Code Section Group

Vehicle Code - VEH

DIVISION 15. SIZE, WEIGHT, AND LOAD [35000 - 35796]

  ( Division 15 enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3. )

CHAPTER 5. Weight [35550 - 35796]

  ( Chapter 5 enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3. )

ARTICLE 1. Axle Limits [35550 - 35558]
  ( Article 1 enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3. )

35550.
  

(a) The gross weight imposed upon the highway by the wheels on any one axle of a vehicle shall not exceed 20,000 pounds and the gross weight upon any one wheel, or wheels, supporting one end of an axle, and resting upon the roadway, shall not exceed 10,500 pounds.

(b) The gross weight limit provided for weight bearing upon any one wheel, or wheels, supporting one end of an axle shall not apply to vehicles the loads of which consist of livestock.

(c) The maximum wheel load is the lesser of the following:

(1) The load limit established by the tire manufacturer, as molded on at least one sidewall of the tire.

(2) A load of 620 pounds per lateral inch of tire width, as determined by the manufacturer’s rated tire width as molded on at least one sidewall of the tire for all axles except the steering axle, in which case paragraph (1) applies.

(Amended by Stats. 1996, Ch. 1154, Sec. 82. Effective September 30, 1996.)

35551.
  

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section or Section 35551.5, the total gross weight in pounds imposed on the highway by any group of two or more consecutive axles shall not exceed that given for the respective distance in the following table:

Distance in feet between
the extremes of any group
of 2 or more consecutive

axles

2 axles

3 axles

4 axles

5 axles

6 axles

 4  ........................

34,000

34,000

34,000

34,000

34,000

 5  ........................

34,000

34,000

34,000

34,000

34,000

 6  ........................

34,000

34,000

34,000

34,000

34,000

 7  ........................

34,000

34,000

34,000

34,000

34,000

 8  ........................

34,000

34,000

34,000

34,000

34,000

 9 ........................

39,000

42,500

42,500

42,500

42,500

10  ........................

40,000

43,500

43,500

43,500

43,500

11  ........................

40,000

44,000

44,000

44,000

44,000

12  ........................

40,000

45,000

50,000

50,000

50,000

13  ........................

40,000

45,500

50,500

50,500

50,500

14  ........................

40,000

46,500

51,500

51,500

51,500

15  ........................

40,000

47,000

52,000

52,000

52,000

16  ........................

40,000

48,000

52,500

52,500

52,500

17  ........................

40,000

48,500

53,500

53,500

53,500

18  ........................

40,000

49,500

54,000

54,000

54,000

19  ........................

40,000

50,000

54,500

54,500

54,500

20  ........................

40,000

51,000

55,500

55,500

55,500

21  ........................

40,000

51,500

56,000

56,000

56,000

22  ........................

40,000

52,500

56,500

56,500

56,500

23  ........................

40,000

53,000

57,500

57,500

57,500

24  ........................

40,000

54,000

58,000

58,000

58,000

25  ........................

40,000

54,500

58,500

58,500

58,500

26  ........................

40,000

55,500

59,500

59,500

59,500

27  ........................

40,000

56,000

60,000

60,000

60,000

28  ........................

40,000

57,000

60,500

60,500

60,500

29  ........................

40,000

57,500

61,500

61,500

61,500

30  ........................

40,000

58,500

62,000

62,000

62,000

31  ........................

40,000

59,000

62,500

62,500

62,500

32  ........................

40,000

60,000

63,500

63,500

63,500

33  ........................

40,000

60,000

64,000

64,000

64,000

34  ........................

40,000

60,000

64,500

64,500

64,500

35  ........................

40,000

60,000

65,500

65,500

65,500

36  ........................

40,000

60,000

66,000

66,000

66,000

37  ........................

40,000

60,000

66,500

66,500

66,500

38  ........................

40,000

60,000

67,500

67,500

67,500

39  ........................

40,000

60,000

68,000

68,000

68,000

40  ........................

