Lifestyles

How wide? How long? How high?

How wide? How long? How high?

These questions, when asked in relation to vehicles and their loads, probably bring large commercial vehicles to mind for most drivers. The Commercial Transport Regulations do set out the maximum dimensions for commercial vehicles and their loads. The Motor Vehicle Act Regulations take a legal shortcut and apply them and some other provisions to light vehicles too.

In general, your vehicle and it's load cannot be more than 2.6 m (8' 6") wide, 12.5 m (41') long and 4.15 m (13' 7") high. In addition, its load cannot project more than 1 m (3' 3") ahead of the front bumper, 1.85 m (6' 8") behind the back of the vehicle or 4.5 m (14' 9") behind the centre of the last axle. If you are driving something other than a pickup or delivery van, the load cannot be wider than the sides of the vehicle.

Things can get quite complicated from here if you add a trailer, are driving a pickup truck or delivery van or are carrying special commodities. Perhaps the simplest way to get advice before you set out on your trip is to know your exact dimensions and contact the nearest weigh scale. The inspectors there will provide expert advice and some scales are always open for your call.

Commercial vehicles may obtain exemptions from basic size rules through the use of a special exemption permit as long as the conditions of the permit are followed. The regulations do provide for the use of permits for light vehicles as well, but the last time I checked the policy was that these permits would not be issued.

For more information about this topic, visit www.drivesmartbc.ca. Questions or comments are welcome by e-mail to comments@drivesmartbc.ca. Tim Schewe is a retired RCMP constable with many years of traffic law enforcement experience. His column appears Thursdays.

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