Hurricane Sally Hours Regs Suspended, I-10 Closure

As a result of Hurricane Sally, a Cat 2 hurricane that hit the Gulf Shores Wednesday, the FMCSA has suspended hours regs for relief haulers along the Gulf Coast and a portion of Interstate 10 at the Alabama/Florida line is closed.

Hurricane Sally Hours Regs Suspended, I-10 Closure

Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has shut down Interstate 10 from the Alabama-Florida border to the Escambia Bay Bridge in Florida.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued a regional emergency declaration for Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi, allowing carriers providing emergency relief in the affected areas to waive the hours of service regulations.

The waiver applies to carriers providing direct assistance supporting emergency relief efforts transporting supplies, goods, equipment and fuel.

The agency also waived Temporary Operating Authority Registration fee for carriers requesting temporary authority to provide direct assistance to emergency relief efforts.

The storm has brought heavy rainfall and according to the National Hurricane Center, Sally is now a tropical depression, but it’s bringing new flood threats to Georgia and South Carolina Thursday. Widespread flash flooding is expected.

Additional Road Closures

FDOT also announced late Wednesday night that Garcon Point Bridge in Santa Rosa County will remain closed until further notice to give inspectors the opportunity to assess damage to the structure caused by Hurricane Sally.

The closure is in addition to the Pensacola Bay Bridge, which will remain closed for at least the next 30 to 60 days to repair damage.

Interstate 275 Truck Restrictions Removed

While work continues on the Interstate 275 repaving and bridge project, the east and westbound lanes of I-275 are now in their original configuration, and the following truck restrictions are removed:

  • 10’ wide
  • 75’ length
  • Weight restriction of 120,000 pounds
Interstate 275 Truck Restrictions Removed

Please keep in mind that various lane closures will be in place through November, or until full completion of the project.  

Tuesday-Friday, Sept. 15-18:

  • Single- and double-lane closures on I-275 East and West between Four Mile Road and the Kentucky side of the Combs Hehl Bridge nightly from 7 p.m. until 6 a.m. the following morning.

All work will be contingent upon the weather. Arrow boards and/or signs will alert motorists of the work zone and restrictions, and motorists are reminded to stay alert, reduce their speed and watch for stopped traffic while passing through the work zone.

WCS Permits Can Help

WCS Permits works hard to stay up-to-date on industry-related changes and news, including weather and construction detours or closures and permitting delays. WCS has a full staff, including 65 permit agents ready to answer questions and issue oversize load permits.

If you have any questions about our oversize load permit services, please feel to Contact Us Online now or call us at (888) 737-6488 to reach our permit department.

Highway and Permit Office Closures in OR & WA Due to Wildfires

There are various highway closures in Washington and Oregon, and Oregon’s permit office is closed due to the wildfires on the West Coast.

Highway and Permit Office Closures in OR & WA Due to Wildfires

In Oregon, the are fires 30 miles east of Salem, OR which is where the Oregon Department of Transportation permit office is. As a result the office is closed and there are few updates as to when they will re-open or continue issuing permits.

WCS customers will probably not be issued any OR oversize load permits today as a result. Expect delays once the permit office re-opens.

Highway Closures

Oregon has the following closures due to wildfires listed on TripCheck:

  • U.S. Highway 199 (Redwood Highway), two miles north of O’Brien from milemarker 34 to 41
  • Oregon Highway 99 is closed between milemarkers 9 and 17
  • Oregon Highway 138 is closed one mile west of Glide between milemarkers 16 and 83
  • Oregon Highway 213 is closed at the intersection with Oregon Highway 211
  • Oregon Highway 224 is closed between milemarkers 18 and 50
  • Oregon Highway 242 is closed between 85 and 55
  • Oregon Highway 422 at the intersection with Oregon Highway 62 from milemarker 0 to 5

TripCheck will have the most real-time updates available.

Washington DOT reports the following highway closures due to fire activity:

  • Washington Highway 173 in both directions from milemarker 2.5, just west of Bridgeport, to milepost 11 at Brewster
  • Washington Highway 410 in both directions between milemarker 13.37 near 181st Ave East and milemarker 11.46 near 166th Ave East

There are other high impact areas to be aware of, which are listed on the Washington State Travel Alerts Page.

