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15 It should also be noted that OS/OW policies and regulations single office, approximately 40% of them issue through sev- constantly change for a variety of reasons. Tables C3-3A and eral offices, and 8 states also have local agencies issuing per- C3-3B indicate those states, provinces, or jurisdictions that mits. Table C3-4B shows the same information for Canadian could possibly have new OS/OW policies or regulations. Al- respondents. Tables C3-5A and C3-5B show how OS/OW en- though it is understood that efforts to establish new laws, reg- forcement is practiced within the states/provinces/jurisdictions ulations, or policies may not always be successful, there is still in the United States and Canada. a significant probability that some of these efforts will be implemented in the future. Also note that the two proposed changes to weight limit (California's tridem axle to 60,000 lb NONUNIFORMITY FROM PERSPECTIVE OF INDUSTRY and Illinois' annual OW permit to 120,000 lb GVW) appear to represent increases. In general, truck weight limits have in- The SC&RA conducted a number of surveys of its member car- creased over the years, and these changes may continue (Over- riers and state permitting officials, mainly regarding the turn- weight Vehicles . . . 1991; "National Commercial . . ." 2004). around time for routine OS/OW permit review and issuance. Table C3-6 summarizes its 2004 survey results. The routine In Table C3-3B, the response of Newfoundland indicates permit vehicles addressed here usually are relatively lighter and that four Atlantic Canadian provinces are in the process to es- do not require bridge evaluation. Typically, the permit review tablish a single overweight vehicle policy for the region. is done by comparing the permit vehicle's configuration and These provinces have implemented a uniform policy for le- weight distribution with a set of simple requirements (e.g., the gal vehicles for the region. This is a step further for regional bridge formula and a GVW cap). These simple requirements uniformity in truck weight regulation. More information may not have been rigorously studied using bridge structure about this effort will be presented in chapter five. analysis. Of the 48 states included, 30 are reportedly able to issue a routine permit within 2 h. Some states are able to com- In summary, the variation in permit types and policies plete the process by means of the Internet. It was also concluded shown in Tables C3-1 to C3-3 offer an overall perspective of that, in general, the states have been improving their services in the OS/OW permit policies and regulations in the United this area ("Report on State Permitting . . ." 2004). Some of the States and Canada. The various permit types and associated states also offered comments on the turnaround time for other practices represent a major source of nonuniformity ob- permits they issue, such as superload permits that typically re- served in OS/OW permit issuance. quire bridge evaluation. They are also included in Table C3-6. The survey itself and the results indicate that the turnaround VARIATION IN PERMITTING BUSINESS time is important to the industry. In addition, the nonuniform PROCESSES distribution of this time among the states could be the focus of a concerted effort among the states. The business process of reviewing permit applications is also thought to contribute to nonuniformity of permitting practice. SC&RA has also developed a manual that contains infor- Tables C3-4 and C3-5 provide snapshots of a few sections of mation on permits for various agencies in United States and the situation. Canada (Oversize/Overweight Permit Manual . . . 2005). It covers legal limits, permit limits, general permit restrictions, A permit may be issued by state or local agency offices. types of permits, permit fees, escort and sign requirements, Table C3-4A shows more details about the situation in the fines, etc. A wide variety is observed with respect to these United States. Note that a relatively higher uniformity is gen- items as recorded in this manual. erally expected if all permits are issued by one single office, with adequate staffing, and receiving consistent support for In addition, carriers indicated different costs and efforts bridge evaluation. Furthermore, personnel at the state level are spent on obtaining permits for the same load from different better supported in terms of resources and technical expertise agencies. For example, for two loads shipped in 2004 by needed. Their proficiency in technical issues such as bridge one carrier for two agencies/corporations from Florida to load rating is expected to be higher. Therefore, a higher uni- California, 98 permits were acquired from 8 states formity is more likely if a single state office performs permit ("Transcontinental . . ." 2004). The cost and time spent on review. Table C3-4A shows that more than half of the state- these permits were significant and had a negative impact on level agencies (24 of 44) issue OS/OW permits through one the job.