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1998 Minnesota Statutes

This is a historical version of this statute section. Also view the most recent published version.

169.825 Weight limitations.

Subdivision 1. Definitions. The terms defined in this section shall have the meanings given them.

Subd. 2. Gross weight. "Gross weight" means the weight on any single wheel, single axle or group of consecutive axles and the gross vehicle weight.

Subd. 3. Single axle. "Single axle" includes all wheels whose centers may be included within two parallel transverse vertical planes 40 inches apart.

Subd. 3a. Tandem. "Tandem axles" means two consecutive axles whose centers are spaced more than 40 inches and not more than 96 inches apart.

Subd. 4. Single wheel. "Single wheel" includes two or more wheels with centers less than 48 inches apart on an axle.

Subd. 5. Tire width. "Tire width" means the manufacturer's width as shown on the tire or the width at the widest part of the tire excluding protective side ribs, bars and decorations.

Subd. 6. Tridem axles. "Tridem axles" mean three axles spaced within 9 feet or less.

Subd. 7. Variable load axle. "Variable load axle" means any axle which is specifically designed so that, through use of an actuating control, the wheels may be lifted so that the wheels do not contact the road surface or may be lowered to carry loads of varying weights when in contact with the road surface.

Subd. 8. Pneumatic-tired vehicle. No vehicle or combination of vehicles equipped with pneumatic tires shall be operated upon the highways of this state:

(a) Where the gross weight on any wheel exceeds 9,000 pounds, except that on designated local routes and state trunk highways the gross weight on any single wheel shall not exceed 10,000 pounds.

(b) Where the gross weight on any single axle exceeds 18,000 pounds, except that on designated local routes and state trunk highways the gross weight on any single axle shall not exceed 20,000 pounds.

(c) Where the maximum wheel load:

(1) on the foremost and rearmost steering axles, exceeds 600 pounds per inch of tire width or the manufacturer's recommended load, whichever is less; or

(2) on other axles, exceeds 500 pounds per inch of tire width or the manufacturer's recommended load, whichever is less. Clause (2) applies to new vehicles manufactured after August 1, 1991. For vehicles manufactured before August 2, 1991, the maximum weight per inch of tire width is 600 pounds per inch or the manufacturer's recommended load, whichever is less, until August 1, 1996. After July 31, 1996, clause (2) applies to all vehicles regardless of date of manufacture.

(d) Where the gross weight on any axle of a tridem exceeds 15,000 pounds, except that for vehicles to which an additional axle has been added prior to June 1, 1981, the maximum gross weight on any axle of a tridem may be up to 16,000 pounds provided the gross weight of the tridem combination does not exceed 39,900 pounds where the first and third axles of the tridem are spaced nine feet apart.

(e) Where the gross weight on any group of axles exceeds the weights permitted under this section with any or all of the interior axles disregarded, and with an exterior axle disregarded if the exterior axle is a variable load axle that is not carrying its intended weight, and their gross weights subtracted from the gross weight of all axles of the group under consideration.

Subd. 9. Vehicle not equipped with pneumatic tires. A vehicle or combination of vehicles not equipped with pneumatic tires shall be governed by the provisions of this section, except that the gross weight limitations shall be reduced by 40 percent.

Subd. 10. Gross weight schedule. (a) No vehicle or combination of vehicles equipped with pneumatic tires shall be operated upon the highways of this state where the total gross weight on any group of two or more consecutive axles of any vehicle or combination of vehicles exceeds that given in the following table for the distance between the centers of the first and last axles of any group of two or more consecutive axles under consideration; unless otherwise noted, the distance between axles being measured longitudinally to the nearest even foot, and when the measurement is a fraction of exactly one-half foot the next largest whole number in feet shall be used, except that when the distance between axles is more than three feet four inches and less than three feet six inches the distance of four feet shall be used:

Maximum gross weight in pounds on a group of 2 3 4 Distances consecutive consecutive consecutive in feet axles of axles of axles of between a 2-axle a 3-axle a 4-axle centers vehicle vehicle vehicle of fore- or of any or of any or any com- most and vehicle or vehicle or bination of rearmost combination combination vehicles axles of of vehicles of vehicles having a a group having a having a total of 4 total of 2 total of 3 or more axles or more axles or more axles 4 34,000 5 34,000 6 34,000 7 34,000 37,000 8 34,000 38,500 8 plus 34,000 42,000 (38,000) 9 35,000 43,000 (39,000) 10 36,000 43,500 49,000 (40,000) 11 36,000 44,500 49,500 12 45,000 50,000 13 46,000 51,000 14 46,500 51,500 15 47,500 52,000 16 48,000 53,000 17 49,000 53,500 18 49,500 54,000 19 50,500 55,000 20 51,000 55,500 21 52,000 56,000 22 52,500 57,000 23 53,500 57,500 24 54,000 58,000 25 (55,000) 59,000 26 (55,500) 59,500 27 (56,500) 60,000 28 (57,000) 61,000 29 (58,000) 61,500 30 (58,500) 62,000 31 (59,500) 63,000 32 (60,000) 63,500 33 64,000 34 65,000 35 65,500 36 66,000 37 67,000 38 67,500 39 68,000 40 69,000 41 69,500 42 70,000 43 71,000 44 71,500 45 72,000 46 72,500 47 (73,500) 48 (74,000) 49 (74,500) 50 (75,500) 51 (76,000)

The maximum gross weight on a group of three consecutive axles where the distance between centers of foremost and rearmost axles is listed as seven feet or eight feet applies only to vehicles manufactured before August 1, 1991.

"8 plus" refers to any distance greater than eight feet but less than nine feet.

Maximum gross weight in pounds on a group of 5 6 7 Distances consecutive consecutive consecutive in feet axles of a axles of axles of between 5-axle vehicle a combination a combination centers or any com- of vehicles of vehicles of fore- bination of having a total having a total most and vehicles of 6 or more of 7 or more rearmost having a total axles axles axles of of 5 or more a group axles 14 57,000 15 57,500 16 58,000 17 59,000 18 59,500 19 60,000 20 60,500 66,000 72,000 21 61,500 67,000 72,500 22 62,000 67,500 73,000 23 62,500 68,000 73,500 24 63,000 68,500 74,000 25 64,000 69,000 75,000 26 64,500 70,000 75,500 27 65,000 70,500 76,000 28 65,500 71,000 76,500 29 66,500 71,500 77,000 30 67,000 72,000 77,500 31 67,500 73,000 78,500 32 68,000 73,500 79,000 33 69,000 74,000 79,500 34 69,500 74,500 80,000 35 70,000 75,000 36 70,500 76,000 37 71,500 76,500 38 72,000 77,000 39 72,500 77,500 40 73,000 78,000 41 (74,000) 79,000 42 (74,500) 79,500 43 (75,000) 80,000 44 (75,500) 45 (76,500) 46 (77,000) 47 (77,500) 48 (78,000) 49 (79,000) 50 (79,500) 51 (80,000)

The gross weights shown in parentheses in this clause are permitted only on state trunk highways and routes designated under section 169.832, subdivision 11.

(b) Notwithstanding any lesser weight in pounds shown in this table but subject to the restrictions on gross vehicle weights in clause (c), two consecutive sets of tandem axles may carry a gross load of 34,000 pounds each and a combined gross load of 68,000 pounds provided the overall distance between the first and last axles of the consecutive sets of tandem axles is 36 feet or more.

(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 169.85, the gross vehicle weight of all axles of a vehicle or combination of vehicles shall not exceed:

(1) 80,000 pounds for any vehicle or combination of vehicles on all state trunk highways as defined in section 160.02, subdivision 2, and for all routes designated under section 169.832, subdivision 11; and

(2) 73,280 pounds for any vehicle or combination of vehicles with five axles or less on all routes, other than state trunk highways and routes that are designated under section 169.832, subdivision 11; and

(3) 80,000 pounds for any vehicle or combination of vehicles with six or more axles on all routes, other than state trunk highways and routes that are designated under section 169.832, subdivision 11.

(d) Repealed, 1991 c 333 s 39

(e) The maximum weights specified in this subdivision for five consecutive axles shall not apply to a four axle ready mix concrete truck which was equipped with a fifth axle prior to June 1, 1981. The maximum gross weight on four or fewer consecutive axles of vehicles excepted by this clause shall not exceed any maximum weight specified for four or fewer consecutive axles in this subdivision.