WCS Permits Can Help

WCS Permits works hard to stay up-to-date on industry-related changes and news, including weather closures and permitting delays. WCS has a full staff, including 65 permit agents ready to answer questions and issue oversize load permits.

If you have any questions about our oversize load permit services, please feel to Contact Us Online now or call us at (888) 737-6488 to reach our permit department.

WCS Helps NASA Move Shipping Container

WCS Permits & Pilot Cars takes pride in providing customers more than just oversize load permits and pilot cars.

WCS Helps NASA Move Shipping Container

And that’s exactly what Team WCS did for a specialized spacecraft container transport to JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) in Pasadena, CA this summer to ensure the load could safely move and navigate turns.

Before the container could travel through Southern California to its final destination at JPL, WCS used specialized software to provide an in-depth Swept Path Analysis for the spacefcraft container haul.

In addition to the analysis, WCS handled advanced route planning, surveying, permitting, traffic control (with the help of WCS’ sister company, Right of Way Inc.) and pilot cars for the 18’6″ tall, 17’6″ wide load.

What is a Swept Path Analysis?

A vehicle swept path analysis is the use of professional software to show vehicle turn simulation.

In utilizing the dimensional data provided to WCS for the trailer, combined with some default assumptions about dimensional data for the truck and the positioning of the load on the trailer, this Swept Path Analysis for JPL indicated that the truck, trailer and load were capable of navigating specific turns on the proposed route.

WCS engineers used their own professional software to analyze turning radiuses to ensure clearance, creating a report and simulation of the load transport. WCS’ sister company, Right of Way Inc., also utilizes similar software for traffic control projects across Southern California.

An in-depth, four-page report was generated which included details about the data and dimensions used in this analysis for the truck, trailer, and the load as well as an illustration and simulation of the physical limits of the load as it navigates any turns in question.

The illustration shows maximum physical limits of any truck, trailer or load overhang and the video simulation demonstrates an overhead view of the load in motion as it traces out these overhang and track limits.

Safely Delivered

With the swept path analysis, logistics consulting, permitting and pilot cars provided by WCS, the container was safely transported and delivered to JPL.

Tropical Storms Bring Oversize Restrictions

Tropical Storms Marco and Laura will both make landfall over the next two days affecting oversize travel in Florida and Texas, with more restrictions anticipated in Alabama, Louisiana and portions of the lower Mississippi Valley.

Tropical Storms Bring Oversize Restrictions

The twin storms will bring heavy rainfall and high winds and there is a chance Laura could quickly escalate to a hurricane with a dangerous threat of storm surge along parts of the Louisiana and Texas coasts.

Florida has already issued an oversize load travel restriction while Texas is allowing for self-issue disaster relief permits.

Here are the updates/restrictions so far affecting oversize travel and oversize load permit issuance.

A Regional Emergency Declaration was issued for Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas.

This Declaration addresses the emergency conditions creating a need for immediate transportation of supplies, goods, equipment, fuel and persons and provides necessary relief. 

Florida

Any truck over the following dimensions cannot travel throughout the state until further notice:

  • 14’6 tall
  • 10′ wide
  • 80′ long
  • 80,000 lbs

Texas

Update: Due to storms in the Gulf of Mexico, some TXDOT Districts are prohibiting OS/OW movement on all or substantial portions of their roadways until further notice. Permit applications may be denied or delayed. The current affected areas are as: Beaumont District – all counties; Houston District -Galveston County 

Motor carriers transporting a divisible load that is overweight only to and within the areas affected by Tropical Storms Marco and Laura may self-issue a Federal Disaster Relief Permit through the Texas Permitting and Routing Optimization System (TxPROS).

The Federal Disaster Relief Permit allows for travel on all state and federal roads, including the interstate highway system. The permit may not be used for overwidth, overlength, or overheight loads.

A copy of the President’s declaration must be carried with the permit. The declaration can be found here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/news/ or https://www.fema.gov/disasters/disaster-declarations

Alabama

As a general rule, a driver must be able to see 1,000 ft in front to safely travel. If that can’t be done, travel is not permitted.

Louisiana

Interstate 10 in southwest Louisiana is completely closed to traffic. I-10 eastbound is closed at the Texas/Louisiana state line, and I-10 westbound is closed west of the Atchafalaya Basin. Updated info is available on the Louisiana Department of Transportation & Development website.

