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348.15(1)(1) In this section "class `A' highway" includes all state trunk highways and connecting highways and those county trunk highways, town highways and city and village streets, or portions thereof, that have not been designated as class "B" highways pursuant to s. 349.15.
348.15(3) (3) Subject to any modifications made by a 1st class city under s. 349.15 (3) and except as provided in s. 348.17 (5) or (6), no person, without a permit, may operate on a class "A" highway any vehicle or combination of vehicles unless the vehicle or combination of vehicles complies with the following weight limitations:
348.15(3)(a) (a) The gross weight imposed on the highway by any one wheel or multiple wheels supporting one end of an axle may not exceed 11,000 pounds.
348.15(3)(b) (b) The gross weight imposed on the highway by the wheels of any one axle may not exceed 20,000 pounds. In addition, the gross weight imposed on the highway by the wheels of the steering axle of a truck tractor may not exceed 13,000 pounds unless the manufacturer's rated capacity of the axle and the tires is sufficient to carry the weight, but not to exceed 20,000 pounds.
348.15(3)(bg) (bg) In the case of a vehicle or combination of vehicles transporting exclusively milk from the point of production to the primary market and the return of dairy supplies and dairy products from such primary market to the farm, the gross weight imposed on the highway by the wheels of any one axle may not exceed 21,000 pounds or, for 2 axles 8 or less feet apart, 37,000 pounds or, for groups of 3 or more consecutive axles more than 9 feet apart, a weight of 2,000 pounds more than is shown in par. (c), but not to exceed 80,000 pounds. This paragraph does not apply to the national system of interstate and defense highways, except for 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.
348.15(3)(br) (br) In the case of a vehicle or combination of vehicles transporting exclusively peeled or unpeeled forest products cut crosswise or in the case of a vehicle or combination of vehicles transporting exclusively scrap metal, the gross weight imposed on the highway by the wheels of any one axle may not exceed 21,500 pounds or, for 2 axles 8 or less feet apart, 37,000 pounds or, for groups of 3 or more consecutive axles more than 9 feet apart, a weight of 4,000 pounds more than is shown in par. (c), but not to exceed 80,000 pounds. This paragraph does not apply to the national system of interstate and defense highways, except for 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.
348.15(3)(bv) (bv) In the case of a vehicle or combination of vehicles used primarily for the transportation of septage, as defined in s. 281.49 (1) (m), the gross weight imposed on the highway by the wheels of any one axle may not exceed 21,500 pounds or, for 2 axles 8 or less feet apart, 37,000 pounds or, for groups of 3 or more consecutive axles more than 9 feet apart, a weight of 4,000 pounds more than is shown in par. (c) or, for groups of 4 or more consecutive axles more than 10 feet apart, a weight of 6,000 pounds more than is shown in par. (c) or, for groups of 5 or more consecutive axles more than 14 feet apart, a weight of 7,000 pounds more than is shown in par. (c), but not to exceed 80,000 pounds. This paragraph does not apply to the national system of interstate and defense highways, except for 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.
348.15(3)(c) (c) The gross weight imposed on the highway by any group of 2 or more consecutive axles of a vehicle or combination of vehicles may not exceed the maximum gross weights in the following table for each of the respective distances between axles and the respective numbers of axles of a group: [See Figure 348.15 (3) (c) following] - See PDF for table PDF
348.15(3)(d) (d) Notwithstanding par. (c), 2 consecutive sets of tandem axles may impose on the highway a gross load of 34,000 pounds each if the overall distance between the first and last axles of such consecutive sets of tandem axles is 36 feet or more.
348.15(3)(e) (e) Notwithstanding pars. (a), (b) and (c), in the case of a vehicle or combination of vehicles transporting exclusively livestock, the gross weight imposed on the highway by the wheels of any one axle or axle group may exceed the applicable weight limitation specified in pars. (a), (b) and (c) by 15% if the gross weight of the vehicle or combination of vehicles does not exceed the maximum gross weight specified for that vehicle or combination of vehicles under par. (c). This paragraph does not apply to the national system of interstate and defense highways, except for 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.
