Del. Code tit. 21 § 4501

Current through 2024 Legislative Session Act Chapter 261
Section 4501 - Size and weight of vehicles generally
(a) In accordance with the provisions of § 4503 of this Chapter, a commercial motor vehicle is granted reasonable access between
(1) Interstate roadways, Federal-aid primary system highways, US numbered routes and
(2) Terminals, facilities for food, fuel, repairs, and rest, and points of loading and unloading for household goods carriers, motor carriers of passengers, and any tow-away trailer transporter combination.
(b) No person shall drive or move, or, being the owner, cause or knowingly permit to be driven or moved on any highway, any vehicle or combination of vehicles:
(1) Having a size or weight exceeding the limitations stated in this chapter; or
(2) Having a gross weight exceeding that for which it is lawfully registered; or
(3) In violation of any provision of this title; or
(4) Having a gross weight exceeding that for which it could have been registered in this State if it is registered for a greater weight in another state, unless a reciprocity agreement between the 2 states is in effect; or
(5) In violation of the rules or regulations of the Secretary of Safety and Homeland Security adopted pursuant to this title or this chapter; or
(6) Special mobile equipment.
(c) For purposes of this chapter, any combination of trucks, truck trailers, trailers and semitrailers, not specifically authorized herein, shall be unlawful. The following are authorized:
(1) A truck and trailer.
(2) A truck tractor, semitrailer.
(3) A truck tractor, semitrailer, trailer.
(4) A vehicle string utilizing saddlemount and/or fullmount.
(5) A tow truck and a disabled vehicle or combination of vehicles.
(d) Except as otherwise provided herein, this chapter applies to every vehicle operated upon any road, street or highway within this State. The maximum size and weight of vehicles specified herein by type of highway shall be lawful throughout this State and local authorities may not alter such limitations, except as expressly provided in this chapter.
(e) Any gross weight measurements made to determine compliance with this chapter shall be taken so as to include both the vehicle and load. Any vehicle having a gross weight in excess of that allowable under this chapter or in excess of that for which it is currently registered shall be considered as an "overweight vehicle."
(f) Any linear measurements taken to determine compliance with this chapter shall be taken so as to include the vehicle and any load thereon including any projections of any type, character or nature whatsoever, such as, but not limited to, bumpers, steps, mirrors and hose connections specifically excluding the tongue of a trailer.
(g) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, it shall be unlawful to operate any vehicle at a gross weight which exceeds the weight for which it is registered and provided further that:
(1) Except as otherwise provided in this paragraph, the total gross weight including load, of a combination of a truck tractor and semitrailer having a total of 5 or more axles shall not exceed 80,000 pounds. For a live-haul poultry truck traveling less than 150 miles from the farm to the plant, the total gross weight including load of a combination of a truck tractor and semitrailer having a total of 5 or more axles shall not exceed 90,000 pounds. However, such a live-haul poultry truck may exceed the established weight limit by no more than 3 percent to account for variations in bird weight due to bird size, moisture retention caused by precipitation, or other unanticipated conditions. For the 90,000 pound weight limit and associated 3 percent variance to apply to a live-haul poultry truck, the following conditions must exist:
a. The live-haul poultry truck must be subject to the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP) inspection.
b. The live-haul poultry truck must adhere to all bridge weight limits.
c. The live-haul poultry truck must not use the interstate highway system.
d. The axels on a live-haul poultry truck must be a minimum of 96 inches apart no later than one year after enactment.
(2) The gross weight of a vehicle equipped with 2 or more axles without power brakes on each rear hub shall not exceed 22,000 pounds and it shall be unlawful to operate such vehicle in excess of 20 miles per hour.
(3) The gross weight of a trailer equipped with metal tires shall not exceed 6,000 pounds.
(4) Any vehicle, otherwise required to be registered pursuant to this title which is not registered and which requires a registration fee that is calculated upon gross weight, shall be assigned a weight allowance equal to the highest legal weight for which that vehicle could be registered for the purpose of enforcement of the weight section of this title.
(h) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, it shall be unlawful to operate any vehicle in this State in violation of length, height or size restrictions provided in this title and provided further that:
(1) No passenger vehicle shall carry any load extending beyond the line of the fenders on the left side of such vehicle nor extending more than 6 inches beyond the line of the fender on the right side thereof.
(2) The load upon any vehicle operated alone or the load upon the front vehicle of a combination of vehicles shall not extend more than 3 feet beyond the foremost part of the vehicle; and the load upon any vehicle operated alone or the load upon the rear vehicle of a combination of vehicles shall not extend more than 6 feet beyond the rear of the bed or body of such vehicle. Pilings and/or poles or mill logs, or nursery stock, or rowing shells, or steel beams, pipes, angles, channels and other length or steel, or other metal, or other articles impossible of dismemberment shall not extend more than 10 feet beyond the rear of the bed or body of such vehicle.
(3) A number of motor vehicles may be transported in combination, utilizing saddlemount and/or fullmount mechanisms and utilizing the motive power of 1 of the vehicles in combination, provided such combination of vehicles shall not exceed a length of 65 feet, and provided further that the equipment used in such combinations shall comply with the safety regulations of the United States Department of Transportation.
(4) Except as otherwise indicated herein, the limitations as to length of load stated in this chapter shall not apply to a vehicle or combination of vehicles transporting boats, commonly known as crew or rowing shells for use in interscholastic or intercollegiate rowing contests, provided that such boats shall not exceed 70 feet in length.
(5) Neither the State, any agency or subdivision thereof, nor any person, firm or corporation shall be required to raise, alter, construct or reconstruct any underpass, wire, pole, trestle or other structure to permit passage of any vehicle having a height, including any load thereon, in excess of 12 feet 6 inches. The liability for damage to any person, vehicle, structure or other property caused by any vehicle having a height, including any load thereon, in excess of 12 feet 6 inches shall be borne by the owner and/or the operator of the vehicle.
(i) The provisions of § 4502 of this title do not apply to the following vehicles; provided, however, that the liability for damages caused by any vehicle operated under this provision shall be borne by the owner of said vehicle:
(1) Fire apparatus owned or used by an organized fire company.
(2) Farm equipment being temporarily operated, moved, or transported on a highway, which shall include farm tractors and other implements of husbandry being temporarily moved or transported by a manufacturer, dealer, business, or commercial transport company.
(3) A vehicle being towed with 1 set of axles free of the roadway surface.
(j) Any vehicle or combination of vehicles, otherwise not in compliance with this chapter, but permitted to be operated within this State by virtue of a special use permit pursuant to this chapter, shall be permitted to travel on such highways as shall be designated within the contents of said permit.

