Well, after years of attempts at a Texas heavy haul corridor, Texas S.B. 1524 is finally going to make that a reality! The bill was signed by Governor Greg Abbott this week and will take effect January 1, 2018.
This bill, authored by Senator Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville), creates an annual permit allowing vehicles to carry heavy, non-hazardous shipping containers, on designated highways beginning or ending in a port of entry located in a county contiguous to the Gulf of Mexico, and the 30 miles surrounding that port. Containers must be loaded onto or off of ships, vessels, or rail systems designated for international transport.
Vehicles will be required to have extra axles, are limited to only Texas DOT approved routes and shipping containers must be sealed by US customs. Municipalities are also prohibited from regulating permitted weight loads on state highways and county/municipal roads.
There are two weight categories that are outlined in this new bill.
The first would allow for a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 93,000 pounds truck, trailer, container and payload combined, allowing for an additional 9,000 pounds over existing requirements and must have six axles, a roll stability support system, and a truck blind spot system.
- Distance from the front axle of the truck and the rear axle of the trailer must be approximately 647 inches, or almost 54 feet.
- One single axle can’t exceed 13,000 lbs.
- One two-axle group can’t exceed 37,000 lbs. (and no single axle in this group 18,500 lbs.).
- Distance between individual axles on the two-axle group can’t be less than 51 or more than 52 inches.
- One three-axle group can’t exceed 49,195 lbs. (and no single axle 16,400 lbs.).
- Distance between individual axles in the three-axle group must be 60 inches.
The second option allows for a GVWR of 100,000 pounds. This combination requires seven axles, a roll stability system, and a truck blind spot system.
- The distance from the front axle of the truck and the rear axle of the trailer must be approximately 612 inches, or 51 feet.
- One single axle can’t exceed 15,000 lbs.
- One three-axle group can’t exceed 44,500 lbs. (and no single axle in the group 14,900 lbs).
- Distance between the individual axles in the three-axle group can’t be less than 51 inches or more than 52 inches.
- One three-axle group can’t exceed 46,200 lbs. (and no single axle in that group 15,400 lbs.)
- The distance between individual axles in the three-axle group must be 60 inches.
Because an extra axle will be added to the truck, a ti-axle container chassis will work for either of these options.
This chassis features a 60 inch spread between axles versus the typical 49 inch spread on all other chassis in the market. Chassis will be designed according to your truck specs to meet total length and weight distribution requirements. Options include standard or lightweight frame, disk or drum brakes, aluminum or steel wheels, air ride or spring ride suspension, and possible front lift axle.
This permit will cost drivers $6,000 annually, and can only be used specifically in counties or municipalities that they have designated in the permit application. Drivers will be required to place a sticker on their windshield and will be required to take additional safety and driver training from the Texas Department of Public Safety. Read the bill here.
Lead time for chassis will vary depending on demand and quantity. Give us a call to discuss your options or email to request a quote so you can be ahead of the game.
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