(1) Every vehicle, whether operated singly or in a combination of vehicles, and every combination of vehicles shall comply with subsections (2) and (3) of this section except as provided in sections 60-6,294.01, 60-6,297, and 60-6,383. The limitations imposed by this section shall be supplemental to all other provisions imposing limitations upon the size and weight of vehicles.
(2) No wheel of a vehicle or trailer equipped with pneumatic or solid rubber tires shall carry a gross load in excess of ten thousand pounds on any highway nor shall any axle carry a gross load in excess of twenty thousand pounds on any highway. An axle load shall be defined as the total load transmitted to the highway by all wheels the centers of which may be included between two parallel transverse vertical planes forty inches apart extending across the full width of the vehicle.
(3) No group of two or more consecutive axles shall carry a load in pounds in excess of the value given in the following table corresponding to the distance in feet between the extreme axles of the group, measured longitudinally to the nearest foot, except that the maximum load carried on any group of two or more axles shall not exceed eighty thousand pounds on the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways unless the Director-State Engineer pursuant to section 60-6,295 authorizes a greater weight.
|Distance in feet||Maximum load in pounds carried|
|between the||on any group of two or more|
|extremes of||consecutive axles|
|any group of|
|two or more|
(4) The distance between axles shall be measured to the nearest foot. When a fraction is exactly one-half foot, the next larger whole number shall be used, except that:
(a) Any group of three axles shall be restricted to a maximum load of thirty-four thousand pounds unless the distance between the extremes of the first and third axles is at least ninety-six inches in fact; and
(b) The maximum gross load on any group of two axles, the distance between the extremes of which is more than eight feet but less than eight feet six inches, shall be thirty-eight thousand pounds.
(5) The limitations of subsections (2) through (4) of this section shall apply as stated to all main, rural, and intercity highways but shall not be construed as inhibiting heavier axle loads in metropolitan areas, except on the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways, if such loads are not prohibited by city ordinance.
(6) The weight limitations of wheel and axle loads as defined in subsections (2) through (4) of this section shall be restricted to the extent deemed necessary by the Department of Transportation for a reasonable period when road subgrades or pavements are weak or are materially weakened by climatic conditions.
(7) Two consecutive sets of tandem axles may carry a gross load of thirty-four thousand pounds each when the overall distance between the first and last axles of such consecutive sets of tandem axles is thirty-six, thirty-seven, or thirty-eight feet except as provided in section 60-6,297. Such vehicles shall be subject to section 60-6,301.
(8) If any vehicle crosses a bridge with a total gross load in excess of the posted capacity of such bridge and as a result of such crossing any damage results to the bridge, the owner of such vehicle shall be responsible for all of such damage.
(9) Vehicles equipped with a greater number of axles than provided in the table in subsection (3) of this section shall be legal if they do not exceed the maximum load upon any wheel or axle, the maximum load upon any group of two or more consecutive axles, and the total gross weight, or any of such weights as provided in subsections (2) and (3) of this section.
(10) Subsections (1) through (9) of this section shall not apply to a vehicle which has been issued a permit pursuant to section 60-6,299, self-propelled specialized mobile equipment with a fixed load when the requirements of subdivision (2)(i) of section 60-6,288 are met, or an emergency vehicle when the requirements of subdivision (1)(a)(v) of section 60-6,298 are met.
(11) Any two consecutive axles the centers of which are more than forty inches and not more than ninety-six inches apart, measured to the nearest inch between any two adjacent axles in the series, shall be defined as tandem axles, and the gross weight transmitted to the road surface through such series shall not exceed thirty-four thousand pounds. No axle of the series shall exceed the maximum weight permitted under this section for a single axle.
(12) Dummy axles shall be disregarded in determining the lawful weight of a vehicle or vehicle combination for operation on the highway. Dummy axle shall mean an axle attached to a vehicle or vehicle combination in a manner so that it does not articulate or substantially equalize the load and does not carry at least the lesser of eight thousand pounds or eight percent of the gross weight of the vehicle or vehicle combination.
(13) The maximum gross weight limit and the axle weight limit for any vehicle or combination of vehicles equipped with idle reduction technology may be increased by an amount necessary to compensate for the additional weight of the idle reduction technology as provided in 23 U.S.C. 127(a)(12), as such section existed on October 1, 2012. The additional amount of weight allowed by this subsection shall not exceed five hundred fifty pounds and shall not be construed to be in addition to the five-percent-in-excess-of-maximum-load provision of subdivision (1) of section 60-6,301.
(14) The maximum gross weight for any vehicle or combination of vehicles operated by an engine fueled primarily by natural gas may exceed the gross weight limitations provided in subsection (3) of this section, and as provided in 23 U.S.C. 127(s), as such section existed on January 1, 2018, in an amount that:
(a) Is equal to the difference, up to a maximum of two thousand pounds, between the weight of the natural gas tank and fueling system carried by such vehicle, and the weight of a comparable diesel tank and fueling system; and
(b) Does not exceed eighty-two thousand pounds on the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways.