Delaware Axle Weight Limits

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Maximum Legal Weight Allowed 

AXLE GROUP

MAXIMUM

SINGLE

20,000 pounds

TANDEM

34,000 pounds

2 AXLE VEHICLE

40,000 pounds

TRIDEM (THREE AXLE)

54,000 pounds

QUADREM (FOUR AXLE)

74,000 pounds

QUINT (FIVE AXLE)

80,000 pounds

  • A vehicle equipped with 3 AXLES, having each of the 3 AXLES equipped with 2 hubs, with a power brake on each hub, shall not exceed a total gross weight of 65,000 POUNDS; provided, however, that it shall also be lawful to operate such a vehicle to and from any construction site in this State when the total gross weight does not exceed 70,000 POUNDS; and it shall also be lawful to operate such a vehicle containing agricultural products when the gross weight, including vehicle and load does not exceed 70,000 POUNDS; provided further that an annual fee of $100 per vehicle be levied for the use of this extra weight capacity.
  • Axles are measured horizontally between their center lines and must bear weight upon the pavement.
  • A live haul poultry track travelling less than 150 miles from the farm to the plant having a total of 5 or more axles may have a gross weight not to exceed 90,000 POUNDS. The axles must be spaced a minimum of 96 inches apart.
  • Vehicles registered as farm trucks or controlled or operated by a farmer and while used in the operation of a farm are only subject to the listed requirements cited under Farm Operations. Any farm loaded track or farm vehicle carrying harvested products or livestock may additionally exceed the listed maximum weights by 3 percent.
  • Any vehicle that uses auxiliary power or an idle reduction technology unit on order to promote reduction of fuel use and emissions because of engine idling may be allowed up to an additional 400 POUNDS total in gross, axle, tandem, or bridge formula weight limits.
  • Federal Bridge Formula (Maximum Gross Weights For The Interstate System) applies to any axle group spaced more than 8ft at their extreme.

The maximum legal axle weights on all roads except the interstate are:

  • SINGLE AXLE 22,400 pounds,
  • SINGLE UNIT VEHICLES: TANDEM AXLE GROUP 40,000 POUNDS, 2 AXLE VEHICLE 40,000 POUNDS MAXIMUM, 3 AXLE VEHICLE 65,000 POUNDS MAXIMUM, 4 AXLE VEHICLE 73,280 POUNDS MAXIMUM, any 2 consecutive axles spaced between 96 inches and not less than 40 inches apart: 40,000 POUNDS, any 2 consecutive axles spaced less than 40 inches apart: 20,000 POUNDS, any 3 consecutive axles spaced between 144 inches and not less than 60 inches apart: 60,000 POUNDS.
  • COMBINATION VEHICLES: 3 AXLE VEHICLE 60,000 POUNDS, 4 AXLE VEHICLE 70,000 POUNDS, 5 AXLE VEHICLE 80,000 POUNDS, any 2 consecutive axles spaced between 96 inches and not less than 40 inches apart: 36,000 POUNDS, any 2 consecutive axles spaced less than 40 inches apart: 20,000 POUNDS MAXIMUM.
  • FARM OPERATIONS: SINGLE AXLE 22,400 POUNDS, COUPLED AXLES spaced less than 48 inches apart: 20,000 POUNDS, COUPLED AXLES spaced more than 48 inches apart: 40,000 POUNDS.

A permit is required if the Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) exceeds the limits imposed by statute (mentioned above). Vehicles that do not exceed GVW but do exceed individual axle weight(s) will require a permit. Delaware Department of Transport (DelDOT) Bridge Management Section and Materials Research Section will automatically review permits with an individual axle weight at or greater than 25,000 POUNDS. Analysis may occur at a lower weight on a case-by-case basis. The permittee is responsible to effectively distribute a load or reduce the overall weight below this axle limit, as necessary, to lessen the higher live load forces overstressing state structures.

Exemptions:

  • Farm tractors and other implements of husbandry, which are being temporarily operated, moved or transported upon State maintained highways except Interstate and U.S. Routes are not required to obtain a hauling permit. A permit is not required on the Interstate and U.S. Routes when the equipment is being used by farmers engaged in their agricultural related practices. Farm tractors and other implements of husbandry being moved or transported by a manufacturer, dealer, business or commercial transport company would not be considered transported by a farmer engaged in their agricultural related practices, therefore, a hauling permit is required.
  • A permit is not required for any vehicle, including special construction equipment, crossing or entering upon State maintained highways while engaged in construction or maintenance operations, provided such moves are made within the limits of a Federal, State, County, or Municipal Contract.
  • A permit is not required for federally defined Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA) vehicles on the defined STAA routes. The Federal Register, Volume 55, Number 83, dated Monday, April 30, 1990, page 17952, lists the following roads, as well as the Interstates 95, 495 and 295, as the designated STAA routes in Delaware:

U.S. Route 13, from the Maryland State Line, to the I-495 South Interchange in Wilmington.
U.S. Route 40, from the Maryland State Line, to I-295, U.S. Route 13, in Wilmington.
U.S. Route 113, from the Maryland State Line, to U.S. Route 13, in Dover.
U.S. Route 301, from the Maryland State Line, to U.S. Route 40, in Glasgow.
Separately, Delaware has designated U.S. Route 202, from U.S. Route 13, to the Pennsylvania State Line; and State Route 1, from I-95, to U.S. 113, in Dover as routes open to STAA vehicles.

  • A permit is not required for any government (Federal, state or local) owned vehicles, including the load thereon, that are loaded with salt, sand, chemicals or a combination thereof, with or without a plow or blade attached in front and/or sides and being used for the purpose of spreading the material on highways that are or may become snow covered, slick or icy. This exemption also applies to any private entity under contract with a Delaware governmental body performing snow and ice removal operations.

Source of information: http://regulations.delaware.gov/register/january2018/final/21%20DE%20Reg%20585%2001-01-18.htm

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