Month: January 2007

18 Citations and Still a CDL Driver!

I was watching the local Seattle news yesterday morning and something caught my eye. One of the news anchors was following up on a story about the 30 car pile-up on I90 three days ago. Apparently an 18 wheeler was traveling 70 MPH on snow covered, icy roads and jack-knifed causing the accident. The truck that they showed was a Gordon Trucking heavy-haul tractor with a 53′ trailer. I am not sure if he was the culprit, but it seems as if all of the news stations in the area were showing the same tractor-trailer.

It doesn’t surprise me or anyone else that an accident of that magnitude happened on I90 near Snoqualmie Summit. It seems that when the weather gets worse, the more accidents and incidents of stupidity occur. The driver of the semi who caused the accident was to have been reported to have at least 18 prior citations to his credit! 18 citations and this guy is still on the road? I’d like to know the from which state from which that driver was licensed in and I hope that they make it very difficult for that driver to ever drive again! Once again I can’t be certain who the driver worked for or where he was from, but I can assume that he probably was a local driver who had too much confidence in his winter driving.

I am only thankful that no one was seriously injured or killed in the accident. I was coming home from the New Years holiday from eastern Washington and I clocked a container driver going 73 MPH from my personal vehicle. Is DOT too busy to catch these guys? I think the penalties for speeding in these areas during inclement weather should increase. What do you think?

18 Citations and Still a CDL Driver!

I was watching the local Seattle news yesterday morning and something caught my eye. One of the news anchors was following up on a story about the 30 car pile-up on I90 three days ago. Apparently an 18 wheeler was traveling 70 MPH on snow covered, icy roads and jack-knifed causing the accident. The truck that they showed was a Gordon Trucking heavy-haul tractor with a 53′ trailer. I am not sure if he was the culprit, but it seems as if all of the news stations in the area were showing the same tractor-trailer.

It doesn’t surprise me or anyone else that an accident of that magnitude happened on I90 near Snoqualmie Summit. It seems that when the weather gets worse, the more accidents and incidents of stupidity occur. The driver of the semi who caused the accident was to have been reported to have at least 18 prior citations to his credit! 18 citations and this guy is still on the road? I’d like to know the from which state from which that driver was licensed in and I hope that they make it very difficult for that driver to ever drive again! Once again I can’t be certain who the driver worked for or where he was from, but I can assume that he probably was a local driver who had too much confidence in his winter driving.

I am only thankful that no one was seriously injured or killed in the accident. I was coming home from the New Years holiday from eastern Washington and I clocked a container driver going 73 MPH from my personal vehicle. Is DOT too busy to catch these guys? I think the penalties for speeding in these areas during inclement weather should increase. What do you think?

Minimum Chain Requirements – Western States

******* UPDATE – 02/20/2007 *******

FYI – Winter in the Northwest is not quite over yet. Overnight, Lookout Pass – Elevation 4300 Ft – received over 19 inches of snow in the last 24 hours. Many four wheelers and big rigs alike were caught off guard by the sudden snow storm. There were dozens of cars involved in accidents throughout the day. The chain laws in the Northwest are still in effect until April 1, 2007. If conditions warrant, Washington and neighboring states may extend the chain law dates. Please continue to carry chains and continue to monitor the Weather Channel on XM for updates and sudden storm warnings. Be safe, arrive alive!

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** Editor Note: Although these chain laws are from the Oregon DOT Website, most western states including California and Washington are very similar. Oregon claims to have the toughest chain law on the west coast. By using this information, the Trucking Blog makes no guarantee that these laws are in fact applicable in other states. Please check with each individual state DOT authority for the applicable chain laws. Although, the minimum amount of chains required, usually about 6 sets, should be ok for all western states you may enter. California has an additional requirement for at least one set of double chains on your primary drive axle when maximum chain law is in effect. I carry 6 sets, two back-ups and 1 set of double chains. Also, I use at least 3 medium, rubber bungees per chain. This keeps loose chain links properly tightened and lessens the chance of chain breakage. **

When you drive in winter conditions, you may see signs telling you to carry chains or traction tires and when you are required to use them. In some areas, lighted message signs also will advise you about chaining up. To view the signs or learn more about Oregon’s chain law and the vehicles that may be exempt
from it go to Oregon’s Chain Law.

When signs tell you that chains are required on all or certain types of vehicles, chains must be placed as generally described below. Specific information on chain requirements is listed in Oregon Administrative Rule Chapter 734, Division 17. To view the administrative rule go to: http://arcweb.sos.state.or.us/rules/OARS_700/OAR_734/734_017.html.

In typical winter conditions, vehicles rated at 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight (GVW) or less and not towing or being towed are allowed to use traction tires in place of chains. For traction tire information go to Traction Tires.

In very bad winter road conditions all vehicles may be required to use chains regardless of the type of vehicle or type of tire being used. This is known as a conditional road closure. A conditional road closure may occur on any of Oregon’s highways and are frequent in the winter on Interstate 5 through the Siskiyou Pass south of Ashland.

The following provides examples of chain placement based on vehicle and trailer configurations. It is not the intent of the following examples to portray or suggest mixing of different types or designs of tires on a single axle. For these examples, please use the following legend.

Legend


Unchained wheel icon

Tire without chain.

Chained wheel icon

Tire with chain.*

Icon indicating that either axle can be used.

Chains may be placed on either axle.

Icon indicating that either axle can be used.

Chains may be placed on either side.

