Oversize trucking, heavy haul shipping and transport. Heavy haul machinery and equipment shipping.
Shipping quotes from oversize equipment, machinery and heavy haul trucking companies.

Posts Tagged federal

Bridge Formula Weights

Explaining the maximum weight any combined set of axles on a truck and trailer can carry to cross a bridge on the Interstate highway system.  The following formula is used for calculating acceptable weights:

W=500 [ LN/N-1 + 12N + 36]

W= the overall gross weight on any group of two or more consecutive axles the the nearest 500 pounds.

L= the distance in feet between the outer axles of any group of two or more consecutive axles.

N= the number of axles in the group that are under consideration.

Axle spacing is another consideration that must be taken into account when looking at the Federal weight compliance laws.  In order to properly protect our bridges the number and the spacing of truck and trailer axles carrying the shipment must be calculated.  So a bridge weight formula applies when the gross weight on 2 or more consecutive axles exceeds the limitations on the formula, except that the 2 consecutive sets of tandem axles may carry a gross weight load of 34,000 pounds each if the overall distance between the 1st and last axle is  over a 36′ minimum.

There are exceptions.  Federal law does include an exception to the Federal Bridge Formula and the bridge table. 2 consecutive sets of tandem axles may carry 34,000 pounds each IF the overall distance between the first axle and last axles of these tandems is 36′ or greater.  For example:  a 5 axle tractor semi trailer combination may carry 34,000 pounds of weight both on the tractor tandem (axles 2 and 3) and the trailer tandem (axles 4 and 5), provided the axles 2 and 5 are spaced at least 36′ from each other.  Without this exception the bridge formula would allow for actual weight of only 66,000 pounds to 67,000 pounds on tandems spaced 36′ to 38′ apart. (References: U. S. Department of TransportationFederal Highway AdministrationBridge Formula Weights“)

Note:  In addition to the above formula weights Federal law says that a single axle is limited to a maximum of no greater than 20,000 pounds and that axles that are closer than 96″ from each other are limited to a maximum weight of 34,000 pounds.  Also that gross vehicle weight be less than 80,000 pounds

Ohio State Shipping Regulations

Ohio State Shipping Regulations

Ohio DOT trucking regulations, laws and rules for shipping oversize and overweight on the state roads and highways.

Ohio DOT rules and regulations for oversize and overweight shipping.

The great state of Ohio official seal.

Please share your expertise or knowledge with other visitors below.

Locate trucking & pilot car companies in the state of Ohio:

Ohio trucking company directory.
Ohio pilot car company directory.

Legal load limits.

Legal load size/weight limitations:

Length: The Ohio DOT has no maximum length set that we know of. We do know that if the overall shipment is over 90′ in length that a pilot car (escort vehicle) is required.
Height: 13′ 6″ in the maximum allowed shipping height as per Ohio DOT without a permit.
Width: 8′ 6″ in the maximum width allowed to travel on Ohio roads.
Weight: 80,000 lbs GVW and we know that the basic rule of 20,000 on any single axle applies.
Overhang: We have no information on overhang at this time. Please comment below if you have knowledge.

Routine trucking permits.

Routine trucking permit limits:

Length: Anything over 90′ will require a pilot car/escort vehicle.
Width: 14′ is the maximum width considered on routine issued permits. Routing of course is the restricting factor so if you may qualify for up to (our approximation) 16′ routinely depending on your desired route.
Height: 14′ 6″ in the maximum for routinely issued permits. Of course routing is the qualifier. If your shipment is 14′ 6″ or over you will be required to have a high pole escort.
Weight: Single axle: 29,000 lbs. Tandem axles: 36,000 lbs if axle spacing is a minimum of 4′ 1″ and up to a whopping 50,000 lbs if  your axle spacings are more than the 4′ 1″ but not more than 16′. Tridem axles: 60,000 lbs maximum if your axle spacing is less than 4′ and 53,000 lbs if your axle spacing is more than 4′ but less than 16′. Quadem: 60,000 (as long as GVW is not over 120,000 lbs). 5 axles (single-tandem-tandem): 29,000 lbs – 46,000 lbs – 46,000 lbs = 121,000 lbs maximum total per group of axles.  However; in order to do this you have to have a minimum of a 51′ outer bridge and a 36′ inner bridge in order to heavy haul on a 5 axle setup. 6 axles: (single-tandem-tridum); 29,000 lbs, 46,000 lbs, 53,000 lbs = 128,000 lbs total maximum per group of axles. 7 axles: (single-tridum-tridum); 29,000 lbs – 53,000 lbs – 53,000 lbs = 135,000 lbs total maximum weight allowed. 8 axles: (single-tandem-tandem-tridum); 29,000 lbs – 46,000 lbs -46,000 lbs – 53,000 = 174,000 lbs maximum for this kind of group setup.
Overhang: We have not located any information on routinely permitted overhang. So, we have to assume that as long as you do not want to overhang more than 1/3 of the overall length of the item being shipped you can probably get a routine permit. When you wish to exceed this basic rule (more than 1/3 overhang) you create a potentially dangerous situation. If you have any knowledge on routine overhang in Ohio please share it with others below.

