Governors in North Carolina and South Carolina have signed executive orders suspending federal hours-of-service rules, certain size and weight limits and some permitting procedures in their states for drivers hauling loads deemed to be emergency or relief loads following torrential and deadly floods caused by Hurricane Joaquin.
South Carolina has suspended hours rules and size/weight limits for drivers carrying “equipment, materials, services, supplies, food, fuel timber, debris and other items in response to flooding.” S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley signed the order Oct. 2.
There are more than 375 roads and more than 150 bridges closed in South Carolina due to heavy rainfall from Hurricane Joaquin.
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory issued a similar proclamation Oct. 1, granting drivers in his state carrying “essential fuels, food, water, medical supplies, debris removal, feed for livestock and poultry, transporting livestock and poultry and for vehicles used in the restoration of utility services” a waiver of federal hours rules and size and weight limits.
Both declarations last 30 days, or through “the duration of the emergency, whichever is less,” per North Carolina’s declaration.
South Carolina’s suspension of size and weight rules still requires vehicles to not exceed 12-feet in width, 13.5 feet in height and 90,000 pounds in weight. Drivers must also still comply with signs on posted bridges, and any drivers who may need to carry loads larger and heavier than the limits set in the proclamation must order a permit by calling (803) 737-6769.
North Carolina likewise still is limiting truck weight to 90,000 pounds, truck width to 12 foot and an overall vehicle length to 75 feet, bumper to bumper.
Oversize and overweight truck-trailers in both states must still use all required signage and banners and pilot cars, per the declarations.
Though the orders do not explicitly say drivers must have no their person a copy of the declarations, it’s still a good bet to carry a copy of the governor-issued orders.
Affected tractors are equipped with an automated Eaton UltraShift Plus or Eaton Advantage Transmission with right hand stalk shifter. In the affected trucks, the display on the instrument panel can indicate “N” when the shifter is set into “D” or “R,” causing the truck not to move.