316.515 Maximum width, height, length.—
(1) WIDTH LIMITATION.–The total outside width of any vehicle or the load thereon may not exceed 102 inches, exclusive of safety devices determined by the department to be necessary for the safe and efficient operation of motor vehicles. The use of public roads that do not have at least one through lane of 12 feet or more in width in each direction, and the use of public roads deemed unsafe for wider vehicles on the basis of safety and engineering analyses, by vehicles exceeding 96 inches in width may be restricted by the Department of Transportation or by local officials for streets and roads under their respective jurisdictions. The total outside width of a noncommercial travel trailer, camping trailer, truck camper, motor home, or private motor coach as defined in s. 320.01 may be more than 102 inches if:
(a) The excess width is attributable to appurtenances that do not extend beyond the exterior rearview mirrors installed on the motor home by the manufacturer or the exterior rearview mirrors of the tow vehicle; and
(b) The exterior rearview mirrors only extend the distance necessary to provide the appropriate field of view for the vehicle before the appurtenances are attached.
(2) HEIGHT LIMITATION.–No vehicle may exceed a height of 13 feet 6 inches, inclusive of load carried thereon. However, an automobile transporter may measure a height not to exceed 14 feet, inclusive of the load carried thereon.
(3) LENGTH LIMITATION.–Except as otherwise provided in this section, length limitations apply solely to a semitrailer or trailer, and not to a truck tractor or to the overall length of a combination of vehicles. No combination of commercial motor vehicles coupled together and operating on the public roads may consist of more than one truck tractor and two trailing units. Unless otherwise specifically provided for in this section, a combination of vehicles not qualifying as commercial motor vehicles may consist of no more than two units coupled together; such nonqualifying combination of vehicles may not exceed a total length of 65 feet, inclusive of the load carried thereon, but exclusive of safety and energy conservation devices approved by the department for use on vehicles using public roads. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, a truck tractor-semitrailer combination engaged in the transportation of automobiles or boats may transport motor vehicles or boats on part of the power unit; and, except as may otherwise be mandated under federal law, an automobile or boat transporter semitrailer may not exceed 50 feet in length, exclusive of the load; however, the load may extend up to an additional 6 feet beyond the rear of the trailer. The 50-feet length limitation does not apply to non-stinger-steered automobile or boat transporters that are 65 feet or less in overall length, exclusive of the load carried thereon, or to stinger-steered automobile or boat transporters that are 75 feet or less in overall length, exclusive of the load carried thereon. For purposes of this subsection, a “stinger-steered automobile or boat transporter” is an automobile or boat transporter configured as a semitrailer combination wherein the fifth wheel is located on a drop frame located behind and below the rearmost axle of the power unit. Notwithstanding paragraphs (a) and (b), any straight truck or truck tractor-semitrailer combination engaged in the transportation of horticultural trees may allow the load to extend up to an additional 10 feet beyond the rear of the vehicle, provided said trees are resting against a retaining bar mounted above the truck bed so that the root balls of the trees rest on the floor and to the front of the truck bed and the tops of the trees extend up over and to the rear of the truck bed, and provided the overhanging portion of the load is covered with protective fabric.
(a) Straight trucks.–No straight truck may exceed a length of 40 feet in extreme overall dimension, exclusive of safety and energy conservation devices approved by the department for use on vehicles using public roads. A straight truck may tow no more than one trailer, and such trailer may not exceed a length of 28 feet. However, such trailer limitation does not apply if the overall length of the truck-trailer combination is 65 feet or less, including the load thereon. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section, a truck-trailer combination engaged in the transportation of boats, or boat trailers whose design dictates a front-to-rear stacking method shall not exceed the length limitations of this paragraph exclusive of the load; however, the load may extend up to an additional 6 feet beyond the rear of the trailer.
1. A semitrailer operating in a truck tractor-semitrailer combination may not exceed 48 feet in extreme overall outside dimension, measured from the front of the unit to the rear of the unit and the load carried thereon, exclusive of safety and energy conservation devices approved by the department for use on vehicles using public roads, unless it complies with subparagraph 2. A semitrailer which exceeds 48 feet in length and is used to transport divisible loads may operate in this state only if issued a permit under s. 316.550 and if such trailer meets the requirements of this chapter relating to vehicle equipment and safety. Except for highways on the tandem trailer truck highway network, public roads deemed unsafe for longer semitrailer vehicles or those roads on which such longer vehicles are determined not to be in the interest of public convenience shall, in conformance with s. 316.006, be restricted by the Department of Transportation or by the local authority to use by semitrailers not exceeding a length of 48 feet, inclusive of the load carried thereon but exclusive of safety and energy conservation devices approved by the department for use on vehicles using public roads. Truck tractor-semitrailer combinations shall be afforded reasonable access to terminals; facilities for food, fuel, repairs, and rest; and points of loading and unloading.
