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PART 554



Section 554.401 Conditions and Restrictions

The Permit Office is authorized to set conditions and restrictions on the movement of an oversize or overweight vehicle or load.  These, in addition to applicable portions of this policy, govern the permit movement.

Section 554.402 Short Form Permits

a)         Permits issued in writing or by fax have been shortened to reduce the cost of the messages.  Applicable conditions and restrictions are indicated by code letter and number and are contained in Form OPER 993.  A copy of Form OPER 993 must accompany the permit or the permittee is subject to arrest in accordance with Section 15-301(j) of the Illinois Size and Weight Law.

b)         Permits issued by telephone shall be written in ink or typed by the permittee on Form OPER 1928.  The permittee must complete the applicable portions of this form as directed by the Permit Office prior to starting the move.  The record of the permit as maintained by the Permit Office shall be presumed correct in any questions or dispute.  These forms contain general provisions on the reverse side.  The permittee need not have a Form OPER 993 in his possession when obtaining a permit by telephone and using the Form OPER 1928.  The Permit Office may require that a copy of the form completed by the permittee for any permit issued by telephone be submitted to the Permit Office to verify that the information has been correctly recorded.  It is anticipated this will only be done on forms the Department has reason to believe have been inaccurately completed or if the company is suspected of abusing the self issue permit system.  If a company has abused the system by, for example, attempting to use the same permit for more than one move or knowingly completing the form inaccurately, the company will not be allowed to obtain permits by telephone. 

Section 554.403 Form OPER 993

a)         Form OPER 993 contains provisions, restrictions, and conditions that may apply to an oversize or overweight move.  These forms are available from the Permit Office, State Police District Headquarters, weigh stations, and some truck stops, and must accompany all short form written permits.  A form may be capsulated or placed in a plastic binding for use with subsequent permits.

b)         The conditions and restrictions will be referred to as "provisions" in the permit.  In case of conflict, the order of priority shall be

1)         conditions stated in permit,

2)         special provisions (referred to by code letter "C" and number) then

3)         general provisions (referred to by code letters "A" or "B").

Section 554.407 When Escort Vehicles Are Required

a)         One civilian escort vehicle is required:

1)         For all moves that exceed 14 feet 6 inches in width;

2)         For all moves that exceed 110 feet in length;

3)         For all moves that exceed 14 feet 6 inches in height;

4)         For any move either across, upon, or along a highway when additional warning is required to alert the traveling public.  For instance, if a movement is required to travel during darkness or on a weekend to respond to an emergency situation, a civilian escort will be required.

b)         Two civilian escort vehicles are required: 

1)         For all moves that exceed 18 feet in height;

2)         For all moves that exceed both 14 feet 6 inches in width and 14 feet 6 inches in height;

3)         For all moves that exceed both 14 feet 6 inches in height and 110 feet in length;

4)         For all moves that exceed both 14 feet 6 inches in width and 110 feet in length.

c)         Three civilian escorts are required:

1)         For all moves that exceed 16 feet in width;

2)         For all moves that exceed 145 feet in length;

3)         For all towed special haul rigs more than 150 feet in length.

d)         Illinois State Police Escorts

1)         Illinois State Police escorts are required:

A)        For moves greater than 18 feet wide;

B)        For moves of greater than 200 feet in length;

C)        For moves over 18 feet high;

D)        For overweight moves where bridge restrictions require that all traffic be kept off of a structure while the permitted vehicle crosses;

E)        For overweight moves of 230,000 pounds or more; or

F)         For any move of an unusual nature where additional traffic control is necessary to alert the motoring public to the permit movement.