Notes: As long as the GVW is not over 120,000 lbs you can use a tridem or quadem setup but you are required to have the minimum of 4′ 1″ spacing in your axles. You can go up to 132,000 lbs on a 7, 8 or 9 axle setup for your steering configuration plus 2 tridem or quadem axle groups. Please see more in superloads section below.

Superload information.

We have the following information on shipping superload shipping in the state of Ohio:

Length: Depending on your route you probably will not have any problems with length in Ohio unless you are over 160′ overall. Ohio DOT has no set limitations on length so you may not even qualify as a supleroad.
Width: Again depending on the route you intend on taking unless you are over 18′ in width you may not qualify as a superload by the Ohio DOT. While they are not too keen on wideload shipments they tend to look at these on a case by case basis which is all dependent on your routing. In some areas you 16′ may qualify you as routine. If your shipment is over 18′ in width you will be classified as a superload. We welcome your comments below.
Height:
If you are over 14′ 6″ in the state of Ohio you will be required to have a high pole escort (pilot car) in front of you the entire route. Ohio DOT may require that you notify any/all utility companies that manage obstructions on your route before you are permitted to move. It’s all about your routing in Ohio as we are sure you are learning however, Ohio DOT is very knowledgeable and you have to give them credit for that. We feel they should be a little more lenient on height issues or have published routes for routine permits  but maybe they have future plans.
Weight: For superload configurations that are in excess of 120,000 lbs gross you will most likely be required to reduce your configuration by using a jeep. Your overall minimum axle spacings will need to be no less than 65′ with the inner bridge no less than 51′. See “routine trucking permits” above for more information about required axle group spacings as your groups need a distance of no less than 4′ 1″ between each.
Overhang: Use the rule of 1/3. Read more above in “routine trucking permits”

Permitted travel times & restrictions.

Ohio DOT regulation permitted travel times and restrictions:

Basic travel times:
The basic rule of one half hour before sunrise and one half hour after sunset applies (example; travel start time is at 1/2 hour before sunset on approved days). Ohio DOT regulations travel times are complicated due to population/traffic density consideration. ALWAYS REFER TO YOUR PHYSICAL PERMIT BEFORE COMMENCING MOVEMENT. If your shipment is over 12′ in width you are NOT allowed to travel in the list of counties and within a 25 mile radius of the cities listed below between the hours of 6:30 AM until 9 AM and from 4:30 AM until 6 PM Monday thru Friday and on Fridays,  Saturdays and Sundays you may not travel after 3 PM during the days between April 1st until November the 30th.

Holiday movement:
You are permitted to travel on the following holidays with the above rules in mind; Columbus day, George Washington’s birthday, Martin Luther King day and Veterans day. You are prohibited from traveling on the following holidays; New Years day, Memorial day, Independence day, Labor day, Thanksgiving day and Christmas day. The Ohio DOT permit offices are closed on all of these days.

Cities:

  • Akron
  • Canton
  • Dayton
  • Lima
  • Toledo
  • Youngstown

Counties:

  • Butler
  • Clermont
  • Cuyahoga
  • Delaware
  • Farifield
  • Geauga
  • Hamilton
  • Lake Licking
  • Lorain
  • Lucas
  • Madison
  • Mahoning
  • Medina
  • Montgomery
  • Pickaway
  • Stark
  • Summit
  • Union
  • Warren
  • Wood

When pilot cars are required.

