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Thread: CA Length Laws

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    CA Length Laws

    I have a question about CA's length laws for car haulers with a stinger setup

    The truck I am looking at has a length from the steer axle to in between
    the drive axles of 23ft.

    So the length from steer axle to the last drive axle is going to be over 23ft its probably going to be 25ft so that doesn't meet the first requirement below.

    overall combination length is 73ft.

    Here is what I read about the length laws.

    OVERALL LENGTH
    Per California Vehicle Code (CVC) Section 35401.3, transporters of motor vehicles, boats, and camper units have length exemptions. Following are selective paraphrases of the CVC, and text copied from the Federal Code of Regulations. It is not guaranteed and may be subject to change.
    35401.3. (a) A combination of vehicles designed and used to transport motor vehicles, camper units, or boats, which consists of a motortruck and stinger-steered semitrailer, shall be allowed a length of up to:
    (a) 70 feet if the kingpin is at least 3 feet behind the rear drive axle of the motortruck.
    (b) 75 feet if all of the following conditions are maintained:
    (1) The distance from the steering axle to the rear drive axle of the motortruck does not exceed 24 feet.
    (2) The kingpin is at least 5 feet behind the rear drive axle of the motortruck.
    (3) The distance from the kingpin to the rear axle of the semitrailer does not exceed:

    • 34 feet, or
    • 36 feet if on a triple axle semitrailer.

    But then their is an exemption to this ruling




    35401.5. (a) A combination of vehicles consisting of a truck
    tractor and semitrailer, or of a truck tractor, semitrailer, and
    trailer, is not subject to the limitations of Sections 35400 and
    35401, when operating on the National System of Interstate and
    Defense Highways
    or when using those portions of federal-aid primary
    system highways that have been qualified by the United States
    Secretary of Transportation for that use, or when using routes
    appropriately identified by the Department of Transportation or local
    authorities as provided in subdivision (c) or (d), if all of the
    following conditions are met:
    (1) The length of the semitrailer in exclusive combination with a
    truck tractor does not exceed 48 feet. A semitrailer not more than 53
    feet in length shall satisfy this requirement when configured with
    two or more rear axles, the rearmost of which is located 40 feet or
    less from the kingpin or when configured with a single axle which is
    located 38 feet or less from the kingpin.
    For purposes of this
    paragraph, a motortruck used in combination with a semitrailer, when
    that combination of vehicles is engaged solely in the transportation
    of motor vehicles, camper units, or boats, is considered to be a
    truck tractor.

    My question is:

    Is this exemption for only traveling on the specified highways above
    or can you also travel on surface streets as long as their is no weight
    and or length restriction?





    Last edited by Stroked F550; 01.10.2010 at 10.42 PM.

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    no one knows?

  3. #3
    Road Train Member Boardhauler's Avatar
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    I hate answering stuff like this because somebody will always correct me, even if I'm right.

    This is also an issue I don't have to deal with because where I live we have to be 65' and we spec accordingly.

    But, my understanding is that if you are over 65' you have to stay on the interstate or on designated truck routes. Most municipalities have streets/roads designated for trucks to get you to large shippers & consignees. Not all local LEO's will mess with you if you are over length & not on a designated route. Some will, I believe Tracy is famous for it. The CHP loves to hang out on where I run & pop you big boys with your 48' trailers.

    Hope this didn't muddy things even more.

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    The 65ft rule is pretty ridiculous it not easy to get a 53ft trailer and a truck to that length.

    From what I have read the California Vehicle Code 35401.3 and 35401.5. only talks about length requirements for highways.

    I see a lot of roads/streets that have no length restrictions signs.

    So is it legal to drive on these roads/streets that have no signs for it being a truck route or that have no length restrictions signs if the car hauler combination does not meet the requirements in 35401.3. but falls under the 35401.5 CVC ?

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    Road Train Member Boardhauler's Avatar
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    I always thought that if you were stinger steered you were good for 75' anywhere, just like doubles, but it looks as if they even make that extra complicated.

    I would ask at a coop or call the CHP about your specific combination.

    Sometimes it seems like everything is broken and nothing is easy.

    65' does make sense when you get on some of the roads we run on.

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    I called the chp today I asked him if there are no signs posted for length and or weight restrictions on regular roads is it legal for a stinger steered 73ft combo travel on those roads he said no.

    Does that sound right?

    If so what CVC section is this under?
    ( I have searched and from I have read it only talks about Highways)

    That doesn't sound right to me what if your destination is 20 miles from the interstate there are no signs for truck route but there are also no signs for length and or weight restrictions how the heck are you supposed to deliver the load?


    I do agree with you some hwys like hwy 1 and 101 up in norcal but I disagree on the 65ft rule to some degree because there are highways that a 75ft combo wouldn't have a problem with. look at hwy 267 from 80 to 89 there is nothing difficult about that hwy. Yet it is a CA legal only route. or HWy 94 in San Diego its a regular nothing crazy about it.
    Last edited by Stroked F550; 01.11.2010 at 08.42 PM.

  8. #7
    Road Train Member Boardhauler's Avatar
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    I run 101 north a lot. Next time I see a commercial CHP up that way I'll ask him & report back what he says. I do not agree with the answer you got.

    But then again, if I knew all that much I wouldn't be driving a truck for a living.

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    thanks Boardhauler I appreciate that. I am also going to call another CHP office and see what they say.

  11. #9
    Road Train Member walleye's Avatar
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    I know haulers that run rigs just like the one you are looking at into and out of California all the time,....

    FMCSA regs should allow you 75 feet bumper to bumper with a three foot overhang front and four feet at the rear,....

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    Yeah I know I am allowed 75 + the overhangs on the interstates but my concern is on just regular roads that have no length/weight restriction signs posted.

    For example the area that I live in has a lot of curvy roads going up and down hills but has only has one or two streets that have signs restricting truck traffic over a certain weight and length. The funny thing is on those roads they are the straightest roads in the area. Go figure lol

    I guess I shouldn't be concerned if the street has no signs restricting length or weight I should be legal to drive on it.
    At least that's just me using common sense.

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