Pennsylvania Highways
Pennsylvania Truck Information


INTERNATIONAL REGISTRATION PLAN (IRP)

Further Information Contact:
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation
Bureau of Motor Vehicles
Commercial Registration Section
P.O. Box 68284
Harrisburg, PA  17106-8284
..........................................................717-346-0608

TRUCK/VEHICLE REGISTRATION

All vehicles used to conduct business in Pennsylvania must be either registered in Pennsylvania or through a reciprocity pact with another state.

Further Information Contact:
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation
Bureau of Motor Vehicles
Commercial Registration Section
P.O. Box 68284
Harrisburg, PA  17106-8284..........................................................717-346-0608
Registration Period - June 1 through May 31
Reciprocity Pact - International Registration Plan
Trip Permits - May be obtained for temporary operation in states not included in original apportionment.

MOTOR CARRIER SAFETY ASSISTANT PROGRAM (MCSAP)
Basis For Inspections


Conducted in accordance with the United States Department of Transportation's North American Uniform Driver-Vehicle Inspection Procedures.

Inspection standards published by the Department in their regulations (Title 67).

Regulations based upon Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (49 CFR 390-397).

Regulations are as consistent as possible with motor carrier safety regulations nationwide.

Classes of Violations
Basic - Not considered to present imminent danger to the public.  The include drivers' record keeping and items which are broken, damaged, or inoperable but which are not considered severe enough to present the potential for an accident or breakdown.
Out-of-Service - Considered severe enough to post an imminent danger to the public.  They include drivers who have driven more than the allowable number of hours, defective tires, lights and/or brakes.

Compliance Requirements
Basic violations must be corrected within 15 days or before the start of the vehicle's next trip, whichever comes first.  Out-of-service violations must be corrected before resuming travel. Repairman and motor carrier must certify corrections have been made to the Department within 15 days.

Penalties
Citations may be issued for violations discovered during inspection.  It is at the discretion of the inspector whether to issue a citation to the driver or carrier or both.

Basic Violation: Citation to driver $25 per violation
Citation to carrier $50 per violation
Out-of-service Violation: Citation to driver $50 per violation
Citation to carrier $100 per violation
Out-of-Service Violation: Citation to driver $500 per violation

If a driver fails to comply with the inspector's request to inspect his vehicle, the following many occur:

  1. Vehicle can be taken into custody until inspection is completed.
  2. Driver could be fined $500 if found guilty of refusing the request to inspect his vehicle or if he continues with his trip before repairs have been made.
Further Information Contact:
Pennsylvania State Police
Commercial Vehicle Safety Section
1850 Arsenal Boulevard
Harrisburg, PA  17103-1213..........................................................717-346-7347

WEIGHT LIMITS

Axel Weights - Trucks and Combination Vehicles with Registered Gross Weight of 73,280 pounds or less.

Steering Axle..............................................................20,000 pounds

Other Axles:
Center-to-Center
Distance Between
2 Adjacent Axles
Maximum Axle Weight (pounds)
1 of 2
Adjacent Axles
Other Adjacent
Axle
Under 6 feet
6 feet to 8 feet
Over 8 feet
18,000
18,000
22,400
18,000
22,400
22,400

Combination Vehicles with Registered Gross Weight and Actual Gross Weight in excess of 73,280 pounds are determined by the Federal Bridge Formula.

MAXIMUM GROSS WEIGHT

Type of Vehicle Maximum Gross
Weight in Pounds
Two-Axle Motor Vehicle 38,000
Three-Axle Motor Vehicle 58,400
Four-Axle Motor Vehicle 73,280
Five-Axle Motor Vehicle 73,280
Six-Axle Motor Vehicle 77,000
Seven-Axle Motor Vehicle 80,000
Three-Axle Combination 58,400
Four-Axle Combination 73,280
Five or More-Axle Combination 80,000

SIZE LIMITS

Width 8 feet
Height 13 feet - 6 inches
Length
Single Motor Vehicle 40 feet
Tractor-Trailer 53 feet Trailer (41 feet King pin to center line of rear axle)
Tractor-Trailer-Trailer (Twins) Allowed on Approved Routes Only
 
