Specialized equipment.

(1) Why are certain vehicles designated as specialized equipment? Certain vehicles are designed and built for very unique functions other than transporting persons. The federal highway administration classifies and references some of these vehicles as specialized equipment in Title 23 C.F.R. Part 658.13(e) and sets minimum and/or maximum parameters for the vehicle to operate. The department adopted these specialized classifications and accepted or further defined the legal parameters for operation on state highways. In addition to federal rule, the department has also recognized certain specially designed vehicles that, by necessity, exceed one or more of the vehicle size and weight parameters in chapter 46.44 RCW. The department has also classified these over-legal vehicles as specialized equipment in order to authorize their movement on state highways, using a special motor vehicle permit, and provide a consistent administrative and enforcement treatment. All vehicles exceeding legal requirements are subject to the requirements of this section and the requirements of chapter 46.44 RCW.
(2) What vehicle types are classified by Title 23 Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.) 658.13(e) as specialized equipment, including size limits, and authorized to operate on the state highways without a special permit? Listed in alphabetical order:
Automobile transporter: To be considered an automobile transporter, the power unit and the trailing unit must be modified to carry assembled automobiles. If the combination consists of a truck and stinger-steered trailing unit, the overall dimension for length must not exceed eighty feet, plus a front overhang of four feet and rear overhang of six feet. If the combination consists of a tractor and semi-trailer (traditional high mount), overall dimension for length will not exceed sixty-five feet, plus three-foot front overhang and four-foot rear overhang.
• The conventional and stinger steered automobile transporter is authorized to haul general freight on a backhaul. Backhaul for this section means a return trip back over all or part of the same route.
Boat transporter: See automobile transporter.
Driveaway saddlemount vehicles: A combination consisting of a maximum of four trucks or truck tractors used in driveaway service where three of the vehicles are towed by the fourth in triple saddlemount position. The overall dimension for the length of the saddlemount combination will not exceed ninety-seven feet. Such combinations may include all axles of one vehicle loaded upon another, known as a fullmount.
Munitions carriers with dromedary equipment: A truck tractor equipped with a dromedary unit operating in combination with a semi-trailer transporting Class 1 explosives and/or any munitions related security material, as specified by the U.S. Department of Defense in compliance with 49 C.F.R. 177.835, overall dimension for length not to exceed seventy-five feet.
(3) What other vehicle types does the department recognize as specialized equipment for the purpose of oversize and overweight permitting? The following specialized equipment, including size and weight parameters, can operate with special permit. Listed in alphabetical order:
Concrete pumper trucks: As a single unit fixed load vehicle, may exceed the legal weight limits in RCW 46.44.041 and 46.44.042 with a special motor vehicle permit, but must comply with the requirements in RCW 46.44.091. Tire loading for the movement is limited to the lesser of six hundred pounds per inch width of tire or the tire manufacturer's rating with proper inflation, as determined by the nomenclature imprinted on the tire. Pumper hose extensions and a volume of water to flush the system, when the pumping process is complete.
Construction equipment: Equipment used primarily for off-road heavy construction activity may be permitted for use on designated highway segments identified in RCW 46.16.010 (5)(h)(i)(B) and (C) and must comply with the weight limits in RCW 46.44.091. Equipment may operate without permit on highway segments designated as part of the construction zone.
Cranes: As a single unit fixed load vehicle, may exceed the legal weight limits in RCW 46.44.041 and 46.44.042 with a special motor vehicle permit but must comply with the requirements in RCW 46.44.091. Tire loading for the movement is limited to the lesser of six hundred pounds per inch width of tire or the tire manufacturer's rating with proper inflation, as determined by the nomenclature imprinted on the tire. Cranes may be permitted with standard working components that are included within the rated capacity of the crane. A boom trailer or boom dolly will be permitted only when the boom is attached to the crane upper works, for the purpose of transferring load to meet weight requirements. A crane may be permitted with counterweights, outrigger assemblies, load block, hook and cable tension ball assembly also loaded on the boom trailer or boom dolly, as long as those components are included in the rated capacity of the crane and do not cause the vehicle to exceed permitted weight limits.
Well drilling trucks: As a single unit fixed load vehicle, may exceed the legal weight limits in RCW 46.44.041 and 46.44.042 with a special motor vehicle permit but must comply with the requirements in RCW 46.44.091. Tire loading for the movement is limited to the lesser of six hundred pounds per inch width of tire or the tire manufacturer's rating with proper inflation, as determined by the nomenclature imprinted on the tire. The vehicle may carry drill extensions as part of the fixed load.
(4) Can specialized equipment tow a licensed vehicle used for commute purposes? A specialized self-propelled single unit vehicle registered as a fixed load, operating under a fixed load permit, and/or cranes operating under an oversize/overweight permit (exclusive of boom dollies or trailers), may be permitted to tow a vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating not to exceed eight thousand pounds. The overall length of the combination must not exceed seventy-five feet. The towed vehicle must be used for the sole purpose of commuting to and from the job site where the specialized equipment is in service.
(5) Does a specialized vehicle operating under an overweight or fixed load permit receive any exemption from weight postings or weight restrictions placed on highway infrastructure? No. Specialized mobile equipment must not cross load-restricted infrastructure when the equipment, either as a result of gross weight, axle weight or tire loadings, exceeds the stated capacity of the posting or restriction. However, exemptions to specific requirements, in WAC 468-38-075, may apply to specific fixed loads as identified in WAC 468-38-075.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 46.44.090 and 46.44.093. WSR 16-21-093, § 468-38-270, filed 10/19/16, effective 11/19/16. Statutory Authority: RCW 46.44.090, 46.44.0915, and 46.44.101. WSR 11-17-130, § 468-38-270, filed 8/24/11, effective 9/24/11. Statutory Authority: RCW 46.44.090 and 2005 c 189. WSR 05-12-001, § 468-38-270, filed 5/18/05, effective 6/18/05. Statutory Authority: RCW 46.44.090. WSR 82-18-010 (Order 31, Resolution No. 156), § 468-38-270, filed 8/20/82. Formerly WAC 468-38-380. Statutory Authority: 1977 ex.s. c 151. WSR 79-01-033 (DOT Order 10 and Comm. Order 1, Resolution No. 13), § 468-38-270, filed 12/20/78. Formerly WAC 252-24-336.]
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