Maryland Transportation Manual for Modular Homes

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This article examines the laws and regulations governing the transportation of modular homes within the State of Maryland and is available for use solely as a resource. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this article, use of the information contained on this page constitutes agreement and understanding that the Modular Building Systems Association (MBSA) is in no way responsible for any incorrect or inaccurate information contained herein and that the MBSA is not responsible for any situations that arise from reliance on the within information. This includes errors, omissions or changes to any law or regulation that are not reflected in this document.

Detailed advice and assistance with transportation issues pertaining to the transportation of modular homes is available to members of the MBSA as part of their membership. If you require advice or consultation on the transportation of modular homes, please join the MBSA.

Contents

Legal Limits:

General Information

  • Combination Length: 55 Feet generally (see below specific limitations)
    • Maxi-cube vehicle consisting of non-articulating straight truck with a trailer that does not exceed 28’: 60 Feet
    • Cargo carrying power unit in combination with another vehicle: 62’
    • Maxi-cube vehicle consisting of non-articulating straight truck with a semi-trailer that does not exceed 34’: 65 Feet
    • Saddle-mount or full-mount combination: 75 Feet
    • A combination of a semi-trailer and a trailer (double) being operated in combination with a non-cargo carrying truck-tractor is not restricted to an overall length, however, the semi-trailer and trailer operated in this combination may not exceed 28 feet in length for each unit.
    • When a semi-trailer (single) is being operated in combination with a truck tractor, the combination of vehicles shall not be subject to an overall length limit however the semi-trailer may not exceed 48 feet in length.
    • See also 53’ exceptions on page two (2)
  • Mobile Home Length: No Regulation
  • Width: 8 Feet 6 Inches
  • Height: 13 Feet 6 Inches

Bridges & Tunnels

Fort McHenry Tunnel - Lt. Laureen Billmeyer I-95 Phone: (410)537-1230

Length — 85’

Height — 14’6”

Width — 11’


Frances Scott Key Bridge - Lt. Frederick Wroblewski

I-695 Phone: (410) 288-8573

Length—No Limit

Height—14’6”

Width—14’


NOTE: Police escort required when crossing Key Bridge (12’ wide and over)

John F. Kennedy Highway - Randy Brown / David Wildroudt

I-95 Phone: (410)378-8011 or (410)575-6518

Phone: (410)575-6540 (State Police Barracks)

Length—No Limit

Height—15’

Width—20’


Hatem Bridge - Sgt. Linell Sweet

Rt. 40E Phone: (410)642-1323

Length—No Limit

Height—16’

Width—20’


Governor Nice Bridge - Sgt. Mark Henry

Rt. 301 Phone: (301)259-4444

Length—No Limit

Height—16’

Width—12’ (Note Special Permission needed if over 12’)


Lane Memorial Bridge - Lt. Paul Jones

Rt. 50 & 301 Phone: (410)757-1977

Length—No Limit

Height—15’6”

Width—15’

Weight—60 tons

NOTE: When crossing Bridge Lane expect Major Delays….


53' Semi-Trailer Exceptions

A person may operate a semi-trailer (single) that exceeds 48 feet in length up to a length not to exceed 53 feet in combination with a truck-tractor. The following conditions apply:

  • Travel is limited to the Maryland National Network System of Highways and the shortest practical route between a designated highway and a truck terminal, port, or point of origin or destination.
  • The wheelbase of the semi-trailer, measured as the distance from the kingpin to the center of the rear tandem axles, may not exceed 41 feet in length;
  • The kingpin setback, measured as the distance from the kingpin to the front of the semitrailer may not exceed 4 feet in length;
  • The rear overhang, measured as the distance from the center of the rear tandem axles to the rear of the semi-trailer, may not exceed 35 percent of the wheelbase of the semitrailer;
  • The width of the semi-trailer shall be at least 96 inches and not more than 102 inches;
  • The distance between the outside edges of the semi-trailer’s tires shall be equal to the width of the semi-trailer.