21 Del. C. § 4501

Amended by Laws 2019, ch. 93,s 2, eff. 7/4/2019.
Amended by Laws 2017, ch. 223,s 1, eff. 4/17/2018.
Amended by Laws 2013, ch. 220,s 1, eff. 5/8/2014.
36 Del. Laws, c. 10, §§ 114, 117; 37 Del. Laws, c. 10, §§ 29-31; 40 Del. Laws, c. 38, § 11; Code 1935, §§ 5652, 5655; 46 Del. Laws, c. 86, § 2; 47 Del. Laws, c. 114; 21 Del. C. 1953, §§ 4501, 4503; 50 Del. Laws, c. 633, § 1; 52 Del. Laws, c. 40; 53 Del. Laws, c. 395, §§ 1, 2; 56 Del. Laws, c. 18, §§ 1, 2; 57 Del. Laws, c. 670, § 24A; 58 Del. Laws, c. 384, §§ 1, 6; 60 Del. Laws, c. 54, §§ 1, 2; 60 Del. Laws, c. 264, § 1; 60 Del. Laws, c. 409, §§ 2-5; 62 Del. Laws, c. 5, §§1 - 4; 64 Del. Laws, c. 207, §5; 64 Del. Laws, c. 259, §3; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 259, § 6; 74 Del. Laws, c. 110, § 101.;