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 > Theoretical heights.

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Second Chance

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Posted: 05/12/22 01:44pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Someone with a CDL and experience straightened me out on this on another forum recently. There is no such thing as a legal "DOT height" from the Federal government. 13'6" is the minimum height for overpasses on the interstate highway system. Some states have their own regulations. That said, there is no such thing in my books as a "theoretical height." The only thing you can rely on is an actual measurement with the trailer on the truck on level ground.

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valhalla360

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Posted: 05/12/22 02:06pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Second Chance wrote:

Someone with a CDL and experience straightened me out on this on another forum recently. There is no such thing as a legal "DOT height" from the Federal government. 13'6" is the minimum height for overpasses on the interstate highway system. Some states have their own regulations. That said, there is no such thing in my books as a "theoretical height." The only thing you can rely on is an actual measurement with the trailer on the truck on level ground.

Rob


You had someone inform you wrong.

13.5ft is the maximum height before you are considered an oversize load that requires permits for each trip.

13.5ft bridge clearance does not meet FHWA requirements. Older bridges are typically grandfathered in but when they get replaced, they have to be brought up to current standards or a "design exception" must be obtained from the FHWA. Generally, new bridges will provide at least 16ft clearance (above 14ft is usually pretty easy to get a design exception. Below 14ft and it's pretty hard to get the FHWA to agree)

Honestly, I wouldn't want an RV over 12ft because a lot of RV parks aren't so great about keeping branches trimmed back.


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MatthewThomas

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Posted: 05/13/22 08:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

MNRon wrote:

There's usually an AC on top of that roof that you haven't accounted for


Possibly. We were looking at a minisplit instead to go on a side or something.

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Posted: 05/13/22 08:25pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

way2roll wrote:

I am also confused. Are you building a FW from the ground up? I am sure specs/dimensions are readily available for most production units. Why live in theory, go to an RV dealer and take measurements.


Correct. Which is why going to a dealership probably wouldn't work too well, just because we would be going with an unconventional sort of build. Which is why I did a little research to see if I could theorize the max dimensions I could work with before putting in the time to design it top to bottom.

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Posted: 05/13/22 08:28pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Second Chance wrote:

Someone with a CDL and experience straightened me out on this on another forum recently. There is no such thing as a legal "DOT height" from the Federal government. 13'6" is the minimum height for overpasses on the interstate highway system. Some states have their own regulations. That said, there is no such thing in my books as a "theoretical height." The only thing you can rely on is an actual measurement with the trailer on the truck on level ground.

Rob


True. But considering that the DOT requires there to be throughways that are "at least 13.5 feet", I figured that was a good height to go with to make sure that I would at least have a way through most areas (but not all).

When I used the phrases "theoretical heights" I was using the 13'6" as a base measurement to plan a build of a 5er. Not the 13'6" itself.

way2roll

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Posted: 05/14/22 06:51am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the clarity. Keep us posted on your build. Never seen anyone build up a FW. Pretty interesting project.

I still think there is a ton of value in measuring real world units. Lots of engineers over decades have refined the design of current FW's.

* This post was edited 05/14/22 07:24am by way2roll *


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Wadcutter

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Posted: 05/14/22 08:14am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

valhalla360 wrote:

Second Chance wrote:

Someone with a CDL and experience straightened me out on this on another forum recently. There is no such thing as a legal "DOT height" from the Federal government. 13'6" is the minimum height for overpasses on the interstate highway system. Some states have their own regulations. That said, there is no such thing in my books as a "theoretical height." The only thing you can rely on is an actual measurement with the trailer on the truck on level ground.

Rob


You had someone inform you wrong.

13.5ft is the maximum height before you are considered an oversize load that requires permits for each trip.

Sounds like someone informed you wrong. Second Chance is correct at 13'6".
Probably what you read is max height of 13.5'. That's 13 and 1/2 foot. 1/2 foot is 6", not 5".
13'6" is the max legal height without a permit. Anything over 13'6" requires a permit. Some states go with max legal at 14' only on specific routes.
No one wants to get a permit for overheight 5ers. When you get a permit the permit will specify the exact route you are restricted to travel. Absolutely no deviation from the route listed on that permit or the permit is not valid. No deviation. Not even to pull off to get fuel.
You must stay exactly where the permit allows. The permit will also specify the days and time of travel. Every time you travel you would be required to get a new permit for that specific trip. Depending on the height a permit may require a lead escort vehicle with a height stick.
Life gets a WHOLE lot more complicated for permit moves.
I did truck enforcement and dealt with oversize loads for 42 years, taught truck law, taught motor carrier safety law, and was recognized by the courts both state and federal as an expert in truck laws.


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valhalla360

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Posted: 05/14/22 10:32am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wadcutter wrote:

valhalla360 wrote:

Second Chance wrote:

Someone with a CDL and experience straightened me out on this on another forum recently. There is no such thing as a legal "DOT height" from the Federal government. 13'6" is the minimum height for overpasses on the interstate highway system. Some states have their own regulations. That said, there is no such thing in my books as a "theoretical height." The only thing you can rely on is an actual measurement with the trailer on the truck on level ground.

Rob


You had someone inform you wrong.

13.5ft is the maximum height before you are considered an oversize load that requires permits for each trip.

Sounds like someone informed you wrong. Second Chance is correct at 13'6".
Probably what you read is max height of 13.5'. That's 13 and 1/2 foot. 1/2 foot is 6", not 5".
13'6" is the max legal height without a permit. Anything over 13'6" requires a permit. .............


13ft 6in is the same as 13.5ft, which is what I wrote.

Even 13fyt 5in is going to be limiting because once you get off the roads and into RV parks, no guarantee you will have even 13.5ft.

I used to issue permits for a state DOT. I also do signing and design exception reviews...which includes bridge heights.

Wadcutter

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Posted: 05/14/22 01:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Let me refresh your memory then on what you wrote to Second Chance who said 13'6" was the legal height. You took issue with his post stating someone had informed him wrong. Here's what you wrote:
"You had someone inform you wrong.
13.5ft is the maximum height before you are considered an oversize load that requires permits for each trip."
So now you're saying Second Chance wasn't wrong? Apparently so after you understood the conversion of 13.5 to 13'6".
Obviously when you were so quick to tell Second Chance he was wrong about 13'6" that you weren't doing your math and realize that 13.5' is exactly what Second Chance said at 13'6". Second Chance wasn't told wrong by anyone. His post was correct. It's you who couldn't understand the conversion and then was so quick to jump on him.
As far as what is "limiting because once you get off the roads and into RV parks, no guarantee you will have even 13.5ft." is a bogus argument and has nothing to do with legal height. Once you get on private property like an RV park there's no telling what over hanging objects will be encountered. But that has nothing to do with the discussion of what is legal.

* This post was edited 05/15/22 05:11pm by an administrator/moderator *

valhalla360

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Posted: 05/14/22 02:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I wasn't correcting his units. Never had an issue with 13.5ft vs 13'6". That was you.

I was correcting his statement that 13.5ft is the minimum height for bridges and that there is not a height limit on trucks It may not be called a "DOT height" but that's semantics...over 13.5ft and you can expect to pull permits if you want to be legal.

* This post was edited 05/15/22 05:10pm by an administrator/moderator *

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