General provisions relating to permits for vehicles and loads of excessive size and weight.
Single trip permits.
Annual, consecutive month or multiple trip permits.
Permits to be carried.
Words and phrases defined. 348.01(1)
Words and phrases defined in s. 340.01
are used in the same sense in this chapter unless a different definition is specifically provided.
In this chapter the following terms have the designated meanings:
"Axle" includes all wheels of a vehicle imposing weight on the highway, the centers of which are included between 2 parallel transverse vertical planes less than 42 inches apart, extending across the full width of vehicle and load.
"Certified stationary scale" means a stationary scale which is tested and inspected annually for accuracy by the department of agriculture, trade and consumer protection or other authorized testing agency in accordance with specifications, tolerances, standards and procedures established by the national institute of standards and technology and the department of agriculture, trade and consumer protection for the testing and examination of scales.
"Consecutive month permit" means a permit issued for a minimum of 3 consecutive months.
"Fender line", in the case of motor trucks, means the outermost limits of the rear fenders, flare boards or floor of the body, whichever projects outward the farthest.
"Gross weight" means the weight of a vehicle or combination of vehicles equipped for service plus the weight of any load which the vehicle or combination of vehicles may be carrying.
"Raw forest products" means logs, pilings, posts, poles, cordwood products, wood chips, sawdust, pulpwood, fuel wood and Christmas trees not altered by a manufacturing process off the land, sawmill or factory from which they are taken.
"Tandem axle" means any 2 or more consecutive axles whose centers are 42 or more inches apart and which are individually attached to or articulated from, or both, a common attachment to the vehicle including a connecting mechanism designed to equalize the load between axles.
Applicability of chapter. 348.02(1)
The provisions of this chapter restricting the size, weight and load of vehicles apply also to vehicles owned by or operated by or for a governmental agency, subject to such exceptions in this chapter.
The provisions of this chapter restricting the size and weight of vehicles apply to the vehicle and any load which it is carrying except as otherwise provided in this chapter.
Any owner of a vehicle who causes or permits such vehicle to be operated on a highway in violation of this chapter is guilty of the violation the same as if the owner had actually operated the vehicle.
The limitations on size, weight and load imposed by this chapter do not apply to road machinery actually engaged in construction or maintenance of a highway within the limits of the project.
The limitations on weight, length and number of vehicles in combination imposed by this chapter shall not apply to a combination of vehicles in an emergency towing operation in which the towing vehicle is being used to remove a stalled or disabled vehicle or combination of vehicles from the highway to the nearest adequate place for repairs, or in which the towing vehicle is an emergency truck tractor temporarily substituted for a stalled or disabled truck tractor. The vehicle owner or the owner's agent shall designate the nearest adequate place for repairs for vehicles or combinations of vehicles exceeding the statutory length limits or limits on the number of vehicles in combination.
SIZE AND LOAD
Width of vehicles. 348.05(1)(1)
No person without a permit therefor shall operate on a highway any vehicle having a total width in excess of 8 feet 6 inches, except as otherwise provided in this section.
The following vehicles may be operated without a permit for excessive width if the total outside width does not exceed the indicated limitations:
No limitation for implements of husbandry temporarily operated upon a highway in the course of performance of its work.
No limitation for snowplows operated by or for a governmental agency.
Twelve feet for farm tractors, except that the total outside width of a farm tractor shall not exceed 9 feet when operated on any Wisconsin highway, other than that portion of USH 51 between Wausau and STH 78 and that portion of STH 78 between USH 51 and the I 90/94 interchange near Portage upon their federal designation as I 39, that is a part of the national system of interstate and defense highways.
Ten feet 6 inches for snowplows attached to motor vehicles normally used for the transportation of milk.
Eight feet 8 inches for urban passenger buses.
A realistic body width of 8 feet 6 inches for mobile homes.