2)         Moves requiring Illinois State Police escorts will normally be made partially or entirely outside a municipality.  The permittee must make all arrangements with the designated State Police Headquarters at least 24 hours prior to the move.  The Permit Office may determine a State Police escort is not necessary in some instances including but not limited to the following:

A)        on moves made within a municipality if local police are utilized as specified in Section 554.407(d);

B)        on movements where the object will only cross a State highway and minimal disruption of traffic is anticipated; or

C)        on moves over 18 feet high if a field investigation reveals there are not any overhead obstructions.

e)         Local police escorts may be required in lieu of State Police escorts when the move is made entirely within the limits of a city or county.  It is the responsibility of the permittee to make all arrangements with the local police when the permit specifies such an escort as a condition of the permit. 

Section 554.408 Requirements for Civilian Escorts

The requirements for civilian escort vehicles and drivers are as follows: 

a)         A civilian escort vehicle may be a passenger car, or a second division vehicle not exceeding a gross vehicle weight of 8,000 pounds that is designed to afford clear and unobstructed vision both front and rear.

b)         All escort vehicle operators shall be 18 years of age or over and properly licensed to operate the vehicle.

c)         The vehicle must be equipped with rotating or flashing amber lights mounted on top that are of sufficient intensity, when illuminated, to be visible at 500 feet in normal sunlight.

d)         When operating on a two-lane highway, the escort vehicle shall travel ahead of the load and the rotating or flashing lights and an "OVERSIZE LOAD" sign shall be displayed on the escort vehicle and be visible from the front. When operating on a multi-lane divided highway, the escort vehicle shall trail the load and the signs and lights shall be visible from the rear. If two escort vehicles are required, one escort will travel ahead of the load and the second escort will trail the load.

e)         Escort vehicles shall travel approximately 300 feet in front of the load on two-lane highways and the same distance to the rear on multilane highways in rural areas.  However, the required escort vehicle with a height pole for overheight movements must travel in front of the load. When traveling within the corporate limits of a city or town, the escort vehicle shall maintain a reasonable and proper distance consistent with existing traffic conditions.

f)         A separate escort shall be provided for each load hauled under permit. Movements in convoys are prohibited unless a State Police escort vehicle is also required, then the Permit Office may authorize convoy movement for multiple loads.

g)         The operator of the escort vehicle shall obey all traffic laws.

h)         The escorting vehicle shall be in safe operational condition.

i)          The driver of the escort vehicle must be in radio contact with the driver of the permit vehicle.

j)          Owners and/or operators of escort vehicles must have in effect or be self-insured in the minimum amount of $500,000 per occurrence combined bodily injury and property damage.

           k)         A pole for measuring vertical clearances shall be mounted on escort vehicles leading loads in excess of 14 feet 6 inches in height.  The escort
                       driver shall alert the driver of the permit vehicle to any overhead obstructions that will not clear the load.
d) When operating on a two-lane highway, the escort vehicle shall travel ahead of the load and the rotating or flashing lights and an "OVERSIZE LOAD" sign shall be displayed on the escort vehicle and be visible from the front. When operating on a mulitlane divided highway, the escort vehicle shall trail the load and the signs and lights shall be visible from the rear. If two escort vehicles are required, one escort will travel ahead of the load and the second escort will trail the load.

Section 554.409 Manufactured Homes

Following are the minimum size vehicles that may be used to tow manufactured homes:

a)         8 feet wide – passenger car.

b)         Over 8 feet up to 10 feet wide, 70 feet overall length – ¾ ton truck.

c)         Over 10 feet up to 12 feet wide, 115 feet overall length – 1 ton truck with dual wheels.

d)         Over 12 feet wide up to 115 feet overall length - 2 ton truck with dual wheels.

Section 554.410 Overdimension

The minimum size vehicle that may tow a load 10 feet wide or more is a ¾-ton truck or equivalent.

