14.1 registration papers
All commercial motor vehicles, truck tractors, trailers, or semitrailers must carry registration papers (receipt for license plates) on the vehicles while operating on a public highway. These papers will show the weight of the behicle empty & how much it is registered to haul.
14.1 special permits
If you wish to haul a load or move equipment that is heavier, longer, wider, or higher than the law allows, you must obtain a special permit from the TX DoT.
14.2 equipment - flares, fusees, or reflectors
Cannot drive from a half hour after sunset to a half hour before sunrise without at least 3 flares, or 3 electric lanterns, or 3 portable red emergency reflectors. Fuses may not be used if transporting explosives, flammable liquid or compress flammable gases. Use the triangle reflectors.
14.2 equipment - position of flares on two way road
One is placed 100 feet behind the vehicle, lined up with white stripe on side of road; one is placed 10 feet from the rear corner (driver's side), and one is placed 100 feet in front of vehicle, lined up with driver's side. If using flags, all line up with edge of vehicle.
14.2 equipment - hazard warning signal lights
If stopped on a roadway or adjacent shoulder, the driver shall immediately actuate electric hazard warning signal lights, flashers which flash simultaneously. Do not have to flash while getting passengers.
14.2 equipment - fire extinquisher
All passenger vehicles must carry a chemical type fire extinqisher of at least 1 quart capacity.
14.2 equipment - position of flares on divided highway
One is placed 10 feet from the rear corner (driver's side), one is placed 100 feet behind the vehicle, still lined up with driver's edge of vehicle, and one is placed 200 feet behind, still lined up with driver's edge.
14.2 equipment - position of flares on curved road (vision obscured)
One is placed 10 feet from the rear corner (driver's side), one is placed no >100 feet behind the vehicle and no < 500 feet, still lined up with driver's edge of vehicle, and one is placed 100 feet in front, still lined up with driver's edge.
14.2 equipment - reflectors
Buses have an amber reflector on side at front bottom and a red reflector on side at rear bottom.
14.2 equipment - flashing lights
Flashing lights are permitted on emergency vehicles, on snow removal equipment, and on school buses when stopping or stopped for children to board.
14.2 equipment - brakes
Brakes must be on trailers in excess of 4,500 lbs that act on both wheels of the rear axle. There must be a single control device for the driver to operate the trailer brakes.
14.2 (equipment) mud flaps
Four or more tires on the rear axle must be equipped with safety guards or mud flaps behind the rear wheels. Flaps must reach to within 8 inches of the surface of the road.
14.2 equipment - light for farm tractors
Tractors must have 2 head lamps, one taillight, two red reflectors, and hazard warning lights (flashers) which must be activated if being operated on a highway.
14.2 equipment - slow-moving emblem
slow-moving vehicles (max. speed of 25 mph) must display a slow-moving emblem on the rear. Does not have to be on a vehicle being used in construction work if within the construction area.
14.2 equipment - unlawful equipment
Cannot operate on the highway a vehicle with cleats, lugs, flanges, studs, spikes, or other extensions on the rim which would damage the road. Doesn't include tire chains.
14.3 limitations - height
No vehicle, including the load it is hauling, may be more than 14 ft in height from the ground to the top of the load.
14.3 limitatons - width
Vehicles including loads transported may not exceed 102 inches in width.
14.3 limitations - lengths
Single motor vehicle other than a truck tractor is 45 feet. Semitrailer may not exceed 59 feet when operated in a truck tractor and semitrailer combination. Semitrailer or trailer may not exceed 28.5 feet each. No combination, other than a truck tractor-trailer combo may exceed 65 ft.
14.3 limitations - vehicle combinations
No passenger vehicle or other motor vehicle with an unloaded wieght of less than 2,500 lbs may be coupled with more than 1 other vehicle. Not more than 3 vehicles may be operated in combo.
14.3 limitations - load limits
Greatest weight for any combo, including the load, is 80,000 lbs. Limits are based on size of vehicle, number & distance between axles, and tire size.
