§ 179.10. General conditions.

 The following conditions apply to permits issued under this chapter and the operation of permitted vehicles, if applicable:

   (1)  Driver to carry permit and regulations. Movement may not be started until a permit has been issued. The driver shall carry the permit and a copy of Form M-938 in the permitted vehicle and shall have these documents available for inspection by a police officer or representative of the Department. The permit may not be assigned or transferred to another person or carried by another person while operating under the permit.

   (2)  Posted weight limits. The permit may not supersede a lesser weight limit posted on a bridge or highway under authority of section 4902 of the act (relating to restrictions on use of highways and bridges); however, the permittee may apply to the Department or local authorities, whichever is responsible for the posting, for a permit to exceed the posted weight. The Department or local authorities may require security to cover the cost of repairs and restoration of any bridge or highway which they determine may be loaded in excess of its operating rating or otherwise damaged by the movement.

   (3)  Scope of permit. The granting of a permit may not be considered as a guarantee of the sufficiency of a highway or structure thereon for the load authorized.

   (4)  Additional restrictions. The permittee shall comply with applicable statutes and regulations of the Commonwealth and a political subdivision thereof, unless specifically exempted by the permit or its supplement.

   (5)  Highway restrictions.

     (i)   The permit shall authorize movement only on the roadway portion of highways specified in the permit which are under the jurisdiction of the Department. The permit does not authorize movement upon shoulders except in a highway work zone in which traffic is directed to travel off the roadway.

     (ii)   The permit is not valid for movement on the Pennsylvania Turnpike unless otherwise authorized in the act.

     (iii)   Permission shall be obtained from local authorities for the use of local roads and streets, which are listed in brackets or parentheses on the permit.

     (iv)   Permission shall be obtained from the National Park Service for travel on Traffic Route 209 between its intersection with TR 402 in Monroe County and TR 6 in Pike County. National Park Service phone numbers are listed on the permit application (Form M-936A).

     (v)   The permitted vehicle may deviate from the routing authorized in the permit only when specifically directed by a police officer exhibiting some sign of authority.

   (6)  Inclement weather. Movement under the permit shall be restricted during unfavorable weather or road conditions. For the purpose of this chapter, unfavorable weather or road conditions shall include:

     (i)   Snow covered highways until pavement has been plowed full width, icy pavements until highway has been cindered or salted;

     (ii)   Driving rain, fog, snow storm or other atmospheric conditions which restrict visibility to less than 1,000 feet.

     (iii)   Winds sufficient to cause the wheels of the (semi) trailer to deflect more than 6 inches from the path of the wheels of the drawing vehicle.

   (7)  Restricted travel periods.

     (i)   Unless exempted in this paragraph, movement under permit is not authorized during any of the following periods:

       (A)   Sunset to sunrise.

       (B)   Saturday, after 12 noon.

       (C)   Sunday.

       (D)   Holidays specified in this clause and the day preceding these holidays, unless otherwise specified in the permit:

         New Year’s Day—January 1.

         Memorial Day—last Monday in May.

         Independence Day—July 4.

         Labor Day—first Monday in September.

         Thanksgiving Day—fourth Thursday in November.

         Christmas Day—December 25.

     (ii)   Except during the holiday periods listed in clause (D), movement under permit in urbanized areas is authorized 7 days a week only during the following time periods:

       (A)   3 a.m. to 7:30 a.m.

       (B)   9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

       (C)   7 p.m. to sunset.

       (D)   9 a.m. to 4 p.m. through the Fort Pitt, Squirrel Hill or Liberty Tunnels in Allegheny County.

     (iii)   When an oversize movement is made within an urbanized area between 3 a.m. and sunrise, the permitted vehicle and load shall be illuminated with additional lighting on all sides so as to be clearly visible from 1,000 feet in all directions. The movement shall be accompanied with pilot car escort, operated in accordance with paragraph (13).

     (iv)   Movement across a State highway may be authorized on days and hours during which movement along a State highway is prohibited under this paragraph, if the district traffic engineer approves the applicant’s proposed days and hours of operation and its traffic control plan.

