2019 State Certifications for Pilot Cars & Escort Vehicles. Which states require pilot car certification?
Some states require pilot car and escort vehicle drivers to be certified operators before operating within their jurisdictions. If you are considering operating a oversize load truck escorting service you will be required to have certain “certifications” in each of the following states. For details on each of the states requirements as of 2019 this is a great place to start your research.
Arizona – Colorado – Florida – Georgia – Louisiana – Minnesota – Nevada – New Mexico – New York – Oklahoma – Virginia – Washington
The American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASTO) in conjunction with the United States Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration released the National Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, specifically chapter 6(F) which applies to pilot cars and escort vehicles (also see; pilot car_and escort_best_practices_guidelines). Any escort vehicle or pilot car vehicle shall carry the following equipment items at all times when escorting a over dimensional, heavy haul or otherwise extra-legal shipment.
1. One two-way electronic communication device which enables the pilot car or escort to communicate directly with the driver of the extralegal shipment.
2. One 105 pound fire extinguisher or to 5 pound fire extinguishers.
3. One stop go paddle sign reflective for night movement no less than 18 inches across or tall with letters no less than 6 inches in height.
4. One night reflective safety orange vest shirt or jacket.
5. One handheld red flag no less than 18 inches square.
6. To oversize load banners that are yellow with black lettering (no minimum size specified. See below or state laws for state(s) working in.
7. One hardhat.
8. Three reflective triangles or 18 inch traffic cones.
- 1 professional mileage book with room for notations and 1 journal book. Keep good logs and summary daily.
- 5 – 36″ orange road cones with two strips of safety reflective tape at the top.
- 5 – 12″ orange road cones (day use) with at least one safety reflective strip at top just in case (night use).
- 1 – safety colored yellow or orange reflective safety jacket and 2 reflective safety vests.
- 8 roadside reflective triangles no less than 16″ tall.
- 1 dozen up to date flammable safety road flares. Write expire date in your journal book for later reference.
- 4 red safety colored flags no less than 18″ square on 1/2″ wooden dowels.
- 2 yellow signs reading “Oversize Load” no less than 12″ tall x 5′ wide with lettering 10″ tall and 1 5/8″ thick.
- 1 – 2-way radio. We suggest a high quality CB radio with very high quality antenna.
- 2 fire extinguishers. 1 – 2.5 lb and 1 – 5 lb dry chemical type or higher rating.
- 1 safety colored red or fluorescent hard hat with reflective safety tape.
- 1 very good all inclusive first aid kit. The more you spend the better. Familiarize yourself with everything.
- Stop/Slow safety paddle sign no less that 24″ the same shape as a stop sign with a 5′ handle.
- 2 flashlights that run on a minimum of 2 DC batteries with extra batteries.
- 1 heavy duty set of jumper cables. The best pair you can buy.
- 1 jump box with charge meter indicating level of charge. A jump box is an external battery used for starting vehicles.
- Chains for all 4 wheels of your vehicle for snow covered passes or iced roads.
- 2 two way radios fully charged with 2 fully charged batteries.
- 1 GPS with good up to date quality mapping software that allows you to create way-points and also a good USA road atlas.
If you approach a state such as Louisiana, New Mexico or Utah which require pilot cars to stop and pay for a inspection at the port or entry (prior to leading or chasing a load) and you don’t have the minimum tools listed above, wave goodbye to your money and the permit as you’ll be denied and rightly so. A pilot cars primary duty is to ensure the safety of the motorists. If you don’t have the basic tools required then you’re not deemed safe to operate in the capacity of a pilot car. Below we will cover the specific details required by pilot car companies in order to become certified in the states that have certification requirements.
Details of State Certifications required for Pilot Cars. Which states require pilot car certification?
If you are researching and looking for a list of the states that require specific pilot car certifications you have found it. Below is the list of each state requiring special certification for pilot cars and escort vehicles as well as some details about the type of certifications that are required, where to obtain them, fees, etc. Please feel free to add any comments to share with others at the bottom of this page.
The state of Arizona does not observe daylight savings time. Arizona pilot car certification: the state of Arizona says that pilot car companies or escort vehicles must maintain a certificate of certification that verifies the pilot car and operator successfully completed a Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) program. Arizona does recognize equivalency programs completed in other states however the pilot car or escort vehicle operator must file an application in order to operate within Arizona State jurisdictions. For more information contact the Arizona motor vehicles division at phone number: 602-771-2960 located at 1225 N. 25th Ave., Phoenix, AR 85009. Office hours are from 8 AM until 5 PM mountain time Monday through Friday. You can read more about the Arizona pilot car regulations, requirements, permits, etc. on our regulations pages.
The state of Colorado requires that pilot car or escort company operators have a Colorado State Certification card when working with in the Colorado state jurisdiction. Colorado does recognize certificates received from other states such as Florida, Oklahoma, Washington or Utah as well as the SC&RA. If you do not have any other state certificate endorsements you may contact RSA Network, Inc. by phone at: 801–838–8199 to inquire about testing for your Colorado State Certification. For more information about Colorado regulations, requirements, permits, etc. visit our regulations pages.
