The CARES Act (Stimulus Bill) Contains Truck Weight Provision

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act – passed by the Senate on March 25 – includes language requested by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to clarify state authority to issue special permits for increased truck weight. Under either a “major disaster” or “emergency,” such as the COVID-19 emergency, states can issue special permits for heavier trucks to deliver relief supplies. States already have this authority on state roads, but the new language provides them the authority to increase truck weights on interstate highways.

The COVID-19 response by many states to temporarily increase their truck weight limits is necessary and appreciated and will help increase trucking capacity at a much-needed time. But further benefits could be captured through a coordinated effort. 

In Nebraska, Governor Rickett's exempted truck weights and lengths in  Executive Order 20.01 Relating to FMCSA
  • Governor Ricketts grants conditions facilitating compliance with FMCSA 49 CFR part 390.23 to allow relief from 40CFR parts 390 - 399 from March 13 - May 1, 2020.
  • For commercial motor vehicles, length and weight hauling requirements of federal and state law are suspended through the duration of the motor carrier's assistance in the pandemic relief efforts as granted in the FMCSA exemption and guidances above.
  • Drivers operating under this order shall carry a copy of the proclamation with them as evidence of their direct support to the State of Nebraska during this emergency period.

American Trucking Association is tracking state regulations on CDL requirements and weights  View Chart


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