Trailers, when used in a truck tractor-semitrailer-trailer combination may be operated on the national system of interstate and defense highways and other highways upon designation by the Director of Transportation and final approval by the Governor. The Director of Transportation shall, as a minimum, designate those highways necessary to cause the State of Alabama to be in compliance with the Federal Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982.
Except as provided above, no person shall operate any trailer, as defined in this title, on any highway unless such trailer is operated for the purpose of constructing highways or other facilities of the state or a political subdivision thereof. The Department of Transportation is authorized to regulate the movement of such trailers from one job to another by special permits issued in the same manner as permits are issued under Section 32-9-29. No trailer or semitrailer of any kind shall be used for the hauling of passengers for hire except as provided by Article 2 of this chapter.
The provisions of this article relating to trailers shall not apply to the movement over the highways of trailers manufactured, reconditioned or repaired in this state when reasonably necessary for the delivery of such trailers to the owners or purchasers thereof outside the state; provided, that such movement shall be subject to special permit to be issued by the Director of the Department of Transportation. Such permits may be issued and may be renewed upon such terms and conditions, in the interest of public safety and the preservation of the highways, as the Director of the Department of Transportation may in his discretion require, and he may designate the route over which such trailers may be moved and the hours of movement thereof.
The provisions of any other law or the provisions of any administrative rule, regulation, or order to the contrary notwithstanding, it shall be lawful to tow cotton wagons and module-movers on the highways of the state when the wagons or module-movers are being used to haul cotton from the field to the gin and to return them to the farm from the gin, but it shall not be lawful to tow the cotton wagons on any interstate or limited-access highway in the state; provided, that no more than two wagons shall be attached to one truck, the width of each wagon or module-mover shall not exceed 10 feet, and the overall length of the wagons or module-mover and truck shall not exceed 85 feet.
It shall be unlawful for any person to drive or move on any highway in this state any vehicle or vehicles of a size or weight except in accordance with the following:
|COMPUTED GROSS WEIGHT TABLE|
|For various spacings of axle groupings|
|Distance in feet between first and last axles of vehicle or combination of vehicles||Maximum load in pounds on all the axles|
|2 axles||3 axles||4 axles||5 axles||6 axles|
|8 or less||36,000||42,000||42,000|
|44 and over||75,000||80,000||84,000|
(a) The term 'motor bus,' wherever used in this section, means any motor-propelled vehicle used on the highways of this state for the transportation of passengers for hire.
(b) It shall be lawful to drive or operate upon any highway in this state any motor bus which shall not exceed 40 feet in length, and eight and one-half feet in width, but exclusive of detachable wind deflection devices which have been approved by the State Department of Transportation, and safety equipment.
(c) Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to change in any way any law affecting the regulation of any motor bus except with respect to the maximum permissible length and width thereof.
(a) There shall be exempt from the provisions of this article trucks, semitrailer trucks or trailers owned by the United States, or any agency thereof, the State of Alabama, or any county or city, or incorporated town; nor shall the provisions of this article apply to implements of husbandry temporarily propelled or moved upon the highways; nor shall the provisions of this article apply to trucks, semitrailer trucks, or trailers used exclusively for carrying 50 bales or less of cotton.
(b) If any truck, semitrailer truck or trailer shall be licensed by any city or incorporated town and the registration plate or plates issued as evidence of said license shall be conspicuously exhibited on said truck, semitrailer truck or trailer, in the manner required by law, the provisions of this article shall not apply to the operation of such vehicles within the limits of the municipality or within the police jurisdiction thereof; provided, that municipalities may provide by ordinance maximum limits with respect to the weight, height, width and length of trucks, semitrailer trucks and trailers within their police jurisdiction; provided, that the maximum limits prescribed shall not be less than those fixed in Section 32-9-20 and may impose license taxes on such vehicles and require all such vehicles to have affixed thereto, in some conspicuous place, a registration plate or plates.
There shall be exempt from the provisions of this article as to weight any truck or semitrailer truck transporting milk for human consumption, for which refrigeration and transit is reasonably necessary in the interest of public health, when moving under refrigeration to or from market from the territory in which such commodity is collected or concentrated.
Farm tractors shall be exempt from the restrictions of this article as to width, but, however, shall not exceed nine feet in width.
There shall be exempt from this article as to length, detachable wind deflection devices which have been approved by the State Department of Transportation, loads of poles, logs, lumber, laminated wood building materials, structural steel, piping and timber, and vehicles transporting same. Trucks, trailers and semitrailers which are constructed and used exclusively for the hauling of livestock, shall also be exempt from the restrictions of this article as to length, but shall not exceed 65 feet in length.
