Click below for summaries of current regulatory issues and their status.

leaf.gif (1310 bytes) Haulers of roundwood, wood chips, sawdust, mulch or tree bark - Haulers can carry an additional 4,000 lbs gross if the tandem axle weights do not exceed 42,000 lbs and the single axle weight does not exceed 20,000 lbs. Travel with additional weight prohibited on interstate highways, posted light-traffic roads and
posted bridges. This law replaces a similar allowance granted by special DOT permits and is effective as of Sept. 30, 2002.


leaf.gif (1310 bytes) Truck Weight Tolerance - Commercial vehicles have a 10% tolerance over the stated federal bridge formula on non-interstate road systems. Tolerance applies to gross weight and inner axle groups but does not allow tolerance above the 20,000 pound single axle weight, 38,000 pound tandem axle weight and the 80,000 pound gross weight limit. Regardless of the tolerance the maximum gross weight must not exceed the licensed weight of the vehicle.


leaf.gif (1310 bytes) Half-priced Weight Penalties - Forest products moving from the point of origin in woodlands to the first market have a half-priced penalty schedule.


leaf.gif (1310 bytes) Hazmat Transportation Registration Guide - Any operation that is carrying liquids in a bulk container of more that 119 gallons must register with the Research and Special Programs of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.  Diesel Fuel, either off road or highway, is a class III combustible hazardous material.

leaf.gif (1310 bytes) Light Traffic Roads - Two Way Out Provision - Forest product haulers may travel from the point of origin on a "light traffic" road to a "normally weighted" road using either one of two of the shortest possible routes.


leaf.gif (1310 bytes) Load Lights and Flags - Either amber or red load lights may be used on extended loads (more than 4 feet extending past rear of trailer) during night and low visibility conditions. Either an orange or red load flag of no less than 12 inches by 12 inches may be used on extended loads.


leaf.gif (1310 bytes) Load Securement Standards - Log loads must have a substantial binder or tie-down assembly for every ten linear feet of load. The USDOT Motor Carrier regulations do not specifically address log trailers as specialized vehicles. Work is currently underway to clarify the regulations and allow a provision for recognizing the role of trailer upright standards and bunk assemblies in preventing loads for shifting and falling.


leaf.gif (1310 bytes) Mud on Public Highways - Wet ground and heavy trucks during logging and site preparation activities equals mud problems. Loggers are responsible for maintaining a clean entrance and exit from the woods to public highways.


leaf.gif (1310 bytes) Overweight/Overwidth/Overheight/Overlength Permits - Interstate and non-interstate highways carry different maximum rig lengths and maximum widths although legal maximum height is the same at 13.5 feet for any road. Combination unit (tractor and trailer) length limits are 60 feet and 53 feet for interstate and non-interstate roads respectively. Legal widths are 8 feet on interstates and 8.5 feet on non-interstates. Weight limits are based on the Federal bridge formula and can not exceed 80,000 pounds on the longest allowable rigs. A single trip permit can be requested for special loads for a $10.00 fee. Application can be made to the NCDOT Permit Unit (919) 733-3915, fax (919) 733-6948


leaf.gif (1310 bytes) Processed versus Unprocessed Defined - Forest products for purposes of state highway regulations do not carry a "processed" designation when moving from the woodlands to first market. This qualifies in-woods chip transport for half-priced weight penalties and ability to use two ways out on "light traffic" roads.


leaf.gif (1310 bytes) Reflective Tape - All tractor trailers are required by the USDOT to have reflective tape along 50 percent of the sides and 100 percent of the back.


leaf.gif (1310 bytes) Truck Safety Regulations - Commercial vehicle regulations became effective on 12/1/99 that allow for:
  • fines for out-of-service violationsviolation of state law to possess alcoholic beverages either open or closed in the cab of the commercial vehicleminimum fine of $250 for speeding in work zonesminimum vehicle liability insurance of $750,000any law enforcement officers may cross highway mediansincrease driver license points for violations
  • doubling of fines for moving violations