348.15(3)(f)1.1. In this paragraph:
348.15(3)(f)1.a. a. "Heavy-duty vehicle" has the meaning given in 42 USC 16104 (a) (4).
348.15(3)(f)1.b. b. "Idle reduction technology" has the meaning given in 42 USC 16104 (a) (5).
348.15(3)(f)2. 2. Notwithstanding pars. (a) to (c), sub. (4), and ss. 348.17 and 349.16, and subject to subd. 3., in the case of a heavy-duty vehicle equipped with idle reduction technology, the gross weight of the vehicle, and the gross weight imposed on the highway by the wheels of any one axle or axle group of the vehicle, may exceed the applicable weight limitation specified in pars. (a) to (c) or posted as provided in s. 348.17 (1) by not more than 400 pounds or the weight of the idle reduction technology, whichever is less.
348.15(3)(f)3. 3. This paragraph applies only if the heavy-duty vehicle operator, upon request, proves, by written certification, the weight of the idle reduction technology and, by demonstration or certification, that the idle reduction technology is fully functional at all times.
348.15(4) (4) Notwithstanding the possibility of increased weight on a particular wheel or axle or group of axles due to practical operating problems, including, but not limited to, accumulation of snow, ice, mud or dirt, the use of tire chains or minor shifting of load, the maximum weights set forth in sub. (3) include absolutely all weights allowable.
348.15(5) (5) For enforcement of weight limitations specified by this chapter the gross weight, measured in pounds, imposed on the highway by any wheel or any one axle or by any group of 2 or more axles shall be determined by weighing the vehicles and load, either by single draft or multiple draft weighing on certified stationary scales or on portable scales in good working order which are tested in comparison to certified stationary scales within 180 days immediately prior to any weighing operation by the department of agriculture, trade and consumer protection or other authorized testing agencies for accuracy to within standard accepted tolerances. The weighing operation shall be performed in accordance with and under conditions accepted as good weighing technique and practice. In multiple draft weighing the sum of the weight of respective components shall be used to establish the weight of a combination of the components. It is recognized that the weight, determined in accordance with methods prescribed in this chapter, includes all statutory weights and represents the momentary load force or reaction imposed on the scale at the time of weighing. Such weights include any variation due to the following factors:
348.15(5)(a) (a) Positioning or tilt of the vehicle on the scale platform and adjacent bearing surface;
348.15(5)(b) (b) Momentary position of axle centers with respect to wheel bearings and vehicle body;
348.15(5)(c) (c) Temporary distribution of loading on the wheel or axle; and
348.15(5)(d) (d) Miscellaneous variable factors of spring flexure, shackle friction, clutch engagement, brake pressure, tire compression and other variable factors.
348.15(5m) (5m) The distances between axles and between the foremost and rearmost of a group of axles shall be measured between axle centers to the nearest even foot, and when a fraction is exactly one-half foot, the nearest larger whole number shall be used.
348.15(5r) (5r) Irrespective of sub. (5), in determining overweight under sub. (3) the results of weighing by means of either portable scales or certified stationary scales shall be admissible as evidence. In all cases where a vehicle is weighed on a certified stationary scale, axles less than 6 feet apart shall be weighed as one unit.
348.15(6) (6) At any state weighing scale where a vehicle is found overloaded, the driver may request its reweighing at the same scale. Upon reweighing the state officials shall supply the tabulated weight ticket to the driver. All weight tickets for any vehicle shall be supplied to the court in case the matter goes to trial.
348.15(8) (8) Unless the department provides otherwise by rule, any axle of a vehicle or combination of vehicles which does not impose on the highway at least 8% of the gross weight of the vehicle or combination of vehicles may not be counted as an axle for the purposes of sub. (3) (c).
348.15 Annotation If a tractor-trailer combination is too long and too wide for a scale, multiple weighing of the separate wheel groups is permissible. An overload permit is to be disregarded if the total weight exceeds that specified in the permit. State v. Trailer Service, Inc. 61 Wis. 2d 400, 212 N.W.2d 683 (1973).
