The Montana Department of Transportation is boasting about the new online system, which automatically approves size and weight permits that can be printed out directly from a computer desktop.
"Any carrier who is interested in traveling on Montana highways will be able to utilize this system," says Drew Livesay, acting administrator of the MDOT’s Motor Carrier Services Division.
The automatic size and weight permitting program, built by Lockheed Martin IMS of Phoenix, will give users access to any of the three basic weight permits most often needed by carriers.
"This system will revolutionize access to overweight permits," says Dave Galt, executive vice president of the Montana Motor Carriers Association.
The permit system has been accessible to MDOT employees via an in-house network for about 18 months. Livesay said they are in the process of transferring to a faster version of the program to figure out if there are any "bugs," and in about two to three weeks, select carriers will gain access to the system.
"A group of 11 trucking companies located in Montana has volunteered to give the program a trial run to help the MDOT determine what type of assistance will needed," he said. "After about 30 days, if all goes well, we would like to see the program available to everyone by October 1."
Livesay says the program will not only benefit carriers, but MDOT employees as well. "The amount of paperwork for issuing everyday permits will be dramatically reduced," he said. "We can begin to focus more attention on other issues, such as highway safety and insurance verification."
Carriers will have the opportunity to pre-register for the program and view a demonstration at the Montana Motor Carriers Convention on Sept. 6, 7, and 8 in Kalispell.