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Troop G - Commercial Vehicle Enforcement
Motor Carrier Enforcement Section
Frequently Asked Questions

Commercial Vehicles | Size and Weight
 
Commercial Vehicles
 
 
  • When do the federal commercial vehicles apply?
    When a vehicle is used in the furtherance of a commercial enterprise. These vehicles are used on a highway or in interstate or intrastate commerce:

    • To transport passengers or property that have a gross vehicle rating, gross weight or gross combination weight in excess of 10,000 pounds.
    • To transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver, for compensation.
    • To transport hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placarding.


    Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Regulation 390.3
    Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Regulation 390.5
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  • Are commercial vehicles required to be marked?
    Yes, every self-propelled commercial vehicle must be marked and display the following:

    • The legal name or single trade of the motor carrier operating the commercial vehicle.
    • If interstate, the USDOT number issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

    Further:

    • Markings must appear on both sides of the commercial vehicle.
    • Letters shall be of contrasting color with the background.
    • During daylight hours, markings must be legible from a distance of 50 feet while the vehicle is stationary.
    • Markings must retain the legibility requirements.
    • Markings can be painted on the commercial vehicle or can consist of a removable device, as long as the device meets the identification and legibility requirements.

    Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Regulation 390.21
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  • How can I contact the federal agency that regulates commercial vehicles?
    Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
    Attn: Division Administrator
    70 Commercial Street
    Concord, NH 03301
    (603) 228-3112

    Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
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  • Does NH allow triple trailers on its roads?
    No.
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  • Where can I learn more about commercial vehicle requirements?
    NH State Police Troop G conducts free informational sessions monthly. Dates and times.
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Size and Weight
 
 
  • What is the bridge formula?
    The formula limits the weight on groups of axles to reduce the risk of damage to highway bridges.

    Allowable weight depends on the number of axles a vehicle has and the distance between the axles.

    RSA 266:18
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  • How far can a law enforcement officer require a vehicle to travel in order to be weighed?
    Not exceeding 10 miles to the nearest scales.

    RSA 266:17
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  • How much is the fine for being overweight?

    • $100.00 for a first offense.
    • $250.00 for subsequent offenses on interstate defense highways within a calendar year.
    • Fines on non-interstate highways are computed by $.02, .03, and .04 a pound for every pound over the legal limit.

    RSA 266:25
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  • Can a law enforcement officer allow a tolerance?

    • 5% tolerance above the limitations at his/her discretion.
    • If the vehicle is certified in NH to carry additional weight, the officer shall grant a 5% tolerance on gross weight and a 10% tolerance on axle weight.
    • On May 4, 2006, The State received documentation from the Federal Highway Administration that tolerances are now allowed on Interstate 89, 93 and 95. These tolerances will be allowed and are calculated at 5% gross weight and 10% on axle weights. This tolerance is allowed on New Hampshire overweight certified vehicles up to and including 99,000 pounds.
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  • Can trucks be certified to carry additional weight?
    Yes. The number of axles a vehicle has and the distance between the axles, as well as the manufacturer’s axle and tire ratings determine whether a vehicle may be eligible to become certified to haul additional weight.

    RSA 266:18
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  • How much additional weight can a certified truck carry?

    RSA 266:18-b
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  • Are overweight certifications allowed on every road?
    No. Trucks hauling certified loads cannot use the interstate defense highway system or cross bridges posted e2.

    RSA 266:18-b
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  • What is the maximum weight allowed on the interstate defense highway system for a standard 5 or 6 axle tractor-trailer?
    80,000 pounds.

    RSA 266:18
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  • What are the legal dimensions for loads?

    • Height - 13 feet 6 inches. RSA 266:10
    • Length - 45 feet for a singe unit or bus; 48 or 53 feet for a truck-tractor, semi trailer combination; 28 feet for 2 trailing units. RSA 266:11
    • Width - 8 feet 6 inches. RSA 266:12
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  • Can I transport a load of greater than legal dimensions?
    Yes, if you obtain an over dimension permit through the NH DOT at (603) 271-2691.
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For further information, please refer to the following:

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