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Tennessee State Shipping Regulations

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

Tennessee state shipping regulations DOT permit limitations and shipping regulations.

The great state of Tennessee official seal.

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


Tennessee Trucking & pilot car directory.
Tennessee trucking and pilot car directory.

Tennessee pilot cars and truck escorts.
Tennessee trucking company directory.
Order Tennessee oversize trucking permits.

Legal load limits.
Legal Loads:

Length: 50′ from the kingpin to the rear of the trailer or load that is on the trailer.
Width: 8’ 6” wide.
Height: 13’ 6″  tall.
Weight: 80,000 lbs  GVW.
Overhang: 4′ in the rear and 4′ in the front.

Routine trucking permits.
Routine over-weight, oversize shipping, trucking and transport permits:

Length: 120′ long overall.
Width: 16′ wide.
Height: 15′ about does it for TN on most routes.
Weight: Single 20,000 lbs, tandem, 40,000 lbs, tridum 60,000 lbs, quadem, 80,000 lbs.  Gross weight on 5 axles is 100,000 pounds, 6 axles 120,000 pounds, 7 axles 140,000 pounds, 8 axles 160,000 pounds.  Once you hit 150,000 pounds that’s in in TN.  You are going to have to be approved by the “higher ups” before they grant permission for your shipment to move.
Overhang: Depends on routing.  10′ is probably not going to be a problem but much more than that is going to create delays.  Over 1/3 of actual item being shipped length is not going to go over real well.  Consider a different trailer is you are time sensitive.

Legal Travel Times.
Travel times and restrictions:

The one half hour before sunrise and one half hour after sunset basic rule applies. No travel on Sunday (is this for overweight too?  Please leave comments below to help others). Night time travel for overweight is not a problem as long as minimum speed limit can be maintained by carrier.  Anything other than over-weight is daylight travel only for the most part.  On top of that in high density traffic areas they will shut you down during the typical hours of 6-9 am and 3-6 pm depending on which municipality you are traveling through.  On the following holidays no travel: New Years day, Good Friday, Memorial day, Independence day, Labor day, Thanksgiving day and Christmas day.  The Tennessee state DOT permit office is closed on these days as well and additionally on:  Martin Luther King day, Presidents day, Columbus day, Veterans day and the day after Thanksgiving however travel is not restricted on any of these days if it is not on a Sunday.

When pilot cars are needed.
When pilot car or escort vehicle is needed:

Length: If shipment is over 85′ 1″ in length .
Width: If shipment is under 10′ wide you will need no pilot cars (escorts).  Shipments 10′ to 12′ wide will require 1 pilot car in the front on a 2 lane road is the distance from one side of the road to the other is less than 24′ in width.  If your load is over 12′ wide up to 14′ wide you will be required to have 1 front and 1 read pilot car (escort) on all 2 lane roads and highways. If your loads measures 12′ t0 14′ in width and you are traveling on a 4 lane highway you will need only 1 rear pilot car (escort vehicle).  If your shipment is 14′ to 16′ in width you will be required to have 1 front and 1 rear pilot car (escort vehicle).
Height: If height of load exceeds 15′ a front high pole car is required.
Weight: If the shipment is able to maintain minimum speeds no escort vehicle is required.
Overhang: Case by case.  You will have to call depending on routing.  If you have any additional information on overhang please comment below in order to help others.  Thank you.

NOTE:  Mobile homes exception.  All mobile homes up to 16′ wide will be required to have 1 front and 1 rear pilot car.  Mobile homes are also allowed to travel on every day except Sunday.  Travel times are 9 am until 4 pm with all day travel permitted on Saturdays.

Pilot car certifications.
Pilot car and escort vehicle requirements:

Tennessee state shipping regulations state that all pilot cars/escort vehicles must display either both bumpers or 1 roof mounted “OVERSIZE LOAD” or “WIDELOAD” sign (which ever is applicable) visible from both the front and rear of the vehicle and only displayed while working. Sign must be at least 5′ long but no greater than 7′ and 12″ in height but no greater than 18″ in height, yellow in color with black letters no less than 8″ in height but no more than 10″ in height and lettering must be a minimum of 1.4″ in width.  Vehicle must be equipped with 2 horizontally mounted rotating (if rotating 8″ base is required) (or strobe) amber colored flashing or strobe light which must be visible from a 360 degree angle from a minimum of 500 feet. Vehicles must be equipped with a CB radio or 2-way communication device and be in constant communication with all parties assigned to the movement.

It is only our express 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 paddle sign with the word “STOP” on one side and “SLOW” on the other with dimensions of no less than 18″ in diameter with a minimum of 6″ letters. 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).

Tennessee DOT.
Tennessee DOT and permit contact information:

Physical address:
Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT)
505 Deadrick Street, 3rd floor
Nashville, TN  37243-0031

Help telephone line: 615-741-5196 or 615-741-3821
Fax: 615-256-5894
Hours: Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 4:30 pm
Central Time Zone

Click here for the Tennessee state DOT website for oversize and over-weight hauling permits.

Tennessee road & highway conditions.

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 Tennessee State DOT Permits office before commencing movement.


Tennessee state oversize trucking DOT regulations and permits.

Tennessee state flag.

1 Comment
  1. Tennessee has an annual permit that’s pretty liberal and since Tennessee is a ton-mile state, single trip permits are relatively expensive. If you travel Tennessee often, a single trip permit can be issued as an addendum to your annual and save big bucks. The annual is $1000.00 but especially if you haul superloads, this can save many times the cost of the annual permit.

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