LA/TX Line

Everything south of LA-6 is closed due to the storm.

WCS Permits Can Help

WCS Permits works hard to stay up-to-date on industry-related changes and news, including weather closures and permitting delays. WCS has a full staff, including 65 permit agents ready to answer questions and issue oversize load permits.

If you have any questions about our oversize load permit services, please feel to Contact Us Online now or call us at (888) 737-6488 to reach our permit department.

Ohio River “Cairo” Bridge to Shut Down

The Ohio River “Cairo” Bridge will shut down for at least 30 days starting the week of August 3-9, which will result in an 82-mile detour for truck drivers traveling through Kentucky.

Ohio River “Cairo” Bridge to Shut Down

The bridge carries U.S. 51, U.S. 60, and U.S. 62 traffic across the Ohio River between Wickliffe, Kentucky, and Cairo, Illinois, at U.S. 51 Kentucky mile point 7.372, according to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC).

Crews will be making repairs to a 2-mile section of the Kentucky approach and to the bridge deck.

“By closing the bridge for 30 days,” said KYTC District 1 Chief Engineer Kyle Poat, “we speed up the construction process so we can get the bridge back to near-normal traffic flow sooner rather than later. Some of the options included overnight and weekend closures. Those options created numerous side issues for cross-country travelers, area businesses, truckers, and our daily commuters. The additional construction time would have extended the impact to traffic by 12 weeks.”

Approximately 7,000 vehicles cross the bridge each day. Thirty-five percent of those vehicles are trucks.

WCS Permits Can Help

WCS Permits works hard to stay up-to-date on industry-related changes and news, including road/bridge closures and detours. WCS has a full staff, including 65 permit agents ready to answer questions and issue oversize load permits.

If you have any questions about our oversize load permit services, please feel to Contact Us Online now or call us at (888) 737-6488 to reach our permit department.



FMCSA Extends HOS Waiver

FMCSA issued an extension of its Hours of Service National Emergency Declaration. This extension, which was set to expire on July 15, continues the exemption granted from Parts 390 through 399 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) through August 14, 2020. The waiver provides relief from the HOS requirements for commercial motor vehicle operations providing direct assistance in support of emergency relief efforts related to COVID-19 and is limited to transportation of:

FMCSA Extends HOS Waiver
Cable Reel
  1. Livestock and livestock feed;
  2. Medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19; and 
  3. Supplies and equipment necessary for community safety, sanitation, and prevention of community transmission of COVID-19 such as masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap and disinfectants. 

View the FMCSA extension here.

WCS Permits Can Help

WCS Permits works hard to stay up-to-date on industry-related changes and news, including permit issuance changes during the COVID-19 pandemic. WCS has a full staff, including 65 permit agents ready to answer questions and issue oversize load permits.

If you have any questions about our oversize load permit services, please feel to Contact Us Online now or call us at (888) 737-6488 to reach our permit department.

WCS CEO, Wes Mollno, Featured in American Cranes & Transport

The July 2020 issue of American Cranes & Transport Magazine includes an in-depth Q&A with WCS Permits & Pilot Cars’ CEO & President, Wes Mollno.

WCS CEO, Wes Mollno, Featured in American Cranes & Transport

The two-page spread in the Business News section highlights Mollno’s impact on the specialized transport industry.

Mollno shares how he has remained inspired since he started WCS in 1998, and how he overcomes change in the industry, including challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Futhermore, Mollno goes into detail about the technology the company has developed over the years. WCS has published several apps including the Permit Portal app for instant text notifications when permits are available, as well as an online permit manual and oversize fee calculator called the Oversize Load Assistant, and an online permit portal for complete permit account management and online ordering.

“We work hard to develop tools that make it easier for our customers to do business,” said Mollno in the article. “When you do something that makes a job easier for someone, they’re going to tell their friends about it.”

The interview sums up in referencing WCS Permits as a one-stop shop in the industry. The company’s online equipment sales of oversize load products, coupled with the tools and technology they put at the fingertips of their clients in addition to oversize load permits, pilot cars and trip & fuel permits, is what Mollno believes makes WCS an all-inclusive service to the trucking industry.

Read the full interview titled, “A visionary,” in the July digital issue (page 16-17) of AC&T Mag.

