commodity permits for divisible loads exceeding 2.4 equivalent single-axle loads and weighing between 80,000 and 120,000 pounds. An equivalent single-axle load is the known quantifiable and standardized amount of damage to highway pavement structures equivalent to one pass of a single 18,000-pound dual tire axle, with all four tires on the axle inflated to 110 pounds per square inch.
The legislation also outlines some provisions relating to the permits and the Indiana Department of Transportation.
Upon proper application in writing, INDOT may grant a permit for transporting overweight vehicles and overweight divisible loads carrying resources on a state highway, including state-maintained routes that run through cities and towns. Such a permit may only be used on designated roads within the state highway system, and does not apply to a highway under a local authority’s jurisdiction.
A local authority may, upon proper written application, grant a permit for transporting overweight divisible loads on or over roads that are under its control.
The permit also may designate the route to be traversed and present other restrictions for the movement of the vehicle. Deviation from that route would be a violation subject to a civil penalty.
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A civil penalty will be imposed on the carrier transporting the load and shall be deposited into the state’s Motor Carrier Regulation Fund. Penalties outlined in the legislation include not more than $1,000 for the first violation and not more than $1,500 for each subsequent violation. The penalty for a carrier transporting loads subject to this law that fails to obtain an appropriate permit would be not more than $5,000 for each violation.
Also, INDOT may suspend overweight divisible load permitting if the department observes unusual increases in infrastructure damage on a permitted route or the number of accidents associated with overweight divisible loads.
INDOT may not issue more than 8,500 of these permits annually for applicants with a total equivalent single-axle load calculation of more than 2.4 equivalent single-axle load credit. However, the department is allowed to temporarily increase the number of permits issued in response to an emergency or “changes in market conditions.”
No later than Oct. 1, 2021, INDOT shall recalculate and apply permit fees for annual and trip permits granted under this piece of legislation. By July 1, 2023, INDOT must submit a report to the legislative council and the Interim Study Committee on Roads and Transportation regarding the fee structure and associated recommended changes, as well as the impact of overweight divisible loads on roads.
“[INDOT] shall consider the impact of overweight divisible loads on roads and highways in recalculating permit fees,” the legislation states.
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