Truckers Traveling In Oregon Face Increased Tire Chain Law Fines This Winter

Truckers Traveling In Oregon Face Increased Tire Chain Law Fines This Winter

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) announced on Sept. 20 that they will double the fines for truckers who fail to use tire chains when required.

The fine comes from a new Oregon law, HB3055, taking effect Sept. 25, increasing the failure to use chains to $880. However, the costs can increase if the chainless truck crashes into another vehicle.

Before the increase, the fine was $440, which was an increase from the Class C violation of $165 before 2017.

According to an ODOT news release, the estimated cost of delays caused by trucks failing to follow Oregon chain laws is over $8 million a year to the motor carrier industry and other highway users. When a truck loses traction, it can not only delay its delivery but also delay everyone else on the road behind a stuck truck.

In 2017,ODOT enforced 1,404 citations and warnings for all chain violations with more than half of these citations and warnings for not carrying chains.

Specifically for motor carriers, ODOT found 21 motor carriers had 4 or more citations, 6 motor carriers had 8 or more citations, and 3 motor carriers had 10 or more citation during the 2017 winter season.

Oregon chain laws for Commercial vehicles with trailers

According to Oregon state law, all commercial vehicles to carry chains whenever road conditions might require their use during your trip and signs are posted. You will need to have six chains on hand to comply in Oregon.


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The law also requires vehicles to chain up when signs tell you that conditions ahead require them.

Mountain passes to be aware of when traveling through the state include Siskiyou on I-5, Cabbage on I-84, and Mt. Hood on US 26.

CMVs with a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more that are towing one or more trailers must have the following tire chain setup:

  • A single-drive axle commercial vehicle towing a trailer shall 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;
  • A single-drive axle commercial vehicle towing a semitrailer shall have chains on two tires on each side of the drive axle and two tires, one on each side, of any axle of the semitrailer;
  • A single-drive axle commercial vehicle towing both a semitrailer and a trailer shall have chains on two tires on each side of the drive axle, two tires, one on each side, of any axle of the semitrailer, and one tire on the front axle and one tire on one of the rear axles of the trailer;
  • A tandem-drive axle commercial vehicle towing a trailer shall 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 shall also be placed on one tire of the front axle and one tire on one of the rear axles of the trailer;
  • A tandem-drive axle commercial vehicle towing a semitrailer shall 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 shall also be placed on two tires, one on each side, of any axle of the semitrailer;
  • A tandem-drive axle commercial vehicle towing both a semitrailer and a trailer shall 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 shall also be placed on two tires, one on each side of any axle on the semitrailer and one tire on the front axle and one tire on one of the rear axles of the trailer; and
  • A tandem-drive axle commercial vehicle towing a semitrailer and a semitrailer that are connected by kingpin-to-fifth wheel assemblies, commonly referred to as a “B-Train,” or connected by kingpin-to-fifth wheel “C-dolly” assemblies, commonly referred to as a “C-Train”, shall 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 shall also be placed on two tires, one on each side, of any axle of the semitrailer at the B-train or C-train connection, and on two tires, one on each side, of any axle of the rear semitrailer.

DOT Training

All fleets need to conduct proper and thorough pre and post trip inspections, which consists of implementing quality:

  • driver training that is ongoing and consistent
  • driver education, and
  • driver awareness of current and changing traffic laws

All of this will help prevent being targeted by the DOT at roadside inspections and is a valuable resource to ensure a healthy fleet, and compliant safety practices.

Our DOT trainers offer a variety of in-person or online training courses tailored to the specific needs or weaknesses of your company.

For more information, contact us at 888.260.9448 or info@cnsprotects.com.

Colorado is the earliest chain law state, starting September 1

Colorado winter tire chain law

Unpredictable weather systems can happen anytime, however snow often begins sticking to high-elevation routes in Colorado as early as mid- to late September.

According to Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), from Sept. 1 through May 31, all commercial vehicles traveling on I-70 between the Dotsero exit (mile point (MP) 133) and the Morrison exit (MP 259) must carry sufficient chains to be in compliance with the Colorado chain law.

For drivers and the public’s safety, it is important to use chains in compliance with Colorado’s chain law for commercial vehicles fitting into one of the following categories:

  • Vehicles with a gross combination weight rating of more than 26,000 pounds, inclusive of a towed unit, which has a gross vehicle weight-rating of more than 10,000 pounds
  • Vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 or more pounds, or
  • Vehicles designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver

The fine for not carrying chains on I-70 between mileposts 133 and 259 from September 1 to May 31 is $50 plus a $17 surcharge. Statewide, the fine for not chaining up when the chain law is in effect is $500 plus a $79 surcharge. The fine for not chaining up and subsequently blocking the highway is $1,000 plus a $157 surcharge.

At a minimum, the CDOT will notify the public of the travel restriction with erected static and electronic variable message roadway signs. Additionally, CDOT may utilize radio channels, the official CDOT travel website (www.cotrip.org/), phone message system, email, text and other automated personal notification systems.


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Tire Chains Allowed in Colorado:

Metal chains must consist of two circular metal loops–one on each side of the tire–connected by not less than nine evenly spaced chain loops across the tread. Commercial vehicles that have four or more drive wheels must chain four wheels and dual tire chains are acceptable.

Alternate Traction Devices
Approved Alternate Traction Devices (ATDs) in Colorado are:

  • wheel sanders, which carry enough sand to get the vehicle through the restricted area
  • pneumatically driven chains, which spin under the drive wheels automatically as traction is lost, and
  • textile traction device (TTD), a fabric boot which encompasses the tire. Currently, the only TTD that has been approved for use on Colorado state highways is the AutoSock.

Tire Cables
With only two exceptions, Colorado chain law rules do not permit tire cables as alternate traction devices.

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The exceptions are:

  1. tire cables with high strength steel cross member rollers 0.415″ or greater in diameter, which can be used on all commercial vehicles except single drive axle combinations; and
  2. on a tandem power drive axle commercial vehicle, where any type of cable can be used only if there are chains on the two outside tires of one of the power drive axles and cables on two or more tires of the other power drive axle.

 

Colorado Chain Law Levels

There are two levels for chain laws in Colorado—Level 1/Code 17 and Level 2/Code 18—and each level has specific conditions in which it can be implemented.

Chain Law Level 1/Code 17:
All single-drive axle combination commercial vehicles must chain all four drive wheels; cables are not permitted as ATDs. All other commercial vehicles must have snow tires or chains.

Level 1/Code 17 may be implemented any time there is snow covering any part of the traveled portion of pavement on an ascending grade.

Chain Law Level 2/Code 18:
All commercial vehicles must chain up. Single drive axle combination and tandem drive axle commercial vehicles must chain four drive wheels.

Auto-transports must comply to the extent possible without causing damage to hydraulic lines. Buses must chain two drive wheels to be DOT compliant.

Level 2/Code 18 may be implemented any time there is snow covering the entire traveled portion of pavement on an ascending grade, or when driving conditions dictate that this level is necessary to protect safety and to minimize road closures.

Be sure to review our complete guide on extreme weather and regulations affecting drivers this season.


DOT Training

All fleets need to conduct proper and thorough pre and post trip inspections, which consists of implementing quality:

  • driver training that is ongoing and consistent
  • driver education, and
  • driver awareness of current and changing traffic laws

All of this will help prevent being targeted by the DOT at roadside inspections and is a valuable resource to ensure a healthy fleet, and compliant safety practices.

Our DOT trainers offer a variety of in-person or online training courses tailored to the specific needs or weaknesses of your company.

For more information, contact us at 888.260.9448 or info@cnsprotects.com.