348.15 Annotation Subs. (3) (b) 2, 1979 stats. [now (3) (br)] and (5r) are discussed. 62 Atty. Gen. 100.
348.16 348.16 Weight limitations on class "B" highways.
348.16(1)(1) In this section, "class `B' highway" includes those county trunk highways, town highways and city and village streets, or portions thereof, which have been designated as class "B" highways by the local authorities pursuant to s. 349.15.
348.16(2) (2) Except as provided in sub. (3) and s. 348.175 and subject to any modifications made by a city of the first class pursuant to s. 349.15 (3), no person, without a permit therefor, shall operate on a class "B" highway any vehicle or combination of vehicles imposing wheel, axle, group of axles, or gross weight on the highway exceeding 60 percent of the weights authorized in s. 348.15 (3).
348.16(3) (3) Any motor vehicle whose operation is pickup or delivery, including operation for the purpose of moving or delivering supplies or commodities to or from any place of business or residence that has an entrance on a class "B" highway, may pick up or deliver on a class "B" highway without complying with the gross vehicle weight limitations imposed by sub. (2).
348.16 History History: 1981 c. 312; 2001 a. 16; 2009 a. 177; 2011 a. 257.
348.17 348.17 Special or seasonal weight limitations.
348.17(1) (1) No person, whether operating under a permit or otherwise, shall operate a vehicle in violation of special weight limitations imposed by state or local authorities on particular highways, highway structures or portions of highways when signs have been erected as required by s. 349.16 (2) giving notice of such weight limitations, except when the vehicle is being operated under a permit expressly authorizing such weight limitations to be exceeded.
348.17(2) (2) Whenever the operator of a vehicle is ordered by the officer or agency in charge of maintenance or by a traffic officer to suspend operation of such vehicle because of the damage such vehicle is causing or likely to cause to the highway or the public investment therein, the operator shall forthwith comply with such order.
348.17(3) (3) During an energy emergency, after consultation with the department of administration, the department may waive the divisible load limitation of s. 348.25 (4) and authorize for a period not to exceed 30 days the operation of overweight vehicles having a registered gross weight of 50,000 pounds or more and carrying energy resources or fuel or milk commodities designated by the governor or a designee, regardless of the highways involved, to conserve energy. Such authorization may only allow weights not more than 10% greater than the gross axle and axle combination weight limitations, and not more than 15% greater than the gross vehicle weight limitations under ss. 348.15 and 348.16. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to permit the department to waive the requirements of ss. 348.05 to 348.07. This subsection does not apply to vehicles on highways designated as parts of the national system of interstate and defense highways, except for 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.
348.17(5) (5) From September 1 to December 31 of each year, no permit shall be required for the transportation of corn, soybeans, potatoes, vegetables, or cranberries from the field to storage on the grower's owned or leased land, from the field to initial storage at a location not owned or leased by the grower, or from the field to initial processing in a vehicle or combination of vehicles having a registered gross weight of 50,000 pounds or more or described in s. 340.01 (24) (b) that exceeds the weight limitations under s. 348.15 by not more than 15 percent. This subsection does not apply to the national system of interstate and defense highways, except for that portion of I 39 between USH 51 and I 90/94.
348.17(6) (6)
348.17(6)(a)(a) From September 1 to December 31 of each year, no permit shall be required for the transportation of manure to or from a farm in a vehicle or combination of vehicles that exceeds the weight limitations under s. 348.15 by not more than 15 percent and that satisfies any of the following:
348.17(6)(a)1. 1. Has a registered gross weight of 50,000 pounds or more.
348.17(6)(a)2. 2. Is described in s. 340.01 (24) (b).
348.17(6)(a)3. 3. Is an implement of husbandry as defined in s. 340.01 (24) (a).
348.17(6)(b) (b) This subsection does not apply to the national system of interstate and defense highways.