2. A semitrailer which is more than 48 feet but not more than 53 feet in extreme overall outside dimension, as measured pursuant to subparagraph 1., may operate on public roads, except roads on the State Highway System which are restricted by the Department of Transportation or other roads restricted by local authorities, if:
a. The distance between the kingpin or other peg that locks into the fifth wheel of a truck tractor and the center of the rear axle or rear group of axles does not exceed 41 feet, or, in the case of a semitrailer used exclusively or primarily to transport vehicles in connection with motorsports competition events, the distance does not exceed 46 feet from the kingpin to the center of the rear axles; and
b. It is equipped with a substantial rear-end underride protection device meeting the requirements of 49 C.F.R. s. 393.86, “Rear End Protection.”
(c) Tandem trailer trucks.—
1. Except for semitrailers and trailers of up to 281/2 feet in length which existed on December 1, 1982, and which were actually and lawfully operating on that date, no semitrailer or trailer operating in a truck tractor-semitrailer-trailer combination may exceed a length of 28 feet in extreme overall outside dimension, measured from the front of the unit to the rear of the unit and the load carried thereon, exclusive of safety and energy conservation devices approved by the Department of Transportation for use on vehicles using public roads.
2. Tandem trailer trucks conforming to the weight and size limitations of this chapter and in immediate transit to or from a terminal facility as defined in this chapter may operate on the public roads of this state except for residential neighborhood streets restricted by the Department of Transportation or local jurisdictions. In addition, the Department of Transportation or local jurisdictions may restrict these vehicles from using streets and roads under their maintenance responsibility on the basis of safety and engineering analyses, provided that the restrictions are consistent with the provisions of this chapter. The Department of Transportation shall develop safety and engineering standards to be used by all jurisdictions when identifying public roads and streets to be restricted from tandem trailer truck operations.
3. Except as otherwise provided in this section, within 5 miles of the Federal National Network for large trucks, tandem trailer trucks shall be afforded access to terminals; facilities for food, fuel, repairs, and rest; and points of loading and unloading.
4. Notwithstanding the provisions of any general or special law to the contrary, all local system tandem trailer truck route review procedures must be consistent with those adopted by the Department of Transportation.
5. Tandem trailer trucks employed as household goods carriers and conforming to the weight and size limitations of this chapter shall be afforded access to points of loading and unloading on the public streets and roads of this state, except for streets and roads that have been restricted from use by such vehicles on the basis of safety and engineering analyses by the jurisdiction responsible for maintenance of the streets and roads.
(d) Maxi-cube vehicles.–Maxi-cube vehicles shall be allowed to operate on routes open to tandem trailer trucks under the same conditions applicable to tandem trailer trucks as specified by this section.
(4) LOAD EXTENSION LIMITATION.–The load upon any vehicle operated alone, or the load upon the front vehicle of a combination of vehicles, may not extend more than 3 feet beyond the front wheels of the vehicle or the front bumper of the vehicle if it is equipped with a bumper.
(a) The limitations of this subsection do not apply to bicycle racks carrying bicycles on public sector transit vehicles.
(b) The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to a front-end loading collection vehicle, when:
1. The front-end loading mechanism and container or containers are in the lowered position;
2. The vehicle is engaged in collecting solid waste or recyclable or recovered materials;
3. The vehicle is being operated at speeds less than 20 miles per hour with the vehicular hazard-warning lights activated; and
4. The extension does not exceed 8 feet 6 inches.
(5) IMPLEMENTS OF HUSBANDRY; AGRICULTURAL TRAILERS; FORESTRY EQUIPMENT; SAFETY REQUIREMENTS.–
(a) Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, straight trucks, agricultural tractors, and cotton module movers, not exceeding 50 feet in length, or any combination of up to and including three implements of husbandry, including the towing power unit, and any single agricultural trailer with a load thereon or any agricultural implements attached to a towing power unit not exceeding 130 inches in width, or a self-propelled agricultural implement or an agricultural tractor not exceeding 130 inches in width, is authorized for the purpose of transporting peanuts, grains, soybeans, cotton, hay, straw, or other perishable farm products from their point of production to the first point of change of custody or of long-term storage, and for the purpose of returning to such point of production, or for the purpose of moving such tractors, movers, and implements from one point of agricultural production to another, by a person engaged in the production of any such product or custom hauler, if such vehicle or combination of vehicles otherwise complies with this section. The Department of Transportation may issue overwidth permits for implements of husbandry greater than 130 inches, but not more than 170 inches, in width. The Department of Transportation may issue overlength permits for cotton module movers greater than 50 feet but not more than 55 feet in overall length. Such vehicles shall be operated in accordance with all safety requirements prescribed by law and rules of the Department of Transportation.
