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Texas State Shipping Regulations

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

Texas oversize and overweight shipping regulations and DOT trucking permit limitations.

The great state of Texas official seal.


State trucking regulations for heavy haul.
State Regulations – Oversize Shipping, Trucking and Transport permits.
State DOT trucking permit information.

Trucking company & pilot car directory.

Locate trucking companies and pilot car companies in Texas state:

Texas pilot car company directory.
Texas trucking company directory.

Legal load limits.

Texas legal shipping & load limits:

Legal Loads:
Length: Trailer length maximum is 65′ – WE NEED THIS CONFIRMED PLEASE COMMENT BELOW.
Width: 8’ 6” wide.
Height: 14’  tall.
Weight: 80,000 lbs. GVW, 20,000 single, 34,000 tandem.
Overhang: 4′ in the rear and 3′ in the front.

Routine trucking permits.

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

Length: 125′ long.
Width: 15′ wide.
Height: Texas is a pretty liberal state on height as 18′ 11″ in the mark for route survey.
Weight: Texas DOT is incredible; 200,000 pounds routine permits!  Single 25,000 lbs., Tandem axles: 46,000 lbs. maximum. Tridum: 60,000 lbs max. Quad: 70,000 lbs., 5 axles 81,400 maximum. If you axles are 10′ in width you can get 60,000 on a trunnion. On restricted routes: Single: 22,500 lbs, tandem: 41,400 lbs, tridum: 54,000 lbs, quad: 63,000 lbs, 5 axles 73,260, trunnion: 54,000, 5 axels gross weight 105,000, 6 axels: 119,000, 7 axles: 129,000 lbs, 8 axles depends on your axle configurations.
Overhang: Go again Texas DOT!  Front overhang is 25′ and rear overhang is 30′ in length for routine DOT trucking permits.  Incredible!

Legal travel times.

Travel times and restrictions:

The one half hour before sunrise and one half hour after sunset rule applies.  No night time travel is permitted in the state of Texas if the shipment is in excess of 100′ long or 10′ wide on the Interstate highways only.  If the shipment is ONLY overweight it may travel at night on any roads.  Weekend travel is permitted.  You can travel on some holidays but there are some limits;  if the length is in excess of 110′ long, height is in excess of 16′ or width is excess of 14′ you may NOT travel on the following holidays: New Years day, Memorial day, Independence day, Labor day, Thanksgiving day and Christmas day.  The Texas state DOT permit office is closed on these days as well.  Texas does have a LOT of travel time curfews in high density traffic areas.  These typically range from 6-9 am and 3-6 pm (this is NOT exact).  Each permit issued by the Texas DOT will specifically state exactly what the curfew law is.  In fact, the permit is NOT valid without the curfew laws attached to it.

When pilot cars are required.

When pilot car or escort vehicle is needed:
Length: If shipment is over 110′ in length and up to 125′ you will need 1 pilot car in the rear.  Over 125′ in length requires 1 pilot car (escort) in the front and 1 on the rear.
Width: Shipments 14′ to 16′ wide will require 1 pilot car vehicle in the front on a 2 lane road and 1 on the rear on a 4 lane road.  If shipment is in excess of 16′ 1 front and 1 rear pilot car (escort) will be required on all shipments on all roads and highways.
Height: If height of load exceeds 17′ a front high pole car is required. If the shipment is over 18′ in height you will be required to have 1 high pole and 1 rear escort.
Weight: If the shipment is able to maintain minimum speeds no escort vehicle is required.
Overhang: Since the time of this publishing the laws is as follows:  Front overhang up to 25′ on a 2 land road requires 1 pilot car (escort) in the front.  On a 4 lane front overhang up to 25′ requires 1 pilot car (escort) on the rear.  Rear overhang; over 20′ but not more than 30′ requires one pilot car (escort) on the rear of shipment.

Pilot car certifications.

Pilot car and escort vehicle requirements:

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).

Texas DOT information and notes.

Texas DOT and permit contact information:

Physical address:
Texas State Department of Transportation
4000 Jackson Avenue
Austin, TX  78731-2483

Help telephone line: 800-299-1700 – option 1 or 5.
Fax: 512-465-3565
Hours: Monday – Friday 6:00 am – 6:00 pm Saturday until 2 PM.
Central Time Zone

Texas road & highway conditions.

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

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 Texas State DOT Permits office before commencing movement.
Texas oversize and overweight regulations for DOT trucking permits.

Texas official state flag.

  1. Need to know the max legal weight for a 40′ ocean refer container

    • From my understanding it is 58,000 pounds on some but that all depends on what type of connex trailer it is, high cube, etc. Of course over the road transport will require you to reduce the weight since it is a “divisible load” to legal limits meaning the tractor and trailer combination with your shipment on it does not exceed 80,000 pounds.

  2. It in not just the trailer length. The maximum length of any single vehicle is 45′. The maximum length for any combination such as truck AND travel trailer, boat or towing is 65′ in length.

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