Any provision of any other law or the provision of any administrative rule, regulation or order to the contrary notwithstanding, it shall be lawful for any farmer, custom picker or husbandman to operate a two to eight-wheel, one to four-axle trailer on the highways of this state if the trailer is being used exclusively for the purpose of transporting to and from a farm agricultural commodities or products and for agricultural purposes relating to the operation and maintenance of a farm; provided, that the combined weight of the trailer and its load is not in excess of 36,000 pounds, nor more than 10,000 pounds per axle, whichever is less.
All such trailers as described in Section 32-9-26 shall be equipped with red reflectors to adequately illuminate the rear of such trailer by placing at least two on the rear and one at each side. No such trailer shall be in excess of 10 feet in width, except that such trailer shall not exceed 102 inches in width when operated or moved on the Interstate Highway System, and no such trailer, drawbar or other connection, including the vehicle towing such trailer, shall be in excess of overall length of 76 feet. Overhang of round bales of hay on such trailer shall not exceed one foot per side except that the width of the trailer including overhang shall not exceed 102 inches when operated or moved on the Interstate Highway System. At no time shall there be more than one loaded trailer towed by any vehicle; provided, that two empty farm wagons or trailers with two or more wheels may be towed in tandem when the overall length of the towing vehicle and its tow does not exceed 76 feet altogether.
Any person violating the provisions of Sections 32-9-26 and 32-9-27 shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and punished as provided by law.
(a) The Director of the State Department of Transportation or the official of the State Department of Transportation designated by the director may, at his discretion, upon application and for good cause being shown therefor, issue special permits to the applicant, for movement on or over the public highways, for motor vehicles when used in the transportation of site-built residential buildings or otherwise, which had at one time been affixed to a permanent foundation; provided, however, that this section shall not extend to those motor vehicles used in the transportation of what is commonly referred to as mobile homes, house trailers, prefabricated housing or other factory-built buildings.
The applicants for the permits issued under this section shall state if the route of the movement will cross one or more railroads at grade.
If such a crossing is to be made, the Director of the State Department of Transportation or the official of the State Department of Transportation designated will notify the railroad or railroads involved, stating the time and route of the anticipated move.
(b) The fee for the issuance of such permits shall be the same as set forth in Section 32-9-29(c).
(a) Authorized; application; issuance; seasonal, etc., limitations; refusal, revocation or cancellation.
(1) The Director of the Department of Transportation or the official of the department designated by the director may, in his discretion, upon application and for good cause being shown therefor, issue a permit in writing authorizing the applicant to operate or move upon the state's public roads a vehicle or combination of no more than two vehicles and loads whose weight, width, length or height, or combination thereof, exceeds the maximum limit specified by law; provided, that the load transported by such vehicle or vehicles is of such nature that it is a unit which cannot be readily dismantled or separated; provided however, that bulldozers and similar construction equipment shall not be deemed readily separable for purposes of this chapter; and further provided, that no permit shall be issued to any vehicle whose operation upon the public roads of this state threatens to unduly damage a road or any appurtenances thereto.
(2) Permits may be issued on application to the department to persons, firms or corporations. The director shall promulgate reasonable rules and regulations which are necessary or desirable governing the issuance of such permits; provided, that such rules and regulations shall not conflict with the provisions of this title and other provisions of law.
(3) The original copy of every such permit shall be carried in the vehicle itself and shall be open to inspection by any police officer or state trooper or authorized agent of the department.
(4) The application for any such permit shall specifically describe the type of permit applied for, as said types of permits are described in subsection (b) of this section, and the application for a single trip permit shall, in addition, describe the points of departure and destination.
(5) The director or the official of the department designated by the director is authorized to withhold such permit or, if such permit is issued, to establish seasonal or other time limitations within which the vehicles described may be operated on the public road indicated, or otherwise to limit or prescribe conditions of operation of such vehicle, when necessary to assure against undue damage to the road foundation, surfaces or bridge structures, and require such undertaking or other security as may be deemed necessary to compensate the state for any injury to any roadway or bridge structure.
(6) For just cause, including, but not limited to, repeated and consistent past violations, the director or an official of the department designated by the director may refuse to issue, or may cancel, suspend or revoke, the permit of an applicant or permittee.
(b) Duration and limits of permits; bond or insurance requirements.
(1)a. ANNUAL. The director or the official of the department designated by the director may, pursuant to the provisions of this section, issue an annual permit which shall permit the vehicle or combination vehicle and load to be operated on the state highway system of this state for 12 months from the date the permit is issued, even though the vehicle or its load exceeds the maximum limits specified in this article; provided, that an annual permit shall not authorize the operation of a vehicle including all enforcement tolerances:
1. Whose total gross weight exceeds 150,000 pounds; provided, that gross weights over 100,000 pounds shall require advance routing by the department;
2. Whose single axle weight exceeds 22,000 pounds;
3. Whose total length exceeds 75 feet; with the exception of mobile homes, whose length limitations, including towing vehicle, shall be 85 feet;
4. Whose total width exceeds 120 inches or whose load width exceeds 144 inches; with the exception of mobile homes, whose width limitation shall be 168 inches; provided, that mobile homes whose width exceeds 144 inches shall require advance route approval by the department; or