Section 554.411 Overweight Moves

a)         The minimum combination of vehicles authorized to transport an object for which an overweight permit will be issued shall consist of a standard tandem axle truck tractor drawing a tandem axle semitrailer.  The Department shall consider issuing a permit for an overweight single or tandem axle on a combination of vehicles with less than five axles, providing the gross weight is legal, if the excess weight is caused by equipment which is permanently affixed to a framework or semitrailer with a single or tandem axle.

           b)         No overweight permits will be issued for a two-axle truck tractor drawing a three-axle semitrailer.  No permit may be issued for
                       overweight whenever the load could be carried with legal weights on a vehicle of increased length or number of axles

Section 554.412 Axle Suspension for Legal Weight Moves

These are no minimum axle suspension requirements for legal weight permit moves since a suspension system is not included in the legal definition of a tandem axle.  However, all axle and axle group weights must remain within the legal limits as shown in Table 1 of Form BT 753.

Section 554.413 Axle Suspension for Overweight Moves

a)         Truck-tractor with a three-axle drive tandem:
The suspension system on the drive tandem must be designed to distribute a relatively equal amount of weight to each axle at various loadings.  A maximum differential of 2000 pounds between the heaviest and lightest axle is allowed.

b)         Semitrailers with four or more axles: 
The suspension system must be designed to distribute a relatively equal amount of weight to each axle at various loadings.  A maximum differential of 3000 pounds between the heaviest and lightest axles in a group is allowed

Section 554.414 Buildings

a)         Buildings may mounted on house moving dollies equipped with pneumatic tires and towed by a truck or truck tractor when moved up to 10 miles or they may be loaded on a truck, semitrailer, or trailer.  When moved on house moving dollies, the dollies and tires shall be in good condition and a sufficient number shall be used to carry the weight of the building.  The truck or truck tractor also shall be in good condition and have the capacity and power to control the movement of the building.

            b)         Permits will not be issued to allow the movement of buildings along or across the highways when mounted on skids because of
                        possible damage to roadway surfaces.

Section 554.415 Farm Tractors Prohibited as Towing Vehicle

Section 11-1418 of The Illinois Rules of the Road prohibits the use of farm tractors in towing oversize and overweight permit loads.

Section 554.416 Double-Bottom Units

Legal weight double-bottom units 60 feet in length may operate on any Illinois highway. These combinations are allowed longer lengths on Interstate highways and other routes designated by the Department.  The legal length requirements are outlined on Form BT 753.  A map of the designated routes is available from the Permit Office.  Permits will not be issued for the operation of empty or loaded double-bottom units exceeding these limitations.

Section 554.417 Flags

All flags shall be clean bright red flags with no advertising, wording, emblem, or insignia inscribed upon them and at least 18 inches square. They shall be displayed so as to wave freely on all four corners of a house trailer and at the extremities of other overwidth objects, and at the extreme ends of all protrusions, projections, or overhangs.

Section 554.418 Rotating or Flashing Amber Lights

a)         Rotating or flashing amber lights mounted on top of the vehicle, and on the rear of the load, if necessary, shall be in operation during the movement of all oversize and/or overweight permit loads and shall have sufficient intensity, when illuminated, to be visible at 500 feet in normal sunlight.  The lights may augment but not supersede flagmen or escorts.  The rotating or flashing amber lights must be clearly visible to traffic approaching from the front and the rear of the transport vehicles for at least 500 feet.  If the load on the vehicle blocks the visibility of the amber lighting from the rear of the vehicle, the vehicle must also be equipped with rotating or flashing amber lights on the rear of the load.  Emergency moves at night, if authorized, shall also display rotating or flashing amber lights.  (See 625 ILCS 5/12-215(b)(5).)

b)         Vehicles transporting objects over 80 feet in length shall be equipped with two rotating or flashing amber lights:  one over the cab of the vehicle; the other within 10 feet of the rear of the object, mounted as high as practical over it.

Section 554.419 Oversize Load Signs

The "OVERSIZE LOAD" sign should have approximately 12-inch black letters with a 2-inch stroke on a yellow sign that is approximately 7 feet wide by 18 inches high. The minimum letter size is a height of 10 inches with a stroke of 1.41 inches. The signs are mandatory on escort vehicles and on the front and rear of vehicles and loads over 10 feet wide, 14 feet 6 inches high, or 75 feet long. When an escort vehicle is traveling ahead of the permit load, the sign shall be visibly displayed toward the front, and when the escort vehicle is trailing, the sign shall be displayed toward the rear. The sign on an escort vehicle may be reduced to include 8-inch-high letters on a panel that is 5 feet wide by 12 inches high.