14.3 limitations - unloading & additional registration
Can be forced to unload to the limit provided by law if you go over. But, if you carry livestock, timber or pulpwood, or agricultural roducts in their natural state from place of production to market, do not have to unload. Must secure additional registration to carry more than legal limit.
14.3 limitations - extensions over front & rear
cannot extend more than three feet beyond the front nor more than 4 feet beyond the reat w/o a special permit. If more than 4 feet beyond the rear, must attach a red flag 12 inches square during the day, and a burning red light visible for 500 ft at night.
14.3 limitations - towing
When one vehicle is towing another, the drawbar, chain, rope, or cable must not be longer than 15 ft from one behicle to the other. It must have a white flag no > 12 in square attached.
14.3 limitations - metal tires
Vehicles, trailers, etc., weighing 5,000 lb or more, with metal tires, may not be operated on a highway w/o a special permit.
14.3 limitations - transporting loose materials
Cannot transport dirt, sand, gravel, wood chips (except agricultural products in natural state) that is capable of blowing or spilling unless 1) completely enclosed on both side, front and back; 2) top is covered with canvas or tarp to prevent escape of the load.
14.4 exceptions to standard vehicle size requirements -1
Water well drilling machinery, highway building or mainenance machinery, farm tractors, implements of husbandry or vehicles hauling same are exempt from width limitations on all highways except the interstate system when operated during daylight hours.
14.4 exceptions to standard vehicle size requirements - 2
A single motor vehicle used only to transport seed cotton modules, cotton, or equipment used in transporting or processing of cotton may operate up to 120 inches in width provided the vehicle is registered with a "Cotton Vehicle" license plate. Vehicles carrying cylindrically shaped bales of hay may not exceed 144 in. in width.
14.4 exceptions to standard vehicle size requirements - 3.
Motor buses with air brakes that have three or more axels or four tires on the rear axle may be 45 feet long; otherwise, 35 feet.
14.4 exceptions to standard vehicle size requirements - 4.
The length requirements for vehicles and combinations of vehicles do not apply if they are operated only within city limits.
14.4 exceptions to standard vehicle size requirements - 5.
Load limits may vary according to the size of the vehicle, the number of axles and distance between the axles, and the size of tires that the vehicle is equipped with.
14.4 exceptions to standard vehicle size requirements - 6.
The State Highway Commission may lower load limits on farm-and ranch-to-market roads. Signs showing limits allowed are posted to give notice of such action.
14.4 exceptions to standard vehicle size requirements - 7.
A combination of vehicles, other than truck tractor combinations, of not more than 90 ft long may be used from sunrise to sunset to haul poles, piling, and unrefined timber from the forest to a mill not more than 125 miles away.
14.4 exceptions to standard vehicle size requirements - 8.
For a fee of $120 per year, a combination of vehicles, other than truck tractor combinations, of not more than 75 ft long may be used to haul poles for electric power line maintenance from sunrise to sunset at a speed not to exceed 50 mph.
14.4 exceptions to standard vehicle size requirements - 8A.
Exception to the rear extension: A load may extend more than 4 ft beyond the rear if the load consists of a motor vehicle that 1) is designed & intended to be carried at the rear of the trailer; 2) is used or intended to be used to load or unload a commodity on or off the trailer; 3) does not extend more than 7 ft; 4) complies w/ each applicable Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation.
14.4 exceptions to standard vehicle size requirements - 9.
A single motor vehicle used only to transport seed cotton modules, cotton, or equipment used in transporting or processing of cotton may not exceed a length of 48 feet.
14.4 exceptions to standard vehicle size requirements - 10.
Fire department vehicles are exempt from everything.
14.4 exceptions to standard vehicle size requirements - 11.
A combination of vehicles used to transport a combine that is used for farm custom harvesting may have an overall length of not more than 75 feet.
14.5 operating rules - coasting
It is unlawful for a commercial motor vehicle to coast down any grade even with the clutch disengaged while the transmission is left in gear. If it is necessary to shift to a lower gear, do so before starting down the hill.
