Posted by: project151 | February 27, 2008

Reader Comments on Oversize Loads

Janet writes:

This morning I was delayed on 151 North by some sort of vehicle with a WIDE/OVERSIZED LOAD carrying what I can only describe as what was apparently a piece of a pre-fab house.

At first I was pateint w/ it as I thought that the thing was probably being delivered to a local property but incredibly it kept going up to the 250 intersection where it turned East and headed down 250 (another one lane stretch) – even past the 64 exit – probably destined for one of Crozet/Western Albemarle’s “built-overnite” construction sites.

Unless they are local to 151, these types of deliveries should be banned from our small one-way country road as they are not only a nuisance but very dangerous.

There seems to be no good reason why this truck could not have taken 29/64 (to get to 250 since it was coming from the south.

Drivers (out of frustration) still tried to pass the caravan escorting this behemoth – which at times swayed onto the oncoming lane, took up both lanes when turning and curving, and which also seemed to have trouble making it up at least one of the hillier parts of the road.

I know there is a length limit for trucks allowed on 151 but what about these “WIDE/OVERSIZED LOADS”?!

Hoping everyone stays safe out there … Janet



  1. An excellent observation Janet. The current truck length restrictions aren’t aggressively enforced by any agency other than Albemarle County Police on the 250 / 151 section. They have been very good about setting up stations to check and enforce the truck lengths. Since no one else is enforcing that, we unfortunately, can’t see them worrying about oversize loads either.

    It’s worth noting for the first time ever P-151 noticed, of all carriers, a Fed Ex Custom Critical, semi passing about 2 weeks ago with three cars headed straight for him. After that he continued to run off of the highway from side to side all the way down 6 E to Adail Road. We promptly reported them to Fed Ex and the Nelson County Sheriff’s office in hopes that a deputy would be able to intercept the rig between 6 & 29 and Lovingston. The dispatcher simply said they’d pass it on to the state and never dispatched the call to local deputies to be on the lookout. Terrible judgment error. I once supervised an entire staff of communications dispatchers, in another law agency in Tennessee. Such a call would have been dispatched to everyone with authority, that way the closest unit could be on the lookout. As a matter of fact had such a call not been dispatched to local units as well the dispatcher would have, at best, been written up, perhaps suspended.

    Anyone that see this kind of behavior is encouraged to report it directly to the trucking company’s corporate office, don’t bother reporting it to their trucking dispatcher, generally nothing will happen, but upper management or owners generally will listen.


  2. Just for the record, I did look for a name on the vehicles in this fleet -when I was pulling onto 64 and was able to see their sides and backs – but none of them were marked.

    The only name I was able to see was Timberlake (or Timberwood) on the back of the housing structure.

    I think the max length for a truck on 151 is 65ft (correct me if i’m wrong) but it is hard to tell how long they are if you are not familiar w/ big trucks, unless of course you can get a glance at the marking on their rear side.

    Thanks for the guidance on what to do in these cases. I have no qualms about calling or better yet writing these companies and would have done so already in this case if I had been able to identify them.

    Also, speaking to Bonnie’s comment, although I have seen more state police cars on 151 since January, people are still tailing and speeding with impunity. And I too notice a lot more “pullovers” on the Albemarle side of 151.


    AT THE VERY LEAST, in egregious cases such as this FedEx semi, we have a right to expect a swift and targeted response from our local law enforcement!


  3. You guys reports everyones business but you can’t report a bus accident coming off wintergreen. Whats with that. Who really cares about the size of a bridge when you have a out of control bus flying done 664 with no brakes. You guys do most of the time a good job but you lost your big break with this story.

  4. Unfortunately “D”, that’s a really nice first name by the way…We love it when folks like to complain but lack the courage to put their name to it. Unfortunately we can’t be everywhere all of the time. We heard of the accident late last night and were getting details for a later post after checking with authorities and making sure we had our facts correct.