Nine feet for loads of tie logs, tie slabs and veneer logs, provided that no part of the load shall extend more than 6 inches beyond the fender line on the left side of the vehicle or extend more than 10 inches beyond the fender line on the right side of the vehicle. This paragraph does not apply to transport on highways designated as parts of the national system of interstate and defense highways under s. 84.29
Twelve feet for loads of hay in bales and, from September 15 to December 15 of each year, for loads of Christmas trees from the point of harvesting or staging to a Christmas tree yard or point of commercial shipment, if the total outside width of the loads do not exceed the width of a single traffic lane of any highway over which the loads are carried. This paragraph does not apply to vehicles on highways designated as parts of the national system of interstate and defense highways under s. 84.29
The secretary, by rule, shall designate safety devices which may not be included in the calculation of width under subs. (1)
. The designation of safety devices under this subsection may not be inconsistent with the safety devices designated by the U.S. secretary of transportation under P.L. 97-369
, section 321.
Farm tractors exceeding 12 feet in width and all other farm machinery and implements of husbandry exceeding 8 feet 6 inches in width not being operated in the course of performance of its work may be moved, towed or hauled over the highways without a special permit issued under s. 348.27 (14)
between one-half hour before sunrise and sunset on Mondays to Thursdays and from one-half hour before sunrise to 2 p.m. on Fridays. Such overwidth machinery shall not be moved, towed or hauled on any Wisconsin highway, other than any overwidth machinery that is not a commercial motor vehicle on that portion of USH 51 between Wausau and STH 78 and that portion of STH 78 between USH 51 and the I 90/94 interchange near Portage upon their federal designation as I 39, which is part of the national system of interstate and defense highways without a special permit issued under s. 348.27 (14)
Notwithstanding sub. (1)
, the secretary may restrict vehicles to a width of less than 8 feet 6 inches on any portion of any state or local highway if he or she deems such restriction necessary to protect the public safety. Any such restriction shall be indicated by official signs. If the secretary restricts vehicles to a width of less than 8 feet 6 inches on any local highway, the local authority in charge of maintenance shall be responsible for erecting the appropriate signs on the local highway.
See also s. Trans 276.04
, Wis. adm. code.
Height of vehicles. 348.06(1)(1)
Except as provided in sub. (2)
, no person, without a permit therefor, may operate on a highway any motor vehicle, mobile home, trailer or semitrailer having an overall height in excess of 13 1/2 feet.
Implements of husbandry of any height may be temporarily operated upon a highway without a permit for excessive height.
The limitations on total height stated in this section shall not be construed as requiring a clearance of such height or as relieving the owners of vehicles not exceeding such total height from liability for any damage.
History: 1999 a. 85
Length of vehicles. 348.07(1)(1)
No person, without a permit therefor, may operate on a highway any single vehicle with an overall length in excess of 40 feet or any combination of 2 vehicles with an overall length in excess of 65 feet, except as otherwise provided in subs. (2)
The following vehicles may be operated without a permit for excessive length if the overall length does not exceed the indicated limitations:
Forty five feet for mobile homes and motor buses.
No limitation for implements of husbandry temporarily operated upon a highway.
No overall length limitation for a tractor-semitrailer combination, a double bottom or an automobile haulaway when such tractor-semitrailer combination, double bottom or automobile haulaway is operated on a highway designated under sub. (4)
No length limitation for a truck tractor or road tractor when such truck tractor or road tractor is operated in a tractor-semitrailer combination or as part of a double bottom or an automobile haulaway on a highway designated under sub. (4)
48 feet for a semitrailer or trailer operated as part of a 2-vehicle combination, except as provided in par. (gr)
28 feet 6 inches for a semitrailer or trailer operated as part of a double bottom.
53 feet for a semitrailer whose length from kingpin to axle does not exceed 43 feet and which is operated as part of a 2-vehicle combination on a highway designated under sub. (4)
65 feet for articulated buses operated in urban areas.
58 feet for a vehicle combination consisting of a motor bus and trailer owned and operated by, and for the exclusive use of a nonprofit organization. This paragraph does not apply to trailers used for transporting recreational vehicles. As used in this paragraph, "nonprofit organization" means any organization described in section 501
(c) (3) of the internal revenue code which is exempt from federal income tax under section 501
(a) of the internal revenue code.
66 feet for an automobile haulaway plus an additional overhang of 4 feet to the front of the vehicle and 5 feet to the rear of the vehicle.
Tour trains consisting of 4 vehicles including the propelling motor vehicle may be operated as provided in s. 348.08 (1) (c)
The overall length of a mobile home shall be measured from the rear thereof to the rear of the vehicle to which it is attached.
