MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE

2007 Regular Session

To: Transportation

By: Representative Parker

House Bill 993

AN ACT TO AMEND SECTIONS 63-5-33 AND 27-19-81, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO INCREASE TO EIGHTY-EIGHT THOUSAND POUNDS THE MAXIMUM GROSS WEIGHT ALLOWED FOR VEHICLES OPERATING ON THE HIGHWAYS OF THIS STATE; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:

SECTION 1. Section 63-5-33, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

63-5-33. (1) Subject to the limitations imposed on wheel and axle loads by Section 63-5-27, and to the further limitations hereinafter specified, the total combined weight (vehicles plus load) on any group of axles of a vehicle or a combination of vehicles shall not exceed the value given in the following table (Table III) corresponding to the distance in feet between the extreme axles of the group, measured longitudinally to the nearest foot, on those highways or parts of highways designated by the Mississippi Transportation Commission as being capable of carrying the maximum load limits and, in addition thereto, such other highways or parts of highways found by the commission to be suitable to carry the maximum load limits from an engineering standpoint, and so designated as such by order of the commission entered upon its minutes and published once each week for three (3) consecutive weeks in a daily newspaper published in this state and having a general circulation therein. The maximum total combined weight carried on any group of two (2) or more consecutive axles shall be determined by the formula contained in the Federal Weight Law enacted January 4, 1975, as follows: W=500 (LN/N-1+12N+36) where W=maximum weight in pounds carried on any group of two (2) or more axles computed to the nearest five hundred (500) pounds, L=distance in feet between the extremes of any group of two (2) or more consecutive axles, and N=number of axles in any group under consideration.

TABLE III

DISTANCE

IN FEET

BETWEEN THE

EXTREMES OF

ANY GROUP

OF 2 OR MORE

CONSECUTIVE MAXIMUM LOAD IN POUNDS CARRIED ON ANY

AXLES GROUP OF 2 OR MORE CONSECUTIVE AXLES

2 axles 3 axles 4 axles 5 axles 6 axles 7 axles

4 34,000

5 34,000

6 34,000 Axle groups in

7 34,000

8 and

less 34,000 34,000 these spacings

More

than

8 38,000 42,000

9 39,000 42,500

10 40,000 43,500 impractical

11 44,000

12 45,000 50,000

13 45,500 50,500

14 46,500 51,500

15 47,000 52,000

16 48,000 52,500 58,000

17 48,500 53,500 58,500

18 49,500 54,000 59,000

19 50,000 54,500 60,000

20 51,000 55,500 60,500 66,000

21 51,500 56,000 61,000 66,500

22 52,500 56,500 61,500 67,000

23 53,000 57,500 62,500 68,000

24 54,000 58,000 63,000 68,500 74,000

25 54,500 58,500 63,500 69,000 74,500

26 55,500 59,500 64,000 69,500 75,000

27 56,000 60,000 65,000 70,000 75,500

28 57,000 60,500 65,500 71,000 76,500

29 57,500 61,500 66,000 71,500 77,000

30 58,500 62,000 66,500 72,000 77,500

31 59,000 62,500 67,500 72,500 78,000

32 60,000 63,500 68,000 73,000 78,500

33 64,000 68,500 74,000 79,000

34 64,500 69,000 74,500 80,000

35 65,500 70,000 75,000 80,000

36 66,000 70,500 75,500 80,000

37 66,500 71,000 76,000 80,000

38 67,500 71,500 77,000 80,000

39 68,000 72,500 77,500 80,000

40 68,500 73,000 78,000 80,000

41 69,500 73,500 78,500 80,000

42 70,000 74,000 79,000 80,000

43 70,500 75,000 80,000 80,000

44 71,500 75,500 80,000 80,000

45 72,000 76,000 80,000 80,000

46 72,500 76,500 80,000 80,000

47 73,500 77,500 80,000 80,000

48 74,000 78,000 80,000 80,000

49 74,500 78,500 80,000 80,000

50 75,500 79,000 80,000 80,000

51 76,000 80,000 80,000 80,000

52 76,500 80,000 80,000 80,000

53 77,500 80,000 80,000 80,000

54 78,000 80,000 80,000 80,000

55 78,500 80,000 80,000 80,000

56 79,500 80,000 80,000 80,000

57 80,000 80,000 80,000 80,000

(2) Moreover, in addition to the per axle weight limitations specified by Section 63-5-27, two (2) consecutive sets of tandem axles may carry a gross load of thirty-four thousand (34,000) pounds each, providing that the overall distance between the first and last axles of such consecutive sets of tandem axles is thirty-six (36) feet or more, except that, until September 1, 1989, the axle distance for tank trailers, dump trailers and ocean transport container haulers may be thirty (30) feet or more. Such overall gross weight may not exceed eighty thousand (80,000) pounds, except as provided by this section.

(3) Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 63-5-27 and/or Section 63-5-29 to the contrary, vehicles * * * shall be allowed a gross weight of not to exceed forty thousand (40,000) pounds on any tandem. Vehicles * * * shall be allowed a tolerance not to exceed ten percent (10%) above their authorized gross vehicle weight, tandem or axle weight; except that the maximum gross vehicle weight of any such vehicle shall not exceed eighty-eight thousand (88,000) pounds * * *. However, neither the increased weights in this subsection nor any tolerance shall be allowed on federal interstate highways or on other highways where a tolerance is specifically prohibited by the Transportation Commission, the county board of supervisors or the municipal governing authorities as provided for in Section 63-5-27. * * *

 * * *

(4) Nothing in this section or subsections (1) through (4) of Section 63-5-27 shall be construed to deny the operation of any vehicle or combination of vehicles that could be lawfully operated upon the interstate highway system of this state on January 4, 1975.