*Note: When one tire of a dual-wheel axle is required to have a chain, the chain may be placed on either the inside or outside tire.

Light Duty Vehicles

Vehicles with a gross vehicle weight (GVW) rating of 10,000 pounds or less such as a passenger car or light truck.

Light duty vehicles must use chains on one tire on each side of the primary drive axle. When towing, chains must also be on one tire on each side of one axle of a trailer that is equipped with a brake. Traction tires may be used in place of chains when the vehicle is not towing or being towed.

Graphic of chains on rear-wheel and front-wheel drive vehicles Graphic of chains on rear-wheel and front-wheel drive vehicles

Graphic of chains on auto trailers. Graphic of chains on auto trailers. Graphic of chains on auto trailers.

Medium Duty Vehicles

Vehicles with a GVW rating of more than 10,000 pounds but less than 26,001 pounds such as buses, RVs, and cargo vehicles.

Single-drive axle medium duty vehicles must have chains on one tire on each side of the drive axle.

Graphic showing chains position on single-drive axle buses and trucks.

Tandem-drive axle medium duty vehicles must have chains on two tires on each side of the primary drive axle; or if both axles are powered by the drive line, one tire on each side of each drive axle.

Graphic showing chain positions on tandem-drive axle buses.

A medium duty vehicle with one single-wheel axle and one dual-wheel axle must have chains on one tire on each side of the dual-wheel axle.

Graphic showing chain positions on tandem-drive axle buses.

When towing, chains must also be on one tire on each side of one axle of a trailer that is equipped with a brake.


Graphic of chains on auto trailers. Graphic of chains on auto trailers. Graphic of chains on auto trailers.

Solo Commercial Vehicles

Vehicles with a GVW rating of 26,001 pounds or more that are not towing.

Single-drive axle solo commercial vehicles must have chains on one tire on each side of the drive axle.


Graphic of chains on auto trailers.

Tandem-drive axle solo commercial vehicles must have chains on two tires on each side of the primary drive axle; or if both axles are powered by the drive line, on one tire on each side of each drive axle.

Graphic of chains on auto trailers.

Commercial Vehicles with Trailers

Vehicles with a GVW rating of 26,001 pounds or more that are towing one or more trailers.

Single-drive axle commercial vehicles towing a trailer must have chains on two tires on each side of the drive axle and one tire on the front axle and one tire on one of the rear axles of the trailer.


Graphic of chains on auto trailers.

Single-drive axle commercial vehicles towing a semi-trailer must have chains on two tires on each side of the drive axle and two tires, one on each side, of any axle of the semi-trailer.


Graphic of chains on auto trailers.

Single-drive axle commercial vehicles towing both a semi-trailer and a trailer must have chains on two tires on each side of the drive axle, two tires, one on each side, of any axle of the semi-trailer, and one tire on the front axle and one tire on one of the rear axles of the trailer.


Graphic of chains on auto trailers.

Tandem-drive axle commercial vehicles towing a trailer must have chains on two tires on each side of the primary drive axle; or if both axles of the vehicle are powered by the drive line, one tire on each side of each drive axle. Chains must also be placed on one tire of the front axle, and one tire on one of the rear axles of the trailer.


Graphic of chains on auto trailers.

Graphic of chains on auto trailers.

Graphic of chains on auto trailers.

Tandem-drive axle commercial vehicles towing a semi-trailer must have chains on two tires on each side of the primary drive axle; or if both axles of the vehicle are powered by the drive line, one tire on each side of each drive axle. Chains must also be placed on two tires, one on each side, of any axle on the semi-trailer.

Graphic of chains on auto trailers.

Graphic of chains on auto trailers.

Graphic of chains on auto trailers.

Tandem-drive axle commercial vehicles towing both a semi-trailer and a trailer must have chains on two tires on each side of the primary drive axle; or if both axles of the vehicle are powered by the drive line, one tire on each side of each drive axle. Chains must also be placed on two tires, one on each side of any axle on the semi-trailer and one tire on the front axle and one tire on one of the rear axles of the trailer.

Graphic of chains on auto trailers.

Graphic of chains on auto trailers.

Graphic of chains on auto trailers.

Tandem-drive axle commercial vehicles towing a semi-trailer and a semi-trailer that are connected by kingpin-to-fifth wheel assembles, commonly referred to as a “B-Train” or connected by kingpin-to-fifth wheel “C-dolly” assemblies, commonly referred to as a “C-Train”, must have chains on two tires on each side of the primary drive axle; or if both axles of the vehicle are powered by the drive line, one tire on each side of each drive axle. Chains must also be placed on two tires, one on each side, of any axle of the semi-trailer at the B-Train or C-Train connection and on two tires, one on each side, of any axle of the rear semi-trailer.


Graphic of chains on auto trailers.

Graphic of chains on auto trailers.

Graphic of chains on auto trailers.

For questions regarding chain-up requirements for commercial vehicles, contact your local ODOT Port of Entry.

*** Reprinted from the State of Oregon DOT Website, All laws and recommendations are for informational purposes only. The Trucking Blog claims no responsibility for mis-use or mis-information of the chain laws. PLEASE CONTACT THE LOCAL PORT OF ENTRY OR STATE DOT OFFICE FOR OFFICIAL LAWS CONCERNING TRAVEL IN THAT STATE. WE WILL NOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY ERRONEOUS INFORMATION THAT RESULTS IN FINES AND/OR DELAYS IN TRANSIT BECAUSE OF THIS INFORMATION. Thanks! ***