The state of Florida requires that pilot car or escort companies operators have to have Florida State certification or FDOT authorization. The state of Florida does recognize programs completed bike pilot car drivers from the following states: Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin. In order to legally operate in the capacity of a pilot car or escort vehicle driver/company, you must obtain a certificate of completion by the Florida Department of Transportation pilot/escort training class. This class is offered by the Florida technology transfer Center. Inquiries by phone: 352-392-2371 or e-mail: email@example.com. One portion of the Florida State Law requires successful completion of a National Safety Council 8 hour defensive driving course qualified by the state of Florida (or equivalent) by one of the above listed states as the same. So if you have already completed a similar course your credit may be transferable. Re-qualification is required every 4 years and this can also be done by contacting the University of Florida, PO Box 116587 Gainesville, FL 32611-6587. You can read more about the Florida pilot car regulations, requirements, permits, etc. on our regulations pages.
The state of Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) requires pilot car or escort company operators to complete the Certified Escort Vehicle Program. In addition to this you are required to have a “amber light permit” when operating a pilot car or escort vehicle within Georgia state lines. If you obtain a “amber light permit” AND have completed a pilot car and/or escort vehicle certification program through any of the following states: Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Utah or Arizona you will more than likely be approved with proof of completion. The Georgia DOT also reciprocates directly with North Carolina, Florida and Oklahoma pilot car certification programs. If you have any questions for the Georgia Oversize Permit Unit you may contact them directly by phone: 888-262-8306. You can also read more about the Georgia state pilot car regulations, requirements, permits, etc. on our regulations pages.
All escort and pilot car operators who wish to travel through or work in the state of Louisiana are required to obtain a Louisiana Approved Escort Vehicle Permit. Escort vehicle operators and pilot car company operators can obtain a Louisiana state escort vehicle permit at Louisiana weigh stations. These permits can also be obtained online at www.dotd.la.gov. Look for the quick links section on the right-hand side of the webpage and click on truck permits. Once you’ve reached the permitting electronic routing bridge analysis selection then select submit application for annual permits and will get a list of annual permits on that page. The escort and pilot car vehicle permit portion will give you two options for submitting the application. You can submit it online or print the PDF form and fax the completed application to the truck permit office at: 225-377-7154. Any questions you may have pertaining to escort vehicle and/or pilot car driving permits and be addressed by calling: 800-654-1433 or 225-434-2345 and selecting option 1. You can also read more about the Lousiana state pilot car regulations, requirements, permits, etc. on our regulations pages.
All escort vehicle and pilot car operators who wish to travel or work in the state of Minnesota are required to be certified. The good old state of Minnesota has two different types of escorts. Civilian escorts and peace officers. Learn the difference between the two. The state of Minnesota recognizes escort vehicle and pilot car operator certifications from the following states Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Utah and Washington state. Currently Minnesota requires drivers of pilot cars and escort vehicles to hold a current Minnesota State patrol certification. When working within this state all pilot car companies and escort vehicle operators must travel with a copy of their certification. If you are a escort vehicle or pilot car operator with certification already in the state of Colorado Florida North Carolina Oklahoma Utah or Washington you will be allowed to escort over dimensional loads within the state of Minnesota however you must have Minnesota insurance for the vehicle the driver the signage delighting and all safety equipment requirements must be met. For more information you can contact Erik Gohl at: 952-995-1346 fax: 952-995-1331 or visit their website: www.hennepintech.edu/cts/pages/1233 who is the pilot car and escort driver class administrator at Hennepin Technical College, customized training services located at: 13100 College View Dr., Eden Prairie, MN 55347. You can also read more about the Minnesota state pilot car regulations, requirements and permits on our regulations page.
All pilot car operators and escort vehicles who wish to work in the state of Nevada must be certified and also obtain a amber light permit. At the time of this writing (May 16, 2018) the state of Nevada Department of Transportation does not have any particular specific certification program for pilot cars. However they do have in place a rather lengthy amber light law. We would strongly suggest that anyone considering escorting loads through the state of Nevada obtain certification in another state with stringent laws such as Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Utah, Arizona, North Carolina, Florida or Oklahoma. You will still need a amber light permit to operate a escort vehicle or pilot car with in Nevada state jurisdiction. The amber light law basically states that it is unlawful for any person to mount a flashing amber warning light on the top of the vehicle without a permit from the Nevada Highway Patrol. The Nevada Highway Patrol will issue a permit to mount amber flashing lights on a vehicle upon written request. We suggest that readers such as yourself read our regulations page for the state of Nevada in order to research amber light specs such as how many times it flashes per minute and the distance its visible from. In addition to the amber light law if you anticipate stopping or slowing traffic you must comply to the stringent laws of Nevada state flagman. If it is necessary to warrant approaching traffic, each flagman must be wearing a solid florescent yellow or green material jacket or vest and equipped with a red flag and paddle readings stop in white letters with a red background. The sign must be a standard 18 inch two-sided stop and slow sign and be attached to a 5 foot pole. For further clarification on other items required please see our regulations page for trucks pilot cars and escort vehicles operating within Nevada state jurisdiction.