A pilot car (escort vehicle) is required when:

Length: 1 pilot car/escort vehicle is required in the overall length of your shipment is in excess of 90′ in length.
Width: 1 pilot car/ escort vehicle is required for shipments in excess of 13′ wide. If on a 2 lane road the pilot car needs to be in the lead position and on 4 lane roads the rear chase position is required. If the width is greater than 14′ 6″ wide then you are required to have 1 front and 1 rear pilot car/escort vehicle.
Height: If the height of you shipment is in excess of 14′ 6″ in height you are required to have 1 front/lead pilot car/escort vehicle with a height pole. If the shipment is in excess of 14′ 10″ in height you are required to have 1 front pilot car/escort vehicle equipped with a high pole and 1 rear chase pilot car/escort vehicle displaying a “OVERSIZE LOAD” banner. See banner/sign specifications and requirements below in “pilot car certifications & requirements” section.
Weight: There are no immediate pilot car or escort vehicle requirements for shipments that are overweight. As long as the shipment is able to maintain the minimum speed limit requirements escort is necessary. This may not be applicable towards superloads which is on  case by case basis.
Overhang: Overhang, if excessive is reviewed on a case by case basis. If your shipment is overhanging by less than 1/3 of it’s length (1/3 meaning the overall measurement of only the item being shipped) you may be required to use a flag or amber light on the rear as long as the overall length of your shipment is not excessive and overhang is not either, ie; no more than 10′ (this is only a assumption and you must clarify your requirements with the Ohio DOT).
Note: If you are required to have only 1 pilot car/escort because your shipment is only 13′ wide but your shipment requires you to have 1 pilot car/escort because you are over 90′ in length you are considered a “combination” shipment and will be required to have 1 front and 1 rear pilot car/escort vehicle.

Pilot car certifications & requirements.

Pilot car (escort vehicle) certifications and requirements of the Ohio DOT:

Pilot car and escort vehicles operating in the state of Ohio are mandated by the Ohio DOT to have an amber light mounted on the roof of the vehicle. The amber light must strobe or flash and be clearly visible from a 360 degree angle from a distance of no less than 500′. The vehicle is required to have a single roof mounted sign or a front/rear sign (depending on if operating as a lead or chase vehicle) that is no less than 5′ in length and 12′ in height with letters no less than 8″ in height that are a minimum 1″ in thickness. The sign must be yellow in color with black lettering and state the nature of the load being shipping, either “OVERSIZE LOAD” OR “WIDELOAD”. All pilot car or escort vehicles are required to be equipped with a CB radio or powerful 2-way communication device that enables them to be in constant communication with all parties working in the movement. Pilot car vehicles are required to have a hand held paddle sign that states the words “STOP on one side and “SLOW” on the other is case traffic needs to be controlled.

Note: It is only our professional opinion that pilot cars also have a minimum of the additional items but not required:  2 – 5 pound fire extinguishers type A, B and C. A red safety colored flag with a handle no less than 18″ square, 3 reflective emergency road triangles or 18″ traffic cones, 8 burning road flares, 2 OVERSIZE LOAD banners (yellow with black lettering) and a safety colored (red, orange, yellow or lime green) vest, jacket or shirt (used while directing traffic).

Shipment, truck and trailer markings.

Truck, trailer and shipment required markings with banners, signs and flags by Ohio DOT:

A strobing or flashing amber light that is visible from 360 degrees from a distance of no less than 500 feet is required to placed on the highest point of the cab of the tractor trailer. Signs/banners that indicate the nature of the shipment, “OVERSIZE LOAD” OR “WIDELOAD” are required to be placed at the overall front and rear of the shipment. These banners must be yellow in color with black lettering and not less than 7′ in width and 18″ in height. Letters must be a minimum of 10″ in height with a 1 1/2″ line thickness. Safety flags must be mounted at the 4 outer most corners of the overall shipment and be no less than 18″ in length in either direction and be safety red or orange in color. If the shipment protrudes in any direction like overhang additional flags are required. You may be required to place flashing or strobing amber lights on any protrusions as well.

Ohio DOT & other important information.

Ohio DOT contact and other useful information:

Address:
Ohio Department of Transportation – DOT
1980 West Broad Street, Mail stop 5140
Columbus, OH  43223
Telephone help line: 614-351-2300
Fax: 614-728-4099
Permit office hours are from 7:30 AM until 4:30 – PM EASTERN TIME ZONE.
Ohio DOT special hauling permits section website.
Ohio special hauling operations manual and guide.
Ohio DOT insurance applications and permit forms.
Ohio road conditions, construction zones and alerts.

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 Ohio State DOT Permits office before commencing movement.
Ohio state shipping regulations

Ohio state flag.

Michigan State Shipping Regulations

Michigan State Shipping Regulations

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

Michigan

The great state of Michigan official seal.

Help others by sharing your knowledge below.

Trucking company & pilot car directory.

Locate trucking companies and pilot cars in Michigan state:

Michigan trucking company directory.
Michigan pilot car company directory.
Michigan easy do it yourself trucking permits.

