With the winter months already started, many commercial drivers wonder: are trucking tire chains required on Highway 80 on the Donner Pass? Can we get a ticket or violation for not having trucking tire chains at the weigh station in Truckee, CA?
According to the FAQ Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Facility (CVEF) Donner Pass webpage, it is not an inspectable item if not currently required by the CHP. However, this time of year, the weather can change in the blink of an eye in Sierra Madres, so it would be best to keep a set on board.
When you get to the Donner Pass weigh station and do not have the required tire chains, you will not be permitted to go on until you have them. The same is true if your vehicle is overweight or an out-of-service (OOS) order is issued, for brakes out of adjustment, for instance.
Remember, it is a misdemeanor crime to bypass an inspection point in CA without a PrePass Transponder, which gives you a green light. If the light is red, you must stop regardless.
You must have permits for oversized vehicles before you enter the state. If you’re coming from Nevada, registration permits are typically available at the “fuel desk of most truck stops” in Fernley or Sparks, NV. More information is available at the CA Truck Tax Information website or the CA DMV.
Who Determines When Trucking Tire Chains Are Required?
The CHP is the inspection authority at all CA weigh stations. However, CalTrans could also recommend that trucks, buses, and other commercial vehicles have tire chains fitted on the vehicle due to weather conditions or present onboard in case of imminent weather changes.
The CHP at Donner Pass on I-80 conducts approximately 25,000 commercial vehicle inspections per year and weighs nearly 50,000.
Trucking Tire Cables Are Permitted in CA
According to the CA DOT CalTrans, you can use cable tire chains as long as those are ½” cross-link cables designated for use on heavy commercial vehicles. Likewise, these must “be installed on four drive tires similar to the requirements for maximum chains.”
How Can I Get Weather Information about the Donner Pass?
Commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers are asked not to call the CHP at Donner Pass as they are located 14 miles from the summit and weather conditions can be very different even in that short distance, instead check the CalTrans website or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration(NOAA) website.
However, when you need specific answers about weight limits, inspection items, approved reefer units, or model years, check the CA Air Resource Board website, or call (866) 634-3735.
Who Can Handle Traffic Violations in the Truckee, CA Area?
When you have a traffic ticket or violation from the Donner Pass weigh station, call Bigger & Harman, (661) 349-9300. Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.
We are CA traffic attorneys who can resolve your traffic violations for overweight trucks, unsafe lane change, following too closely, and many others. Your initial consultation is free, so give us a call.
The 2019 CA Commercial Driver Handbook.pdfThe CVEF at the Donner Pass webpage