Don’t let your holiday deliveries slide – chain up your truck

For more information: (503) 373-0000, option 1 for information about over-dimension loads; (503) 378-6699 for information about registration services 


Dec. 14, 2021

The season’s first major snowfall has arrived in Oregon, slowing all highway travelers – and sometimes sliding them to a halt with just one spun-out truck or abandoned load.

The first few snowfalls each season are always a reminder to drivers about how quickly conditions can change. We’ve already seen delays on major freight routes, especially Interstate 84 in Northeast Oregon and Interstate 5 around the Siskiyou Summit, as well as many other Oregon mountain passes.

Motor carriers with over-dimension permits are prohibited from movement when road surfaces are hazardous due to ice, snow or frost, or when visibility is less than 500 feet due to poor weather conditions. We have already seen several over dimensional loads struggle with the snow this season.

As a reminder, Oregon’s chain-up areas are for vehicles to chain up, not park. Parking overnight makes it difficult for highway crews to effectively plow the roadways. Please know before you go and seek a safe area to park until conditions improve.

Also, this season a higher fine of $880 per violation is now if effect for trucks failing to use chains when required.

Prepare for slippery weather travel and visit before you start your route to see what’s ahead. Oregon chain laws apply year-round, requiring commercial vehicles to carry chains whenever road conditions might require their use during your trip and to install them when signs are posted.

Cost of trucks without chains

The estimated cost of delays caused by trucks failing to follow Oregon chain laws is over $8 million a year – to the motor carrier industry and other highway users. When a truck loses traction, it can not only delay its delivery but also delay everyone else on the road behind a stuck truck.

Keeping Oregon moving is so important to motor carriers and all Oregonians that the 2021 Oregon Legislature raised the fine for trucks failing to use chains to $880. That law took effect Sept. 25.

If a truck is involved in a crash where failure to use chains is a factor, there could be other costs for the motor carrier – not to mention other travelers.

Don’t be the driver stopping miles of traffic behind you! The time it takes to chain up will get you to your destination faster and reduce the chances of a costly delay.


Snow season is here!

One commercial vehicle can delay all travelers if the truck isn’t using tire chains – as in this incident on U.S. 20 in December 2021.

Spun-out commercial vehicle delays traffic in snow on U.S. 20 in December 2021

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