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Author Topic: Truck signs on NJ Interstates  (Read 5415 times)

Janko Dialnice

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Truck signs on NJ Interstates
« on: July 19, 2011, 04:56:55 PM »

What is the meaning of the sign which features an outline of a truck, with a number inside, enclosed in green circle? I have seen them along I-78 and I-287 during my last visit to NJ, and I have seen photos of them on I-95 and I-295 on the Interstate guide pages.

http://www.interstate-guide.com/images295/i-295_nj_nt_20.jpg

http://www.interstate-guide.com/images295/i-295_nj_nt_09.jpg

Is this a type of regulatory sign, for weight or height?
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1995hoo

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Re: Truck signs on NJ Interstates
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2011, 05:07:58 PM »

I believe it means that trucks up to 102 inches wide are permitted on that road.

Edited to add: Some info from the state here: http://www.state.nj.us/transportation/freight/trucking/faq.shtm
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mtantillo

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Re: Truck signs on NJ Interstates
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2011, 06:33:01 PM »

It is essentially there to require trucks to stick to the interstates and the Turnpike if they are not making a delivery in NJ.  Primarily enacted to keep the trucks off of US 206 between Princeton and Somerville and NJ 31/US 202 between Ewing and Somerville. 

You might see some signs at the stateline that says "Thru trucks must use National Network"...The National Network is essentially the National Highway System, which is all interstates and primary routes that "fill in the gaps" in the interstate system.  NJ 31, US 202, and US 206 are not part of the National Network. 
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Re: Truck signs on NJ Interstates
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2011, 07:02:15 PM »

Nope, the National Network is a different beast, predating the NHS: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/legsregs/directives/fapg/cfr06581.htm http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policyinformation/pubs/pl08021/fig1_4.cfm . NJ 31 is part of the NHS.
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mtantillo

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Re: Truck signs on NJ Interstates
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2011, 10:17:03 PM »

Interesting.  I wonder why the huge disparity...some states have a lot of local roads as part of the National Truck Network, others just have their Interstates. 

Sorry for the misinformation...I don't really know much about how trucking/freight movement works from a regulatory standpoint.  I know you can't just pick any route you choose, nor can you choose what state you buy diesel in for the purpose of paying the cheapest fuel tax rate (for truckers, the tax is levied based on where the fuel is consumed, not where it is purchased), but aside from that, I assume professional drivers learn these sorts of rules before they take a commercial operator's license test. 

When I travel on two lane roads though, I like taking ones where trucks are banned, because I hate following them and not being able to pass them, especially if the trucks are fully loaded and there are lots of signals.  So I seek out the roads where there are weight limits or other restrictions, such as US 209 through Delaware Water Gap or CR 579 instead of NJ 31
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Sykotyk

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Re: Truck signs on NJ Interstates
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2011, 05:28:13 PM »

mtanillo: in generally, trucks aren't 'banned' on certain roads. Unless you see a sign prohibiting any and all trucks, trucks can take it. What you can find is length, height, or weight restrictions.

For instance, the STAA routes (not necissarily the National Network, if you buy a RM motor carrier atlas, they're highlighted in orange). There are some exceptions. But, STAA means 13'6 tall, 8'6 wide, 53' trailer. When the STAA started in 1982, it basically 'froze' the individual rules of each state (they can still change, but barely) and created the national grid. A lot of states do not, by default, allow 53' trailers on their roads. Mostly, western states. Therefore, if you drive a 53' trailer through the state, it must be on the national grid. Since most interstate commerce trucks are 53' trailers, they avoid leaving the grid (except in cases of fuel, rest, and generally a 1-mi buffer).

If a state does allow 53' trailers and 80,000lb gross, they really don't need to mark which highways you can or can't take as they all are navigable. New Jersey has a width restriction, so they only place they allow 102" wide trailers is on select roads (and they sign them well). California has blanket restrictions to anything longer than 48' in the entire state that you must follow a 'truck route' if you're longer. Just because a road isn't a truck route doesn't mean thru trucks can't take it. Unless there is a 'no trucks' sign posted.

