Chapter 10.28


10.28.010    RCW Provisions Incorporated by Reference.

10.28.020    Highway Commission Regulations Govern Issuance of Permits.

10.28.030    Overlegal Loads – Permits Required.

10.28.040    Permits Issued – Categories.

10.28.050    Permits for Moving Buildings.

10.28.060    Escort Cars.

10.28.065    Escort Cars – When Required.

10.28.070    Equipment.

10.28.080    Requirements for Daylight and Darkness Moves.

10.28.090    Permits for Single Trips.

10.28.100    Annual Permits.

10.28.105    Permit Fees.

10.28.110    Penalties for Violations.

10.28.120    Forfeitures.

10.28.010 RCW Provisions Incorporated by Reference.

The specifications regarding overlegal loads set forth in RCW Chapter 46.44 or as amended in this Chapter are incorporated by reference and applicable as if set out verbatim. (Ord. 85-55 § 1 (part), 1985; prior Code § 46.50.010)

10.28.020 Highway Commission Regulations Govern Issuance of Permits.

The provisions set forth in the publication "Washington State Commercial Vehicle Guide," issued by the Washington State Department of Transportation, revised 2002-2003 edition and any subsequent revisions, will govern the issuance of permits for overlegal loads not otherwise covered in this Chapter. (Ord. 2005-118 § 1 (part), 2006; Ord. 85-55 § 1 (part), 1985; prior Code § 46.50.020)

10.28.030 Overlegal Loads – Permits Required.

All moves of overlegal loads on the streets, roads and highways of Pierce County shall require permits. (Ord. 2005-118 § 1 (part), 2006; Ord. 85-55 § 1 (part), 1985; prior Code 46.50.030)

10.28.040 Permits Issued – Categories.

Permits will be issued by the Department of Planning and Public Works to cover all overlegal, in either size or weight, moves within the County. These moves fall into the following categories:

A.    Equipment moves -- single trips, including but not limited to trailers and mobile homes over eight and one-half feet wide;

B.    Equipment moves -- multiple trips on a per-year basis; loads not to exceed 14 feet wide and/or 15 feet high, lengths not limited except by escort car requirements;

C.    Building moves.

(Ord. 2017-12s § 2 (part), 2017; Ord. 2015-25s § 2 (part), 2015; Ord. 2005-118 § 1 (part), 2006; Ord. 85-55 § 1 (part), 1985; prior Code § 46.50.040)

10.28.050 Permits for Moving Buildings.

A.    No permit to move a building over 14 feet wide or requiring the use of dollies shall be issued except to authorized house movers. An authorized house mover is defined as one who has submitted a certificate of liability insurance with Pierce County as an additional named insured and in good standing with Pierce County. Liability insurance shall be in amounts not less than $1,000,000.00 or a greater amount as set by the Executive or her/his designee, to the end that Pierce County will not have to defend or pay any claims brought as a result of the house or building moving operation. The certificate of liability insurance is to be executed by an insurance agent authorized to do business in the state of Washington, on a form furnished by the County.

B.    Before a permit will be issued, the building mover must submit an application to the Department of Planning and Public Works which shall include all of the following:

1.    Type of building to be moved;

2.    Present location of building;

3.    Proposed new location of building;

4.    Proposed route over which it is to move;

5.    Building permit number if building is to be located in Pierce County;

6.    Date(s) of move;

7.    Vehicle description and license plate number for each vehicle, dolly and trailer;

8.    Dimensions of building when loaded including all eaves, porches, etc., if attached during movement; and

9.    Such other information which may aid the Department in determining whether or not to approve such application.

C.    Movement of buildings over 14 feet wide is prohibited on Fridays after 3 p.m.; on holidays observed by the County; and during the afternoon of the day preceding said holiday.

D.    All moves and time of moves must be approved by the Department of Planning and Public Works.

E.    It shall be the responsibility of the building mover to:

1.    Inspect the proposed route of each move before the application is made;

2.    Contact utility companies regarding the moving of wires, poles and/or other obstacles of a similar nature when required;

3.    Notify the Pierce County Sheriff Department, Traffic Control Section and the Planning and Public Works traffic signal shop of the time of move for coordination of traffic and surveillance of traffic-control devices, both signs and signals;

4.    Notify all fire districts into or through which the move will be made; and

5.    Obtain permission from the appropriate authorities when the move is to pass through an incorporated area or on a state highway.