SECTION 2. Section 27-19-81, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

27-19-81. (1) No vehicle shall be registered by the State Tax Commission or by a tax collector, and no license tag whatsoever shall be issued therefor, where the gross weight of such vehicle exceeds the limits provided by law. In the event of an emergency requiring the hauling of a greater gross weight than permitted by law, the owner or operator of such vehicle shall obtain an excess weight authorization from the Mississippi Department of Transportation or local authority having jurisdiction of the particular road, street or highway before operating such vehicle on the highways of this state to haul such a gross weight over a route to be designated by the aforesaid department. It shall then be necessary for the owner or operator of the vehicle to obtain a permit from the Transportation Department, which shall be issued by the department under the same provisions as are provided for the issuance of trip permits under Section 27-19-79, but which permit shall likewise be obtained prior to the operation of such vehicle on the highways. No persons or agencies other than the Mississippi Department of Transportation shall have authority to issue the permits provided for in this section. The fee to be charged for such permits shall be computed in the same manner provided in Section 27-19-79 for each one thousand (1,000) pounds, or fractional part thereof, of gross weight above the licensed capacity of the vehicle, up to the maximum legal weights provided by this article on the roads to be traveled.

This subsection shall apply, but not be limited to, any tractor, road roller or road machinery used solely and specifically in road building or other highway construction or maintenance work.

For each one thousand (1,000) pounds, or fractional part thereof, in excess of the weight authorized by Sections 63-5-29 and 63-5-33 for any such vehicle or in excess of the limits set by the Transportation Department for specified roads and bridges, the fee shall be Five Cents (5) per one thousand (1,000) pounds, or fractional part thereof, for each mile traveled upon the highways of the state, except that the fee for manufactured housing modular units, residential or commercial, shall be Two Cents (2) per one thousand (1,000) pounds, or fractional part thereof, for each mile traveled upon the highways of the state. Provided, however, no permit shall be issued for a fee of less than Ten Dollars ($10.00).

The Transportation Department may provide for an annual permit which will allow preapproved vehicles and loads to travel predesignated routes with self-issued permits. Under such self-issuance authority, the owner of the vehicle shall complete the permit in a format designated by the department, electronically transmit a copy to the department prior to the move, and ensure that a copy is in the possession of the operator. Vehicles having a gross weight exceeding the limits provided by law that have a nondivisible gross vehicle weight of ninety-five thousand (95,000) pounds or less, which are otherwise legal, shall not be restricted as to the hours of the day such vehicles may be operated on predesignated routes. The department shall bill the vehicle owner according to the provisions of the preceding paragraph. The department is authorized to modify predesignated routes at any time for cause, such as highway construction or hazardous highway conditions. The annual fee for the self-issuance permit authority obtained pursuant to this paragraph shall be Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) per owner, regardless of the number of vehicles which he will operate pursuant to such permit, in addition to any other fees required by this section. Any vehicle and load being operated pursuant to this paragraph for which the operator does not have the permit or a copy thereof in his possession, or for which a copy of the permit was not electronically transmitted to the department, shall be deemed not to have a permit and shall be penalized accordingly.

It shall not be necessary for the owner or operator of a vehicle to obtain a permit pursuant to this subsection if such owner or operator has obtained for his vehicle an annual special permit for vehicles transporting heavy equipment pursuant to Section 63-5-52.

(2) Before operating a vehicle where the size of the load being hauled is in excess of that permitted by law, the owner or operator of such vehicle shall obtain excess size authorization from the Transportation Department or proper local authority and an excess size permit from the Transportation Department. Such excess size permit shall be issued by the Mississippi Department of Transportation under the same provisions as are provided for the issuance of trip permits under Section 27-19-79, and it shall be obtained prior to the operation of such vehicle on the highways. The fee to be charged for such excess size permit shall be Ten Dollars ($10.00) per trip. Such permits may be issued for an extended period of time and must coincide with the expiration date and other provisions of the carrier's permit or authorization issued by the Transportation Department or local authority. The fee for such extended permits shall be based upon an annual fee of One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) per carrier. No permit shall be issued under this subsection if the issuance of the permit would violate federal law or would cause the State of Mississippi to lose federal aid funds. This subsection shall not apply to any tractor, road roller or road machinery used solely and specifically in road building or other highway construction or maintenance work or to any machinery or equipment operated on the highways or transported thereon in the course of normal farming activities, including cotton module transporters.

(3) The Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Transportation may authorize certain carriers of property to issue overweight and/or oversize permits for vehicles owned or operated by such carriers, provided such carriers have blanket authorization from the Transportation Commission and also meet other requirements established by the Transportation Commission.

 * * *

(4) Any owner or operator who has met the requirements set by the Mississippi Transportation Commission may defer payment of permits issued by the department until the end of the current month. If full payment is not received by the twentieth of the following month, there may be added as damages to the total amount of the delinquency or deficiency the following percentages: ten percent (10%) for the first offense; fifteen percent (15%) for the second offense; and twenty-five percent (25%) for the third and any subsequent offense. Upon the third offense, the department may suspend the privilege to defer payment. The balance due shall become payable upon notice and demand by the department.

(5) The permit fee monies collected under this section * * * shall be deposited into the State Highway Fund for the construction, maintenance and reconstruction of highways and roads of the State of Mississippi or the payment of interest and principal on bonds authorized by the Legislature for construction and reconstruction of highways.

(6) The department may waive the permits, taxes and fees set forth in this section whenever a motor vehicle is operated upon the public highways in this state in response to an emergency, a major disaster or the threat of a major disaster.

SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2007.