Maryland, New Jersey, Vermont, Connecticut, Kentucky, New Mexico, Arizona, etc have very few routes they allow max dimensions and weight, so they try to shoehorn all trucks onto the freeways and the most logical US or state routes. A lot of times, it's for the trucker's own good as the roads are ill-equipped to handle vehicles that long, wide, or tall. Mountains, tight turns, blind curves, no shoulders, dropped shoulders, no turn lanes, obstructions, low train bridges, tree branches, etc. It's easier to just not include it instead of listing dozens of 'restrictions' on each route.
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1995hoo

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Re: Truck signs on NJ Interstates
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2011, 05:36:23 PM »

Sykotyk's post reminds me that sometimes route designations are chosen specifically because of truck regulations. The new I-795 in North Carolina, for example, was apparently declared an Interstate so that larger trucks could legally access the Goldsboro area. It just so happens that New Jersey's signage is quite noticeable.
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Alps

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Re: Truck signs on NJ Interstates
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2017, 02:42:44 PM »

So we discussed the meaning of this sign years ago - It's not in the NJ Standard Sign Manual though. Who designed the sign? Does it have a designation? Is it an official sign? Where did it come from?
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Re: Truck signs on NJ Interstates
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2017, 03:08:16 PM »

Closest thing is the R14-4 and R14-5 in the MUTCD.  Section 2B.63 in the manual discusses the signs.  The only difference is that the MUTCD signs do not have the numbers in them.  I am not aware of a corresponding New Jersey standard designation.
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Alps

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Re: Truck signs on NJ Interstates
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2017, 06:59:42 PM »

Closest thing is the R14-4 and R14-5 in the MUTCD.  Section 2B.63 in the manual discusses the signs.  The only difference is that the MUTCD signs do not have the numbers in them.  I am not aware of a corresponding New Jersey standard designation.
So it should be R(NJ)14-4 and 5, but those were never created officially.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Truck signs on NJ Interstates
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2017, 08:22:19 AM »

mtanillo: in generally, trucks aren't 'banned' on certain roads. Unless you see a sign prohibiting any and all trucks, trucks can take it. What you can find is length, height, or weight restrictions.

For instance, the STAA routes (not necissarily the National Network, if you buy a RM motor carrier atlas, they're highlighted in orange). There are some exceptions. But, STAA means 13'6 tall, 8'6 wide, 53' trailer. When the STAA started in 1982, it basically 'froze' the individual rules of each state (they can still change, but barely) and created the national grid. A lot of states do not, by default, allow 53' trailers on their roads. Mostly, western states. Therefore, if you drive a 53' trailer through the state, it must be on the national grid. Since most interstate commerce trucks are 53' trailers, they avoid leaving the grid (except in cases of fuel, rest, and generally a 1-mi buffer).

It is not generally or frequently enforced, but I believe that 53's are still illegal off the STAA network in Maryland.

I understand that trucks get get off the network in Baltimore City (presumably at least in part to shunpike the Fort McHenry Tunnel on I-95) can be (and sometimes are) ticketed.
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PHLBOS

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Re: Truck signs on NJ Interstates
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2017, 12:12:00 PM »

You might see some signs at the stateline that says "Thru trucks must use National Network"...The National Network is essentially the National Highway System, which is all interstates and primary routes that "fill in the gaps" in the interstate system.  NJ 31, US 202, and US 206 are not part of the National Network.

Nope, the National Network is a different beast, predating the NHS: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/legsregs/directives/fapg/cfr06581.htm http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policyinformation/pubs/pl08021/fig1_4.cfm . NJ 31 is part of the NHS.

I thought those long-gone signs actually read THRU-TRUCKS MUST USE FEDERAL NETWORK?  Either way, such signs were later replaced by these.

Unfortunately, I can't find a photo of the older sign on-line.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2017, 01:04:26 PM by PHLBOS »
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Flyer78

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Re: Truck signs on NJ Interstates
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2017, 06:04:57 PM »

National Network. I think the old (pre-whiteout) message on the sign said thru-trucks.


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Re: Truck signs on NJ Interstates
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2017, 09:04:21 PM »

those signs were put up in 1999 when the whitman administration passed rules to ban 102" wide trucks and doubles from using non-national network roads. rt 31 was one of the main roads they wanted to get trucks removed from. there used to be companion signs with a red circle with a line through to indicate that 102" wide trucks were banned. the trucking industry successfully sued and got the laws thrown out and now there's some pseudo restrictions in place.
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Alps

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Re: Truck signs on NJ Interstates
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2017, 10:48:49 PM »

those signs were put up in 1999 when the whitman administration passed rules to ban 102" wide trucks and doubles from using non-national network roads. rt 31 was one of the main roads they wanted to get trucks removed from. there used to be companion signs with a red circle with a line through to indicate that 102" wide trucks were banned. the trucking industry successfully sued and got the laws thrown out and now there's some pseudo restrictions in place.
There are apparently still signs with red circle and 102.
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SteveG1988

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Re: Truck signs on NJ Interstates
« Reply #15 on: April 19, 2017, 07:08:20 AM »