Section 554.420 General Speed Limits for Permit Movements

a)         Unless otherwise stated in the permit, the maximum speed for vehicles being operated in rural areas under permit authority is 45 miles per hour or 5 miles per hour above the minimum posted speed limit.  Legal weight, legal height movements up to 10 feet in width are allowed to travel at the legal maximum speed limit. 

b)         The speed limit stated in the permit is one of the conditions upon which the permit has been issued, and it takes precedence over any maximum speed limit that may be posted on any highway.  Violation of the speed limit contained in the permit will render the driver subject to arrest.

Section 554.421 Moves in Convoys Prohibited

Vehicles traveling under permit authority may not travel in convoys unless authorized by the Permit Office (eg. when the movements are accompanied by a police escort).

Section 554.422 When Moves May be Made

a)         Permit movements on most State highways are limited to travel from a half hour before sunrise to a half hour after sunset, Monday through Friday, and from a half hour before sunrise until noon on Saturday except as follows:  

1)         Movements are restricted on specified holidays, beginning at noon the day preceding the holiday or the holiday weekend.  The specified holidays are:  New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

2)         Movement shall not be made when the highway is covered with snow or ice or when visibility is unduly impaired by rain, snow, fog, smog or at anytime travel conditions are considered to be unsafe by the Department or State Police.  Movements of house trailers over 12 feet wide is prohibited when wind gusts exceed 25 miles per hour.

3)         Emergency and other special movements may be authorized for travel at any time if the need is justified.  Other special movements may include those that would be better accommodated during hours when it would be less disruptive to other traffic and movements that are of critical importance to industry due to the tight time constraints.  For example, repairs to the expressway system in Cook County are often done at night and on weekends. If equipment is required to do the work and there is no storage at the site, a permit may be issued authorizing travel to and from the jobsite during the hours of construction.

4)         Movements exceeding the practical maximum size and weight limits may be restricted to a specified day and time. (See also Section 554.310(e) regarding violations.)

5)         Movements exceeding 14 feet 6 inches in width and those movements that are to be accompanied by State Police or Department personnel are generally restricted to travel on days when the Permit Office is open.

6)         Overweight permit loads with legal dimensions are allowed 24 hours a day, seven days a week movement.

b)         Permit movements in Cook County are subject to the following additional restrictions.

1)         Movements exceeding 10 feet in width, 13 feet 6 inches in height, and 88,000 pounds gross weight are prohibited on the expressways in Cook County, except Interstate Route 80, Interstate Route 57 from U.S. Route 6 (159th Street) south, Illinois Route 394 from Interstate Route 80 south, Interstate Route 290 north of St. Charles Road, and Illinois Route 53.

2)         Within the area bounded by 95th Street, Illinois Route 50 (Cicero Avenue), Roosevelt Road, Central Avenue, Touhy Avenue, and Lake Michigan that is in the City of Chicago, and on expressways in Cook County north of Interstate Route 80 and east of Illinois Route 83, permit movements not exceeding 10 feet in width are authorized between the hours of 9:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. (until noon on Saturday).  Movements exceeding 10 feet but less than 12 feet in width are authorized only between the hours of 7:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.  Moves 12 feet or more in width must be made between midnight and 6:00 a.m.  Movements exceeding 10 feet in width and having an origin or destination within this area may travel during hours of darkness in Cook County for a distance of up to 10 miles outside the nearest boundary of this area.

3)         Movements over 12 feet in width within Cook County that are not subject to  the restrictions in subsection (b)(2) are authorized only between the hours of 9:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. (until noon on Saturday).

                        4)         Contact should be made with the City of Chicago (312/744-4696) regarding permit requirements for movements on all streets and
                                    highways within the city other than the expressways.