National Network and Pennsylvania Access Approved Routes
Width 8 feet - 6 inches
Height 13 feet - 6 inches
Length
Single Motor Vehicle 40 feet
Tractor-Trailer 53 feet Trailer (41 feet King pin to center line of rear axle)
Tractor-Trailer-Trailer (Twins) 28 feet - 6 inches (each trailer)
 
Auto & Boat Transports - Overhang 3 feet front, 4 feet rear
on National Network and Access Approved Routes
65 feet
Stinger Steered - Overhang 3 feet front, 4 feet rear 75 feet
 
Load Overhang
All Other Vehicles
Front 3 feet
Rear 6 feet

Further Information Contact:
Pennsylvania State Police
Commercial Vehicle Safety Section
1850 Arsenal Boulevard
Harrisburg, PA  17103-1213..........................................................717-346-7347

OVERWEIGHT/OVERSIZE PERMITS

Required for all loads/vehicles in excess of maximum allowances shown above.  To acquire a permit, contact the PennDOT Maintenance Office in the county of the trip origin prior to the beginning of the trip.

Further Information Contact:
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation
Central Permit Office
P. O. Box 2671
Harrisburg, PA  17105-2671..........................................................717-787-4680
Website:  http://www.dot.state.pa.us/

If traveling on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, a separate permit is required.  For further information, see the Turnpike Information Section.

WORK ZONE SAFETY

Work zones throughout Pennsylvania can be found at any time of the year.  Drivers are reminded to slow down, pay attention to signing and travel cautiously through work sites.  The people behind the barriers and under the hard hats are depending on you to "Give 'em a BRAKE."  Fines for moving violations committed in a Work Zone or Maintenance Area are double the usual amount.

HAZARDOUS MATERIALS' SPILL REPORTING

All vehicular releases of hazardous materials, to include diesel fuel, with the potential of affecting the environment (air, soil, water) must be reported immediately to "911" or the local emergency number.

If unable to reach local authorities, report the spill to the Pennsylvania State Emergency Operations Center at 1-800-HBG-PEMA or 717-651-2001

Further Information Contact:
Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency
ATTN:  Bureau of Plans
P. O. Box 3321
Harrisburg, PA  17105-3321

MOTOR CARRIERS ROAD TAX (MCRT) and the INTERNATIONAL FUEL TAX AGREEMENT (IFTA)

Vehicles subject to the Motor Carriers Road Tax and IFTA are termed qualified motor vehicles (QMV).  A QMV is defined as a vehicle, other than a recreational vehicle, designed, maintained, or used for the transportation of persons or property and having:

(a) two (2) axles and a gross or registered gross weight greater than 26,000 pounds;
(b) three (3) axles regardless of weight; or
(c) combinations where the declared combination weight or the weight of the vehicles
used in combination (truck and trailer) exceeds 26,000 pounds

Qualified motor vehicles, unless exempted by law, must display vehicle identification markers that cost $5/truck, and are valid for a specific calendar year.

Vehicles that operate exclusively within Pennsylvania generally display PA Non-IFTA credentials (Decals and MCRT Registration Card).

Vehicles that operate within and outside of Pennsylvania will display IFTA credentials (Decals and an IFTA License).

Both of these credentials may be displayed as of December 1 for the ensuing year, and vehicles displaying the prior year's credentials have until the last day of February to affix the new year decals.

TRIP PERMITS

Pennsylvania offers trip permits to out-of-state carries not currently IFTA credentialed in their base state at a cost of $50 for a 5-day permit.  PA carriers adding additional vehicles, or replacing vehicles in their fleet, may obtain temporary permits that cost $5/vehicle and are valid for 30 days.  Carriers requesting temporary permits must do so via FAX by identifying the year, make, VIN, and state of registration for the vehicle for which the temporary permit is requested.  They must be in good standing with the Bureau and they must have already requested credentials (decals) for the vehicle(s) in question.