When 95% of tractor-trailers are 53 ft and 102 wide, the law has become unenforcable. you'd have to stop every truck and measure the width, heck most tractors are 102 wide now to make it more aerodynamic for the trailers. The only place the ban is hard and fast in the region is the I-895 tunnel in Baltimore.
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jeffandnicole

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Re: Truck signs on NJ Interstates
« Reply #16 on: April 19, 2017, 11:50:18 AM »

The law in NJ also was to prohibit thru traffic from using non-trucking routes. Local traffic was permitted. So in addition to measuring them, you also had to know if they were stopping someplace. 
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roadman65

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Re: Truck signs on NJ Interstates
« Reply #17 on: April 19, 2017, 12:01:01 PM »

Yeah but do today's truckers know this?  You know Jeff as a toll collector you got to deal with many truckers who have done it their own lives as a driver, but a first time on the toll road moaning about paying a very expensive toll.

I see truckers all the time drive residential streets in my area, disregarding the ruling (as I am not sure if FL law prohibits trucks on residential zoned streets) that I always thought was like a gentleman's agreement for years.  Something tells me they ignore those WEIGHT LIMIT 4 TON signs just like that one driver did last year in Indiana collapsing a bridge because of her laziness to make a u turn.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Truck signs on NJ Interstates
« Reply #18 on: April 19, 2017, 01:31:54 PM »

The only place the ban is hard and fast in the region is the I-895 tunnel in Baltimore.

There is also the I-64 Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel, where nothing over 13' 6" is permitted on the westbound side. Similarly, the U.S. 13 Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel bars trucks over 13' 6" from the crossing.
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SteveG1988

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Re: Truck signs on NJ Interstates
« Reply #19 on: April 20, 2017, 09:40:27 PM »

The only place the ban is hard and fast in the region is the I-895 tunnel in Baltimore.

There is also the I-64 Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel, where nothing over 13' 6" is permitted on the westbound side. Similarly, the U.S. 13 Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel bars trucks over 13' 6" from the crossing.

I was talking about the 102 wide part. 13 Ft 6 is a hard rule on many tunnels.
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jeffandnicole

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Re: Truck signs on NJ Interstates
« Reply #20 on: April 21, 2017, 01:22:07 AM »

13' 6" is the hard rule almost throughout the US. Very few trucks are granted exception permits, and those that are must follow very strict routes.

There's a few 13' 6" overpasses in NJ on interstate highways. Not much room for error there.
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Re: Truck signs on NJ Interstates
« Reply #21 on: April 21, 2017, 06:18:46 AM »

The only place the ban is hard and fast in the region is the I-895 tunnel in Baltimore.

There is also the I-64 Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel, where nothing over 13' 6" is permitted on the westbound side. Similarly, the U.S. 13 Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel bars trucks over 13' 6" from the crossing.

The Thimble Shoal Tunnel on the CBBT will one day be double barrelled.  Any word on what the clearance on the parallel tube will be?

ixnay
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Truck signs on NJ Interstates
« Reply #22 on: April 21, 2017, 09:32:28 AM »

I was talking about the 102 wide part. 13 Ft 6 is a hard rule on many tunnels.

Agree.  The Fort McHenry Tunnel (I-95), parallel to I-895  has a "published" overhead clearance of 14' 6" (about  4.4 meters), but I think it might be a little higher than that.  It is noticeably higher than the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Truck signs on NJ Interstates
« Reply #23 on: April 21, 2017, 09:35:03 AM »

The only place the ban is hard and fast in the region is the I-895 tunnel in Baltimore.

There is also the I-64 Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel, where nothing over 13' 6" is permitted on the westbound side. Similarly, the U.S. 13 Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel bars trucks over 13' 6" from the crossing.

The Thimble Shoal Tunnel on the CBBT will one day be double barrelled.  Any word on what the clearance on the parallel tube will be?

I presume it will be 14' 6" or maybe more, but it will not matter until the Chesapeake Channel Tunnel  is also twinned.  At that point, I presume that the CBBT may decide to allow such trucks to cross northbound provided that an appointment is made in advance. 
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plain

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Re: Truck signs on NJ Interstates
« Reply #24 on: April 21, 2017, 12:20:27 PM »

From what I've seen on GSV the entire Oklahoma Turnpike system also bans anything above 13' 6". I can see why on the older toll roads (Turner, Will Rogers) but the newer ones like the Cherokee looks like it's overpasses are all well over that limit. Maybe it's like a system-wide thing or they just want to stick to those regulations sykotyk was talking about upthread. I'm not sure about the rules for trucks either but Jersey must have some kind of statewide truck policy as well pertaining to these regulations especially with the low clearances close to NYC
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