     (v)   The Department’s Chief Engineer or the Central Permit Office or the State Police—Bureau of Patrol may exempt an oversize/ overweight movement from the travel period restrictions in this paragraph in the following instances:

       (A)   A movement certified by the Department of Defense as being essential to the national defense, provided the permitted vehicle is escorted by a following pilot car operated in accordance with paragraph (13)(ii).

       (B)   An emergency requiring immediate movement for the protection of life or property, when authorized in accordance with §  179.12 (relating to emergency movements).

       (C)   The Department determines that movement during authorized time periods is not feasible and that there will be a public benefit by authorizing the movement.

   (8)  Invalidation of permit. The permit shall be subject to confiscation by the violation of a condition specified therein or by the violation of this chapter. The permit shall be automatically invalidated by the giving of false information on the permit application.

   (9)  Permit limited to single trip.

     (i)   Unless otherwise provided in the act, this chapter or the permit, a permit shall be valid only for a single trip in one direction between the two points designated. The Department may authorize scheduled detours off of a limited access highway of up to 1 mile for service or rest, when requested on the application and specifically indicated on the permit. A single-trip permit expires after 5 authorized weekdays have lapsed, as specified on the permit.

     (ii)   The permit may not authorize a return trip unless requested and specifically indicated on the permit.

   (10)  Liability. The permittee shall pay any claim for personal injury or property damage arising out of his operation under the permit for which he shall be determined to be legally responsible, and shall fully indemnify, defend—if requested—and save harmless the Commonwealth and any Department, officer and employe thereof from a suit, action or claim against them arising out of the operations.

   (11)  Damage to highway. The permittee shall repair at his own expense and to the satisfaction of the Department any overt damage to highways or structures which occurs in connection with operations under the permit.

   (12)  Police escort. An escort is required as follows:

     (i)   An escort by uniformed State Police or local police shall be required in the following instances:

       (A)   Buildings in excess of 16 feet in width.

       (B)   Super loads.

       (C)   The period while a provision of the act is being contravened.

     (ii)   An escort by Department personnel may also be required if conditions warrant.

     (iii)   If an escort by the State Police is necessary, the application shall be submitted to the Department to allow for the State Police to be notified by the Central Permit Office at least 24 hours prior to initial movement under the permit.

   (13)  Pilot cars.

     (i)   Pilot cars are required to accompany a permitted vehicle as outlined in this paragraph and as specified in the permit.

       (A)   Length. If the total length of the vehicle or combination, including a load on the combination, exceeds 90 feet, or if a load extends more than 15 feet beyond the rear of a combination, a pilot car shall follow the permitted vehicle on all highways to warn and direct traffic, especially in lane change areas. The pilot car may temporarily lead the permitted vehicle to direct traffic while the vehicle or combination is negotiating a sharp or right angle turn.

       (B)   Width. If the total width of the vehicle or combination including any load exceeds 13 feet:

         (I)   A pilot car shall follow the permitted vehicle to warn and direct traffic, when operating on highways having two or more lanes which carry traffic in the same direction as the permitted vehicle.

         (II)   On highways having only one lane which carries traffic in the same direction as the permitted vehicle, a pilot car shall precede the permitted vehicle to warn and direct traffic.

         (III)   A pilot car shall follow the permitted vehicle when accompanied by a police escort.

       (C)   Height. If the total height of the vehicle or combination, including a load, exceeds 14 feet, 6 inches, a pilot car shall precede the permitted vehicle by 1,000 feet to 3,000 feet on all highways, to detect critical overhead obstructions by means of a height pole or other height sensitizing device. Affected public utilities shall be notified by the permittee at least 24 hours prior to the permitted movement to arrange for the relocation of affected wires.

       (D)   Weight. Pilot car requirements for overweight movements shall be as follows:

         (I)   If the permit requires the permitted vehicle to travel over bridges at reduced speeds, a pilot car shall follow the permitted vehicle to warn and direct traffic while the permitted vehicle is traveling at reduced speeds.

