2021 Rhode Island state shipping laws, regulations, and limitations for shipping oversize and heavy haul loads.
Rhode Island Department of Motor Vehicles State Office Bldg., Room 106
Providence, RI 02903
Rhode Island Turn Pike and Bridge Authority: 401-423-0800.
Note: Rhode Island oversize and heavy haul trucking permits are valid for 5 days unless otherwise specified on the permit.
Help: telephone line: 401-462-4368 order permits by phone from 6 am to 4:30 pm M-F.
Hours: Monday – Friday 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
Eastern Time Zone
Length: Interstate and designated highways; 53 feet maximum semitrailer (kingpin to centerline of rear axle group must not exceed 41 feet) and on all other routes, the maximum trailer length is 48 feet.
Width: 8’ 6” wide.
Height: 13’ 6” tall.
Weight: 80,000 lbs. GVW, 22,400 single, 36,000 tandem, tridem; 42,000 with axles spacings less than 4’6″ or 42,750 pounds with 4’6″ spacings.
Overhang: 3′ in the front and 6′ from the rear of the trailer.
Routine heavy haul, oversize shipping, trucking, and transport permits:
Length: Rhode Island makes a determination on each individual shipment depending on the proposed route and dimensions.
Width: Rhode Island makes a determination on each individual shipment depending on the proposed route and dimensions.
Height: Rhode Island makes a determination on each individual shipment depending on the proposed route and dimensions.
Weight: Rhode Island makes a determination on each individual shipment depending on the proposed route and total weight which is usually determined by axle spacings. Typically 22,500 pounds per axle is permitted on 5 axles, 6 axles, or 7 axles but this is all contingent upon actual spacings, weight, and routing However if your heavy haul shipment is over 200,000 pounds you will be required to retain an outside engineering firm to survey your proposed routes.
Overhang: If in excess of 3 feet in the front or 6 feet from the rear of the trailer Rhode Island will make a determination on each individual shipment depending on the proposed route and dimensions.
Travel times and restrictions:
Travel permitted one-half hour before sunrise until one-half hour after sunset. No weekend travel is permitted. No travel on major holidays and on Victory over Japan Day (2nd Monday in August). Movement may be restricted after 12:00 noon the day before any holiday. Rhode Island Turn Pike middle lane maximum width allowed is 15’10”. The maximum width in the outside lane is 14’10”. If you need more information please call the Turn Pike: 401-423-0800.
Pilot Car and Escort vehicle information:
Length: If the 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 the 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. The maximum width allowed on the Parkway is 16′ and must be accompanied by a police escort if over 15′.
Height: If the height of the load exceeds 15′ a front high pole card is required.
Weight: Check with the State to see if your weight class will require a pilot car/escort.
Overhang: If the front overhang 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 car and escort 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. The 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 than 8″ tall x 12″ wide and identity writing must be plainly legible. The 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 a 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).
Heavy haul trucking and oversize load permit limitations.
The Rhode Island Department of motor vehicles makes decisions on every shipment that exceeds the legal limits. When it’s all said and done with it comes down to axle spacing, size, and proposed routing. Rhode Island has no set maximums and the state will determine your routing based on your dimensions and weights.
Required truck flags, signs, and lights.
The wording oversize load will be required on the front of the truck and the rear of the shipment. The sign must be a minimum of 7 feet long and 18 inches high. All letters must be black and on a yellow background. Each letter must be a minimum of 10 inches in height and be 1 1/4 inches thick. Shipments that are wide will require at least two flags and up to Six Flags to be mounted at the widest extremity of the shipment as well as on all four corners of the shipment. The flags must be square with a minimum of 18 inches on each side. Flags must be either red-orange fluorescent in color and must be clean so they are clearly visible. If you have 4 feet of overhang’s and flags will be required on each corner. Trucks must travel with headlights on low beam.
Pilot car and escort vehicle requirements.
No escort or pilot car is required if a shipment is less than 12 feet wide. Rear pilot cars or escort vehicles are required on shipments that are between 12 feet and 14’6″ wide front and rear pilot car or escorts are required on all shipments that are over 14’6″ wide. If a shipment is in excess of 80 feet long one pilot car or escort is required for shipments that are in excess of 80 feet to 90 feet long. To pilot cars or escort drivers are required on all shipments that are in excess of 90 feet in length. To escorts or pilot cars are required on any shipment that has an overhang in excess of 15 feet. If the shipment is over 14 feet tall one escort or pilot car with a high pole is required. On two-lane highways, if the shipment is an excess of 12 feet wide to pilot cars or escorts will be required.
Pilot car and escort vehicle requirements.
All pilot cars or escort vehicles will need to be at minimum the size of a compact car or larger. Pilot car drivers, as well as escort drivers, will need to maintain two-way radio communications at all times as well as within visible distance of the shipment. All escort vehicles and pilot cars are required to have amber lights operating above the highest point of the vehicle as well as be visible from the front and the rear. Pilot cars and escort vehicles will also travel with their low beam headlights on at all times. All pilot cars and escort vehicles must have their oversize load sign pointed in the applicable direction whether they are leading or chasing.
Oversize and heavy haul trucking times and curfews.
No weekend travel is permitted. One half-hour before sunrise until one-half hour after sunset. Travel is prohibited on the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Victoria Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas day. If a holiday falls on Sunday the following Monday is also restricted as a holiday day. If the holiday falls on a Saturday then the previous Friday is restricted as a holiday after 12 noon. If a holiday falls during the week then travel is allowed up until 12 noon on the day before the holiday. The state permit office will be closed on the above-mentioned holidays as well as on Martin Luther King day and election day. However, travel will not be restricted on these additional days. There are restrictions within the state of Rhode Island: some routes designated as red routes restrict movements of any shipment in excess of 12 feet wide between 7 and 9 AM and after 3 PM. Red routes are displayed on provisions sheets.
Rhode Island cities: Ashaway, Barrington, Bradford, Bristol, Central Falls, Cranston, Cumberland Hill, East Providence, Greenville, Harrisville, Hope Valley, Kingston, Melville, Narragansett Pier, Newport, Newport East, North Providence, Pascoag, Pawtucket, Providence, Tiverton, Valley Falls, Wakefield-Peacedale, Warwick, Westerly, West Warwick, Woonsocket.