Load Extensions - Limits, Exceptions

  • The load on any vehicle or on the front of a combination of vehicles may not extend more than 3 feet beyond the front of the vehicle.
  • The load on any vehicle or combination of vehicles may not extend more than 6 feet beyond the rear of the bed or body of the vehicle.
  • Combinations of vehicles carrying indivisible loads during daylight hours, are allowed provided the load is not over 70 feet in length.
  • The overall maximum length restrictions vary for particular vehicles. For additional questions regarding this matter, call the Motor Carrier Division at 410-582-5734.

Permit Limits:

  • Combination Length: (95' practical) No Regulation
  • Mobile Home Length: No Regulation
  • Width: (15' practical) No Regulation
  • Height: (15' practical) No Regulation

State Permit Fee:

Generally

A person may move a vehicle which together with its load is oversize on State highways, under one of the following types of permits:

  1. Blanket hauling permit
  2. Book permit (issued in books of ten)
  3. Containerized cargo permit
  4. Special hauling permit
  5. Special vehicle permit

Blanket Hauling Permits

The fees for blanket hauling permits are:

  1. 30-day blanket permit—$50
  2. Annual blanket permit (except overlength combination blanket permit)—$500
  3. Annual overlength combination blanket permit:
A. Vehicles registered in Maryland—$50,
B. Vehicles with out-of-State registrations—$100

Book Permits

  • The fee for a book of ten single trip book permits is $300.
  • The fees for an engineering structural review, monitoring by Administration personnel, and escorting by police will be added to the permit fee at the time of issuance. Regardless of whether a permit is actually issued, the fee for engineering review will be assessed.

Towing Vehicle:

No regulation

Escort(s):

Generally

  • Police escort required for any load 16' wide.
  • The State Highway Administration Hauling Permits Unit may require police escort in any other case if traffic will have to be diverted or stopped, or if the move will affect either two or more lanes of traffic on a highway having two or more lanes in one direction or both lanes of traffic on a highway having only one lane in each direction.
  • Payment of Costs. The permittee is responsible for costs incurred by the Maryland State Police in the course of escorting the permittee's oversize or overweight vehicle. The costs will be assessed as indicated in COMAR 11.04.01.07. As of April 1, 2004 the Maryland State Police escort fee has increased from $160.00 to $250.00.
  • In the event that a Maryland State Police escort extends beyond 8 hours, the additional fee of $62.50 per hour will be billed directly to the permittee by the Department of the Maryland State Police finance office.
  • A pole vehicle escort shall accompany vehicles and loads exceeding a height of 14 feet 6 inches.
  • A permittee shall be required to provide one or more private escort vehicles for an oversize permit move. A permit move may be a vehicle with a load including manufactured housing (mobile home or modular unit) or a vehicle alone.
  • Monitoring of the permit move by State Highway Administration personnel shall be required if conditions warrant.
  • The Maryland Transportation Authority may require that a permit vehicle be escorted while traveling a toll facility.
  • Escort Vehicle - An escort vehicle:
  1. May not escort more than one oversize or overweight vehicle or load; and
  2. Shall be:
(a) Behind an overlength vehicle or load,
(b) Behind an overwidth vehicle or load on a multilane highway
(c) In front of an overwidth vehicle or load on a two-lane highway

One Escort

The permittee shall provide one escort vehicle for a permit move while it is traveling any highway in the State if the permit move is:

  1. More than 13 feet wide, unless the load is a manufactured housing unit
  2. More than 85 feet long
  3. 14 feet 6 inches high or more (pole vehicle required)
  4. More than 60 tons gross weight
  5. Construction equipment over 12 feet wide traveling off the interstate system
  6. Traveling when weather or road conditions justify the requirement of one escort vehicle


Two Escorts

The permittee shall provide two escort vehicles for a permit move if the permit move is:

  1. 14 feet wide or more including a load that is a manufactured housing unit;
  2. 140 feet long or more
  3. Traveling a road too narrow to allow other vehicles to pass safely in either direction
  4. Traveling against traffic that will have to be diverted or stopped
  5. Traveling when weather or road conditions justify the requirement of two escort vehicles