(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, equipment not exceeding 136 inches in width and not capable of speeds exceeding 20 miles per hour which is used exclusively for harvesting forestry products is authorized for the purpose of transporting equipment from one point of harvest to another point of harvest, not to exceed 10 miles, by a person engaged in the harvesting of forestry products. Such vehicles must be operated during daylight hours only, in accordance with all safety requirements prescribed by s. 316.2295(5) and (6).
(6) TOUR TRAINS.–Any tour train or similar operation which has been continuously conducted for 120 days prior to the date this chapter becomes law is also authorized hereunder, subject to the length restriction and other restrictions imposed by law, not in conflict with the provisions of this chapter.
(7) FIRE OR EMERGENCY VEHICLES, UTILITY VEHICLES, AND OTHER VEHICLES TRANSPORTING NONDIVISIBLE LOADS.–The length limitations imposed by this section do not apply to:
(a) Vehicles of a fire department or emergency vehicles owned or operated by governmental entities.
(b) Utility vehicles owned or operated by governmental entities or public utility corporations, or operated under contract with such entities or corporations:
1. When transporting poles during daytime, except on weekends and holidays, as defined in the rules of the Department of Transportation, and when the vehicle and load do not exceed 120 feet in overall length, provided proper flags are located at the rearmost end of the load. However, such movements with an overall length in excess of 75 feet:
a. Shall be equipped with a working warning light device.
b. Shall be accompanied by a company-provided flasher-equipped escort vehicle when making turns within corporate city limits.
2.a. When transporting poles during nighttime and when the vehicle and load do not exceed 120 feet in overall length. Such movements shall be equipped with a working warning light device and shall be accompanied by one leading and one trailing company-provided flasher-equipped escort vehicle.
b. The provisions of sub-subparagraph a. notwithstanding, for vehicles and loads with overall lengths not exceeding 85 feet and being transported under emergency conditions, only a single trailing company-owned flasher-equipped escort vehicle shall be required, provided that the pole being transported shall be equipped with active marker lights, visible from both sides, at a maximum of 6-foot intervals mounted along the pole or trailer extending the length of the trailer and at 36-inch intervals along the pole extending beyond the rear of the trailer.
3. When transporting poles during emergencies or required maintenance. Such movements may be made on all days and at all hours, provided the respective daytime or nighttime requirements are otherwise met.
4. When operating flasher-equipped straight truck utility vehicles that have permanently mounted equipment that extends up to 9 feet beyond the front bumper, provided:
a. Such equipment, when in the travel position, is supported in such a manner that it has a minimum of 80 inches clearance above the roadway;
b. Such equipment is illuminated on the forwardmost sides with high visibility reflective tape;
c. The respective daytime and nighttime requirements for operation are otherwise met;
d. Nighttime emergency or required maintenance operation of such utility vehicles with overall lengths in excess of 50 feet are led by a company-provided flasher-equipped escort vehicle; and
e. Trailers are not pulled by utility vehicles over 50 feet in length.
A flasher-equipped escort vehicle is defined as an automobile or truck that closely accompanies an over dimensional vehicle or load carried thereon to alert approaching traffic of that vehicle or load. Such escort vehicles shall be equipped with a working warning light device, as defined in this subsection, except that such device shall be located on top of the escort vehicle. Warning light devices required in this subsection shall be consistent with size, color, type, intensity, and mounting requirements developed by the Department of Transportation.
(c) Truck tractor-semitrailer or pole trailer combination vehicles transporting poles or other objects of a structural nature that cannot be readily dismembered, when operating in the daytime, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays and when the vehicle and load do not exceed 75 feet when proper flags are displayed as required in s. 316.228.
(d) Vehicles transporting tree-length unprocessed logs, when operating in the daytime and when the vehicle and load do not exceed 75 feet; but, in respect to such movement, proper flags shall be located at the extreme ends of the load.
(e) Straight trucks transporting poles or other objects of a structural nature that cannot be readily dismembered, when operating in the daytime, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, when the load does not extend past the rearmost part of the vehicle more than one-half the length of the permanent bed or cargo-carrying structure of the vehicle, when at least two-thirds of the length of the cargo rests on the bed or cargo-carrying structure, when the load complies with subsection (4), and when proper flags are displayed in accordance with s. 316.228.