(Ord. 2017-12s § 2 (part), 2017; Ord. 2015-25s § 2 (part), 2015; Ord. 2005-118 § 1 (part), 2006; Ord. 85-55 § 1 (part), 1985; prior Code § 46.50.050)

10.28.060 Escort Cars.

A.    The permit holder or subcontractor shall furnish all escort cars. Escort cars may be passenger cars or 2-axle trucks.

B.    Escort cars shall be of such design as to afford the driver clear and unobstructed vision both front and rear, be in a safe operational condition and properly licensed. Escort car operators shall be experienced in the operation of escort cars and unnecessary passengers who could distract operators in escort vehicles shall not be permitted.

C.    When required, escort cars will travel at a distance of approximately 350 feet to 800 feet in front of and to the rear of the load, or at such reasonable distance as to insure the maximum security to the traveling public.

D.    When dictated by hazardous conditions, the escort car driver will act as flag person for traffic-control and will signal by hand or by radio to the towing vehicle driver when he/she can proceed without conflict with approaching traffic. The driver of the rear escort car will act as flag person when hazardous conditions exist, and in turning movements will advise the towing vehicle driver as to clearance and accumulations of overtaking traffic, so the driver can provide an opportunity to pass.

E.    Escort car operators shall be properly licensed to operate the vehicle. When uniformed off-duty law enforcement officers act as escorts using official police cars or motorcycles, the preceding escort car requirements shall not be applicable.

F.    Two six-inch minimum flashing amber lights or a single rotating flashing beacon will be displayed on the top, above the roofline of escort cars and plainly visible, and shall meet SAE Standard Specifications (SAE J59-5b). These amber lights will operate at all times during movement of oversize units.

(Ord. 85-55 § 1 (part), 1985; prior Code § 46.50.060)

10.28.065 Escort Cars – When Required.

An escort vehicle and operator must comply with the requirements of WAC 468-38-110 Escort Vehicle requirements. Escort vehicles are required when:

A.    Vehicle(s) or load is over 11 feet in width; escort cars (both front and rear) are required on all two-lane roads.

B.    Vehicle(s) or load is over 14 feet wide; one rear escort vehicle is required on multiple-lane roads.

C.    Overall length of load, including vehicle(s), exceeds 100 feet or when rear overhang of load measured from the last axle exceeds one-third of the total length, one rear escort vehicle is required on two-lane roads.

D.    Overall length of load, including vehicle(s), exceeds 140 feet, one rear escort vehicle is required on multiple-lane roads.

E.    Loads exceed 14 feet and 6 inches high, one escort vehicle is required in front. If the load(s) exceed 15 feet high, the escort vehicle must be equipped with a height pole. The Department does not guarantee height clearances; therefore, on any route where the height is in question, a front escort vehicle equipped with a height pole should be used.

(Ord. 2005-118 § 1 (part), 2006)

10.28.070 Equipment.

A.    Only equipment that has been authorized for moving operations within the County shall be used. All equipment must comply with the equipment requirements of the Washington State Motor Vehicle Laws.

B.    Any equipment which breaks down and causes undue delay or any equipment breakdown which occurs frequently is just cause for the Pierce County Planning and Public Works Director or her/his designee to rule against further use of such equipment. Such condemned equipment shall not be used until repaired by the mover and repairs are approved by the Director or her/his designee.

C.    All dollies shall be licensed and covered by liability insurance. Spare tires or wheels for all dollies will be carried on each move.

D.    The towing truck shall have adequate power to start and pull the building being moved on upgrades of 5 percent. For grades greater than 5 percent, additional power may be used in the form of a tow at the front of the operation. On downgrades greater than 5 percent extra braking power may be provided in the form of a hold-back truck in the rear.

E.    A second towing truck will be available on each move on an arterial street, capable of continuing the move should the first unit have a breakdown. Should the need arise for outside help to continue the move, the escort officer shall call any outside source available and the cost of such extra help shall be paid by the mover.