    We rely on folks like you to let us know about many of these events, certainly would have appreciated an e-mail rather than a word lashing here! There was another crash last week at Tanbark and 151, but no injuries and the road wasn’t tied up for very long, therefore we didn’t report it either. Simply put we can’t be everywhere every time, though we strive to.

    Regardless, your information is pretty correct. After talking with one member of the Wintergreen Rescue last night, apparently a bus was coming off of the mountain Sunday, lost the brakes (probably not using low gear, as usually happens with inexperienced mountain drivers) and rear ended another car.

    There were some minor injuries, but not anything life threatening as of last night.

    Incidentally there is a reason we call this Project 151 & 6, not 664. The group identified those two routes as the primary problem corridors, and though 664 does have occasional traffic issues, it doesn’t see the 7000+ cars and trucks daily that 6 & 151 do, therefore, we didn’t establish the organization to address traffic flow on route 664, though it’s certainly affected indirectly.

  5. First unless you want me to change the name my parents gave me then is D. Second I guess since you couldn’t blame this accident on a tractor trailer is wasn’t worth reporting. I work for a newspaper an news is news regardless if its on 151, Rt. 6 or 664 . Like most place along with paper I work at unless someone is dead they don’t think its important to report. Thats pretty sad to think reports think like that. I am ashamed of the was my paper looks at accidents an since you seem to have it together some what I hoped that you would get news out to us in this community I guess I was wrong. I am sure if it was a big rig that had wrecked it would have been all over your website. Thats ok, I give you credit you it should be given.

    By the way since I am keeping my parents name I guess shame on you.


  6. That may be the case D. If that is in fact your complete name, we apologize. However, if you are in the real news business, you know better than anyone how folks like to complain, throw spurs, etc, only to hide behind a shadow name just to create a stir.

    As for news is news, like I said, this is not a site that reports every traffic accident in the county. This project was formed to discuss and report on events that affect the Route 151 & 6 corridor. This corridor is of concern because it connects I-64 and Route 29. Though some traffic does use Route 664 as a cut through, it is generally a destination highway.

    As for your comment on us strictly reporting only incidents that involve trucks, you are just misguided, Though we do pay close attention to trucks as they are consistently destroying the rural character of the Rockfish Valley on a daily basis and continue to be a road hazard, we have done more than our fair share on the reckless passenger car drivers as well.

    You are right, we agree, on the position of most modern day news organizations. I have worked for most of the biggest, larger than any in this area and they don’t care unless it is sensational, which many times involves death.

    As we said earlier, we simply did not know about this accident until later in the night. That’s it. We didn’t know, nothing more, nothing less.

    Shame on your D for thinking we didn’t report this because it didn’t involve a big rig, your are simply wrong.

  7. Its nice to know I am wrong it that is the case. Yes, I do know how people hide behind a shadow in the news business an I think that is very childish. I am glad to know that you understand what I am saying to the most part. I do however will say keep up the good work with 151. I guess I should also let you know that the other night in the 45mph limit I saw a tractor trailer going at least 65 in that zone an a county cop & a state police was not even a 1/2 up the road an yes he came right pass them both an they did nothing. When I saw him he was almost of the yellow line.

  8. I’m responding to clarify regarding the misinformation being spread about the Wintergreen bus accident on Sunday.

    As one of the passengers of the bus, I would like to state there were no other cars involved. No one was rear ended. The driver was extremely experienced and had been up and down that mountain on multiple occasions in snow and ice. The bus had recently been checked out mechanically and there were no known issues. He was driving in the proper gear and used all of his expertise to take us off the road at the best possible location which resulted in mostly minor injuries to those in the group.

    I noticed the same incorrect information on the Nelson County Magazine website. Please stop spreading this misinformation and contact those who were involved if you would like the facts.

    Thank you!

  9. Thanks for the comment Lori. You might want to drop the folks over at Nelson County Life Magazine an e-mail or place a comment on their site regarding the incident. I am sure they would like to clarify any misinformation, if it exists, but as we have stated earlier on this site, P-151 was established to address issues along Route 151 & 6, not other highways or roads in Nelson County, Virginia. So they would be the ones to address your concerns to.