5. Whose height exceeds 14 feet.
A permit to operate a vehicle which exceeds the statutory limits of height, weight, width or length shall be issued only on condition of payment of an indemnity bond or proof of insurance protection for $300,000.00, said bond or insurance protection conditioned for payment to the department to be held in trust for the benefit of the owners of bridges and appurtenances thereof, traffic signals, signs or other highway structures damaged by a vehicle operating under authority of such overheight permit. The liability under the bond or insurance certificate shall be contingent upon proof of negligence or fault on the part of the permittee, his agents or operators.
b. Notwithstanding paragraph a., the director pursuant to this section, may issue an annual permit to operate a vehicle which exceeds the maximum limits otherwise provided in this article for rubber-tired equipment used solely in the scope and operation of mining refractory grade bauxite. The equipment may not exceed the limits of paragraph a., except that the permit may not authorize the operation of a vehicle, including enforcement tolerances, which exceeds 16 feet in width, exceeds 18 feet in height, or exceeds a single axle weight of 27,000 pounds. In addition, the permit may not authorize the operation of the vehicle on any bridge, over or under any overpass, or on an interstate highway. The fee for the annual permit shall be one hundred dollars ($100).
(2) SINGLE TRIP. The director may issue a single trip permit, pursuant to the provisions of this section, to any vehicle.
(c) Fees. The director may promulgate rules and regulations concerning the issuance of permits and charge a fee for the issuance as follows:
(1) ANNUAL. Charges for the issuance of annual permits shall be as follows:
a. For modular homes, sectional houses, portable buildings, boats and any vehicle or combination of vehicles, $100.00; except, that a vehicle or combination of vehicles having trailer or combination of trailers with sidewalls or roof which has transported modular homes, sectional houses and portable buildings may, after depositing any said load, return unloaded to its point of origin, even though the unloaded vehicles exceed the 55 foot limitation provided for in this article, up to and including 12 feet wide and 75 feet long.
b. For heavy commodities or equipment, overweight, overlength, overheight and overwidth, $100.00. A tractor and trailer (low boy type) may, after depositing a load referred to in this subparagraph, return to its point of origin, even though the unloaded tractor and trailer (low boy type) may exceed the 55 foot limitation provided for in this article up to and including 12 feet wide and 75 feet long.
c. For mobile homes up to and including 14 feet wide and 85 feet long, including towing vehicle, $100.00.
(2) SINGLE TRIP. Charges for the issuance of single trip permits shall be as follows:
a. Mobile homes, modular homes, sectional houses, portable buildings and boats:
1. Up to and including 12 feet wide and 75 feet long, $10.00.
2. Boats in excess of 12 feet wide, $20.00.
3. Mobile homes, modular homes, sectional houses and portable buildings in excess of 12 feet wide and/or 75 feet long, $20.00.
b. Heavy commodities or equipment:
1. Over on any limitations as to length, height or width, $10.00.
2. Over on weight, as follows:
|WEIGHT PERMITTED||PERMIT FEE|
|From 80,001 pounds up to 100,000 pounds||$ 10.00|
|From 100,001 pounds up to 125,000 pounds||30.00|
|From 125,001 pounds up to 150,000 pounds||60.00|
|From 150,001 pounds and over||100.00|
1. Houses, $20.00.
2. Off-the-road equipment, $10.00.
3. Other oversized vehicles, loads and equipment not herein specified, $20.00.
4. Other overheight loads not herein specified, $10.00.
(d) Certain vehicles on interstate highways. Under the provisions of this section, 14 feet-wide vehicles and combination vehicles and load may be issued a permit to travel the interstate highways.
(e) Violations of federal law, etc. No permit shall be issued under this section if the issuance of the permit would violate United States law or would cause the State of Alabama to lose federal-aid funds. Notwithstanding any provisions of any statute to the contrary, all permit fees collected in accordance with this section shall be paid to the Public Road and Bridge Fund in addition to any sums appropriated therefor to the department.
(f) Farm and agricultural commodities and equipment exempt. The term 'heavy commodities or equipment,' as used in this section, is not intended to include farm and agricultural commodities or equipment, and such farm or agricultural commodities and equipment are exempt from the requirement of obtaining permits for movement on the state highway system of Alabama.