F.    Tire and axle loading shall comply with Washington State Motor Vehicle load limits.

G.    A fifth wheel type suspension with two nonsteering dollies will be acceptable for buildings which do not exceed 46 feet overall in length. Longer buildings will be moved on steering dollies because of the need for maneuverability.

(Ord. 2017-12s § 2 (part), 2017; Ord. 85-55 § 1 (part), 1985; prior Code § 46.50.090)

10.28.080 Requirements for Daylight and Darkness Moves.

A.    The hours and conditions of visibility during which the move is to be allowed will be as indicated on the permit. All oversize loads shall be moved during daylight hours, between one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sundown. Any moves during hours other than daylight hours shall be allowed only at the discretion of the Director of Planning and Public Works or her/his designee. Additional requirements may be set for such moves.

B.    Wide loads moved during hours of daylight shall display the prescribed 144-square-inch red-colored flag on each corner.

(Ord. 2017-12s § 2 (part), 2017; Ord. 85-55 § 1 (part), 1985; prior Code § 46.50.100)

10.28.090 Permits for Single Trips.

A.    A permit will be required on a single trip basis for each overlegal load for those who do not have an annual permit.

B.    The form will be the same as that used for the authorization of house or building movements and the Planning and Public Works Director or her/his designee may, in her/his discretion, promulgate any rules and regulations as may be considered essential to the best interest of the County. Any such special requirements as may be deemed necessary shall be incorporated into the permit at the time of issuance and made an integral part thereof.

C.    Annual permit holders must take out a single trip permit for each load which exceeds one or more of the annual permit limitations.

D.    The applicant must submit an application for a permit prior to obtaining said permit.

E.    The Planning and Public Works Director or her/his designee shall require that each applicant execute an insurance affidavit or submit such other proof of sufficient liability coverage with limits of not less than $750,000.00 or a greater amount as set by the Executive or her/his designee. The certificate of insurance must be provided by an insurance representative authorized to do business in the State of Washington.

(Ord. 2017-12s § 2 (part), 2017; Ord. 2005-118 § 1 (part), 2006; Ord. 85-55 § 1 (part), 1985; prior Code § 46.50.120)

10.28.100 Annual Permits.

A.    Annual permits will be issued only to move mobile homes, trailer homes, construction equipment, and farming equipment. The annual permit allows the mover to make as many moves as necessary during the calendar year. The loads shall not exceed certain limitations. These limitations are the same for all annual permits regardless of the nature of the load. These limitations are:

1.    Gross weight: equal to maximum allowed by State of Washington special permits;

2.    Overall height: 15 feet;

3.    Overall width: 14 feet;

4.    Overall length restricted only by the escort car requirements and by length noted on application;

5.    Overhang is not limited except by overall length specified above;

6.    Weight limited to maximum axle loadings and gross weight permitted by the special permit regulations of the Washington State Highway Commission;

7.    Special bridge restrictions.

B.    The Pierce County motor vehicle permit form is to be used for all overlegal loads. It will be necessary for issuing personnel to insert the limits listed in items 1. through 7. of subsection A. on the face of each annual permit issued.

(Ord. 2005-118 § 1 (part), 2006; Ord. 89-6 § 1, 1989; Ord. 85-55 § 1 (part), 1985; prior Code § 46.50.130)

10.28.105 Permit Fees

The following fees shall be paid for all movements of overlegal loads permitted under this Chapter. Said fees are to provide reimbursement to the Department of Planning and Public Works for administrative and other costs and expenses of processing permits.

Overdimension Single Trip



Overdimension Annual Permit



Movement of Buildings over 14 feet wide. Single Trip Only



(Ord. 2017-12s § 2 (part), 2017; Ord. 2015-25s § 2 (part), 2015; Ord. 2005-118 § 1 (part), 2006)

10.28.110 Penalties for Violations.

Every person convicted of a violation of this Chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. (Ord. 85-55 § 1 (part), 1985; prior Code § 46.50.160)

10.28.120 Forfeitures.

All violations are forfeitable upon recommendation of the Prosecuting Attorney and with concurrence of the court. (Ord. 85-55 § 1 (part), 1985; prior Code § 46.50.170)