         (II)   If the permit requires the permitted vehicle either to be the only vehicle on a bridge span or to occupy more than one lane while crossing a bridge, pilot cars shall precede and follow the permitted vehicle on each such bridge which supports two directional traffic. A pilot car shall follow the permitted vehicle on each such bridge which supports one directional traffic.

       (E)   Urbanized areas. Pilot cars shall precede and follow an oversize permitted vehicle operating within an urbanized area during hours of darkness, as authorized in paragraph (7)(ii). A permitted vehicle not capable of maintaining 40 m.p.h. on limited access highways within an urbanized area may be authorized to operate on limited access highways within an urbanized area only from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., when accompanied with a following pilot car.

       (F)   Nonurbanized areas. If the permitted vehicle or combination cannot maintain a minimum speed of 40 m.p.h. on limited access highways, a pilot car shall follow the permitted vehicle to warn and direct traffic.

     (ii)   Operating requirements.

       (A)   Pilot cars shall maintain visual and two-way radio contact with the permitted vehicle or combination during movement, except for intermittent interruptions which are not under the driver’s control, such as terrain or traffic interruptions.

       (B)   Head lamps and rear lamps of a permitted vehicle or combination travelling with pilot car escort shall be illuminated during movement.

       (C)   Pilot cars shall be equipped with one or two flashing or revolving amber lights, in accordance with sections 4572 and 6107 of the act (relating to visual signals on authorized vehicles; and designation of authorized vehicles by department) and § §  15.2 and 173.3 (relating to types of authorized vehicles; and display requirements). The flashing or revolving lights shall be continuously operated during movement.

   (14)  Obstructed lighting equipment. Whenever the rear running lights, stop lights, turn signals or hazard warning lights required by the act are obstructed by the load on a vehicle or by a towed vehicle or its load, lighting equipment shall be displayed on the rear of the towed vehicle or load equivalent to the obstructed lights or signals.

   (15)  Sign requirements.

     (i)   Clean yellow warning signs at least 7 feet wide by at least 18 inches high and containing only the words ‘‘OVERSIZE LOAD’’ in black letters at least 10 inches high with a 2-inch letter stroke, shall be mounted on the front of the permitted oversize vehicle and on the rear of the permitted oversize vehicle or load, unless otherwise specified in the permit.

     (ii)   When a pilot car is required in accordance with paragraph (13), a clean yellow warning sign at least 5 feet wide by at least 1 foot high containing only the words ‘‘OVERSIZE LOAD’’ in black letters at least 8 inches high shall be mounted on both the front and the rear of the pilot car.

     (iii)   When the load has been removed and the vehicle is no longer oversize, all ‘‘OVERSIZE LOAD’’ signs shall be removed or covered.

   (16)  Flag requirements. Points of excessive length (including an overlength vehicle or combination or a load extending more than 4 feet beyond the rear of a combination) and width, including an overwidth vehicle or a load extending beyond one or both sides of a vehicle or combination, shall be marked with clean, plain, red or fluorescent orange warning flags, at least 18 inches square.

   (17)  Inspection report requirement. The permittee shall carry with the permit:

     (i)   In the case of trucks, truck tractors and other motor vehicles not identified in subparagraph (ii), the last prior trip’s vehicle inspection report which conforms with 49 CFR 396.11 (relating to driver vehicle inspection reports) as well as §  229.365 or §  231.365 (relating to driver vehicle inspection reports; and driver vehicle inspection reports).

     (ii)   In the case of special mobile equipment, implements of husbandry, trailers, semitrailers and dollies, a certification that the light systems, brake systems, tires, steering and coupling devices were checked within 7 days prior to the date of movement and are in good condition and safe for travel on the highways.

   (18)  Convoys prohibited. Except for military convoys, a permitted oversize vehicle may not travel within 1,000 feet of another permitted oversize vehicle traveling in the same direction.

   (19)  Traffic build-up prohibited. The permitted vehicle should not allow a build-up of traffic to the rear in excess of six vehicles unless there is no open road ahead. The permitted vehicle shall, at the first opportunity when and where it is reasonable and safe to do so and after giving appropriate signal, drive completely off the traveled portion of the highway and stop, to allow traffic build-up to pass safely.