Legal load limits.

Michigan legal load limits:

Length: Overall no longer than 75’ on designated highways.  Trailer length maximum is 50’.
Width:  96″ on non designated highways and 102″ (8’ 6”.) on designated.
Height: 13’ 6”
Weight: 80,000 lbs. GVW, 20,000 single, 34,000 tandem.
Overhang: 3’ in the front and anything over 4’ in the rear must be red flagged in the day and red light at night.

NOTE: You can check out the maximums on the Michigan state website as well. State maximums Michigan DOT website.

Routine trucking permits.

Routine overweight, oversize trucking and transport permits:

Length: Under 150’ long is routine.  Anything over is superload (105’ for mobile homes).
Width: Figure up to 16’ as a routine permit.  Anything over is going to looked at seriously and they may even classify you as superload (confirming 16’ as no typo).
Height: Up to 15’ is routine.  If you are over 15’ high count on needing a route survey.
Weight:  They will not confirm anything. Anything over 80,000 lbs is looked at on a case by case basis. Anything over 150,000 lbs is subject to a bridge weight study.
Overhang: Check with the Michigan DOT office for clarification.

Superload information.

Information about shipping superloads in the state of Michigan.

If your shipment is in excess of any of the following then you will be classified as a superload:

Length: Anything over 150′
Width: 16′
Height: 15′ – yes this is correct.
Notes: We have no weight max. Height may be on a case by case basis. Permit and info from Michigan DOT.

Legal travel times.

Travel times and restrictions:

Travel time is sunrise to sunset daylight only with the half hour after sunrise and a half hour after sunset leniency rule.  No weekend travel.  No holiday travel or the day after Christmas or Thanksgiving. They have rush hours rules from 7:00 AM to 9:00 AM and 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM in a whole list of counties (look on permit). Wind restrictions if over 24 MPH you can’t run. Frost and thaw laws in effect from Feb. until April on weight. You can view the original publish here and there is more information on Michigan thaw laws here as well.

When pilot cars are required.

When a pilot car or escort vehicle is needed:

Length: 90’ to 100’ one on the rear. Over 100’ needs a rear and a chase pilot car.
Width: Loads over 12 wide on 4 lane is required one rear. Front is required for loads on 2 lane highway over 12’ wide.  Front and rear is required for loads over 14’ wide. Front escort with height pole is required for 14’ 6” and over.
Height: Over 14’ 5” needs high pole. Over 15’ needs one front and one rear.
Overhang: If over 15’ one rear escort is needed.
Weight: If truck can maintain minimum speeds no pilot cars required unless excessive or superload.
Note: Allow 1 to 10 days for permits to be approved. Distance for pilot car to lead/chase load 500′ unless otherwise stated on permit. This is the distance between lead/chase and the truck/trailer. Maximum speeds of 45 MPH if 4 or more lanes, 35 MPH is under 4 lanes. Also read travel restrictions below.

Michigan DOT & misc. information.

Michigan DOT contact & misc. information:

Mailing address:
Michigan Department of Transportation – DOT
PO Box 30050
Lansing, MI  48909

Physical address:
Michigan Department of Transportation – DOT
7050 West Saginaw, Suite 43
Lansing, MI  48917

Farmers in Michigan read the laws.
Mobile homes and modular home shipments.
Email: click here for e-mail contact form on state website.
Help line: 517-241-8999 or main: 517-373-1837 Fax: 517-373-4340
Hours: Monday – Friday 7:30 AM – 4:30 PM

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 Michigan State DOT Permits office before commencing movement.
Michigan state DOT regulations for heavy haul and oversize loads.

Michigan state flag.

California State Shipping Regulations

California State Shipping Regulations

California state shipping regulations for shipping oversize and overweight. Trucking company and pilot car rules and regulations as well as travel times allowed by CA DOT – CALTRANS.

California state shipping regulations.

The great state of California official seal.

Please share your expertise or knowledge of California state shipping regulations with other visitors below.

Trucking company & pilot car directory.
Locate trucking companies and pilot car companies in the state of California:

California trucking company directory.
California pilot car company directory.
Order California heavy haul and oversize trucking permits.