40,000

60,000

68,500

70,000

70,000

41  ........................

40,000

60,000

69,500

72,000

72,000

42  ........................

40,000

60,000

70,000

73,280

73,280

43  ........................

40,000

60,000

70,500

73,280

73,280

44  ........................

40,000

60,000

71,500

73,280

73,280

45  ........................

40,000

60,000

72,000

76,000

80,000

46  ........................

40,000

60,000

72,500

76,500

80,000

47  ........................

40,000

60,000

73,500

77,500

80,000

48  ........................

40,000

60,000

74,000

78,000

80,000

49  ........................

40,000

60,000

74,500

78,500

80,000

50  ........................

40,000

60,000

75,500

79,000

80,000

51  ........................

40,000

60,000

76,000

80,000

80,000

52  ........................

40,000

60,000

76,500

80,000

80,000

53  ........................

40,000

60,000

77,500

80,000

80,000

54  ........................

40,000

60,000

78,000

80,000

80,000

55  ........................

40,000

60,000

78,500

80,000

80,000

56  ........................

40,000

60,000

79,500

80,000

80,000

57  ........................

40,000

60,000

80,000

80,000

80,000

58  ........................

40,000

60,000

80,000

80,000

80,000

59  ........................

40,000

60,000

80,000

80,000

80,000

60  ........................

40,000

60,000

80,000

80,000

80,000

(b) In addition to the weights specified in subdivision (a), two consecutive sets of tandem axles may carry a gross weight of 34,000 pounds each if the overall distance between the first and last axles of the consecutive sets of tandem axles is 36 feet or more. The gross weight of each set of tandem axles shall not exceed 34,000 pounds and the gross weight of the two consecutive sets of tandem axles shall not exceed 68,000 pounds.

(c) The distance between axles shall be measured to the nearest whole foot. When a fraction is exactly six inches, the next larger whole foot shall be used.

(d) Nothing contained in this section shall affect the right to prohibit the use of any highway or any bridge or other structure thereon in the manner and to the extent specified in Article 4 (commencing with Section 35700) and Article 5 (commencing with Section 35750) of this chapter.

(e) The gross weight limits expressed by this section and Section 35550 shall include all enforcement tolerances.

(Amended (as added by Stats. 1981, Ch. 467, Sec. 2) by Stats. 1982, Ch. 827, Sec. 13. Effective September 10, 1982.)

35551.5.
  

(a) The provisions of this section shall apply only to combinations of vehicles which contain a trailer or semitrailer. Each vehicle in such combination of vehicles, and every such combination of vehicles, shall comply with either Section 35551 or with subdivisions (b), (c), and (d) of this section.

(b) The gross weight imposed upon the highway by the wheels on any one axle of a vehicle shall not exceed 18,000 pounds and the gross weight upon any one wheel, or wheels, supporting one end of an axle and resting upon the roadway, shall not exceed 9,500 pounds, except that the gross weight imposed upon the highway by the wheels on any front steering axle of a motor vehicle shall not exceed 12,500 pounds. The gross weight limit provided for weight bearing upon any one wheel, or wheels, supporting one end of an axle shall not apply to vehicles the loads of which consist of livestock. The following vehicles are exempt from the front axle weight limits specified in this subdivision:

(1) Trucks transporting vehicles.

(2) Trucks transporting livestock.

(3) Dump trucks.

(4) Cranes.

(5) Buses.

(6) Transit mix concrete or cement trucks, and trucks that mix concrete or cement at, or adjacent to, a jobsite.

(7) Motor vehicles that are not commercial vehicles.

(8) Vehicles operated by any public utility furnishing electricity, gas, water, or telephone service.

(9)  Trucks or truck tractors with a front axle at least four feet to the rear of the foremost part of the truck or truck tractor, not including the front bumper.

(10) Trucks transporting garbage, rubbish, or refuse.

(11) Trucks equipped with a fifth wheel when towing a semitrailer.

