2021 Arkansas state DOT shipping laws, rules, regulations and limitations for oversize and heavy-haul trucking permits. Pilot car requirements.

Please share your knowledge of Arkansas state DOT trucking regulations with others below.


Arkansas oversize permits, heavy-haul trucking companies and pilot cars.

Locate oversize, heavy haul trucking companies, pilot cars and permits:

Arkansas pilot cars and truck escorts for hire
Arkansas oversize and heavy-haul trucking companies for hire.
Arkansas oversize and heavy-haul trucking permits.

Do I need a trucking permit? Legal load limits.

Arkansas maximum load limits until a trucking permit is required:

Length: Maximum trailer length with a load is 53 feet and 6 inches long.
Width: 8 feet and 6 inches wide.
Height: 13 feet and 6 inches tall.
Weight: 80,000 pounds gross(GVW). Steer axle is whatever the manufacturer lists it as or no greater than 20,000 pounds. 20,000 pounds on any single axle , 34,000 pounds gross on any tandem axle, 54,000 pounds on any tridum axle.
Overhang: Arkansas is NOT clear on overhang which indicates they don’t like it. If you’re considering it call them and be sure to let our visitors know below.

Routine oversize and heavy-haul trucking permits.

These maximum dimensions/weights are considered routine oversize or heavy-haul trucking permits in Arkansas:

Length: No set maximums.
Width: Up to 18 feet on interstate and up to 20 feet on others.
Height: 17 feet maximum. If over 16 feet tall (no interstate travel) approval will be required depending on desired route.
Weight: Maximum gross weight is 180,000 pounds. Typically steer axle is 12,000 pounds (unless manufacture specs allow for more – contingent upon spacings). Single axle is 20,000 pounds, tandem axles is 46,000 pounds, tridum axles is 60,000 pounds and 68,000 pounds on quadem axles. Routine permits cap out at 180,000 pounds gross.
Overhang: Depending on what you are hauling: poles, manufactured homes it’s all over the board. For more info see: Arkansas permit laws.

Super load information for Arkansas.

Arkansas state DOT will classify any shipment in excess of the following as a super load:

Length: Depends on your route needs.
Width: Anything in excess of 20 feet will be classified as a super load.   
Over 17 feet in height will require bucket trucks and route survey – count it as a super load.
Weight: If over 180,000 pounds.
Overhang: Share with us your experience (below) as Arkansas is all over the board on overhang.

Lights, safety flags and warning signs for heavy haul and oversize loads.

Required safety markings, safety flags, warning lights for heavy haul and oversize loads:

Any combination or shipment in excess of the legal dimensions must be properly marked. Signs stating “OVERSIZE LOAD” are required to be displayed on the front of the combination as well as the rear of the load. In addition red or orange colored safety flags that are 18 inches square must be placed on the front of the power unit and rear corners of the load. Typically night movement is not permitted however, always refer to your permit for any special lighting requirements. Heavy haul shipments may not be required to display signs but again refer to your permit.

When pilot cars or escort vehicles are required.

Heavy-haul or oversize loads may be required to be accompanies by a escort vehicle or pilot car if:

For a vehicle to qualify; all pilot car/escort vehicles must have a gross weight over over 2,000 pounds but also have a manufacturers gross weight rating of less than 26,000 pounds.
Length: If load is 75′ to 95′ on a 2 load road you will need one rear pilot car (escort).
Width: 10′ 6″ to 12′ wide on a 2 lane road requires 1 front pilot car. On a 4 lane road up to 12′ wide requires no escorts. When load is 12′ 1″ to 14′ wide 1 front and 1 rear pilot car (escort) is required on all 2 lane roads and 1 rear on all 4 lane roads. For loads 14′ 1″ – 15′ wide 1 front and 1 rear pilot car (escort) is required. 15′ 1″ to 16′ wide on 2 lane requires 2 front pilot cars (escorts) and 1 rear pilot car (escort). On 4 all lane roads 1 front and 2 rear pilot cars (escorts) are required. If you do have a permit for weekend travel you will be required to have a police escort. Districts and Parkways may require additional escorts as well. Vehicles traveling with a width of over 14′ wide will not be allowed to travel on Fridays except on Parkway. Maximum width allowed on the Parkway is 16′ and must be accompanied by police escort if over 15′.
Height: If height of load exceeds 15′ a front high pole car is required.
Weight: Check with the State of to see if your weight class will require a pilot car/escort.
Overhang: If front over hang is over 10′ on 2 or 4 lane roads 1 front pilot car (escort) is required. If rear overhang exceeds 10′ on a 2 or 4 lane road one rear escort is required.

Pilot cars/escort vehicle certifications and requirements.

Pilot car or escort vehicle mandatory operator certifications and vehicle requirements:

All pilot cars/escort vehicles must display a bumper or roof mounted “OVERSIZE LOAD” sign visible from both the front and rear of the vehicle. Sign must be at least 5′ long and 12″ in height, yellow in color with black letters no less than 10″ tall and 1 1/2″ in width. Vehicle must have 2 safety flags red or orange in color and be a minimum of 18″ of length and/or height mounted at a 40 to 70 degree angle on all 4 corners of the vehicle. Company identification signs must be placed on both sides of the pilot car (escort vehicle) displaying the name of the company, phone number and be placed on both the left and right hand sides of the vehicle. These signs must be no less that 8″ tall x 12″ wide and identity writing must be plainly legible. Vehicle must be equipped with a horizontally mounted rotating (or strobe) amber colored flashing 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, 2 – 5 pound fire extinguishers type A, B and C, a 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 handle no less than 18″ square, 3 reflective emergency road triangles or 18″ traffic cones, 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).

Legal travel times for oversize and heavy haul loads.

Travel times and restrictions for heavy-haul and oversize loads:

Most travel is restricted to daylight hours only in Arkansas. Continuous travel may be permitted for heavy haul loads that are not oversize. It is possible under some circumstances to obtain weekend travel permission for some routes/smaller dimensions upon request (when filing). No travel is permitted when visibility is obstructed or inclement weather exists which can include but not limited to: snow, hail, rain, wind, etc. Always follow instructions on your permit as well as travel advisories for more information. CURFEWS: Little Rock area from 7 AM until 9 AM and 4 PM until 6 PM and also including I-30, mile marker 137 to 143, I-40 from mile marker 151 to 155 and all of Interstate 630. Holiday travel is restricted when the holiday is on a Monday or Friday (no weekend travel permitted) on New Years Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. However, you may travel on Martin Luther King Day, Robert E. Lee’s Birthday, George Washington’s Birthday and on Veterans Day.

Arkansas DOT contact information and notes.

Arkansas DOT office and permit contact information:

Physical address:
Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department
10324 Interstate 30
Little Rock, AR 72203
Telephone: 501-569-2381 order permits by phone from 6 am to 4:30 pm M-F.
Hours: 6 AM until 4:30 PM Monday thru Friday.
Central Time Zone
Arkansas is a member of the SASHTO.
Arkansas State DOT website for additional info.

Arkansas cities serviced:

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