Legal load limits.
California DOT legal load size & weight limitations:

Length: Many measurements for semitrailers by California DOT seem very short because they are talking about the distance from the king-pin to the rear axle. So if you hear/see a small number make sure you get clarification. Also certain routes have restrictions on trailer sizes so if you are at any point confused please call the DOT and check California state shipping regulations before traveling. First of all for passenger related vehicles the maximum is 45′ in length overall on approved routes. Semi-trailers: for a single axle semitrailer the maximum length is 53′ overall as long as it has two axles. If it has only one axle the maximum is 38′ overall. The maximum overall legal combination length is 65′ for our sector of the trucking industry but for those who care to wager we will mention that there is some esoteric law for trucks pulling doubles or triples (dry box) that allows them to max out at 75′ overall.
Width: 8′ 6″ is the maximum with allowed to travel on any road in the state of California.
Height: 14′ in the maximum legal height allowed to travel in the state of California.
Weight: 80,000 lbs GVW. 20,000 lbs maximum weight on any single axle and 34,000 lbs on tandem axles is the maximum weight allowed in California without a permit.
Overhang: You are allowed 3′ of front overhang. Rear overhang is 6′ in most areas but can for sure be no more than 1/3 of the total item being shipped. Be sure to clarify the amount with the California DOT office you are traveling in to make sure. We welcome your comments below to help others in clarification of rear overhang.

Routine trucking permits.
Oversize and overweight trucking permits that are routinely issued by California DOT:

Length: 135′ in the maximum length on a routine oversize trucking permit that is issued.
Width: 15′ wide is the maximum width issued by a routine oversize trucking permit in California.
Height: Under 17′ as anything over that height is required to have a route survey. If your route happened to be a well documented  route you might be able to get away without having to do the route survey but its not likely.
Weight: Steering axle: 12,500 lbs. Single axle: 20,000 lbs. Tandem axles: 46,000 lbs. Tridum axles: 60,000 lbs. Quad axles: 60, 000  lbs (a quad setup is recognized by California state shipping regulations and the DOT as a weight reducer). 5 axles: 112,500 lbs. 6 axles: 117,450 lbs. 7 axles: 158,000 lbs. 8 axles: 181,300.
Overhang:

Notes: The distance between axles is measured to the nearest whole foot. When a portion is six inches you round up to to the nearest foot ie: 8′ 6″ = 9′.
Two consecutive sets of tandem axles can have a maximum weight of 34,000 lbs on each one but only if the distance between the first and last axles of the consecutive sets of tandem axles is greater than at least 36′.
The gross weight of each set of tandem axles must not be more than 34,000 lbs and the gross weight of the two consecutive sets of tandem axles is not over 68,000lbs. There is a lot to be said and read about what the California state shipping regulations and the DOT consider legal weights as far as axle groups and spacings are required. You can read more here. If you have anything to ad to this that can help others please share that information below.

Superload information.
California DOT superload information:

Length: If you are over 135′ in length overall you are more than likely going to be classified as a superload in California.
Width: Depending out routing and the number of lanes available on the route but 15′ in some areas would qualify you. Over 17′ in width and you will more than likely be categorized as a superload.
Height: Anything over 16′ as you know will require a route survey. If 17′ in height or over you are more than likely a superload. Check here to see if you are “black route” or “yellow route”. Then this is the California DOT (Caltrans) .pdf booklet for loads over 20′ in height which may just save your butt.
Weight: Of course weight is a huge issue. So we simply refer you to the “orange“, “green” and “purple” weight charts to get straight to the point.
Overhang: California is NOT going to let you break the rule of 1/3 (no more than 1/3 of overall length can overhang) and they shouldn’t in our opinion from a general view point. Get your proposed routing together and talk to them and see what you come up with would be our suggestion. 15′ possibly routine. 20′ and you are superload for sure we’d guess.
Notes: Here are some maps for superloads (California calls them “Extralegal” – maybe Arnie came up with that?)that can save you some serious money when you need the information. If you need to hire an expert to take care of your California shipping needs or even consult you we are happy to assist you. Most of the time we can handle your problem over the phone for a reasonable fee but when you need someone in the field we are qualified to assist you.  See consultation.

Permitted travel times & restrictions.
Caltrans permitted travel times and restrictions:

Let’s start by clarification of daylight hours; the basic rule of 1/2 hour before sunrise until 1/2 hour after sunset. If you do not require a pilot car/escort vehicle and are not overweight (green chart – over 52,000 lbs. on tandem axles or higher see charts in “superloads” section above) or don’t have anything out of the ordinary going on your travel times are 7 days a week 24 hours a day if you request to do so when you order your permits. The travel times restrictions are loaded so figure this as a rule of thumb (your permit will state your allowed travel times when issued) since this is just for you to get an estimate:

  • No travel from 6 AM until 9 AM in/around Los Angeles, San Diego, Sacramento & San Francisco.
  • No travel from 3 PM until 6 PM in the same areas with a 1 hour variance.

Your physical permit will state your exact allowed travel times when you get it issued and they will be real close to the above examples. There are simply too many variable to list.
Holiday travel:  There is no holiday travel time permitted in California unless you have a special arrangement with Caltrans. The following holidays are observed as no travel days by California state shipping regulations: New Years day, Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, George Washington’s birthday, Memorial day, Independence day, Labor day, Thanksgiving day and Christmas day. If the holiday is in a Friday or a Monday there is no travel permitted during Saturday or Sunday. Never travel without first verifying approval first which will be documented clearly on your permit.

When pilot cars are required.
If your shipment is any of the following you will be required to be escorted by a pilot car(s):

Length: If over 100′ in length in Los Angles area you will be required to have 1 front and 1 rear pilot car/escort. This may be required in other areas as well. If over 120′ in length on some routes you will be required to have 1 front and 1 rear pilot car/escort vehicle. If over 135′ in length you will be required to have 1 front and 1 rear escort on any road in the state.
Width: If your shipment is over 12′ wide the general rule is that you will be required to have 1 front escort on 2 lane roads or 1 rear escort on 4 lane roads. This 12′ rule pretty much applies until you get up to a width of 15′. At 15′ wide it is mandatory that you have 1 front and 1 rear escort. There are certain routes that will require you to have 1 front and 1 rear escort as well with only 12′ in width. Check with Caltrans to see if your route applies.
Height: Once you hit the 17′ mark that’s it. You have to have a high pole pilot car/escort vehicle and before you even apply for your permit you have to conduct a route survey with the pole set at a minimum of 17′ 3″. Anything over this is the same thing with utility companies notified in advance of transport.
Weight:  There is little mention if any of weight restrictions and pilot cars. As with many states if the shipment is able to maintain the minimum required speed limits there is usually not pilot car/escort vehicle required. If your shipment is NOT able to meet the minimum speed requirements then you will be required to have at minimum 1 front and 1 rear pilot car/escort and in some cases may even be required to have a police escort. Check with California DOT (Caltans) for further information.
Overhang: It all depends on the route. Just as a basic rule to calculate off of (NOT LAW) if you have less than 15′ of rear overhang you are probably not going to be required to have a pilot car. If you are dealing with a shipment that has 20′ – 25′ of overhang then yes you are going to be required to have at least 1 pilot car/escort vehicle – if overhang is in the front then lead and if off of rear chase. If you have both front and rear overhang that is in excess (20′ front and 25′ rear) count on being required to have 1 front and 1 rear pilot car/escort vehicle.
Notes: Keep in mind these are basic rules as of April 2013 intended to help you calculate requirements. California state shipping regulations has too many variations of policies, routes and regions to list anywhere but the state library. Always refer to your permit before traveling.

Pilot car certifications.
Pilot car (escort vehicle) certifications and requirements for operating in California state:

Pilot car (escort vehicles) are required to have a minimum of one flashing or strobing amber light mounted at the highest point if the vehicle. Light must be visible from 360 degrees from a distance of no less than 500′ and be completely covered when not tending a shipment. Pilot car vehicles must be equipped with a CB radio or a 2 way communication device with a range of no less than 15 miles and be in constant communication with all parties related to the shipment at all times while in transit. Vehicle is required to have identification signs on each side of the vehicle stating the company name, address and contact telephone number. Vehicle must be equipped with the appropriate banner/sign stating ‘OVERSIZE”, with “OVERSIZE LOAD”, “WIDELOAD” and “LONG LOAD” being used when appropriate that is a minimum of 5’ in width and 10″ in height with black lettering no less than 1 5/8″ letter thickness and a yellow background mounted no less than 48″ from the pavement surface. If not tending a shipment this sign must be fully covered or removed. Vehicle must have one safety colored red flag mounted on each side of the vehicle with a minimum distance of 16″ in either direction. Vehicles must also be equipped with a hand held sign with the words “stop” on one side and “slow on the other, a emergency colored vest/shirt/jacket with reflective stripe and a red emergency flag of no less than 24” in either direction.
Note: It is only our professional opinion that pilot cars also have items in addition to the above but not required:  2 – 5 pound fire extinguishers type A, B and C, 3 reflective emergency road triangles or 18″ traffic cones, 8 burning road flares, 2 OVERSIZE LOAD banners (yellow with black lettering) and a hard hat. Also when working in California you want to make sure you have the pilot car maps.

Shipment, truck and trailer markings.
Truck, trailer and shipment required signs, banners and flags:

All trucking companies that are hauling oversize and overweight shipments must have a amber colored strobing or flashing light affixed to the top of the tractor trailer cab that is visible 360 degrees from a minimum distance of 500′. Signs that state the exact nature of the shipment; “WIDELOAD”, “OVERSIZE LOAD”, “LONG LOAD”, “EXCESSIVE FRONT OVERHANG”, “EXCESSIVE REAR OVERHANG”. If the shipment is over 100′ overall then the “LONG LOAD” sigh shall be displayed and the “OVERSIZE LOAD” sign is to be displayed for lesser lengths and other oversize configurations. The other signs will need to be used when appropriate. When shipping ANYTHING in excess of 80′ in length, 102″ in width or more than 10′ of overhang you MUST have the appropriate sign on the front of the tractor trailer and on the rear of the trailer and/or rear of overall shipment. The signs must have lettering that is a minimum of 10″ in height with a minimum of 1 5/8″ letter thickness with lettering being black in color on a yellow background. All shipments that are in excess of the 102″ must also have safety colored red flags placed on all for corners of the shipment that are no less than 16″ in either direction. Overhang must be flagged as well.  California law defines daylight time as 1/2 hour before sunrise and 1/2 hour after sunset which leaves you open for trouble on lighting which states that during the hours of darkness (we’ve got a 1/2 hour of lee-way time here) you must have 2 red lights on the side and rear (visible from a minimum of 500′) attached to the load or extremities. So, as soon as you pull out in the AM or if it gets close to dusk pull over and put on the red lights so you don’t find yourself in court trying to argue their error in defining “daylight hours” as it is a contradiction that our legal beagles caught while perusing their endless piles of regulations.

California DOT and other information.
California DOT (Caltrans) contact information and other helpful links:

Contact information:
Northern region:
California Department of Transportation – Caltrans
PO Box 942874, room 4105
Sacramento, CA 94274-0001
Telephone help line:
916-322-1297
Fax line:
916-322-7966
Permit office hours:
8 AM until 5 PM – PACIFIC TIME ZONE

Southern region:
California Department of Transportation – Caltrans
464 West 4th Street, MS 618
San Bernadino, CA  92401
Telephone help line:
909-383-4637
Fax line:
909-388-7001
Permit office hours:
8 AM until 5 PM

Caltrans pilot car maps – PILOT CARS LOOK!
Caltrans oversize, overweight and single trip permits here.
Caltrans oversize and overweight shipping manuals.
Loads of contacts inside of the Caltrans oversize permit offices.
California traffic and road conditions reports.

California state shipping regulations.

California DOT and Caltrans regulations for oversize trucking and heavy haul.

California state flag.

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 California DOT (Caltrans) Permits office before commencing movement.

Alaska Shipping Regulations

Alaska Shipping Regulations

Alaska shipping regulations, DOT limitations, rules and laws for the trucking of oversize and over weight loads over the roads and highways for pilot cars and trucking companies.

Alaska shipping regulations for oversize and overweight trucking and DOT permit information.

The great state of Alaska official seal.

If you are able to share your expertise on topic please do so below. Share your knowledge!

Heavy haul trucking, pilot cars and permits.

Locate heavy haul, oversize equipment shipping companies, pilot cars and ordering trucking permits in Alaska:

Legal load limits.

Legal load limits:

Length:  53’ Trailer Length
Width:  8’6”
Height: 14’
Weight: Depending on route 80,000 lbs GVW.
Overhang: 3’ in the front, 4’ in the rear.

Routine trucking permits.

Trucking oversize and overweight permit limits:

Length: Shipping varies due to routing and season.
Width: Shipping rules vary depending on route and seaason.
Height: Over 14′ and once again everything varies depending on routing and season.
Weight: Single; 30,000 lbs, tandem; 56,000 lbs, tridem; 70,000 lbs, quadem 80,000 lbs, gross weight; 150,000 lbs. Depends on the route you wish to travel, distance and the bridges you intend on crossing.
Overhang:  20′ is a safe number but once again everything up here is seasonal as roads are closed or combined with weight frost laws may be in effect and limit you.  For the most part there is no such thing as a “routing” shipment in Alaska.

Notes:  When between the months of October 1 and March 31 for 1, 2 & 3 drive axle groups on truck tractors intending to travel the Dalton, Elliott or Steese highways between Fairbanks and Prudhoe Bay you can shift your legal axle weights to make them legal. The following weights on these routes apply: single; 22,000 lbs with 8′ 1″ minimum spacing between axles, tandem; 42,000 lbs, tridem; 48,000 lbs maximum.