14.5 operating rules - following
When one truck is following another truck, it must keep far enough back to allow another vehicle to overtake and enter the space between them safely. This does not prevent a truck from overtaking and passing another vehicle.
14.5 operating rules - RR grade crossing A
Outside a business district or residence district, any bus carrying passengers must stop at all railroad grade crossings unless a traffic control signal or police officer directs them to proceed.
14.5 operating rules - RR grade crossing B
All super-heavy equipment such as crawler-type tractors, steam shovels, derricks, rollers, etc., must stop for all railroad grade crossings.
14.5 operating rules C
Trucks carrying explosives must stop at railroad grade crossings. These provisions do not apply to streetcar crossings, abandoned tracks, industrial switching tracks, or where a traffic signal or officer directs otherwise.
14.5 operating rules - hazardous materials
The Department has adopted US DoT Hazardous Materials Regulations.
14.6 - safety practices - right turns w/large equipment A
Tractor-trailers and long wheelbase trucks and buses, when turning right, must have curb clearance for the rear wheels. Since they cannot stay in the proper lane while turning, they should turn by one of these methods: 1) approach the corner in the proper lane, about 4 feet from the curb (close enough to keep a car from passing on the right). As soon as the front wheels pass the corner, turn wide to the right, swinging over the center of the side street if necessary, in order for the right rear wheel to clear the curb.
14.6 - safety practices - right turns w/large equipment B
If the street into which you are turning is narrow, it may be necessay to approach as above, then swing left enough to place the right rear wheel in position to miss the curb (but not far enough away to invite passing on the right), then turn sharply right into the narrow street or driveway.
14.6 - safety practices - safe backing practices A
When you must back, get out and walk around your truck and make certain there is nothing behind. Then, back immediately and watch carefully.
14.6 - safety practices - safe backing practices B
Use both rearview mirrors. You can't see the right side while hanging out the left door.
14.6 - safety practices - safe backing practices C
If necessary to back some distance, stop part way, then get out and check your progress.
14.6 - safety practices - safe backing practices D
Try to have someone standing in a safe place to guide you by signaling.
14.6 - safety practices - safe backing practices E
Park where you will not have to back to get away from the parking space.
14.6 - safety practices - safe backing practices F
Never back around an intersection corner to turn around.
14.6 - safety practices - safe backing practices G
If you have to back in or out of a driveway, where possible, back into the driveway from the street so that you can drive out forward and see where you are going.
14.6 - safety practices - safe backing practices H
When backing over a sidewalk into a street, stop at the sidewalk to make especially certain that there is no child playing behind or close by. Stop again at the curb to make a last check on traffic before backing into the street.
14.6 - safety practices - safe backing practices I
Don't depend entirely upon your rear vision mirror.
14.6 - safety practices - safe passing of two-wheeled vehicles
Motorcycles & bicycles are lighter and more subject to wind effects than 4-wheeled vechicles. Take care when passing. Air can pull in a 2-wheeled vehicle as much as 2-3 feet. Allow 6 feet to the left of the 2-wheeled vehicle when you pass. Move completely into the other lane to pass.
14.7 registration of vehicles 1
All vehicles must be registered in the county of residence.
14.7 registration of vehicles 2
The following vehicles are not required to be registered or inspected or to display a license plate when operated temporarily on the highway: farm tractors; farm trailers, farm semitrailers, and certain fertilizer & cottonseed trailers weighing not more than 4,000 lbs gross; implements of husbandry; power sweepers; certain golfcarts.
14.7 registration of vehicles 3
The following vehicles when operated temporarily on the highway are not required to be registered or inspected if the owner annually secures a distinquishing $5.00 license plate and complies with other special conditions in the law: machinery for drilling water wells & construction machinery; farm trailers, farm semitrailers, cottonseed trailers and certain fertilizer trailers weighing over 4,000 lbs and not over 20,000 lbs gross.
14.7 registration of vehicles 4
Nonresident truck owners may be issued 30-day temporary registration permits for certain movements of farm products & machinery during harvesting season.