   (20)  Brake retarder required. A motor vehicle operating along a State highway and having a Gross Weight above 80,000 pounds shall be equipped with an engine-brake retarder or an exhaust-brake retarder or a hydraulic-brake retarder to supplement the service brakes. The brake retarder shall be in good working order and shall be used by the driver as necessitated by traffic or roadway conditions. A brake retarder is not required on a new motor vehicle while the vehicle is being tested by the vehicle manufacturer within a 15-mile radius of the place of manufacture or while the vehicle is in transit from the vehicle manufacturer to a purchaser or dealer outside this Commonwealth. The use of brake retarders may not be prohibited by a local authority unless prior written approval is obtained from the Department. If the Department denies written approval, a local authority may file an application for reconsideration under 1 Pa. Code §  35.241 (relating to application for rehearing or reconsideration).

Source

   The provisions of this §  179.10 adopted June 4, 1976, effective June 5, 1976, 6 Pa.B. 1287; amended August 5, 1977, effective August 6, 1977, 7 Pa.B. 2192; amended April 25, 1980, effective May 1, 1980, 10 Pa.B. 1686; corrected May 9, 1980, effective May 1, 1980, 10 Pa.B. 1918; renumbered May 9, 1980, 10 Pa.B. 1918; amended January 20, 1984, effective March 21, 1984, 14 Pa.B. 224; amended October 11, 1985, effective October 12, 1985, 15 Pa.B. 3654; readopted December 2, 1988, effective December 3, 1988, 18 Pa.B. 5364; amended May 14, 1993, effective August 13, 1993, except that paragraphs (15) and (20) are effective May 16, 1994, 23 Pa.B. 2334. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (133028) to (133032).

Notes of Decisions

   Invalidation of Permit

   Promulgation of a provision which operates to automatically invalidate a special permit for carrying weight in excess of maximum legal weight is not invalid, insofar as the Department of Transportation is authorized to prescribe conditions of permits and has the regulatory authority to confiscate permits when the holder is operating in violation of issued permits. Commonwealth v. Pollock, 606 A.2d 500 (Pa. Super 1992); appeal denied 619 A.2d 700 (Pa. 1993).

   The Commonwealth may consider a special hauling permit void ab initio where a driver violates one of several conditions of the permit. Department of Transportation v. Wasko, 704 A.2d 1104 (Pa. Super. 1998).

   Penalty for Violation of Permit

   The automatic invalidation of an overweight permit by violation of the regulation in paragraph (8) is a penalty in and of itself and does not trigger all the penalties under the regulations, such as fines for being overweight. Commonwealth v. Austin, 459 A.2d 336 (Pa. 1983).

   The Department of Transportation has the regulatory authority to confiscate permits when the holder is operating in violation of issued permits; confiscation is consistent with the legislative intent to protect the safety of highway users, promote efficient movement of traffic and protect the highways. Commonwealth v. Pollock, 606 A.2d 500 (Pa. Super. 1992).

   The Department has the regulatory authority to confiscate permits when the holder is operating in violation of issued permits. Commonwealth v. Pollock, 606 A.2d 500 (Pa. Super. 1992).

   The automatic invalidation of an overweight permit by violation of the safety regulations of 67 Pa. Code §  179.10(8) is a penalty in and of itself and does not trigger all the penalties under the regulations, such as fines for being overweight. Commonwealth v. Austin, 459 A.2d 336 (Pa. 1983).

   Promulgation of a provision which operates to automatically invalidate a special permit for carrying weight in excess of maximum legal weight is not invalid, insofar as the Department of Transportation is authorized to prescribe conditions of operations under such permits which it deems necessary to protect the safety of highway users, to promote the efficient movement of traffic, or to protect the highways. Austin v. Commonwealth, 442 A.2d 832 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1982).

Cross References

   This section cited in 67 Pa. Code §  179.1 (relating to definitions); 67 Pa. Code §  179.12 (relating to emergency movements); and 67 Pa. Code §  179.14 (relating to single-trip special hauling book permits for oversize movements).



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