(8) WRECKERS.–The limitations imposed by this section do not apply to a combination of motor vehicles consisting of a wrecker licensed in accordance with s. 320.08(5)(d) or (e) and a disabled motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, or tractor-trailer combination, or a replacement motor vehicle, which is under tow by the wrecker, if the size and weight of the towed vehicle is consistent with statutory requirements and the requirements of this subsection.
(a) The limitations imposed by this section do not apply to a combination of motor vehicles consisting of a wrecker licensed under the International Registration Plan and a disabled motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, tractor-trailer combination, or a replacement motor vehicle, which is under tow by the wrecker, if the size and weight of the towed vehicle is consistent with statutory requirements and the requirements of this subsection.
(b) However, a wrecker may not tow a disabled nonconforming vehicle operating under a current special use permit or permits where the combined weight of the wrecker and the towed nonconforming vehicle exceeds the permitted weight of the towed vehicle’s permit.
(c) Where the combined weight of the wrecker and the towed vehicle exceeds the maximum weight limits as established by s. 316.535, the wrecker must be operating under a current wrecker special use permit or permits as provided in s. 316.550(4) or in accordance with paragraph (b).
(d) The limitations imposed by this section do not apply to a combination of motor vehicles consisting of a wrecker licensed in accordance with s. 320.08(5)(d) or (e) and a nondisabled tractor-trailer combination that is under tow by the wrecker, if the tractor-trailer combination is being towed by the wrecker in an emergency situation as directed by a law enforcement officer. No wrecker shall tow a nondisabled tractor-trailer combination except in an emergency situation as directed by a law enforcement officer, or as provided in s. 715.07.
(9) BUSES AND PRIVATE MOTOR COACHES.–
(a) Anything in this chapter to the contrary notwithstanding, no bus or private motor coach may exceed a length of 50 feet, for a single-unit coach, or 65 feet, for an articulated coach. No bus or private motor coach may exceed a width of 102 inches, exclusive of safety equipment.
(b) School buses which are subject to the provisions of s. 316.615 or chapter 1006 are exempt from the provisions of this subsection.
(10) AUTOMOBILE TOWAWAY AND DRIVEAWAY OPERATIONS.–An automobile towaway or driveaway operation transporting new or used trucks may use what is known to the trade as “saddle mounts” if the overall length does not exceed 97 feet and no more than three saddle mounts are towed. Such combinations may include one full mount. Saddle mount combinations must also comply with the applicable safety regulations in 49 C.F.R. s. 393.71.
(11) REFUSE COLLECTION AND TRANSPORT VEHICLES.–A combination of vehicles up to five in number is authorized for the sole purpose of collecting refuse and transporting refuse to a dump. Such a vehicle or combination of vehicles shall be covered in such a manner that refuse transported therein does not spill from the vehicles, shall otherwise comply with the provisions of this section, and shall use the state roads only to the extent necessary to collect and dispose of refuse.
(12) TURNPIKE LIMITATIONS.–The adopted vehicle width, height, and length rules of the Florida Turnpike are in addition to the requirements of this section. Vehicles seeking to operate on the turnpike shall meet the requirements of the rules adopted by the Department of Transportation for the turnpike.
(13) MAINTENANCE EQUIPMENT.–The vehicular dimensional limitations imposed by this section do not apply to equipment owned or operated by the Department of Transportation when performing maintenance operations on public roads during daylight hours. However, such equipment shall be operated in accordance with all safety requirements prescribed by law and Department of Transportation rules.
(14) MANUFACTURED BUILDINGS.–The Department of Transportation may, in its discretion and upon application and good cause shown therefor that the same is not contrary to the public interest, issue a special permit for truck tractor-semitrailer combinations where the total number of overwidth deliveries of manufactured buildings, as defined in s. 553.36(12), may be reduced by permitting the use of an overlength trailer of no more than 54 feet.
(15) MOTOR HOMES.–No motor home may exceed a length of 45 feet exclusive of bumpers and safety devices.
