Skip to navigation Skip to content Skip to subnav
Searching 2017-2018 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 23 : Motor Vehicles

Chapter 013 : OPERATION OF VEHICLES

Subchapter 015 : WEIGHT, SIZE, LOADS

(Cite as: 23 V.S.A. § 1432)
  • § 1432. Length of vehicles

    (a) Operation of vehicles with or without a trailer or semitrailer. No motor vehicle without a trailer or semitrailer attached, which is longer than 46 feet overall, shall be operated upon any highway except under special permission from the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles. A motor vehicle with a trailer or semitrailer shall be operated, with regard to the length of the vehicle, pursuant to this section. If there is a trailer or semitrailer, the distance between the kingpin of the semitrailer to the center of the rearmost axle group shall not exceed 41 feet. An "axle group" is defined as two or more axles where the centers of all the axles are spaced at an equal distance apart.

    (1) Vehicles with a trailer or semitrailer not exceeding 75 feet. If the overall length of a vehicle with a trailer or semitrailer does not exceed 75 feet, it may be operated without a permit.

    (2) A receiver or shipper of goods located in Vermont may request from the Agency of Transportation access to a State highway for a commercial motor vehicle where the overall length exceeds 75 feet. If the total vehicle length is in excess of 75 feet or the distance from the steering axle to the rearmost tractor axle is longer than 25 feet, a permit may be requested from the Commissioner. In that event, the Agency of Transportation shall review the route or routes requested, making its determination for approval based on safety and engineering considerations, after considering input from local government and regional planning commissions or the metropolitan planning organization. The Agency shall maintain consistency in its application of acceptable highway geometry when approving other routes. The Agency may authorize safety precautions on these highways, if warranted, which shall include precautionary signage, intelligent transportation system signage, special speed limits, and use of flashing lights.

    (3) Vehicles with a trailer or semitrailer longer than 75 feet. If the overall length of a vehicle with a trailer or semitrailer is longer than 75 feet, a permit may be issued pursuant to subdivision 1402(b)(1) of this title.

    (b) Rear-end protective devices on trailers. A trailer or semitrailer not in excess of 53 feet may be operated provided the semitrailer is equipped with a rear-end protective device of substantial construction consisting of a continuous lateral beam extending to within four inches of the lateral extremities of the semitrailer and located not more than 22 inches from the surface as measured with the vehicle empty and on a level surface.

    (c) Operation on U.S. Route 4. Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, vehicles with a trailer or semitrailer which are longer than 68 feet but not longer than 75 feet may be operated with a single or multiple trip overlength permit issued at no cost by the Department of Motor Vehicles or, for a fee, by an entity authorized in subsection 1400(d) of this title on U.S. Route 4 from the New Hampshire state line to the junction of VT Route 100 south, provided the distance from the kingpin of the semitrailer to the center of the rearmost axle group is not greater than 41 feet.

    (d) Operation of pole semitrailers. The provisions of this section shall not be construed to prevent the operation of so-called pole dinkeys or pole semitrailers when being used to support the ends of poles, timbers, pipes, or structural members capable, generally, of sustaining themselves as beams between the supporting connections, the overall length of which may exceed 75 feet under special permission from the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles.

    (e) Operation on Interstate highways. Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, on the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways and those classes of qualifying Federal-aid Primary System highways as designated by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and on highways leading to or from the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways for a distance of one mile, unless the Agency of Transportation finds the use of a specific highway to be unsafe, no overall length limits for tractor-semitrailer or tractor semitrailer-trailer combination shall apply. On these highways, no semitrailer in a tractor-semitrailer combination longer than 53 feet and no trailer or semitrailer in a tractor-semitrailer-trailer combination longer than 28 feet shall be operated. However, the limits established by this section shall not be construed in such a manner as to prohibit the use of semitrailers in a tractor-semitrailer combination of such dimensions as were in actual and lawful use in this State on December 1, 1982.

    (f) [Repealed.]  (Amended 1959, No. 99; 1963, No. 62, § 3, eff. April 30, 1963; 1971, No. 55, § 2; 1973, No. 15; 1977, No. 41, § 3, eff. April 19, 1977; 1983, No. 74, § 2, eff. April 28, 1983; 1985, No. 124 (Adj. Sess.), § 8, eff. April 18, 1986; 1987, No. 95, § 5, eff. June 23, 1987; 1987, No. 157 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. April 27, 1988; 1991, No. 65, eff. June 18, 1991; 1995, No. 183 (Adj. Sess.), § 18g, eff. May 22, 1996; 1997, No. 120 (Adj. Sess.), § 9c; 1999, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 17, eff. Aug. 1, 2000; 2007, No. 164 (Adj. Sess.), § 43; 2009, No. 50, § 102; 2011, No. 164 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; 2017, No. 71, § 16, eff. June 8, 2017.)