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New Hampshire State Shipping Regulations

New Hampshire state DOT shipping regulations, limitations, rules and laws. These are for trucking oversize and over weight loads over the roads and highways.

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The great state of New Hampshire official seal.

New Hampshire can be a tough state to ship OD and OW loads in. If you have any knowledge or information that you feel would be helpful to others please share it below. Thank you!

Find New Hampshire trucking companies and pilot cars as well as order oversize trucking permits for New Hampshire.

New Hampshire oversize and heavy haul trucking companies.
New Hampshire pilot car/truck escort companies.
Cheap oversize trucking permits in New Hampshire.

Legal load limits in New Hampshire.
New Hampshire legal load sizes and limitations:

Width: 8’ 6″ is the maximum width allowed.
Height: 13’ 6″is the maximum height allowed. Make sure you check your route as they have some places that could be lower.
Length: 53′ semi-trailer on the Interstate and designated highways maximum is 41′ from the kingpin to the center of the rear tandem axles or 48′ maximum length on most other roads.  There is an exclusion for maximum lengths if you are hauling longs, poles, timber, beams, etc however if you have a stretch trailer this may not apply.
Weight: 80,000 lbs GVW. We had a bunch of stuff here for you but you need to go straight to the state guide. There is simply too much information for weight limitations including axles spacings and tire sizes. See New Hampshire Regulations and Instructions pages 3 through 18 (.pdf viewer required).
Notes:  Everything above is dependent on your axle spacing and tire sizes. Also note that in the event that you are less than 73,280 lbs pounds (GVW) the single axle limit is increased to 22,440 lbs if needed and you are allowed up to 36,000 lbs on your tandem axles.

Routine issued trucking permits.
Trucking permits the NH DOT will routinely issue – maximums:

Width:  Up to 16′ wide
Height: Loads up to 16′ tall loaded.
Length: Loads up to 110′ in length.
Weight: Single axle: 25,000 lbs., Tandem axles: 50,000 lbs., Tridem axles: 70,000 pounds, Quadem axles 85,000 lbs., gross weight for 5 axles: 130,000 lbs, 6 axles: 140,000 lbs., 7 axles: 150,000 lbs., 8 axles: 160,000 lbs. You do need to look at this state publication as There is simply too much information for weight limitations including axles spacings and tire sizes. See: New Hampshire Regulations and Instructions pages 3 through 18 (.pdf viewer required).
Overhang: It looks like 15′ but this is surely a case by case basis. See the manual link above for clarification.
Notes: A bridge review is required when: any single axle is over 27,500 lbs. or any axle of tandems groups is over 25,000 lbs. If any axle in a tridem axle group combination is over 22,500 lbs. and/or if any axle group of a quadem axles is over 20,000 lbs. If a 5 axle combination group is over 100,000 lbs. If a 6 axle combination group is over 120,000 lbs. If  a 7 axle combination group is over 130,000 lbs. And finally for a combination of 8 or more axles that is over 149,999 lbs.

Superload Information.
New Hampshire Superload information:

Length: Anything that is over 110′ in length is going to be a superload.
Width: If over 16′ you are a superload.
Height: If over 16′ in height you would be classified as a superload. 
Weight: Anything that is over 160,000 lbs for sure. Some loads even less on some routes.
NOTES: Again because of the complexity or New Hampshire DOT heavy restrictions please see: New Hampshire Regulations and Instructions (.pdf) for clarification. 

When pilot cars/truck escorts are required.
You will be required to have pilot cars if you are any of the following:

Length: If over 150′ one rear escort is required. For additional see “superloads” section above.
Width: If you are over 12′ wide 1 pilot car/truck escort is required. If over 18′ you will require 2 pilot cars/truck escorts and may be required to have a state police escort (on some route 2 of them). When requesting state police you must give a minimum of 48 hours advanced notice.
Height: If over 13′ 6″ the state will require you to have a route survey. A height pole escort may not have to accompany the load once the survey is completed, it’s up to the state depending on how high the load is and route.
Weight: As long as the load can maintain minimum speed limit requirements and does not require special bridge restrictions you will probably not be required to have a pilot car/escort.
Overhang: Over 15′ in length required 1 pilot car/escort. If you are on a 2 lane undivided highway you will be required to have 2 pilot cars/truck escorts if over 12′ wide as well.
Notes: Please use the link above in “routine permits” for clarification on pilot car/truck escort requirements as they have quite a few “and”, “if”, “but” and “however” statements.

New Hampshire pilot car/truck escort vehicle requirements.
What is required to operate in the state of New Hampshire:

This is quoted verbatim out of the New Hampshire pilot car and truck escorts manual:

(a) Escort vehicles shall be the size of a compact car or larger. The drivers of escort vehicles shall maintain visual and 2-way radio contact with the permitted vehicle at all times. When one escort is required, it shall precede a load on undivided highways and follow the load on divided highways. Escort vehicle requirements shall be the same on both 4-or-more-lane divided highways and on 2-lane roads on the designated system as follows, unless otherwise stated:
(b) No escort shall be required for overall widths less than 12 feet 0 inches. One escort vehicle shall be required for overall width of 12 feet 0 inches or more.
(c) No escort vehicle shall be required for overall length of less than 80 feet 0 inches. One escort vehicle shall be required for overall length of 80 feet 0 inches or more.
(d) No escort vehicle shall be required if overhang is less than 15 feet 0 inches with proper flags displayed. One escort vehicle shall be required if the overhang is 15 feet 0 inches or more.
(e) A second escort vehicle shall be required under circumstances involving excessive overhang and overwidth. On a 2-lane, undivided highway, 2 escorts shall be required when the overhang is 15 feet 0 inches or more to the rear, and where the width is 12 feet 0 inches or more. On an interstate in instances of overwidth with overhang in excess of 15 feet 0 inches, a second escort vehicle shall be required.
(f) The applicant shall furnish 1 escort vehicle equipped with an operating top-mounted, flashing or rotating amber light for all loads, including hauling vehicle, 12 feet 0 inches or more in width or 80 feet 0 inches in length. A state police escort shall be required when load, including hauling vehicle, exceeds 18 feet 0 inches in width. In instances of overall length only of 100 feet and 0 inches or more, a state police escort shall be required unless exempted from this requirement by state police due to determination that weather conditions are optimum, visibility is not impaired, traffic flow is not heavy or other conditions which shall not compromise safe movement.
(g) When escorting a move, the escort vehicle shall be operated with headlights on in the low beam position.
(h) When traffic following a permit move has accumulated to 7 or more vehicles, the permit load and escorts shall yield the right-of-way for these vehicles to pass at the nearest, accessible, safe location. When crossing bridges on 2-way highways where bridge width is 24 feet and 0 inches or less, the escort vehicle shall stop all traffic while the load is on the bridge.
(i) Escort vehicles preceding oversize loads shall display a warning sign affixed to the front with legend reading, “OVERSIZE LOAD”. The escort vehicle following oversize loads shall display a warning sign affixed to the rear with legend reading, “OVERSIZE LOAD”. The signs shall have not less than 10 inch high black letters of a 1.4 inch stroke on a yellow background, and signs shall be made of durable material unaffected by moisture. The shape of the sign shall be varied to fit the escort vehicle but shall not be less than 5 feet 0 inches wide and 12 inches high. 

(j) The initial contact will be with State Police who will then either make an escort vehicle available or contact the appropriate Sheriff’s Department for assistance.

Signs
Escort vehicles preceding oversize loads shall display a warning sign affixed to the front with legend reading, “OVERSIZE LOAD”. The escort vehicle following oversize loads shall display a warning sign affixed to the rear with legend reading, “OVERSIZE LOAD”. The signs shall have not less than 10 inch high black letters of a 1.4 inch stroke on a yellow background, and signs shall be made of durable material unaffected by moisture. The shape of the sign shall be varied to fit the escort vehicle but shall not be less than 5 feet 0 inches wide and 12 inches high.

Required truck and load marking, flags, etc.
The NH DOT requires you to have the following on your truck and load:

Warning signs shall be displayed on the front of the hauling vehicle and on the rear of the hauling vehicle or load whichever provides best rear display. The legend shall read OVERSIZE LOAD. The signs shall be seven feet (7’) wide and eighteen inches (18”) high with ten inch (10”) high black letters featuring one and five-eights (1 5/8”) (series C) brush stroke on a yellow background. Signs shall be made of durable material unaffected by moisture.

Red flags at least 12 inches square, secured by at least one corner or mounted on a staff, shall be required on all over-dimensional loads to adequately mark load extremities longitudinally and laterally. Over-width loads shall have at least 2 and up to 6 flags mounted at the widest extremity and corners of the load, and placed so as not to increase the overall load width. Over-length loads or loads with rear or front end overhang in excess of 4 feet 0 inches shall display one flag at the end of the overhang if less than 2 feet 0 inches wide, and 2 flags if the overhang is over 2 feet 0 inches wide.
Note: All oversize load signs shall be removed, covered or otherwise sight restricted when not being used for an oversize move.

Hours or operations and travel restrictions.
Travel times that are permitted by the NH DOT:

Movement of over-dimensional loads shall be restricted to daylight hours. Daylight hours are considered to be the period one-half hour before sunrise and one-half hour after sunset. Permits are void during periods of slippery pavement conditions or inclement weather (e.g. fog, haze, heavy rain, freezing rain, snow) creating hazardous driving conditions. Permits are also void during weekends and the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Civil Rights Day, Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day. If a holiday falls on Sunday, the following Monday shall be also restricted as a holiday. If a holiday falls on Saturday, the previous Friday shall restricted as holiday. The permit supervisor shall further restrict movement of over-dimension vehicles as traffic volumes or highway conditions warrant such action in the interest of public safety. Although subject to requirements for permits, vehicles which are overweight only and which are operated at normal traffic speeds shall not be restricted as to time of movement.
Note: Travel through Manchester is restricted during the hours of 7 AM until 9:00 AM and 3:00 AM until 6:00 PM.  Toll road requirements are the same as other highways. 

Frost and thaw law restrictions:

During spring thaw months (which may vary) weights may be limited to 20,000 axle weight or less on some routes.

New Hampshire DOT contact information:

Department of Transportation
OS/OW Permits
Box 0483
concord, NH  00302
Phone: 603-271-2691
Fax: 603-271-5990
E-mail: overhaul “the at sign” dot.state.nh.us
Website: http://nhpermits.org – Click the accept “accept” button at the bottom of this page to self issue your own NHDOT oversize trucking permits. It’s easy and if you’ve hauled in this state before you’re already set up with them. More information about self issue and cheap oversize trucking permits can be obtained on our website as well using the permits link at the top of this page.
Hours: 8AM until 4PM (phones shut off at 3:45 PM) weekdays and closed on holidays.

Permit application for OS/OW loads.

Eastern Standard Time

The information contained in these pages is research information primarily for use by oversize and overweight trucking company drivers, dispatchers and pilot car companies. While every effort is put into maintaining the accuracy of this information you must absolutely verify this information with the New Hampshire OS/OW Permits office before commencing movement.

2 Comments
  1. what is the overall length allowed for a straight truck pulling a trailer?

    • That varies from state to state and also from route to route. In this case I have to assume you are asking about New Hampshire. From what I read it is 110′ and at that point you turn into a superload. It appears 150′ is possible. This is all route pending and a route survey must be completed to see if it is possible to make it to your destination. If you are 110+ we suggest you contact the State DOT as complications are inevitable and prior planning is going to be a must!

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