348.17 History History: 1991 a. 316; 1995 a. 348 ss. 11, 13 to 15, 17; 2005 a. 364; 2011 a. 52, 279.
348.175 348.175 Seasonal operation of vehicles hauling peeled or unpeeled forest products cut crosswise or abrasives or salt for highway winter maintenance. The transportation of peeled or unpeeled forest products cut crosswise or of abrasives or salt for highway winter maintenance in excess of gross weight limitations under s. 348.15 shall be permitted during the winter months when the highways are so frozen that no damage may result thereto by reason of such transportation. If at any time any person is so transporting such products or abrasives or salt upon a class "A" highway in such frozen condition then that person may likewise use a class "B" highway without other limitation, except that chains and other traction devices are prohibited on class "A" highways but such chains and devices may be used in cases of necessity. On the first day that conditions warrant their determination of such frozen condition and freedom of damage to such highways by transportation, the officers or agencies in charge of maintenance of highways shall declare particular highways, or highways within areas of the state, as eligible for increased weight limitations, and each declaration shall be effective as of 12:01 a.m. on the 2nd day following the declaration. Such declaration shall include the maximum weight on each axle, combination of axles and the gross weight allowed. Any person transporting any such product over any highway of this state under this section is liable to the maintaining authority for any damage caused to such highway. This section does not apply to the national system of interstate and defense highways, except for that portion of I 39 between USH 51 and I 90/94.
348.175 Annotation The phrase "peeled or unpeeled forest products cut crosswise" does not encompass wood chips. The phrase instead invokes images of logs, posts, poles, or similar pieces of timber, with or without bark, and cut to length. State v. T. P. Trucking, 2006 WI App 98, 293 Wis. 2d 273, 715 N.W.2d 736, 05-2496.
348.18 348.18 Weight limitations apply to publicly-owned vehicles; exceptions. Sections 348.15 to 348.17 and the penalties for violations thereof also apply to vehicles owned by the state, a county or municipality, except when such vehicles are being used for the removal, treatment or sanding of snow or ice or when such vehicles are authorized emergency vehicles.
348.19 348.19 Traffic officers may weigh vehicles and require removal of excess load.
348.19(1) (1)
348.19(1)(a)(a) Any traffic officer having reason to believe that the gross weight of a vehicle is unlawful or in excess of the gross weight for which the vehicle is registered may require the operator of such vehicle to stop and submit the vehicle and any load it may be carrying to a weighing by means of either portable or certified stationary scales and may require that such vehicle be driven to the nearest usable portable or certified stationary scale except as provided in par. (b).
348.19(1)(b) (b) Any other provision of the statutes notwithstanding, a vehicle transporting peeled or unpeeled forest products cut crosswise shall not be required to proceed to a scale more than one mile from the point of apprehension if the estimated gross weight of the vehicle does not exceed the lawful limit. The gross weight of the vehicle shall be estimated by multiplying the average length of the load by the average height of the load in feet and then multiplying by the average weight per square foot of load measurement and adding this computed weight to the empty weight of the vehicle. The average weights per square foot of load measurement to be used in computing the estimated load weight are given in the following table: [See Figure 348.19 (1) (b) following] - See PDF for table PDF
348.19(2) (2)
348.19(2)(a)(a) Except as provided in par. (b), whenever after a weighing of a vehicle and load as provided in sub. (1) a traffic officer determines that the weight exceeds the limitations imposed by s. 348.15, 348.16, or 348.17 (3), (5), or (6) or any limitations posted as provided in s. 348.17 (1), the operator of such vehicle shall not proceed, except to drive to such place as directed by the traffic officer for the purpose of reloading or unloading, until such portion of the load has been reloaded or unloaded as may be necessary to reduce the weight of the vehicle and load to comply with the limitations imposed by s. 348.15, 348.16, or 348.17 (3), (5), or (6) and any limitations posted as provided in s. 348.17 (1). All material so reloaded or unloaded shall be reloaded or unloaded and cared for by and at the risk of the owner or operator of the vehicle.