ROAD TAX REPORTS

All carriers are required to maintain records, by fuel type, of miles traveled by state/jurisdiction, and fuel purchased by state/jurisdiction.  Carriers purchasing IFTA credentials must file a quarterly report showing operations conducted in each jurisdiction.  Reports are to be mailed to and are due as follows:

REPORTING PERIOD DUE DATE
January 1 - March 31 April 30
April 1 - June 30 July 31
July 1 - September 30 October 31
October 1 - December 31 January 31

Further Information Contact:
Pennsylvania Department of Revenue
Bureau of Motor Fuel Taxes
P. O. Box 280646
Harrisburg, PA  17128-0646..........................................................717-787-5355

FUEL USE TAX

The amount of Road Tax due is based on miles traveled/fuel consumed in each state with credit given for tax paid on fuel purchases made in specific jurisdictions/state.  Pennsylvania's current fuel tax rates are $.381/gallon for diesel fuel and $.312/gallon for gasoline.

Questions regarding Motor Carriers Road Tax or (IFTA) should be forwarded to the above address or 1-800-482-4382.

PITTSBURGH AREA TUNNEL RESTRICTIONS
(Pertains to the Liberty, Squirrel Hill, and Fort Pitt Tunnels)

Explosives and flammable liquids are not permitted in the tunnels.  Should you be involved in an accident and need assistance from PennDOT when using the tunnels, you should contact:
PennDOT Maintenance Office..........................................................412-381-1815


PENNSYLVANIA TURNPIKE INFORMATION

Minimum speed on Turnpike:  40 miles per hour (weather permitting)

IMPORTANT TELEPHONE NUMBERS
General Information: 1-717-939-9551
Road/Weather Conditions: 1-866-976-TRIP
Customer Assistance Center: 1-800-331-3414 (Monday - Friday 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM)
E-ZPass Customer Service Center: 1-877-PENN-PASS
State Police and/or Emergency Road Service: 1-800-932-0586
Turnpike Cellular Phone Emergency Assistance: *11 or 1-800-332-3880

EMERGENCY CELLULAR

Anyone traveling the Turnpike with a cellular telephone can dial *11 (star one one) to report accidents or incidents or request emergency aid.  Calls are free and go directly to the Turnpike's operation center in Harrisburg.  Turnpike radio operators and Pennsylvania State Police are on duty 24 hours-a-day, every day.

If you need to call the operations center, be prepared to provide your name, location (look for a milepost marker), cellular telephone number, and the nature of your emergency.  Remain on the telephone until the radio operator instructs you to hang up.

EMERGENCY HELP INFORMATION

Emergency call boxes are located on both sides of the Turnpike System every mile.

PERMIT RESTRICTIONS

Special permits are required for all loads/vehicles in excess of maximum allowance shown below:
Axle Weight: 22,400 pounds
Weight: 125,000 pounds
Width: 10 feet to maximum 11 feet - 6 inches
Overall Length: 85 feet
Height: 13 feet - 6 inches

NOTE:  Vehicles between 8 feet - 6 inches and 10 feet wide do not require a permit, but must follow time-of-day travel restrictions.

Over dimensional permits may be obtained by calling 717-939-9551 Extension 2980 then 2 on the phone tree.

TUNNEL RESTRICTIONS

PLACARDS PROHIBITED:  All Explosives; All Poison Inhalation; All Dangerous When Wet; Radioactive

PLACARDS PERMITTED IN NON-BULK PACKAGING*:  Flammable Gas; Flammable Liquid; Flammable Solid; Spontaneously Combustible; Oxidizer; Organic Peroxide; Corrosive; Poison

PLACARDS PERMITTED (BULK OR NON-BULK PACKAGING):  Dangerous:  Non-Flammable Gas; Combustible; Keep Away From Food; Miscellaneous

*Non-bulk packaging is described as:  1. A maximum capacity of 450 L (119 gallons) or more for a liquid; 2. A maximum net mass of 400 kg (882 pounds) or more and a maximum capacity of 450 L (119 gallons) or more for a solid; or 3. A water capacity of 454 kg (1,000 pounds or more for a gas.


Back to Pennsylvania Highways
Page updated October 08, 2010.
Graphics copyright Jeffrey J. Kitsko. All rights reserved.
Information courtesy of the 2008 Truckers Guide to Pennsylvania and reproduced to aid motor carriers.