History.–s. 1, ch. 71-135; s. 1, ch. 74-117; s. 1, ch. 76-31; s. 4, ch. 79-99; ss. 3, 7, ch. 81-209; s. 3, ch. 83-298; s. 1, ch. 84-122; s. 2, ch. 85-81; s. 80, ch. 85-180; s. 3, ch. 85-343; s. 1, ch. 86-230; s. 8, ch. 86-243; s. 1, ch. 86-260; s. 1, ch. 86-282; s. 6, ch. 88-215; s. 3, ch. 88-246; s. 64, ch. 89-282; s. 1, ch. 89-320; s. 2, ch. 90-200; s. 4, ch. 91-418; s. 1, ch. 93-33; s. 4, ch. 95-247; s. 1, ch. 97-58; s. 9, ch. 97-280; s. 33, ch. 97-300; ss. 15, 16, ch. 2000-313; s. 41, ch. 2002-1; ss. 5, 69, ch. 2002-20; s. 11, ch. 2002-295; s. 957, ch. 2002-387; s. 15, ch. 2003-286; s. 11, ch. 2004-257; s. 19, ch. 2006-290.
Note.–Former s. 316.196.
316.516 Width, height, and length; inspection; penalties.—
(1) Any law enforcement officer, as prescribed in s. 316.640, or any weight and safety officer of the Department of Transportation, as prescribed in s. 316.545(1), who has reason to believe that the width, height, or length of a vehicle or combination of vehicles and the load thereon is not in conformance with s. 316.515 is authorized to require the driver to stop and submit such vehicle and load to measurement of its width, height, or length.
(2) Whenever an officer, upon measuring a vehicle or combination of vehicles and the load thereon, determines that such vehicle exceeds the dimensional criteria established in s. 316.515 and that no valid special permit exists for such vehicle or vehicles, the officer may require the driver to stop the vehicle in a suitable place and leave it standing until either:
(a) A special permit is obtained in accordance with s. 316.550; or
(b) All offending irregularities are corrected.
(3) Special permit fees and civil penalties that may be incurred pursuant to the requirements of this section are in addition to the citation for a nonmoving violation and the penalties that may be imposed under chapter 318.
(4) Notwithstanding other provisions of this chapter, penalties for violation of the maximum limits for width, height, and length provided for in s. 316.515 are as follows:
(a) Two hundred and fifty dollars per foot of violation or any portion thereof for width and height limit violations.
(b)1. Forty dollars for length limit violations not exceeding 2 feet over the length limit;
2. One hundred dollars for length limit violations of greater than 2 feet but not exceeding 10 feet over the length limit; or
3. Two hundred and fifty dollars for length limit violations of greater than 10 feet, plus $250 for every additional foot or any portion thereof that exceeds 11 feet over the length limit.
(c) No individual penalty issued under the provisions of this subsection shall exceed $1,000 for each width, height, or length violation.
(5) All penalties imposed for violations of this section shall be assessed, collected, and deposited in accordance with the provisions of s. 316.545(6).
History.–s. 4, ch. 83-298; s. 3, ch. 85-81; s. 1, ch. 85-87; s. 2, ch. 90-177; s. 5, ch. 95-247; s. 33, ch. 96-350; s. 34, ch. 97-300.
316.520 Loads on vehicles.—
(1) A vehicle may not be driven or moved on any highway unless the vehicle is so constructed or loaded as to prevent any of its load from dropping, shifting, leaking, blowing, or otherwise escaping therefrom, except that sand may be dropped only for the purpose of securing traction or water or other substance may be sprinkled on a roadway in cleaning or maintaining the roadway.
(2) It is the duty of every owner and driver, severally, of any vehicle hauling, upon any public road or highway open to the public, dirt, sand, lime rock, gravel, silica, or other similar aggregate or trash, garbage, any inanimate object or objects, or any similar material that could fall or blow from such vehicle, to prevent such materials from falling, blowing, or in any way escaping from such vehicle. Covering and securing the load with a close-fitting tarpaulin or other appropriate cover or a load securing device meeting the requirements of 49 C.F.R. s. 393.100 or a device designed to reasonably ensure that cargo will not shift upon or fall from the vehicle is required and shall constitute compliance with this section.
(3)(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b), a violation of this section is a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a nonmoving violation as provided in chapter 318.
(b) Any person who willfully violates the provisions of this section which offense results in serious bodily injury or death to an individual and which offense occurs as a result of failing to comply with subsections (1) and (2) commits a criminal traffic offense and a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(4) The provision of subsection (2) requiring covering and securing the load with a close-fitting tarpaulin or other appropriate cover does not apply to vehicles carrying agricultural products locally from a harvest site or to or from a farm on roads where the posted speed limit is 65 miles per hour or less and the distance driven on public roads is less than 20 miles.
History.–s. 1, ch. 71-135; s. 1, ch. 73-174; s. 1, ch. 74-111; s. 1, ch. 76-31; ss. 5, 235, ch. 99-248; ss. 70, 106, ch. 2002-20; s. 4, ch. 2002-235.
Note.–Former s. 316.198.