Any peace officer, including sheriffs and their deputies, constables and their deputies, police officers and marshals of cities or incorporated towns, county police or patrols, state or county license inspectors and their deputies, state troopers and special officers appointed by any agency of the State of Alabama for the enforcement of its laws relating to motor vehicles, now existing or hereafter enacted, shall be authorized, and it is hereby made the duty of each of them to enforce the provisions of this chapter and to make arrests for any violation or violations thereof, without warrant, if the offense is committed in his presence, and with warrant if he does not observe the commission of the offense. If the arrest is made without warrant, the accused may elect to be immediately taken before the nearest court having jurisdiction, whereupon it shall be the duty of the officer to so take him. If the accused elects not to be so taken, then it shall be the duty of the officer to require of the accused a bail bond in a sum not to exceed $300.00, conditioned that the accused binds himself to appear in the nearest court having jurisdiction at the time fixed in the bond. In case the arrested person fails to appear on the day fixed, the bond shall be forfeited in the manner as is provided for the forfeiture of bonds in other cases. No officer shall be permitted to take a cash bond. The officer making the arrest and taking the bond shall report the same to the court having jurisdiction within 18 hours after taking such bond.
Any officer enumerated in Section 32-9-3 having reason to believe that the height, length, width or weight of any truck, semitrailer truck or trailer is in excess of the maximum limits prescribed by Section 32-9-20 or permitted by any permit issued under authority of Section 32-9-29 is authorized to measure or weigh the same, either by means of portable or stationary scales, and may require such vehicle to be driven to the nearest stationary scales, in the event such scales are within a distance of five miles. All scales used for the weighing of vehicles as provided in this section shall be approved by the weights and measures division of the Department of Agriculture and Industries. Said officer shall require the operator of said truck, semitrailer truck or trailer to unload such portion of load as may be necessary to decrease the gross weight of such vehicle to the maximum gross weight permitted by this title or by the terms of any permit in the possession of such operator and issued under the provisions of Section 32-9-29 (which excess load, when unloaded, shall be at the sole risk of the owner) or, at the election of the operator, said officer shall permit said operator to move such vehicle and its load to the nearest incorporated town or the nearest court having jurisdiction, at which place said excess load shall be unloaded. The refusal of any such operator to permit his truck, semitrailer truck or trailer to be measured or weighed, or to proceed to a stationary scales or to unload the excess load shall constitute a violation of this chapter.
The Director of the Department of Transportation is authorized to designate, furnish instructions to, prescribe rules and regulations for the conduct of and to supervise official stations for determining the weight of motor vehicles at such points as it may be deemed necessary. Such designated weighing devices shall be checked by the weights and measures division of the Department of Agriculture and Industries and certified to be correct within the tolerances prescribed under the rules and regulations established by the state Department of Agriculture and Industries, and checks shall be made at such points as is deemed necessary by the weights and measures division of the Department of Agriculture and Industries. All stations shall comply with the requirements of the director and shall be available for the use of all officers in the enforcement of this chapter. The expense of weighing such motor vehicles shall be paid out of any funds made available for the use of the state highway patrol. If it is found that any motor vehicle is being operated in violation of this chapter, the expenses of such weighing shall be taxed as part of the costs for the prosecution of such violation. A certificate issued by the chief of the division of weights and measures of the Department of Agriculture and Industries, signed by such official, under oath, and countersigned by the Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries, in which the chief of the division of weights and measures certifies that scales, or weighing devices, have been checked and approved as required under the provisions of this section and Section 32-9-31 and found to be correct, within prescribed tolerances, shall be received in any court as prima facie evidence of the fact that the scales or weighing devices designated and identified in such certificate have been checked and approved for accuracy in accordance with the requirements of this section and Section 32-9-31; provided, that such certificate must show that the scales or weighing devices were checked for accuracy within a period of four months (120 days) prior to the date on which the motor vehicle was weighed to determine whether such vehicle was being operated in violation of this chapter.
All courts having jurisdiction of misdemeanors punishable by a fine of $500.00 or less and by imprisonment or hard labor, as above provided, shall have concurrent jurisdiction of the trial of all offenses under this chapter committed within their respective territorial jurisdictions.
The operation of any truck, semitrailer truck or trailer in violation of any section of this chapter or of the terms of any permit issued under this chapter, shall constitute a misdemeanor, and the owner thereof, if such violation was with his knowledge or consent, and the operator thereof shall, on conviction, be fined not less than $100.00 nor more than $500.00 and may also be imprisoned or sentenced to hard labor for the county for not less than 30 days nor more than 60 days.
All fines and forfeitures collected upon conviction or upon forfeiture of bail of any person charged with a violation of any of the provisions of this chapter constituting a misdemeanor, shall be, within 30 days after such fine or forfeiture is collected, forwarded to the State Treasurer. All amounts received from such fines or forfeitures shall be credited to the State General Fund. Failure, refusal or neglect to comply with the provisions of this section shall constitute misconduct in office and shall be ground for removal therefrom. All fines and forfeitures collected by district courts or municipal courts for violation of ordinances, whether for acts constituting violations of the provisions of this chapter or not, shall be paid into the treasury of such municipality in which the same were collected.