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Shiny New SHV

Everybody likes new things. Whether someone puts a shine on something old or purchases something cutting edge, new things make life fun. Each year, the Governor of Illinois signs hundreds of pieces of new legislation into law. New laws are not fun for everyone though. The political process brings issues to a head, and the executive signature is the final decision that someone will be ecstatic and someone else will not be. On August 16th, 2013, Governor Quinn signed HB2361 into law, creating Public Act 98-0410. This created an all new special hauling vehicle (SHV) standard for certain 3-axle trucks. Effective immediately.

During the 96th General Assembly, a similar bill was introduced to give 3-axle cement mixers the same weights as garbage trucks. An article on this blog was written about SB3505 and you can read it HERE. There are two very big differences between that bill and the new law. First, the vehicle must be registered as a SHV. Second, the bill extends extra weight to not only 3-axle cement mixers, but also 3-axle ”sewer cleaning jetting vacuum trucks”, aka “hogstaubers”.

The universal requirement between both truck configurations is they must have 3-axles and have purchased the $125.00 SHV permit. This is not a permit like an oversize/overweight permit, but more of a status added to the vehicle registration. Illinois used to issue windshield stickers for the SHV, but discontinued the practice several years ago due to federal regulations regarding visibility for drivers. This is one of those rare occasions where the laws of Chapter 3 (registration) dictate weight laws in Chapter 15 (Size, Weight and Load) in the Illinois Vehicle Code.

Once all criteria are met, the trucks receive the following weights: 22,000 pounds on a single axle (normally 20,000 pounds) 40,000 pounds on a tandem axle (normally 34,000 pounds) 54,000 pounds gross weight (normally 49,000 to 52,000 pounds)

Three axles means three axles on the ground. A straight truck may have eight axles physically attached, but if only three axles are touching the ground, then only three count. 4-axle cement mixers already have an SHV exception. For example, a 4-axle cement mixer fully loaded with 8.5 yards of concrete typically weighs 64,000 pounds gross, but the driver forgot to put the tag axle down. The truck is now a 3-axle mixer with an SHV and receives the above listed weights. It may very well still be overweight, but not nearly as bad had it not been registered as a SHV.

According to our good friends at the Mid-west Truckers Association, there are approximately 500 cement mixers in Illinois manufactured with only three operating axles. That is a small number compared to all the 4-axle cement mixers and 3-axle garbage trucks in Illinois.

As it pertains to the sewer cleaning jetting vacuum trucks or “hogstaubers”, the name alone needs dissection, which is most easily understood by working backwards through it. First it has to be “vacuum” truck. This means it must be equipped to suck waste material into an empty tank.

Second, it must be a “jetting” truck as well. A lot of vacuum trucks only suck material in and then dump the waste later. Jetting trucks carry a tank of clean water to rinse after the material has been vacuumed.

Third, the truck must be for sewer cleaning. If the truck was used to suck pea gravel off rooftops, the exemption does not apply. The statue reads that the load must be “used exclusively for non-hazardous solid waste”.

Another interesting criterion is the age of the sewer cleaning jetting vacuum truck. HB2310 was also signed into law by Governor Quinn just before this bill and extended the manufacturer year of certain SHV’s to the year 2024. This bill left the vacuum trucks with a manufacturer’s date of 2014 and earlier. This means only the older trucks will receive the SHV exemption. New hogstaubers made in 2015 will not receive the new weights.

Just like garbage trucks and 4-axle SHV cement mixers, neither configuration of truck described in this bill receive the exemptions on the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways. They get caught on those, back to regular truck weights.

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