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2024 Nova Scotia Oversize Load Shipping Regulations

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Oversize Legal Load Limits in Nova Scotia

The following are the legal size and weight limits in Nova Scotia before shipping permits are needed.

Length: The overall maximum length in Nova Scotia is 75’ and 53’ for the semi-trailer.

Width: The maximum width is 8 feet and 6 inches (8’6”)

Height:  13 feet and 7 inches tall (13’7”)

Weight: The heaviest a load can be without requiring trucking permits is 14,300lbs on a steer axle, 20,020lbs on a single axle, 39,682lbs on a tandem axle, and on a tridem axle it depends on the spacing of the axles.

Overhang: The maximum is 3 ft on the front and 6 ft on the rear.

Routine Oversize and Overweight Trucking Permits in Nova Scotia

Below are the maximum sizes and weights considered routine in Nova Scotia

Length: 100” is the overall length approved by the Province of Nova Scotia.

Width: 18” is the maximum width permitted.

Height:  15’8 is the tallest height for routine permits.

Weight: the maximum weight on a single axle is 25,000 lbs, the tandem axle is 50,000 lbs, and the tridem axle is 65,000 lbs.

NOTE: Loads exceeding the above dimensions and weights must allow at least 7 working days. Single permits are valid for upto 7 days.

When Are Pilot Cars / Escort Vehicles Required in Nova Scotia?

All loads exceeding the following dimensions must be accompanied by one or more pilot cars during transport. 

Length: Above 82”, the load must be accompanied by 2 escort vehicles.

Width over 10”: The load must be escorted by 1 escort car.

Width over 14”: Two pilot cars must escort a load above this width.

Height: Nova Scotia DOT hasn’t specified the dimensions for this.

Overhang: A load above 9’9” rear overhang must be escorted by 2 pilot cars.

NOTE: The above escort car requirements may change depending on the routes used during transport.

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Pilot Car and Escort Car Requirements in Nova Scotia

Below are the requirements of vehicles used to escort over dimensional and overweight loads in Nova Scotia

  • Must not exceed 2 axles
  • Must have a wheelbase of above 2.5m
  • Must not exceed gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 8000kgs
  • Must not tow a trailer or carry a load. Only the personnel and equipment related to the move should be carried by a pilot car.
  • All mirrors must clear visibility to the rear.
  • Must have a “D” sign at the rear and from of the vehicle. It can also have a lighted sign box. NOTE: Read about the D’’ sign and lighted sign box requirements from the Nova Scotia DOT website.
  • Must have a two-way radio allowing communication to the one-dimensional load carrier and other pilot cars used in the movement at all times. NOTE: Cellular phones can’t be used.
  • Must have a cellular phone to communicate with the police or emergency services. One cellular phone is acceptable if more than one escort car is used. 
  • Must be at the rear of the trailer shipping the over-dimensional load.

Signs, Flag, and Lights Requirements When Shipping An Overdimensional Load in Nova Scotia

  • D” signs must be used at the front and rear of the vehicle when the length exceeds 75ft, width exceeds 10ft, height exceeds 14ft and overhang is more than 3ft at the front and 6’6ft in the rear.
  • Fluorescent red flags must be used at the extremities of the load when the overhang is above 3ft in front or 6’6ft in the rear and if the width exceeds 9ft.
  • Amber revolving or strobe warning lights must be used on the roof of the cab if the length exceeds 75ft, the width exceeds 9ft, and the overhang exceeds 3ft in front and 6’6ft in the rear. The light must be visible at least 300 meters from all directions, flash 60 to 90 times per minute, and be mounted above 1.5m from the ground.
  • Square flags must be used at the extremities of the overhang load during the day, and flashing lights must be used at night. It must be at least 40cm in size on each side and made of flexible plastic or fabric.
  • A reflective tape must be used at the sides of the overhang during the night.

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Oversize and Overweight Load Trucking Restrictions in Nova Scotia

Restricted Travel: Loads that exceed 82ft in length and 12ft in width can’t be moved after 3:00 pm on Friday. They have to wait until Monday morning. In addition, vehicles and loads exceeding 82ft in length and 14ft in width can’t move between 7:00 to 9:00 am or 4:00 to 6:00 pm.

Operating Time: The majority of the loads can be transported during the day or night. However, loads exceeding 14ft in height can only be transported during daylight hours, and overwidth loads can’t be shipped on Sundays of holidays. Below is a list of holidays in Nova Scotia.

  • New Years’ Day 
  • Good Friday 
  • Victoria Day 
  • Canada Day 
  • Labour Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Remembrance Day
  • Christmas Day


Below are more restrictions when transporting oversize and overweight loads in Nova Scotia.

  • If a load has to cross the Canso Causeway, the RCMP must be contacted 24 hours before the move to determine moving hours.
  • Before the haul, the mover must contact Aliant, local cable companies, and Nova Scotia Power (NSP).
  • The trailer transporting the load must stop before going through underpasses until the safe clearance is confirmed.

Nova Scotia Province DOT Trucking Information

Contact Information

Toll Free: 1-800-670-4357

Toll Free TTY: 1-877-404-0867


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