Truck Size and Weight Changes Contained in Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act of 2015

Last week, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) issued a memo providing guidance regarding the commercial motor vehicle size and weight changes included in the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act of 2015.

The following summary has been complied by OTA for the benefit of those in the membership who may be interested.

  • Bulk milk will be considered an ‘indivisible load’ allowing states to issue permits in excess of 80,000 lbs gross;
  • Tow trucks exempt from weight limits when hauling disabled vehicle from point of break-down to ‘nearest appropriate repair facility’;
  • Emergency vehicles exempt from weight limits up to 86,000 lbs gross as well as specified higher axle weight limits;
  • Natural gas vehicles have gross weight increased by the additional weight of the natural gas tank and fueling system up to a maximum of 82,000 lbs.  Canada’s MoU already allows 5-axle combinations 87,000 lbs gross, so this should not  present any compatibility issues for MoU and SPIF vehicles.   There may be an impact for a natural gas non-SPIF vehicle operating into Ontario (such as a 6×2 tractor/48’ trailer combination) as their weight is capped at 36,500 kg (80,500 lbs) in Ontario.
  • Tow-away trailer deliveries of 2 light or medium empty trailers (presumably horse trailers/utility trailers/RVs, etc) allowed overall length up to 82’ provided gross weight does not exceed 26,000 lbs;
  • Stinger–steer auto haulers overall length increased to 80’ from 75’ (Ontario/MoU allows 82’), front overhang increased to 4’ from 3’ (Ontario/MoU allows 1.0m or 3.3’) and rear overhang increased to 6’ from 4’ (Ontario/MoU allows 1.2m or 4’).  Auto haulers will also be allowed to haul general freight as a backhaul.  Ontario and other provinces may have to review front and rear overhang as Canadian limits are now more restrictive than US, although the additional overhang may cause excessive front and rear swing-out which would present Canadian regulators with a challenge.  Other than in Ontario, stinger-steer auto haulers generally travel under permits as per MoU guidelines and are usually specific to the haulage of autos (ie. depending how permit is worded, they are unlikely to be allowed to carry a backhaul).  Ontario authorizes these vehicles under SPIF regulation and allows unrestricted haulage of general freight (typically small boats, tent trailers, etc), although extra allowances for overall length, rear tractor overhang and height only apply when hauling automobiles.

For a complete version of the memo, please this PDF link: 160224 – FAST Act Provisions for VWD – Summary

OTA members with additional questions can contact weights&

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