2022 Colorado DOT State Shipping Laws, Regulations, and Limitations | Heavy-haul and Oversize Trucking
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Legal Load Limits in Colorado
Colorado DOT legal load size & weight limitations:
- Length: 75’ is the maximum overall length for any vehicle in Colorado.
- Width: 8’6” is the maximum width for vehicles traveling in Colorado.
- Height:14’6” is the maximum height for vehicles traveling in Colorado without a permit.
- Weight: GVW 80,000 lbs on Interstate or 85,000 lbs on other roads.
- Overhang: 4’ front and 10’ rear.
Routine Trucking Permits in Colorado
Oversize and overweight trucking permits that are routinely issued by the Colorado DOT:
- Length: 130′ on 4-lane highways.
- Width: 17′ on most highways.
- Height: Depends on proposed routing.
- Weight: Your axle spacings between your groups will be what is used to determine your maximum weight limits. Single axle: 22,000 to 27,000 lbs, tandem axles: 42,000 to 50,000 lbs, tridum: 55,000 to 65,000 lbs, quadem: 60,000 to 72,000 lbs. Gross maximum weights: 5 axle: 106,000 to 132,000 lbs if single, tandem tandem. 6 axles 119,000 lbs to 147,000 lbs if single, tandem, tridum. 7 axles 132,000 to 162,000 lbs if single, tridum, tridum. 8 axles: 137,000 to 169,000 lbs if single, tridem, quadem. YOu can go up to 200,000 lbs on a routine permit.
- Overhang: Case by case basis.
Pilot / Escort Car Requirements in Colorado
Over 13’2 Lanes1 Front Escort
Over 15’4 Lanes1 Rear Escort
Over 16’1 Front Escort with pole
Over 85’2 Lanes (mountain roads) 1 Front Escort
Over 110’2 Lanes 1 Front Escort
Over 115’4 Lanes 1 Rear Escort
Travel Restrictions in Colorado
Travel permitted from sunrise to sunset. Continuous travel is permitted if heavy only. For individual road travel restrictions see: https://www.codot.gov/business/permits/truckpermits/restrictions.html
How to Apply for Permits
Colorado Department of Transportation
4001 E Arkansas # 290
Denver, CO 80222
Phone: 800-350-3765 or 303-757-9539
A permit is valid for 5 days
The basic fee is $17.00
Credit: Colorado Department of Transportation, Transportation Commission, Rules pertaining to transport permits for the movement of extra-legal vehicles or loads; 2 CCR 601-4
Port of Entry Information
Cortez, Colorado Phone 970-565-9420 Fax 970-565-9420
Dumont, Colorado Phone 303-567-4807 Fax 303-567-9477
Ft. Collins, Colorado Phone 970-482-1622 Fax 970-482-1622
Ft. Garland, Colorado – Closed.
Ft. Morgan, Colorado Phone 970-867-5623 Fax 970-867-5623
Lamar, Colorado Phone 719-336-4712 Fax 719-336-4712
Limon, Colorado Phone 719-775-9758 Fax 719-775-9758
Loma, Colorado Phone 970-858-1068 Fax 970-858-1068
Monument, Colorado Phone 719-481-2281 Fax 719-481-2494
Platteville, Colorado Phone 970-785-2427 Fax 970-785-2427
Trinidad, Colorado Phone 719-846-2408 Fax 719-846-2408
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 Colorado State DOT Permits office before commencing movement.
Rules and Regulations of Colorado. Truck Over-dimensional Permit Limitations
Weight spacing between actual groups or determine the maximum amount of weight allowed. The least restrictive maximums are for a single axle 22 to 27,000 pounds, a tandem axle 42 to 50,000 pounds, or tried their axles 55 to 60,000 axles, or quantum axles 60 to 72,000 pounds. Gross weight for five axles is 106 – 132,000 pounds (single, tandem); six axles is 119,000 147,000 pounds (single, tandem, tridem); axles 137 – 169,000 pounds (single, tandem, tridem). The actual weight depends on the actual configurations with a combined gross weight of up to 200,000 pounds you can get permits routinely issued.
- The maximum length: 110 feet on mountainous two-lane highways and 120 feet on all non-mountainous terrain highways with two lanes. 130 feet on all four-lane highways.
- The maximum width: 17 feet
- The maximum height: 16 feet. 16 feet does require the escort vehicle to have a high pole. If over 16 feet up to 17’6″ your shipment will require a route survey.
If the shipment exceeds any of these dimensions or weights refer to the state for super loads. A permit is not required for heights up to 14’6″ on highways designated by the Department of Transportation, however, the legal height limit is 13 feet for the state of Colorado on all loads not specifically designated. There may be special restrictions on your permit. There is no convoy being allowed. A distance of a minimum of one-half of a mile must exist between any oversized loads. For railroad crossings contact 888-877-7267 or 800-838-5452 and press option one.
An oversize load sign is required in the front and the rear. Certified pilot cars and or flashing amber lights are required in the rear for the entire route. You must contact local municipalities for permission to use their roads. Daylight movement only. No moving during inclement weather and you must use turnouts to allow any traffic build-up to pass you. The state of Colorado is not a port state so you may not enter it without a permit.
Super Load Transport in Colorado
Loads that exceed 17 feet wide and or 200,000 pounds gross vehicle weight must submit an application to the state at least one week prior to the shipment date. Utility clearance letters are required for all loads over 17’6″ in height.