(12) Tank trucks which have a cargo capacity of at least 1,500 gallons.

(13) Trucks transporting bulk grains or bulk livestock feed.

(c) The total gross weight with load imposed on the highway by any group of two or more consecutive axles of a vehicle in such combination of vehicles or of such combination of vehicles where the distance between the first and last axles of the two or more consecutive axles is 18 feet or less shall not exceed that given for the respective distance in the following table:

Distance in feet

Allowed load in

between first and

pounds on group

last axles of group

of axles

 4  ........................

32,000

 5  ........................

32,000

 6  ........................

32,200

 7  ........................

32,900

 8  ........................

33,600

 9  ........................

34,300

10  ........................

35,000

11  ........................

35,700

12  ........................

36,400

13  ........................

37,100

14 ........................

43,200

15  ........................

44,000

16  ........................

44,800

17  ........................

45,600

18  ........................

46,400

(d) The total gross weight with load imposed on the highway by any vehicle in such combination of vehicles or of such combination of vehicles where the distance between the first and last axles is more than 18 feet shall not exceed that given for the respective distances in the following table:

Distance

Allowed load

in feet

in pounds

19  ........................

47,200

20  ........................

48,000

21  ........................

48,800

22  ........................

49,600

23  ........................

50,400

24  ........................

51,200

25  ........................

55,250

26  ........................

56,100

27  ........................

56,950

28  ........................

57,800

29  ........................

58,650

30 ........................

59,500

31  ........................

60,350

32  ........................

61,200

33  ........................

62,050

34  ........................

62,900

35  ........................

63,750

36  ........................

64,600

37  ........................

65,450

38  ........................

66,300

39  ........................

68,000

40  ........................

70,000

41  ........................

72,000

42  ........................

73,280

43  ........................

73,280

44  ........................

73,280

45 ........................

73,280

46  ........................

73,280

47  ........................

73,280

48  ........................

73,280

49  ........................

73,280

50  ........................

73,280

51  ........................

73,280

52  ........................

73,600

53  ........................

74,400

54  ........................

75,200

55  ........................

76,000

56 or over  ........................

76,800

(e) The distance between axles shall be measured to the nearest whole foot. When a fraction is exactly six inches, the next larger whole foot shall be used.

(f) The gross weight limits expressed by this section shall include all enforcement tolerances.

(g) Nothing in this section shall affect the right to prohibit the use of any highway or any bridge or other structure thereon in the manner and to the extent specified in Article 4 (commencing with Section 35700) and Article 5 (commencing with Section 35750) of Chapter 5 of Division 15.

(h) The Legislature, in enacting this section, does not intend to increase, and this section shall not be construed to allow, statutory weights any greater than existed prior to January 1, 1976.

(Added by Stats. 1980, Ch. 784, Sec. 4.)

35552.
  

(a) This section applies only to trucks and vehicle combinations while transporting loads composed solely of logs.

(b) One set of tandem axles of such a truck or vehicle combination shall be deemed to be in compliance with Section 35551 if the total gross weight of 34,000 pounds on such a set that is permitted by Section 35551 is not exceeded by more than 1,500 pounds. In addition, such a truck and vehicle combination that has two consecutive sets of tandem axles shall be deemed to be in compliance with Section 35551 if such consecutive sets of tandem axles do not carry a combined total gross weight of more than 69,000 pounds, if the total gross weight on any one such set does not exceed 35,500 pounds, and if the overall distance between the first and last axle of such consecutive sets of tandem axles is 34 feet or more. All such truck and vehicle combinations shall be subject to all other provisions of Section 35551 or any other provision made applicable to the total gross weight of such a truck or vehicle combination in lieu of Section 35551.

(c) The gross weight limits expressed in this section shall include all enforcement tolerances.