When pilot car is required.

Pilot car (escort vehicle) requirements:

Length: if overall length exceeds 85′ you are required to have 1 pilot car (escort). If overall length exceeds 100′ you are required to have 1 front and 1 read pilot car (escort).

Width: If 10′ to 12′ wide you will be required to have 1 pilot car (escort vehicle). If width exceeds 12′ and up to 14′ you are required to have 1 front and 1 rear pilot car (escort vehicle). From 14′ to 18′ in width you will be required to have 3 pilot cars. 2 front on 4 lane and 2 rear on 2 lane roads with the additional at either end. 18′ up to 22′ in width will require 4 pilot cars (escorts); 2 in front and 2 on the rear. If over 22′ in width you will be required to “close and roll” (closing the road as you move) requiring you to have 5 pilot cars as well as a minimum of 1 police escort.

Weight: You may be required to have a pilot car/cars if you are not able to maintain the minimum speed limit and on some designated bridge crossings depending on your weight class.

Overhang: If overhang is greater than 20′ you will be required to have 1 pilot car vehicle. If over 35′ you will be required to have 1 front and 1 rear pilot car.

Required shipment markings & flags.

Truck, trailer and shipment required signs, banners & flags:

For loads that are over 8′ 6″ in width you will be required to have a “OVERSIZE LOAD” banner on the front or your truck and on the rear of your truck or load, whichever is most practical. Flags must be a minimum length of 16″ and be safety orange or red in color.

Pilot car certifications & requirements.

Pilot car (escort vehicle) certifications & requirements:

A pilot car must be manufactured  as a passenger vehicle (car, truck, van, etc.) with a manufacturers weight of less than 10,000 lbs. All pilot car drivers must be wearing a safety colored vest, jacket or shirt. All pilot cars must be equipped with a rotating, strobe or flashing amber light visible from 360 degrees from a distance of no less than 500′. Vehicle must have a regulations sized hand help SLOW – STOP sign, safety colored flags of no less than 18″ in either direction, 8 road safety flares, 3 reflective road triangles, a 2-way communication device capable of transmitting at least 10 miles and a type A, B and C fire extinguisher.

Travel times and restrictions.

Travel times and restrictions:

Approved permits are valid for 3-5 days unless otherwise stated. Travel times are from Monday through Saturday at noon during daylight hours – the one half hour before sunrise to one half hour after sunset rule applies. However, vehicles not exceeding 85′ in length, 16’in width or 16′ in height can travel Monday through Sunday during daylight hours only. Travel is NOT permitted on the following holiday weekends: New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

Areas of high traffic densities are restricted from 7:00-9 AM and 3:30-6:00 PM in certain areas (refer to your permit for documentation). Movement is NOT permitted on Kalifornsky Beach Rd, Kenai Spur highway or the Sterling highway from 6:45-9:00 AM and 2:15-4:30 PM during the school months for shipments in excess of 14′ in width. Ketchikan has restricted movement from 7:00 AM to 8:00 AM and from 12 noon – 1 PM and from 4:30 PM to 6:00 PM.  Glenn and Parks Highways to Palmer and Wasilla between the hours of 6:00-8:00 AM and from 12:30-1:00 PM and from 4:30 until 6:00 PM if over 14′ in width.

Frost and thaw laws.

Frost and thaw laws:

Frost and thaw laws are in effect usually from March 1 until mid June. There are so many roads that have different regulations on thaw laws and frost laws that you absolutely will want to call the Alaska state DOT office at the number below for information. Here’s an example why: any highway might have a set of regulations until you reach a certain mile post, then after that has a whole different set of regulations and there are hundreds of them like this.

Alaska DOT & information.

Alaska state DOT trucking permit contact information:

Division of Measurement Standards Phones:  907-365-1200
Commercial Vehicle Customer Service Center: 800-478-7636
Huffman Business Park
11900 Industrial Way, Building M
Anchorage, AK  99515

Phone help line: 907-365-1200
Toll free within Alaska: 800-478-7636
Fax: 907-365-1204
Permit office hours: 8 AM – 5 PM
PACIFIC STANDARD TIME

Alaska state DOT website with all kinds of permit info, forms, manuals, etc here.
Road closures and highway conditions here.
Alaska road closure information.

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 Alaska State DOT Permits office before commencing movement.
Alaska DOT

Alaska DOT

Alaska state rules and regulations.

Alaska state regulations.

Page 1 of 11