Truck Signs and Flags in Colorado
Signs are required for all oversize loads you must read: “WIDE LOAD”, “LONG LOAD” or “OVERSIZE LOAD” as applicable. All signs must be a minimum of 5 feet wide, 10 inches tall, and have black lettering that is 8 inches in height with a one-point or one-inch brushstroke on a yellow background. Science can be mounted on the bumper rear or top of the pilot car. Escort vehicles must be readable by all traffic from the front and rear. Flags are to be placed on all four corners of any extremities of the shipment. It is necessary to obtain verification of your route prior to moving your shipment. Pilot car and escort restriction maps are available from the Colorado Department of Transportation. It is the responsibility of the truck to verify why the certification of the pilot car or escort vehicle driver.
Escort Requirements in Colorado
All pilot car or escort vehicle drivers are required to have a certification card when escorting any vehicle or any load through the state of Colorado. The state of Colorado will accept certification cards or equivalent certificates from other states such as Florida, Oklahoma, Washington, or Utah. If the state does not maintain a certification program, pilot car drivers and escort vehicle operators can obtain a certification card from the Colorado Department of Transportation. All applicants must possess a current certificate of insurance and endorsements which indicate that the operator or the operator’s employee has enforced full effect of insurance coverage for bodily injury and or property damage as a result of the operation of the pilot car or escort vehicle, the pilot car or escort vehicles operator, or bowls causing the bodily injury and or property damage arising out of any act or omission the pilot car or escort vehicle operator as required by state law. Such insurance endorsements shall be or no less than $1 million. Combined single limit and or $1 million per occurrence of commercial liability insurance coverage as applicable and must be maintained at all times during the term of certification. The insurance certificate must indicate on the face of the document that the policy is for the operation of a pilot car or escort vehicle and or pilot car and escort vehicle duties and responsibilities as required by the Colorado Department of Transportation. Escorts are required on most mountainous roads when the link exceeds 85 feet and or over 11 feet wide pilot cars or escorts are required on two-lane nonmountainous roads when exceeding 110 feet long and or 13 feet wide. Escorts are required on or lane nonmountainous roads whenever the shipment is over 115 feet long, 15 feet high, and or 16 feet wide. Pilot cars or escort vehicles are required when the overhang exceeds 25 feet. If the overhang is in the front, the pilot car must run in front. If the overhang is in the back the pilot car must follow the load. On blue loads that are loads from 11 to 13 feet wide will be required to have a front escort and loads 13 feet up to 15 feet wide require a front and rear escort or can possibly get away with one flashing amber light in the rear depending on your route. On yellow loads, loads from 11 feet wide to 13 feet wide require a front escort. Loads over 13 feet wide and up to 15 feet wide require a front and rear pilot car and escort and possibly one flashing amber light in the rear depending on the route. Pilot cars and escort operators shall use a height pole when escorting any load in excess of 16 feet in height unless otherwise determined by the department which will be stated on the oversize trucking permit. The height pole shall not extend more than 6 inches above the maximum height of the oversize vehicle shipment.
Steer or tiller men operations will not be performed by pilot car companies or escort drivers or by passengers of any pilot car or escort vehicle that is escorting the oversize vehicle or load.
Escort Vehicle Certifications in Colorado
All escort vehicles or pilot cars shall be equipped with two-way radios. A warning lamp mounted as high as practical shall be capable of displaying a flashing oscillating or rotating yellow light with sufficient intensity to be visible at a minimum of 500 feet and in normal sunlight. A pilot car or escort vehicle operator shall carry the following items at all times:
- A standard eight teen inch stop slow paddle
- Three reflective triangles
- An orange or white hardhat
- A reflector rise orange safety jacket, shirt, or vest
- A minimum of 15-pound B and C fire extinguisher or 110-pound ABC fire extinguisher or pilot cars or escort vehicles of hazardous materials.
- Eight flares
- Three orange traffic cones
- A flashlight
- One additional oversize load sign
- To handheld two-way radios
- A first aid kit
- A spare tire
- A tire jack
- A lug wrench.
All headlights and rear lights of the escort vehicle shall be delighted. Operators of vehicles shall carry at all times a certification card. A pilot car or escort vehicle shall display mounted on the top of the pilot escort vehicle wide load, long load, or oversize load signs visible to approaching traffic from the front and the rear. All signs shall be a minimum of 5 feet wide 10 inches tall with a minimum 1-inch wide brushstroke of black letters on a minimum of 8 inches high on yellow background or shell be a maximum of 7 feet wide and 18 inches high with a minimum 1.41-inch brushstroke, black letters with a minimum height of 10 inches tall on a yellow background. The pilot car or escort vehicle must be easily identifiable with signs or placards to be displayed on the side of the escort vehicle or pilot car at all times. The sign or placard must appear on both sides of the pilot car or the escort vehicle and be in letters that contrast sharply with the color of the background of the vehicle as well as be legible during daylight hours from a distance of a minimum of 50 feet. When a pilot car or escort vehicle is not escorting an oversize load but moving on the highway all oversize load, wide load, and tall load signs shall be either removed or covered with any flashing yellow lights turned off.
Travel Times in Colorado
Daylight hours, seven days a week. Some night travels allow certain special lighting restrictions. Travel is permitted on Saturday and Sunday. Daylight travel is allowed as well as nighttime. However, nighttime travel has special requirements. Travel is prohibited on the following holidays;
- Memorial Day
- Independence Day
- Labor Day.
If the holiday falls on a Saturday, the previous Friday is also restricted. If the holiday falls on a Sunday, the following Monday is also restricted. Permitted loads may travel on New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas day. However, if any of these holidays fall on a Saturday, in that case, travel is prohibited on the previous Friday. If the holiday falls on a Sunday, travel is prohibited the following Monday. The state permit office will be closed on these mentioned holidays. Travel is restricted from six hours to 9 AM and three to six PAM in the Denver metropolitan area. Travel is restricted during the hours of seven until 9 AM and four until 6 PM in the Colorado Springs and Pueblo Colorado areas. For other time restrictions, check your permit.
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