(d) If any total gross weight permitted by this section is exceeded, the allowed weight in pounds set forth in subdivision (a) of Section 35551 shall be the maximum permitted weight for purposes of determining the amount of fine for such violation as specified in the table in Section 42030; except that, whenever the violation is for exceeding the total gross weight for two consecutive sets of tandem axles, and if the overall distance between the first and last axle of such sets is 34 feet or more, the allowed weight on the two consecutive sets shall be 68,000 pounds.

(e) This section shall have no application to highways which are a part of the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways (as referred to in subdivision (a) of Section 108 of the Federal-aid Highway Act of 1956).

This section may be cited as the Christensen-Belotti Act.

(Amended by Stats. 1976, Ch. 249.)

35553.
  

The provisions of this article shall not apply to any vehicle in the immediate vicinity of an unloading or loading area while actually preparing for or in the process of unloading or loading, provided any overload is incidental to and necessitated by such action; and provided that such action does not occur on a bridge or highway structure.

This section shall have no application to highways which are a part of the national system of interstate and defense highways (as referred to in subdivision (a) of Section 108 of the Federal-aid Highway Act of 1956).

(Amended by Stats. 1972, Ch. 733.)

35554.
  

(a) (1) Notwithstanding Section 35550, the maximum gross weight on any one axle of a bus shall not exceed 20,500 pounds.

(2) This subdivision does not apply to a transit bus procured through a solicitation process pursuant to which a solicitation was issued before January 1, 2016. This subdivision does not apply to a bus purchased during an option period in a multiyear contract to purchase transit buses that is entered into before January 1, 2016, by a publicly owned or operated transit system, or an operator of a transit system under contract with a publicly owned or operated transit system, provided, however, that the option period does not exceed five years from the date of the original contract, or extend beyond January 1, 2021, whichever is earlier.

(b) A transit bus is not subject to Section 35550.

(c) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), the following provisions shall apply to a transit bus:

(1) The curb weight on any one axle of a transit bus procured through a solicitation process pursuant to which a solicitation was issued between January 1, 2016, and December 31, 2018, inclusive, shall not exceed 23,000 pounds.

(2) The curb weight on any one axle of a transit bus procured through a solicitation process pursuant to which a solicitation was issued on or after January 1, 2019, shall not exceed 22,000 pounds.

(d) Notwithstanding subdivisions (a) and (c), the following provisions shall apply to an articulated transit bus or zero-emission transit bus:

(1) The curb weight on any one axle of an articulated transit bus or zero-emission transit bus procured through a solicitation process pursuant to which a solicitation was issued between January 1, 2016, and December 31, 2017, inclusive, shall not exceed 25,000 pounds.

(2) The curb weight on any one axle of an articulated transit bus or zero-emission transit bus procured through a solicitation process pursuant to which a solicitation was issued between January 1, 2018, and December 31, 2019, inclusive, shall not exceed 24,000 pounds.

(3) The curb weight on any one axle of an articulated transit bus or zero-emission transit bus procured through a solicitation process pursuant to which a solicitation was issued between January 1, 2020, and December 31, 2021, inclusive, shall not exceed 23,000 pounds.

(4) The curb weight on any one axle of an articulated transit bus or zero-emission transit bus procured through a solicitation process pursuant to which a solicitation was issued on or after January 1, 2022, shall not exceed 22,000 pounds.

(e) Nothing in this article shall be construed to authorize a vehicle described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) or described in subdivision (c) or (d) to be operated in violation of Section 35753.

(f) A transit operator operating an articulated transit bus shall, by July 1, 2016, provide notice to all cities and counties in whose jurisdiction the bus will operate in the upcoming calendar year, identifying the approximate routes upon which the bus is expected to be scheduled for service, including the names of streets and roads upon which that service is likely to take place. Thereafter, a transit operator operating an articulated transit bus shall annually provide notice by July 1, to all cities and counties in whose jurisdiction the bus will operate in the upcoming calendar year, identifying any changes to the service on those routes and any new routes upon which the bus is expected to be scheduled for the upcoming year. The notice shall include data from information provided by the bus manufacturer to the transit operator, identifying the weight of the articulated bus.