Police Escorts

  • Except for permits requiring unique or unusual considerations as may be determined by the Maryland State Police, the fee for a single escort by off-duty Maryland State Police officers is based upon the reasonable expenses incurred, as established by a schedule maintained by the Unit. These expenses include, but are not limited to, the maintenance and use of Maryland State Police vehicles and the overtime rate of Maryland State Police personnel.
  • The Maryland Transportation Authority Police(MdTAP) or MSP on the JFK highway (I-95) may be needed to provide police escort. The permittee or user shall notify the Maryland Transportation Authority Police (specific locations listed below) or the MSP (I-95) and speak to the Duty Officer at least one hour before beginning movement of an oversize vehicle on or through the facility.
  1. I-895 Baltimore Harbor Tunnel (MdTA) (410) 537-1200
  2. I-95 Fort McHenry Tunnel (MdTA) (410) 537-1230
  3. US 301 Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge (Potomac River Bridge) (MdTA) (301) 259-4444
  4. US 50/301 William Preston Lane, Jr. Memorial Bridge (Bay Bridge) (MdTA) (410) 757-1977
  5. I-695 Francis Scott Key Bridge (MdTA) (410) 288-8573
  6. US 40 Thomas J. Hatem Memorial Bridge (MdTA) (410) 642-1323
  7. I-95 John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway (MSP) (410) 537-1108

Private Escort Requirements

Communication

All private escort drivers and the permit driver shall be equipped with a two-way radio. The drivers shall maintain constant communication except for intermittent interruptions which may be caused by the terrain or atmospheric conditions, or directed by posting as in blasting areas.

Lighting:

  1. A private escort vehicle shall have at least one oscillating or rotating roof light, yellow in color, at least 3 inches in diameter and visible to the front and rear.
  2. Headlights of the escort and escorted vehicle shall be illuminated while conducting the move.
  3. Turn signal flashing warning lamps shall be used by the operator of a permit vehicle when the vehicle is traveling 20 miles per hour less than the posted speed limit.

Signs:

An escort vehicle shall display a sign with a yellow background on the vehicle's roof that is at least 5 feet long and 12 inches wide, with the words "wide load" or "oversize load" in 8-inch-high black letters.

Position:

  1. Escort vehicles shall travel not more than 200 feet to the front or rear of the escorted vehicle and not closer to the escorted vehicle than is reasonable and prudent under prevailing speed and weather conditions.
  2. When one escort vehicle is required, it shall follow the escorted vehicle on any highway with two or more lanes in one direction, and it shall precede the escorted vehicle on any highway with only one lane in each direction.
  3. When a pole vehicle escort is required, the pole vehicle shall precede the escorted vehicle.
  4. When two escort vehicles are required, one shall follow and the other shall precede the escorted vehicle.

Responsibilities:

  1. The purpose of an escort vehicle is to enhance safety by alerting the traveling public to the presence or approach of a permit vehicle and to reduce delays to the normal flow of traffic.
  2. The escort driver reviews the route and any special requirements or instructions with the permit driver. The permit driver, together with the escort driver, assures that signs are secured, lights are turned on and working, and two-way radios are working and appropriate channel selected.
  3. The front escort warns oncoming traffic of the presence of the permit vehicle, assists the permit driver to assure the permit route is being followed, and by radio notifies the permit driver of narrow structures, hazards, obstructions, pedestrians, and other potential problems that would affect the safe movement of the load and the traveling public.
  4. The rear escort warns approaching traffic of the presence of the permit vehicle, notifies the permit driver of flat tires and objects coming loose, and notifies front escort and permit driver of traffic buildup and motorists attempting to pass.

Signs:

  • If the vehicle, together with any load, exceeds 9 feet in width, the permittee shall display wide load or oversize load signs on the front and rear of the vehicle.
  • Specifications
  1. Permit Vehicle:
    1. A permit vehicle shall display the words "wide load" or "oversize load" in black letters not less than 10 inches high, with a brush stroke not less than 1 5/8 inches wide.
    2. The letters shall appear on a yellow background, 18 inches high and 7 feet wide.
  2. Escort Vehicle - An escort vehicle shall display a sign on the roof of the vehicle that is at least 5 feet long and 12 inches high with letters 8 inches high.
  • While the permit vehicle is moving on any highway in the State, the signing requirements of this regulation apply regardless of the permit vehicle's state of origin.