14.7 registration of vehicles 5
Under certain conditions, temporary registration permits & reduced registration rates for special vehicles may be obtained.
14.7 registration of vehicles 6
Buyers' temporary cardboard tags are recognized for 20 days; dealers metal registration plates may be used on any dealer-owned motor vehicle, except for commercial purposed, vehicle inspection is required. Manufacturer's metal registration plate may be used for testing purposes only.
14.7 registration of vehicles 7
Farm registered vehicles, in addition to use for farm & ranch purposed, may be used as a means of passenger transportation for members of the family to attend church or school, to visit doctors for medical treatment or supplies, or for other necessities of the home or family, but not for gainful employment.
14.7 registration of vehicles 8
The period for which out-of-state registration plates are recognized in Texas after establishing residency or entering into gainful employment it 30 days.
14.7 registration of vehicles 9
For registration applications & detailed informtion, consult your County Tax Assessor-Collector of the Motor Vehicle Division of the TxDoT.
14.8 Federal regulations - tailgating
Keep a gap between truck & car ahead in heavy traffic because the truck needs more space to stop; maintain a 4-second following distance on open road; increase distance to 6-8 seconds in bad weather; remain alert to drivers who cut into the space; tailgating and convoys promote unsafe passing by groups of cars stacked up behind.
14.8 Federal regulations - speeding
Obey the speed limit: save lives, injuries, & property damage; increase fuel economy by as much as 1 mpg at 55 rather than 65 mph; save tires, brakes & engines; allows sufficient time to stop when spotting hazards.
14.8 Federal regulations - passing
Signals alone aren't enough - make sure lane change can be made safely; don't alarm a car by overtaking too closely b4 moving into passing lane and leave extra room before pulling back in; trucks push a wall of air - leave lots of space when you pass; keep cool in slow traffic.
14.8 Federal regulations - school buses, recreational vehicles
Give school buses as much room as possible. Watch for children. RV drivers may not be skilled and are susceptible to turbulence. Reduce speed and give plenty of room when passing.
14.8 Federal regulations - hot
Summer driving is vacation - watch for tired drivers or overloaded cars w/ poor visibility.
14.8 Federal regulations - construction
Highway construction projects where road suddenly turn into narrow lanes with confusing signs. Heavy equipment & pedestrians are often nearby.
14.8 Federal regulations - ice
winter ice & snow mean gearing down on grades to avoid wheel-spinning and brake lock-up which can lead to jackknifing. If you find a traffic ham and multiple accidents, stay back and wait for them to clear before trying to get your rig through.
speed limits - urban districts
30 mph daylight / 30 mph nighttime
speed limits - alley
15 mph day or night
speed limits - beaches
15 mph day or night
speed limits - county roads adjacent to a public beach
15 mph day or night
speed limits - highway numbered by TX or the USA outside an urban district
70 mph day / 65 mph night for passenger cars, motorcycles, light truck, passenger car or light truck towing a trailer; truck or truck-tractor, truck or truck-tractor towing a trailer, buses, school activity bus
60 mph day or night for school buses that have passed a commercial vehicle inspection.
speed limits - farm to market & ranch to market roads (not big trucks & trailers)
70 mph day / 65 mph night for passenger cars, motorcycle, light truck, passenger car or light truck towing a trailer or semi-trailer, buses, school activity bus
60 mph day or night for school buses that have passed a commercial vehicle inspection
speed limits - farm to market & ranch to market roads for big trucks & trailers
60 mph day / 55 mph night for trucks, truck-tractor, trucks or truck-tractors towing a trailer or semi-trailer
speed limits - highway not numbered by TX or the USA and outside an urban district
60 mph day / 55 mph night - for passenger cars, motorcycle, light truck, passenger car or light truck towing a trailer or semi-trailer, truck or truck-tractor, truck or truck-tractor towing a trailer or semi-trailer, buses, school activity bus
50 mph day or night for school buses that have not passed a commercial vehicle inspection