Subd. 11. Gross weight seasonal increases. (a) The limitations provided in this section are increased:

(1) by ten percent from January 1 to March 7 each winter, statewide;

(2) by ten percent from December 1 through December 31 each winter in the zone bounded as follows: beginning at Pigeon River in the northeast corner of Minnesota; thence in a southwesterly direction along the north shore of Lake Superior along trunk highway No. 61 to the junction with trunk highway No. 210; thence westerly along trunk highway No. 210 to the junction with trunk highway No. 10; thence northwesterly along trunk highway No. 10 to the Minnesota-North Dakota border; thence northerly along that border to the Minnesota-Canadian Border; thence easterly along said Border to Lake Superior; and

(3) by ten percent from the beginning of harvest to November 30 each year for the movement of sugar beets and potatoes within an area having a 75-mile radius from the field of harvest to the point of the first unloading. The commissioner shall not issue permits under this clause if to do so will result in a loss of federal highway funding to the state.

(b) The duration of a ten percent increase in load limits is subject to limitation by order of the commissioner, subject to implementation of springtime load restrictions, or March 7.

(c) When the ten percent increase is in effect, a permit is required for a motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer combination that has a gross weight in excess of 80,000 pounds, an axle group weight in excess of that prescribed in subdivision 10, or a single axle weight in excess of 20,000 pounds and which travels on interstate routes.

(d) In cases where gross weights in an amount less than that set forth in this section are fixed, limited, or restricted on a highway or bridge by or under another section of this chapter, the lesser gross weight as fixed, limited, or restricted may not be exceeded and must control instead of the gross weights set forth in this section.

(e) Notwithstanding any other provision of this subdivision, no vehicle may exceed a total gross vehicle weight of 80,000 pounds on routes which have not been designated by the commissioner under section 169.832, subdivision 11.

(f) The commissioner may, after determining the ability of the highway structure and frost condition to support additional loads, grant a permit extending seasonal increases for vehicles using portions of routes falling within two miles of the southern boundary of the zone described under paragraph (a), clause (2).

Subd. 12. Repealed, 1982 c 617 s 27

Subd. 12a. Gross weight reduction on restricted route. The maximum weight on any single axle, two consecutive axles spaced within eight feet or less, three consecutive axles spaced within nine feet or less, or four consecutive axles spaced within 14 feet or less shall not exceed 18,000 pounds, 34,000 pounds, 43,000 pounds, or 51,500 pounds respectively multiplied by a factor of the axle weight in tons allowed on the restricted route divided by nine. No combination of axle weights shall exceed those weights specified in Minnesota Statutes 1981 Supplement, section 169.825, subdivision 10 for nondesignated routes.

Subd. 13. Consecutive axle weight and number of axles. No vehicle alone nor any single vehicle of a combination of vehicles shall be equipped with more than four axles unless the additional axles are steering axles or castering axles; provided that the limitation on the number of axles as provided in this section shall not apply to any vehicle operated under permit pursuant to section 169.86. No vehicle alone nor any single vehicle of a combination of vehicles shall exceed the posted weight limit for a single vehicle.

Subd. 14. Variable load axle. A vehicle or combination of vehicles equipped with one or more variable load axles shall have the pressure control preset so that the weight carried on the variable load axle may not be varied by the operator during transport of any load. The actuating control for the axle shall function only as an on and off switch. The provisions of this subdivision do not apply to any farm truck registered prior to July 1, 1981, under section 168.013, subdivision 1c, for 57,000 pounds or less. This subdivision does not apply to rear-loading refuse compactor vehicles, except that any refuse compactor vehicle having a tridem rear axle must comply with this subdivision before being issued a special permit under section 169.86, subdivision 5, paragraph (h).

Subd. 15. Application to city vehicle, trunk highway. The provisions of this section do not apply to vehicles operated exclusively in any city in this state which has in effect an ordinance regulating the gross weight of vehicles operated within that city. This subdivision does not apply to trunk highways.

Subd. 16. Application to tow truck. This section does not apply to a tow truck or towing vehicle when towing a disabled vehicle damaged in such manner that the towed vehicle cannot be towed from the rear and when the movement is temporary for the purpose of taking the disabled vehicle to a place of repair.

HIST: 1981 c 321 s 4; 1982 c 424 s 42; 1982 c 617 s 11-13; 1983 c 198 s 9; 1986 c 398 art 13 s 6-9; 1986 c 452 s 20; 1Sp1986 c 3 art 4 s 13; 1991 c 112 s 4; 1991 c 333 s 18,19; 1992 c 578 s 7-10; 1994 c 635 art 1 s 16; 1998 c 372 art 1 s 8

700 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155 ♦ Phone: (651) 296-2868 ♦ TTY: 1-800-627-3529 ♦ Fax: (651) 296-0569