Flags:

  • During daylight hours, permitted vehicles shall display warning flags which are:
  1. Red fluorescent or orange fluorescent;
  2. At least 18 inches square; and
  3. Securely fastened by at least one corner or securely mounted on a staff.
  • Two warning flags placed at the widest extremities of the vehicle or load shall be displayed by permitted vehicles or loads which exceed legal width.
  • Warning flags shall be displayed on permitted vehicles or loads which exceed legal length or which have a rear-end overhang in excess of the legal limit.
  • A single flag shall be displayed at the extreme rear if the overlength or projecting portion is 2 feet wide or less.
  • Two flags shall be displayed at each side of the extreme rear in order to indicate maximum width if the overlength or projecting portion is wider than 2 feet.

Lights:

  • Headlights on towing vehicle and escort must be lighted during movement.
  • Permitted vehicles shall display warning lights if operating at night.
  • Overwidth Loads:
  1. For overwidth loads which are uniform in width, amber lights shall be displayed on the forward corners of the load and red lights shall be displayed on the rear corners of the load.
  2. For loads which are overwidth for their entire length with a wider portion near the middle of the load, either amber or red lights shall be displayed at the front and rear corners of the load and amber lights shall be displayed on the sides of the load at the widest point.
  3. For loads which are not uniform in width with the overwidth portion of the load at the extreme rear of the load, red lights shall be displayed on the side of the load at its widest point.
  4. For loads which are not uniform in width with the overwidth portion of the load at the front of the load, amber lights shall be displayed on the side of the load at its widest point.
  • Overlength Loads: For overlength loads with a rear overhang exceeding 4 feet, two red lights shall be displayed on the end of the overhang portion of the load, along with one red light on each side of the overhanging portion of the load.

Hours of Travel:

  • No permit movements are allowed on highways under the jurisdiction of the Maryland Transportation Authority (MdTA) after 12 noon on Friday until 9 AM. Monday. The MdTA has jurisdiction over I-95 north of I-695 north of Baltimore all the way to the Delaware State Line.
  • Movement allowed Monday through Friday during daylight hours, one half hour before sunrise and one half hour after sunset, and on Saturday from daylight until 12 noon. No movement on Saturdays after 12 noon, Sundays or holidays.
  • Movements over 12' wide on beltways only allowed during specified hours, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • No movement on any toll bridge or toll road after 12 noon on Fridays.
  • The permittee or user may move any vehicle and load that together are 14 feet or more in width on any highway in the State from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. only.

Weather Conditions:

  • The use of a permit is subject to favorable road and weather conditions.
  • Travel is not allowed when visibility is limited by atmospheric conditions or travel is made hazardous by weather conditions and when the surface of the highway is made hazardous by rain, sleet, snow, or ice, or movement is made hazardous by fog, flood, or wind.
  • If a permitted vehicle is moving when inclement weather occurs, the driver shall proceed to a safe place off the roadway and park the vehicle until the weather clears.
  • During inclement weather, police officers may require that the permitted vehicle be parked off the roadway until conditions warrant safe travel.

Miscellaneous Information:

  • Maryland is very strict on vehicle size. No tolerance given on overall width (eaves, doorknobs, etc.).
  • No convoy moves. Each permit vehicle with escort shall maintain a 1-mile distance from another escorted permit vehicle traveling in the same direction.
  • Any accident on a Maryland highway resulting in $350 or more in damage must be reported in writing to the Hauling Permit Section within five days.
  • Legal holidays: January 1, ML King's Birthday, Washington's Birthday, Good Friday, Easter, Memorial Day, July 4, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day.
  • When a major holiday occurs on a weekend, travel is not allowed from preceding Friday at noon until Tuesday at noon and may have an even greater travel restriction period.
  • For comprehensive route restrictions go to: http://chart.maryland.gov/road_closures/road_closures.asp or to Maryland's Chart website.
  • The trucks and/or combination of vehicles are permitted access, by the shortest practical route, between the System and a truck terminal, or point of origin/destination for cargo, or a distance not to exceed 1 mile to facilities for food, fuel, repairs or rest, or is the safest practical route and is a state highway with four or more lanes.
  • If traffic buildup behind a permit move becomes heavy ( in excess of six cars including any escort), the entire move shall leave the traveled way to allow traffic to pass.
  • The following restrictions apply to the movement of any oversize vehicle on or through the following Transportation Facilities Projects (Toll Facilities) operated by the Maryland Transportation Authority:
  1. Baltimore Harbor Tunnel Thruway (I-895);
  2. Thomas J. Hatem Memorial Bridge (Susquehanna River Bridge, U.S. 40);
  3. Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge (Potomac River Bridge, U.S. 301);
  4. William Preston Lane Jr. Memorial Bridge (Bay Bridge, U.S. 50/301);
  5. Francis Scott Key Bridge (MD 695);
  6. John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway (I-95);
  7. Fort McHenry Tunnel (I-95).
  • Any oversize vehicle and any vehicle and load together exceeding 96 inches in width or 13 feet 6 inches in height is prohibited from entering the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel and its approaches (I-895).
  • Any oversize vehicle and load together exceeding 14 feet 6 inches in height or 11 feet in width is prohibited from entering the I-95 Fort McHenry Tunnel and its approaches unless, in the case of vehicles and loads exceeding 11 feet in width, special written permission is obtained from the Administrator of the Tunnel.
  • Any vehicle and load together exceeding 12 feet in width, or 14 feet, 6 inches in height is prohibited from crossing the Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge (Potomac River Bridge, U.S. 301), unless in the case of vehicles and loads exceeding 12 feet in width, special written permission is obtained in advance from the superintendent of the bridge.
  • Unless otherwise restricted, a permittee or user may move an oversize or overweight vehicle on or across a Transportation Facilities Project (Toll Facility) only during daylight hours between 9 a.m. Monday and 12 noon Friday.
  • When moving any oversize or overweight vehicle on or across a Transportation Facilities Project (Toll Facility), the permittee or user shall comply with all regulations issued by the Maryland Transportation Authority to regulate the use of its projects, and with the direction of the Transportation Authority Police, including directions requiring that the vehicle be escorted during its move.
  • The permittee or user shall notify the superintendent or the Transportation Authority Police assigned to a particular Transportation Facilities Project (Toll Facility) at least 1 hour before beginning movement of an oversize or overweight vehicle on or across the project.
  • Regardless of any other provision of the regulations under COMAR 11.04.01—11.04.04, the movement of any oversize or overweight vehicle on or across a Transportation Facilities Project (Toll Facility) may be delayed or prohibited if, in the opinion of the superintendent or the Transportation Authority Police assigned to the project, the movement of the oversize or overweight vehicle would endanger life or property or result in undue interference or interruption of traffic at that project.

City Permits:

  • For information on Baltimore City highways, call (410) 396-7581 or (410)396-3333.
  • For delivery or pickup within the city limits of Baltimore, a trip permit is required. The fee starts at $60.

Special Permits:

One-hour advance notice is required before crossing toll facility or toll routes. The telephone number to call is printed on the Maryland permit. Calls may be made from Monday, 9 a.m., until Friday, noon.

  • (301) 757-1977, Lane Memorial Bridge, US 50/US 301
  • (410) 642-1323, Hatem Memorial Bridge, US 40
  • (301) 259-4444, Nice Memorial (max. 12'), US 50
  • Choptank Bridge
  • (410) 378-2126, JFK Highway Bridge, I 95
  • (301) 522-9401, Ft. McHenry Tunnel, I 95
  • (301) 522-9403/04, Key Bridge, I 695
  • (301) 354-8617, Baltimore Harbor Tunnel, I 895


Bridge Tolls: Go to Maryland Transportation Authority website and click on Toll Rates on left hand side of the screen.

Appendix & References

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