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2017 Tennessee Code
Title 55 - Motor and Other Vehicles
Chapter 7 - Size, Weight and Load
Part 2 - Weight and Length Specifications
§ 55-7-202. Maximum width and height.
Universal Citation: TN Code § 55-7-202 (2017)
- (1) No motor vehicle as defined in § 55-1-103 or any trailer or semitrailer, whose width, including any part of the load, exceeds eight feet (8') (that is, four feet (4') on each side of the center line of the vehicle), or whose height, including any part of the load, exceeds thirteen and one-half feet (13 1/2'), shall be operated on any highway; provided, that this section shall not apply to farm tractors or farm machinery temporarily moving on any highway.
- (2) Subdivision (a)(1) relating to maximum width restrictions on trailers and semitrailers shall not apply to a trailer or semitrailer utilized for transporting seed cotton or rolled hay bales; provided, that the width of any such trailer or semitrailer, including any part of the load, shall not exceed ten feet (10') (that is five feet (5') on each side of the center line of the trailer, or semitrailer), and such movement is performed during daylight hours within a radius of fifty (50) miles of the point of origin, and no part of the movement is upon any highway designated and known as a part of the national system of interstate and defense highways or any fully controlled access highway facility or other federal-aid highway designated by the commissioner of transportation.
- (3) In the event federal law and regulations permit the operation of passenger buses of widths in excess of eight feet (8') on the national systems of interstate and defense highways, then there may be operated on highways with four (4) or more lanes, and such other highways as are designated and approved by the commissioner within the state, passenger buses, the width of which do not exceed eight feet six inches (8' 6"), or such width, not exceeding eight feet six inches (8' 6"), as is permitted under the federal rules and regulations.
- (4) It is not a violation of this part to transport a houseboat eighteen feet (18') in width, or less, on the highways, but any houseboat in excess of eight feet (8') shall be subject to the fees provided in § 55-7-205.
- (b) The approval of the commissioner for buses in excess of eight feet (8') to operate on streets and roads shall be inoperative unless approved by the legislative body of any city with a population of one hundred seventy thousand (170,000) to two hundred fifty thousand (250,000), according to the 1970 federal census.
- (c) Motor vehicles not exceeding eight feet six inches (8' 6") in width are permitted to operate over the interstate system and other federal-aid highways designated by the commissioner. Incidental appurtenances and retracted awnings, where the width does not exceed six inches (6"), and safety devices, as designated by the commissioner, shall be excluded from the measurement of width and the provisions contained in § 55-7-205. Within the limitations as provided in this chapter, any such vehicles may use and must confine themselves to the shortest reasonable route to and from the interstate system, other designated highways, and terminals; or, in the case of household goods carriers, to and from points of loading and unloading. Access to facilities in interchange areas adjoining these highways for food, fuel, repairs and rest shall not be denied.
- (d) Notwithstanding the limitations in subsection (a), a motor vehicle, as defined in § 55-1-103, or a trailer or semitrailer, whose width, including any part of the load, does not exceed eight feet six inches (8' 6") (that is, four feet three inches (4' 3") on each side of the center line of the vehicle), and whose height, including any part of the load does not exceed thirteen feet six inches (13' 6"), may be operated on the federal and state highway system. Any such vehicles may use and must confine themselves to the shortest reasonable route to and from the federal and state highway system, and terminals; or, in the case of household goods carriers, to and from points of loading and unloading. Access to facilities in interchange areas adjoining these highways for food, fuel, repairs and rest shall not be denied.
- (e) (1) Notwithstanding the limitations set forth in subsection (a), between one (1) minute past midnight (12:01 a.m.) on the first Friday in March and eleven fifty-nine p.m. (11:59 p.m.) on the first Sunday in November each year, a motor vehicle carrying rafts or rafting apparatus used by an operator for commercial whitewater rafting purposes, when the driver of such motor vehicle possesses written documentation from the department of revenue that such operator is in compliance with the policy of liability insurance provisions in § 65-15-110(b), and having a height, including any part of the load, that exceeds thirteen feet (13') but does not exceed seventeen and one-half feet (17 1/2') may operate on the following state highway segments:
- (A) State Route 40 (United States Highway 64) in Polk County between State Route 33 (United States Highway 411) east of Cleveland and State Route 68 in Ducktown (Ocoee River); and
- (B) Interstate 40 in Cocke County between the Foothills Parkway and the Tennessee-North Carolina border (Pigeon River);
and within five (5) miles of such highway segments upon any additional public road as necessary to travel to and from such operator's place of business to such highway or to and from such highway to such operator's river access point, so long as the load is secured and the vehicle is operated in a safe manner at all times.
- (2) Nothing in this section shall be construed to require the department of transportation or any other entity to design, construct, or maintain overhead structures on or along such highways or public roads with a clearance in excess of thirteen feet (13') or any otherwise applicable design standard.
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