348.19(2)(b) (b) If upon weighing a vehicle transporting livestock a traffic officer determines that the gross weight of the vehicle exceeds the limitations imposed by s. 348.15, 348.16 or 348.17 (3) or a limitation posted as provided in s. 348.17 (1), and if the point of apprehension is 15 miles or less from the destination of the vehicle, the traffic officer shall permit the operator of the vehicle to proceed to such destination without requiring the vehicle to be reloaded or unloaded as provided in par. (a). This paragraph does not apply to vehicles transporting livestock on the national system of interstate and defense highways, except for that portion of I 39 between USH 51 and I 90/94.
348.19(3) (3) No operator of a vehicle shall fail or refuse to stop and submit the vehicle and load to a weighing or to drive the vehicle to a scale when directed to do so by a traffic officer except that a dual purpose motor home is not required to stop at weighing stations when it is being used as a motor home. No operator of a vehicle shall fail or refuse after a weighing to reload or unload as provided in this section or to comply with the directions of a traffic officer relative to such reloading or unloading.
348.19(4) (4)Subsection (1) (b) shall not apply to vehicles transporting peeled or unpeeled forest products on the national, interstate or defense highway systems, except for 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.
348.195 348.195 Weight records of raw forest products purchasers.
348.195(1)(1) Any purchaser of raw forest products transported by a vehicle or vehicle combination subject to the requirements of this subchapter that generates a weight scale record identifying the gross weight of the vehicle or vehicle combination or the weight of the load transported by the vehicle or vehicle combination shall retain the weight scale record for not less than 30 days from the date that the weight scale record is generated.
348.195(2) (2) Upon demand by any traffic officer in this state within the 30-day period specified in sub. (1), any person required to retain records under sub. (1) shall promptly provide such records to the requesting officer.
348.195(3) (3) For purposes of this section, a true, accurate, and legible copy of any weight scale record may be substituted for, and shall be given the effect of, an original.
348.195(4) (4) Any person required to retain records under sub. (1) or to produce records under sub. (2) who fails to retain or produce such records shall forfeit $1,000. Each violation constitutes a separate offense.
348.195(5) (5) In any prosecution of a person for transporting raw forest products in violation of the requirements of this subchapter, the records required to be retained under sub. (1) and produced under sub. (2) may be relevant evidence under s. 904.01 and admissible under s. 904.06.
348.195 History History: 2005 a. 167.
348.20 348.20 Policy in prosecuting weight violations.
348.20(1) (1) It is declared to be the public policy of the state that prosecutions for overweight violations shall in every instance where practicable be instituted against the person holding the authority, certificates, licenses or permits evidencing operating privileges from the department which may be the proper object of cancellation or revocation proceedings. In instances where a combination of tractor and trailer or semitrailer is used, the person standing in the relationship of principal or employer to the driver of the tractor portion of the vehicle combination is liable for violation of ss. 348.15 to 348.17 along with the owner holding authority, certificates, licenses or permits from the state. It is a violation of ss. 348.15 to 348.17 for the owner or any other person employing or otherwise directing the operator of the vehicle to require or permit the operation of such vehicle upon a highway contrary to ss. 348.15 to 348.17. This section shall not apply to individuals, partnerships, limited liability companies or corporations whose principal business is leasing, for compensation, vehicles including trailers and semitrailers, but such prosecutions shall be instituted against the lessee of the vehicle.
348.20(2) (2) The operator of a vehicle, as agent of the person holding authority, certificate, license or permit from the state or as agent of the owner of the tractor portion of a vehicle combination of tractor and trailer or semitrailer, shall accept service of a summons on behalf of such person or owner.
348.21 348.21 Penalty for violating weight limitations.
348.21(2) (2)
348.21(2)(a)(a) Any person who violates s. 348.17 (2) or 348.19 (3) may be required to forfeit not less than $50 nor more than $100 upon the first conviction and, upon the 2nd or each subsequent conviction within a 12-month period, may be required to forfeit not less than $100 nor more than $200.
