California Vehicle Code § 35551.5 - Alternative method of computation; combinations of vehicles containing trailers or semitrailers

Posted in Article 1. Axle Limits

(a) The provisions of this section shall apply only to combinations of vehicles which contain a trailer or semitrailer. Each vehicle in such combination of vehicles, and every such combination of vehicles, shall comply with either Section 35551 or with subdivisions (b), (c), and (d) of this section.

(b) The gross weight imposed upon the highway by the wheels on any one axle of a vehicle shall not exceed 18,000 pounds and the gross weight upon any one wheel, or wheels, supporting one end of an axle and resting upon the roadway, shall not exceed 9,500 pounds, except that the gross weight imposed upon the highway by the wheels on any front steering axle of a motor vehicle shall not exceed 12,500 pounds. The gross weight limit provided for weight bearing upon any one wheel, or wheels, supporting one end of an axle shall not apply to vehicles the loads of which consist of livestock. The following vehicles are exempt from the front axle weight limits specified in this subdivision:

(1) Trucks transporting vehicles.

(2) Trucks transporting livestock.

(3) Dump trucks.

(4) Cranes.

(5) Buses.

(6) Transit mix concrete or cement trucks, and trucks that mix concrete or cement at, or adjacent to, a jobsite.

(7) Motor vehicles that are not commercial vehicles.

(8) Vehicles operated by any public utility furnishing electricity, gas, water, or telephone service.

(9) Trucks or truck tractors with a front axle at least four feet to the rear of the foremost part of the truck or truck tractor, not including the front bumper.

(10) Trucks transporting garbage, rubbish, or refuse.

(11) Trucks equipped with a fifth wheel when towing a semitrailer.

(12) Tank trucks which have a cargo capacity of at least 1,500 gallons.

(13) Trucks transporting bulk grains or bulk livestock feed.

(c) The total gross weight with load imposed on the highway by any group of two or more consecutive axles of a vehicle in such combination of vehicles or of such combination of vehicles where the distance between the first and last axles of the two or more consecutive axles is 18 feet or less shall not exceed that given for the respective distance in the following table:

Distance in feet
between first and
last axles of group 
Allowed load in
pounds on group
of axles
4 32,000
32,000
32,200
7 32,900
8 33,600
9 34,300
10 35,000
11 35,700
12 36,400
13 37,100
14 43,200
15 44,000
16 44,800
17 45,600
18 46,400


(d) The total gross weight with load imposed on the highway by any vehicle in such combination of vehicles or of such combination of vehicles where the distance between the first and last axles is more than 18 feet shall not exceed that given for the respective distances in the following table:

Distance
in feet 
Allowed load
in pounds
19  47,200
20  48,000
21  48,800 
22 49,600
23 50,400
24 51,200
25 55,250
26 55,250
27 55,250
28 57,800
29 58,650
30 59,500
31 60,350
32 61,200
33 62,050
34 62,900
35 63,750
36 64,600
37 65,450
38 66,300
39 68,000
40 70,000
41 72,000
42 73,280
43 73,280
44 73,280
45 73,280
46 73,280
47 73,280
48 73,280
49 73,280
50 73,280
51 73,280
52 73,600
53 74,400
54 75,200
55 76,000
56 or over 76,800

(e) The distance between axles shall be measured to the nearest whole foot. When a fraction is exactly six inches, the next larger whole foot shall be used.

(f) The gross weight limits expressed by this section shall include all enforcement tolerances.

(g) Nothing in this section shall affect the right to prohibit the use of any highway or any bridge or other structure thereon in the manner and to the extent specified in Article 4 (commencing with Section 35700) and Article 5 (commencing with Section 35750) of Chapter 5 of Division 15.

(h) The Legislature, in enacting this section, does not intend to increase, and this section shall not be construed to allow, statutory weights any greater than existed prior to January 1, 1976.

Credits
(Added by Stats.1980, c. 784, p. 2379, § 4.)

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