    Thanks, and thanks for dropping us a line.

  10. Further to the comments about the oversize loads on the highways – for your information it is your State & County & Federal Authorities who determine which roadways are used by these loads. They are the ones who tell them when and where they are allowed to go. I would challenge any one of you to travel with these loads for a minimum of a complete day to see what actually goes on – and better yet go travel with some of these loads for their entire trip to see what they have to put up with from the road rage goons on the rest of the roads.

  11. WHICH state, county and federal authorities determine where over-sized loads can travel?!

    That’s a pretty broad and vague reference.

    I addressed my complaint to VDOT.

    Further, I have no doubt that moving such cargo is a difficult job all around.

    My point is that some roads are safer than others for such travel and one-lane 151 is definitely NOT one of them … (and the carrier to which I referred was clearly having trouble navigating it).

    …that’s why we pay taxes for larger, multi-lane highways like 64 and 29.


  12. I write to follow-up on my posting of February 27 and let everyone know that I got a response to my complaint/inquiry regarding that over-sized load traveling on 151 that morning.

    It is the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and not VDOT (to whom I originally wrote) which is responsible for issuing hauling permits for such transport and I received the following reply from Mr. William Childress in DMV’s Hauling Permit Office.

    (for reader’s brevity sake, PARAGRAPHS 5 & 6 ARE MOST PERTINENT TO THIS ISSUE)

    Mr. Childress wrote:

    Thank you for your e-mail and the opportunity to respond regarding the use of Route 151 in Nelson and Albermarle Counties for Oversize Loads.

    The routing of oversize vehicles is the responsibility of DMV’s Hauling Permit Office. During calendar year 2007, the Hauling Permit Office issued over 104,000 hauling permits for vehicles that were oversized and or overweight.

    Two types of permits are issued by the Hauling Permit Office – Single Trip permit and Blanket Permit. Single Trip permits are route specific and contain very specific information as it relates to the move in which the permit was issued for. The route of travel is designated, the authorized time of movement, safety requirements (flags, signs, amber flashing lights, etc) and vehicle escorts, depending on whether the oversize load is wide or long, and the type of roads being traveled.

    Blanket permits generally are not route specific, but will allow a hauler to move several times during a specified period on any unrestricted road or highway. A restricted road will have signs that will identify the restriction, such as no trucks allowed, no trucks exceeding 65 feet in length or 16 ton limit to name a few. These restrictions are designated by VDOT. Blanket permits also contain
    specific safety requirements such as authorized time of travel, safety
    requirements (flags, signs, amber flashing lights) and vehicle escort requirements.

    When issuing hauling permits we do not route oversize movements over restricted highways or over Virginia Byways. Since Route 151 is a Virginia Byway we will not use it when routing a wide load, unless the delivery is taking place on Route 151. Our first priority is to ensure the safety and well being of the traveling public, therefore we route wide loads on divided highways such as Route 29 and I-64 whenever possible.

    Unfortunately there are many oversize movements on the highways moving items without a hauling permit and without our knowledge. These illegal moves run the risk of being caught and cited by State and or local enforcement personnel. They are smart enough to give the appearance of being legal by displaying the appropriate signs, lighting and some even have escorts in place. This appearance also gives the traveling public the impression these illegal moves are legitimate.

    Thank you for giving me the opportunity to respond to your e-mail and provide you with some information on the permitting process. … Wm.

    Such transport as I witnessed that day must therefore have been unauthorized and thus illegal, leaving one to conclude that the appropriate action to take in such a case is to notify local law enforcement and take down any tag numbers and identification information possible. If it’s local then it’s okay, if not, then they can be cited and we may have prevented an accident and loss of life.


  13. […] on oversize load traveling Routes 151 & 6 Today P-151 received the following update to an original post that Janet wrote to us back in February. Janet has been kind enough to include the response of the Virginia DMV. Something we all […]

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