348.21(2)(b) (b) If the load on any wheel, axle, or group of axles does not exceed the weight prescribed in s. 348.15 (3) or 348.16 or in a declaration issued under s. 348.175, or prescribed in an overweight permit issued under s. 348.27 (9m) (a) 4. with respect to a vehicle combination being operated under such a permit, by more than 2,000 pounds and if such excess can be reloaded within the normal load carrying areas, on any other wheel, axle, or axles, so that all wheels and axles are then within the statutory limits, the operator may reload as provided in this paragraph. A total of 2,000 pounds per vehicle or combination of vehicles may be reloaded under this paragraph. If reloading is accomplished and all axles or group of axles are within the legal limits, including the limits of the permit for a vehicle combination operated under a permit issued under s. 348.27 (9m) (a) 4., no forfeiture may be imposed. A vehicle or combination of vehicles under this paragraph that is not reloaded may continue to be operated upon the highway, but a forfeiture of $50 shall be imposed for failure to reload. This forfeiture shall be paid upon the basis of the citation issued by the official to the court named in the citation. Failure to pay shall subject the operator to the penalty in par. (a) or sub. (3) (a) or (3g). Violations under this paragraph shall not be considered as violations or prior convictions under par. (a) or sub. (3) to (3r).
348.21(3) (3) Except as provided in sub. (3g), any person violating s. 348.15 or 348.16 or any weight limitation posted as provided in s. 348.17 (1) or in a declaration issued under s. 348.175 or authorized under s. 348.17 (3), (5), or (6) or in an overweight permit issued under s. 348.26 or 348.27 may be penalized as follows:
348.21(3)(a) (a) If the weight exceeds by 1,000 pounds or less the maximum set forth in s. 348.15 (3) or 348.16 or posted as provided in s. 348.17 (1) or in a declaration issued under s. 348.175 or authorized under s. 348.17 (3), (5), or (6) or in an overweight permit issued under s. 348.26 or 348.27, a forfeiture of not less than $50 nor more than $100 upon the first conviction and, upon the 2nd and each subsequent conviction within a 12-month period, a forfeiture of not less than $100 nor more than $200.
348.21(3)(b) (b) If the weight exceeds by more than 1,000 pounds the maximum set forth in s. 348.15 (3) or 348.16 or posted as provided in s. 348.17 (1) or in a declaration issued under s. 348.175 or authorized under s. 348.17 (3), (5), or (6) or in an overweight permit issued under s. 348.26 or 348.27, the forfeiture shall be computed according to the following schedule and in the case of violation of s. 348.15 (3) (bg) or (br) shall be computed on the basis of the weights stated in s. 348.15 (3) (bg) or (br):
348.21(3)(b)1. 1. For the first conviction, a forfeiture of not less than $50 nor more than $200 plus an amount equal to whichever of the following applies:
348.21(3)(b)1.a. a. One cent for each pound of total excess load when the total excess is not over 2,000 pounds.
348.21(3)(b)1.b. b. Three cents for each pound of total excess load if the excess is over 2,000 pounds and not over 3,000 pounds.
348.21(3)(b)1.c. c. Five cents for each pound of total excess load if the excess is over 3,000 pounds and not over 4,000 pounds.
348.21(3)(b)1.d. d. Eight cents for each pound of total excess load if the excess is over 4,000 pounds and not over 5,000 pounds.
348.21(3)(b)1.e. e. Fifteen cents for each pound of total excess load if the excess is over 5,000 pounds.
348.21(3)(b)2. 2. For the 2nd and each subsequent conviction within a 12-month period, a forfeiture of not less than $100 nor more than $300, plus an amount equal to whichever of the following applies:
348.21(3)(b)2.a. a. Two cents for each pound of total excess load when the total excess is not over 2,000 pounds.
348.21(3)(b)2.b. b. Five cents for each pound of total excess load if the excess is over 2,000 pounds and not over 3,000 pounds.
348.21(3)(b)2.c. c. Eight cents for each pound of total excess load if the excess is over 3,000 and not over 4,000 pounds.
348.21(3)(b)2.d. d. Twelve cents for each pound of total excess load if the excess is over 4,000 pounds and not over 5,000 pounds.
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2011-12 Wisconsin Statutes updated though 2013 Wis. Act 200 and all Supreme Court Orders entered before April 18, 2014. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after April 18, 2014 are designated by NOTES. (Published 4-18-14)