Q&A with New WCS Transportation Consultant, Stara Kuhn

At WCS Permits & Pilot Cars, we hire quality people who bring value to our business and work family, which is why we have such a strong team.

Q&A with New WCS Transportation Consultant, Stara Kuhn

Today we are featuring our newest Transportation Consultant, Stara Kuhn, who joined the WCS team in June. Stara brings 18 years of permitting experience to the company and discusses her career journey in the Q&A below.

What is Your Experience in the Oversize Transport Permitting Industry?

I worked for Keen Transport for 18 years as a Permit Specialist. I was hired on young and was looking for something permanent, and as soon as I got into the industry I knew it was permanent. The oversize transport industry is an industry where it either clicks or it doesn’t, and it immediately clicked for me. I mostly permitted heavy loads hauling construction equipment, including 13-axle loads, sometimes bigger.

What do you love most about the industry?

I just love coming to work! I love the challenge that you face each and every day. You could be in the industry for 100 years and you still learn new things and will never absolutely know everything.

What led you to your position at WCS?

I felt a little stuck in a rut and wanted a change. I knew I had much more to offer as my knowledge had expanded over the years in this industry. I am fast and efficient which is a huge quality that I was recognized for, and I was ready for a change. I had lots of ideas and wanted to share them, and it was time so I took the leap. After 18 years, I went back to look for work, which was scary, but I applied for the position at WCS Permits and here I am.

What is your role at WCS?

I am a Transportation Consultant and will be helping customers with oversize load permits. When you’re obtaining permits for oversize loads you also have to help customers along the way with different rules and regulations, routing and any issues that come up, so I’m excited to be helping customers with the whole process.

What will a typical day look like for you once you settle into your role at WCS?

Once I finish training, I will be in the WCS permit portal every day ordering permits for customers. I’ll be working with various customers and look forward to working on whatever project or challenge comes my way.

What is unique about working at WCS?

At WCS, everyone is so welcoming and so willing to help explain anything. If I have a question, someone immediately picks up a phone and helps me. People are genuine, you think that doesn’t exist, but then you see it here and that motivates you. I have not been this happy in years!

What do you find most challenging about your role at WCS?

Every day is a challenge in the oversize load industry. Every load you permit is unique and each load will pose its own challenge. You just have to always be up for it and remain ready to problem solve.

What do you like to do for fun?

I have three daughters and three dogs, and they keep me busy. Between the six of them and my other half, I am pretty much booked up. I have 14-year-old twins and a 17-year-old that keep me involved in their school activities and volleyball. When I am not running around with them, I enjoy having a little bit of peace and quiet. We sneak away to the beach for a long weekend whenever we can.

Michigan Temporary Layoff Plan Will Include PermDepartment Employees

Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Michigan Department of Transportation adopted a temporary layoff plan, which includes permit department employees.

Michigan Temporary Layoff Plan Will Include PermDepartment Employees

According to MDOT, over 2,000 permanent employees will be participating in a temporary layoff plan, most of whom will be required to serve one day of temporary layoff per week over ten weeks. While there will be a few people on a variety of staggered schedules to ensure continuity of key business operations (transport permits, bid lettings, ProjectWise support, etc.), the vast majority of MDOT employees will serve these temporary layoff days according to the following schedule:

              Friday, May 22nd

              Tuesday, May 26th

(observance of Memorial Day is Monday, May 25th)

              Friday, June 5th

              Monday, June 8th

              Friday, June 19th

              Monday, June 22nd

              Thursday, July 2nd

(observance of Independence Day is Friday, July 3rd)

              Monday, July 6th

              Friday, July 17th

              Monday, July 20th

Employees will be directed to not work on their temporary layoff days, which includes not answering emails or phone calls, so as to not jeopardize their benefits under the CARES Act workshare program. Consequently, if you or your members have business to conduct with MDOT on those days that does not involve our construction oversight or transportation first responder staff, please plan to address it before or after the dates noted above.

WCS Permits Can Help

Like with MDOT, WCS Permits is working closely with all states to stay up-to-date on permit issuance changes during the COVID-19 pandemic. WCS has a full staff, including 65 permit agents ready to answer questions and issue these and all oversize load permits.

If you have any questions about our oversize load permit services, please feel to Contact Us Online now or call us at (888) 737-6488 to reach our permit department.