(g) For purposes of this section, the term “curb weight” means the total weight of a fully loaded transit bus, including maximum fuel, oil, and coolant, and all equipment used in the normal operation of the bus, except without passengers or a driver.

(h) Notwithstanding subdivisions (a) to (g), inclusive, a transit bus shall not operate on the Dwight D. Eisenhower System of Interstate and Defense Highways in excess of the weight limitation for transit buses specified in federal law.

(i) If the gross weight imposed upon the highway by the wheels on any one axle of a transit bus exceeds 20,000 pounds, the axle shall be supported by four wheels bearing load upon the highway.

(Amended (as amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 263, Sec. 2) by Stats. 2015, Ch. 484, Sec. 1. (AB 1250) Effective January 1, 2016.)

35555.
  

(a) During the period commencing September 15 of each year and ending March 15 of the following year, the weight limitations of Section 35551 do not apply to any cotton module mover or any truck tractor pulling a semitrailer that is a cotton module mover, when operated as follows:

(1) Laterally across a state highway at grade of the state highway.

(2) Upon any county highway within the Counties of Butte, Colusa, Fresno, Glenn, Imperial, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, Riverside, Sacramento, San Benito, San Bernardino, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Tulare, Yolo, and Yuba, except as prohibited or limited on county highways or portions thereof by resolution of the county board of supervisors having jurisdiction.

(b) A cotton module mover may be operated upon a state highway within the counties and during the period set forth in subdivision (a) if all of the following are met:

(1) The operator is in possession of a driver’s license of the class required for operation of the mover.

(2) The mover is operated in compliance with Sections 24002 and 24012; Article 1 (commencing with Section 24250) of, Article 3 (commencing with Section 24600) of, Article 4 (commencing with Section 24800) of, Article 5 (commencing with Section 24950) of, Article 6 (commencing with 25100) of, Article 9 (commencing with 25350) of, Article 11 (commencing with 25450) of, Chapter 2 of Division 12; and Article 2 (commencing with 26450) and Article 3 (commencing with 26502) of Chapter 3 of Division 12.

(3) The mover does not exceed the maximum allowable gross axle weight for tandem axles set forth in Section 35551 by more than 6,000 pounds.

(4) The operator of a mover that exceeds the maximum allowable gross axle weight for tandem axle vehicles as set forth in Section 35551 shall possess a commercial driver’s license as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 15210.

(c) This section does not apply to those highways designated by the United States Department of Transportation as national network routes.

(Amended by Stats. 2001, Ch. 497, Sec. 1. Effective October 4, 2001.)

35557.
  

(a) Only upon request to, and approval by, and in accordance with regulations adopted by, the Director of Food and Agriculture, all of the following are available for inspection by district attorneys and are subject to legal process for admission in any criminal or civil proceeding arising out of a violation of this chapter:

(1) Vehicle weight certificates issued on or after January 1, 1984, pursuant to Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 12700), Chapter 7.3 (commencing with Section 12740), and Chapter 7.7 (commencing with Section 12770) of Division 5 of the Business and Professions Code.

(2) Other records of vehicle weight relating to those certificates.

(3) Copies of those certificates and records.

(b) All certificates, records, and copies thereof, issued before January 1, 1984, shall not be available for inspection and are not admissible in any criminal or civil proceedings arising out of a violation of this chapter.

(Added by Stats. 1983, Ch. 1319, Sec. 1.)

35558.
  

Any person or business which has an axle weight scale at its loading facilities shall, upon the request of the driver, weigh any load being transported for that person or business before the vehicle leaves the loading facility. In a port facility, this requirement only applies if the scale is located in outbound lanes. The request to weigh shall be based upon a reasonable assumption that the load is overweight.

(Added by Stats. 1990, Ch. 217, Sec. 1.)

VEHVehicle Code - VEH1