Section 554.423 Moves Over Posted Load Roads and Bridges

No permit load shall move over or across a load limit road or bridge unless the gross weight of the permit movement is not more than the posted limit. If permittee finds that the proposed move exceeds the posted load limit on a route listed in the permit, contact should be made with the issuing office before proceeding.

Section 554.424 Time Limits

Due to high traffic volumes in certain areas of the State, or unusual roadway, weather, or other conditions, the time during which a permit load can move may be specified.  This time is usually 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. but other restrictions may be indicated.

Section 554.425 Deviation from Authorized Routes

Permit movements must be made over the routes listed in the permit.  If the permittee is traveling on State maintained routes other than those specified in the permit, the permittee is subject to arrest in accordance with Section 15-301(j) of The Illinois Size and Weight Law.  Regardless of the reason for being off route, the arresting officer should not allow the movement to proceed until the Department has had an opportunity to determine whether any damages have resulted from travel on unauthorized routes and until the Department provides a new routing to return the driver to the routing authorized in the permit.  If a routing is not prescribed, the permittee is expected to follow a direct route on State maintained highways between the specified origin and destination.  However, drivers are authorized to deviate from the assigned route in observance of construction restrictions and/or official signs directing trucks to a weigh station.  Upon instructions from a police officer, the driver may also be directed off of the assigned route to a scale.  When the permittee is found to be within the size and weight limits of his permit, it is the responsibility of the police officer to assist the driver in returning to the prescribed route.  If the officer is unsure of the capacity of any portion of the State routes between the point where the load is stopped and the scale, the officer may contact the Permit Office for routing assistance.

Section 554.426 Permit Must be Carried with the Move

Section 15-301(f) of The Illinois Size and Weight Law requires that the permit be carried in the vehicle or combination of vehicles to which it refers and that the permit be presented upon request to any police officer or authorized agent of the Department.

Section 554.427 Closure of Highway for Permit Movement

Permit may not be issued for the movement of vehicles or loads that will cause a route to be closed for more than 10 minutes unless:

a)         An acceptable detour has been established.  When a detour for other traffic is necessary, the permittee is responsible for ensuring that:  

1)         The traffic control plan has been approved before the move is started.

2)         Permission for use of any local roads or streets has been obtained from the officials who have jurisdiction over the roadways.

3)         All signs and barricades conform with the standards contained in the current Illinois Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (92 Ill. Adm. Code 546), and

4)         All detour signs and barricades are erected prior to closing the roadway and removed immediately after the road is reopened to traffic.

b)         Another form of traffic control is approved by the Permit Office.

c)         Emergency vehicles can be accommodated at all times.

Section 554.428 Right-of-Way During Movement

Movements shall be confined to a single traffic lane and shall be made in such a manner that the rest of the roadway will be open at all times so the flow of other traffic will not unnecessarily be obstructed. Other traffic will be given the right-of-way over the movement. The driver shall remove the vehicle from the roadway when necessary to allow an accumulation of traffic to pass or when so directed by a police officer.

Section 554.429 Legal Height Movements

Permit authority is not required for the movement of vehicle(s), inclusive of load, not exceeding the legal height limitation of 13 feet 6 inches as established in the Illinois Size and Weight Law. Therefore, no action is taken by the Department, either separately or in conjunction with authorizing an otherwise oversize or overweight movement, to ensure adequate clearance of structures for a vehicle(s), inclusive of load, if the applicant has indicated the overall height is legal.

Section 554.430 Assigned Permitted Route

The assigned permit route includes a distance of one mile onto another contiguous state jurisdiction highway provided that no structures are crossed, no posted weight limits are exceeded, overdimensional moves are not obstructed, all other provisions of the permit are followed and the route is used for any of the following reasons:

a)         To obtain fuel or repair;

b)         To provide for food or rest for the driver;

c)         To allow for the legal return to a permitted route after mistakenly going off route;

d)         To comply with regulatory signs to weigh.

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