2021 Massachusetts DOT regulations for shipping oversize and overweight loads. Trucking company and pilot car reference information.
Please share your expertise or knowledge with other visitors below.
Trucking company & pilot car directory.
Locate trucking companies and pilot car companies in Massachusetts:
Legal load limits.
Massachusetts DOT legal load size and weight limitations:
Length: We’ve got 48′ on a trailer length and that you have to have a permit for a 53′ trailer. Working on an overall legal length. Please comment below.
Height: 13′ 6″ is the maximum height allowed.
Weight: 8′ 6″ in the maximum height allowed by the Massachusetts DOT – see MA DOT website for legal limits.
Overhang: 3′ in the front and 4′ off of the rear of the trailer.
Routine trucking permits.
Massachusetts oversize and overweight trucking permits that are issued by the DOT routinely:
Length: 115′ is the maximum load length on a routine trucking permit.
Width: 14′ 11″ wide is the limit on routine permits.
Height: 14′ 11″ on the maximum height as well for routine permits.
Weight: Everything depends on the axle spacings here. You will still max out at about 130,000 lbs and after that, it’s probably a superload but you never know – axle spacings and routing is everything.
Overhang: Case by case basis. Figure probably around 12′ but maybe more.
Notes: Any loads over 13′ 8″ are going to require a route survey unless it is the main road routing with simplicity. There is no fee for a special handling permit for vehicles that are under the following restrictions: 12′ 0″ wide, 13′ 6″ height, 99,000 lbs maximum, 100′ in length.
Massachusetts superload information:
For shipments in excess of 130,000 lbs depending on your route, you may be classified as a superload. We need more superload information on this state if you can share your superload experience with the Massachusetts DOT we’d sure appreciate it. See below for easy comments.
Permitted travel times and restrictions.
Massachusetts DOT travel time and restrictions for oversize and overweight shipments:
Daylight hours are defined as from sunrise to sunset. You are permitted to travel Monday morning from 12’01 am until 12 noon on Saturday morning during the daylight hours. This includes shipments that are between the width of 12′ and 14′, over 80′ in length (but not over 115′), and over 14′ in height with the exception of 3:30 PM until 7 PM due to traffic density on Mondays thru Fridays. For shipments that are in excess of 14′ wide and over 115′ in length are permitted to travel only between the hours of 9:30 AM until 3:30 PM and may travel only on the days of Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Additional restrictions may apply depending on your routing so be sure to refer to the documentation on your physical permit before commencing movement. You may not travel on any of these holidays: New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas day.
When pilot cars are required.
Massachusetts DOT may require your shipment to have a pilot car(s) or escort vehicle(s) if you are over any of the following:
ROADS AND HIGHWAYS:
Length: 80′ – 94′ 11″ in length will require you to have 1 rear pilot car/escort. If over 94′ 11″ you are required to have 1 front and 1 rear pilot car. If you are over 134′ in length you will be required to have 1 front and 1 rear pilot car as well as a police escort.
Width: Shipments that are from 12′ 1″ and up to 13′ 6″ wide require 1 rear escort vehicle unless you are shipping a dozer. A dozer requires 1 front pilot car and 1 rear escort vehicle. For shipments in excess of 13′ 6″, you are required to have 1 front pilot car and 1 rear escort on all roads.
Height: If your shipment is in excess of 13′ 8″ you are required to have a high pole survey. If your shipment is over 14′ 11″ you are required to have 1 front pilot car with a high pole and 1 rear escort with a police escort.
Weight: Depending on your routing and if you can maintain the minimum required posted speed limits you will more than likely not be required to have a pilot car or escort vehicle by the Massachusetts DOT.
Overhang: If you have over 4′ of rear overhang consisting of long materials like poles, boat masts, and booms you will be required to have 1 rear escort vehicle. If you have equipment with an overhang in excess of 10′ or more you will be required to have 1 rear escort vehicle.
Notes: If the routing on your shipment will take you through tunnels you will be required to have at a minimum 1 rear escort vehicle if over 8′ 6″ – 12′ wide.
Length: If your shipment is over 80′ but under 85′ you are required to have 1 rear escort vehicle. If your shipment is over 85′ but less than 135′ you are required to have 1 front pilot car and 1 rear escort vehicle. If your shipment is in excess of 135′ you will be required to have 1 front pilot car, 1 rear escort vehicle, and 2 police escorts.
Width: If your shipment is in excess of 12′ you will be required to have 1 rear escort vehicle. If your shipment is in excess of 13′ wide you will be required to have 1 front pilot car, 1 rear escort vehicle. If your shipment is in excess of 15′ you will be required to have 1 front pilot car and 1 rear escort vehicle plus 2 police escorts.
Height: We have found no reference to pilot car high pole requirements on the Massachusetts turnpike. If you have any information please help others by commenting below.
Weight: Weight restrictions are handled on a case-by-case basis for the Massachusetts turnpike.
Overhang: 1 rear escort is required if you have overhand in excess of 4′ that is skinny in nature like a long pole, boat mast, etc. If the overhang is in excess of 10′ but not skinny in nature you will be required to have 1 rear escort vehicle.
Notes: The turnpike can do pretty much whatever they want so if you find your trip requirements modified from what you expected then that is just the way it is. You could always appeal the decision. For items suck as drivable cranes and booms up to about 12′ in the width you are usually required to have 1 rear escort vehicle.
IN THE CITY OF BOSTON:
Notes: If you are overweight or oversize you will most likely be required to have at a minimum, 1 pilot car/escort vehicle, and 1 police escort.
Pilot car certifications & requirements.
The Massachusetts DOT maintains that pilot cars and escort vehicles meet the following:
Massachusetts DOT requires all escort vehicles to have 2 flashing or strobing amber lights that are visible from both the front and the rear of the vehicle as well as have 2 safety colored red or orange flags mounted to the vehicle that is no less than 24″ square in shape. At least one sight that states “OVERSIZE LOAD” mounted and visible from either the front or the rear of the vehicle depending if you are piloting (front) or escorting (rear).
Shipment, truck and trailer markings.
Truck, trailer, and shipment required signs, banners, and flags:
An oversize load sign should be placed on the rear of the trailer or load whichever is appropriate. The dimensions for this sign should be no less than 7′ in length x 18″ in height with a yellow background and black letters with a line thickness of no less than 1 1/2″ thick and letters no less than 10″ in height. Safety colored red or orange flags are required at a minimum of the 4 most outer extreme corners and be no less than 18″ in length in any direction.
Note: in addition, we suggest an amber light but at the time of this writing Apr 2013 it is not required.
Massachusetts DOT and other information.
Massachusetts DOT contact information and other helpful links:
Massachusetts DOT contact information:
Special Hauling Permit – Department of Transportation
668 South Avenue
Weston, MA 02493
Fax: 781-431-5014 – They have no phone number listed. EASTERN TIME ZONE.
For Massachusetts DOT general department phone number: 857-368-4636
General MA DOT E-mail page (bottom of page) for contacting them.
MA DOT oversize and overweight website.
MA DOT information on oversize and overweight trucking permits.
MA DOT oversize and overweight permit form (.pdf format).
MA road closure and closed highway information.