Except as provided in subd. 2.
, the length of a semitrailer or trailer shall be measured from the front thereof to the rear of the semitrailer or trailer or cargo, whichever is longer, excluding bumpers, stake pockets, air deflectors and refrigeration units.
The length of a semitrailer operated as the first trailing unit in a double bottom consisting of a truck tractor and 2 semitrailers does not include a frame extension bearing a fifth-wheel connection by which the 2nd trailing unit is drawn unless the frame extension is more than 8 feet in length. This subdivision does not affect the measurement of length from the front of the semitrailer to the rear of the cargo.
The distance between a kingpin and semitrailer axle shall be measured as follows:
On a semitrailer having a tandem axle, from the kingpin to a point midway between the first and last axles of the tandem axle.
On a semitrailer not having a tandem axle, from the kingpin to the center of the rearmost axle.
The secretary shall, by rule, designate the highways to which sub. (2) (f)
and s. 348.08 (1) (e)
apply. The designation of highways under this subsection may not be inconsistent with the designation of highways made by the U.S. secretary of transportation under P.L. 97-424
, section 411. The secretary may also designate additional highways by rule. In adopting a rule designating other highways, which may include 2-lane highways, the secretary shall specify the factors which resulted in the determination to designate the highways. These factors shall include, but are not limited to, safety, economics, energy savings, industry productivity and competition. Vehicles to which sub. (2) (f)
and s. 348.08 (1) (e)
apply may also operate on undesignated highways for a distance of 5 miles or less in order to obtain access to a designated highway or to reach fuel, food, maintenance, repair, rest, staging, terminal or vehicle assembly facilities or points of loading or unloading. The secretary may, by rule, designate an access route of more than 5 miles from a designated highway when the longer route provides safer and better access to a location which is within the 5-mile limit. Household goods carriers may operate between highways designated in this subsection and points of loading and unloading.
As often as it deems necessary, the department shall publish maps required for its own use and for free distribution showing the highways designated under sub. (4)
and such other main highways and other features as the department deems desirable.
See also ch. Trans 276
, Wis. adm. code.
No person, without a permit therefor shall operate on a highway any motor vehicle drawing or having attached thereto more than one vehicle, except that:
Two or 3 vehicles may, without such permit, be drawn or attached when such vehicles are being transported by the drive-away method in saddlemount combination and the overall length of such combination of vehicles does not exceed 65 feet.
Two trailers used primarily as implements of husbandry in connection with seasonal agricultural activities or one such trailer and any other implement of husbandry may, without such permit, be drawn by a farm tractor if the operation of such combination of vehicles is exclusively a farming operation and not for the transportation of property for hire and if the overall length of such combination of vehicles does not exceed 60 feet.
"Tour trains," as defined in s. 340.01 (67m)
, may, without such permit, be drawn by a motor vehicle upon and along county and municipal roads and streets and across state trunk highways, and upon and along state trunk highways where there are no alternate municipal or county routes or streets for such operation. The following requirements and restrictions shall apply to "tour train" operations:
Tour trains shall operate within a radius of 10 miles from the situs of the beginning and ending of the excursion.
Tour trains shall operate only along those portions of the state trunk highway system approved by the department.
The towing vehicle shall be of such design and construction that it will safely tow the unit at speeds up to 35 m.p.h. and the towing vehicle shall in no case be a farm-type tractor, but shall be a motor vehicle originally designed and manufactured expressly for operation upon public highways.
Tour trains shall be equipped with head lamps, tail lamps, stop lamps, directional signal lamps and reflectors as provided in ch. 347
and in compliance with these provisions as if the train were a single motor vehicle.
All hitches, couplings, safety chains or cables shall be in compliance with s. 347.47
Two trailers transporting empty pressurized or nonpressurized tanks used for hauling or storing liquid agricultural fertilizer or 2 implements of husbandry, including 2 empty trailers used primarily as implements of husbandry in connection with seasonal agricultural activities, may, without such permit, be drawn by a motor truck or truck tractor if the overall length of such combination of vehicles and load does not exceed 60 feet. For purposes of this paragraph, "empty" means less than 20% full.