- New Mexico.
All pilot car and escort vehicle operators working with in the state of New Mexico need to be inspected at the port of entry for a New Mexico certification inspection. You are required to approach the port of entry before any load you may be escorting reaches any scale house upon entry. Once pilot car or escort vehicle operators pull into the New Mexico port of entry you are subject to inspection. The officer conducting the inspection will require you to have two amber lights, oversize escort signs, a two-way radio, fire extinguisher, to outside rear view mirrors, the condition of the tires, three red flares and or reflectors, oversize escort signs and to florescent orange or red flags 12 inch in size or larger as well as a safety jacket and/or vest with a hardhat. The vehicle requirements are a minimum of 100 inch wheelbase, vehicle maximum capacity of 1 1/2 tons, a valid current drivers license and the terms of your insurance policy. Basically, you can expect a full on roadside intensive and thorough review of your vehicle and its equipment. For specific clarifications on vehicle specifications escort vehicle and pilot car operators should refer to our New Mexico state regulations page.
- New York.
All pilot car and escort vehicle operators who intend to work within the state of New York must be New York State certified. To be certified as a escort or pilot car driver it is mandatory for all drivers as well as any persons acting as a flag person who intend on escorting oversize loads on the roads and highways within the state of New York regardless of where they reside obtain New York state certification. From the best of our knowledge no previous certification programs you may have completed will be accepted, credited or otherwise considered. For a list of New York Department of motor vehicle testing locations call 518-486-9748. For more information on getting certified or obtaining the New York certification manual you can call 418-457-1155 or 800-783-1685. We suggest also reading our New York state pilot car regulations, requirements, permits, etc. on our regulations pages.
All escort vehicles and pilot car operators who intend on working within the state of Oklahoma must be Oklahoma certified. The state of Oklahoma Department of Public Safety does recognize certifications and other states that do have a reciprocal agreement with the state of Oklahoma however if the operator of the pilot car or escort vehicle is a Oklahoma State resident they must have Oklahoma certification. The first order of business when operating a pilot car or escort vehicle within the state of Oklahoma is the certificate of insurance. Escort vehicle and pilot car vehicle operators must provide not less than $1 million of combined single limit or per occurrence or both of commercial liability coverage. Your insurance policy must protect the public against loss of life, bodily injury to persons and damage to property or bowls as a result of operating a escort vehicle or pilot car, or of the actions of the escort or pilot car vehicle operator or both. The state of Oklahoma will need to be listed as a certificate holder on your insurance certificate. In order to obtain your certificate from the department of public safety you will be required to take the course and the examination offered by the Oklahoma State University, phone 405-744-6049. The term of this certificate shall be for a maximum period of five years and will expire automatically after the date it was issued you can obtain more information on the certification training program by visiting: www.clgtokstate.com/escort.htm or for more information about pilot car and escort vehicle specifications please visit our Oklahoma state regulations page.
All pilot car operators and escort vehicle drivers who intend on operating within the state of Utah must be certified and inspected at the Utah Port of Entry. Pilot car and escort vehicle operators who wish to obtain a authorized certification card may do so by participating in a authorized qualified certification program. A list of authorized instructors can be obtained by calling 801-965-4892. Pilot car and escort company drivers that live outside of Utah may operate as a certified pilot car or escort driver with another State certification credentials provided that the course meets the minimum requirements outlined in the Utah pilot car and escort vehicle training manual the department may decide to enter into a reciprocal agreement with other states provided these other states can demonstrate that their course materials are comprehensive and meet the minimum requirements outlined by the Utah Department of Transportation. Such agreements already exist with the Utah Department of Transportation recognizing the states of Washington, North Carolina, Colorado, Oklahoma and the state of Florida. Any pilot car or escort driver certifications expires four years from the date the certificate was issued and it is is the responsibility of the driver to maintain current certification as well as a minimum amount of insurance coverage of $750,000 for liability insurance.Upon entering the jurisdiction within the state of Utah it is strongly advised that you have a certificate of completion that is valid and current with any of the above mentioned states. You are required to stop at the port of entry when entering Utah state jurisdiction. For more detailed information about Utah state pilot car and escort vehicle requirements please visit our regulations page.
The state of Virginia does require that all pilot car and escort vehicle operators be certified prior to performing the duties of a oversize or overweight load pilot or escort vehicle operator within the Virginia state jurisdiction. The state or Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) does recognize certification programs completed by applicants from the following states: Florida, Georgia, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Utah and Washington however you must still apply for escort/pilot car operator certification from the Virginia DMV. It is important for pilot car and escort vehicle operators to be aware they are required to carry their certification document from the state of Virginia with them while escorting any type of oversize or overweight vehicle configurations. You must have a valid drivers license as well. If you are requested by law enforcement or the Department of Transportation enforcement officials you must provide them with certificate program completion documentation. Failure to do so while escorting or piloting in oversize configuration will cause the shipment to be delayed until the appropriate documents are in place or another company with documentation replaces you. For more detailed information about Virginia state pilot car and escort vehicle requirements please visit our regulations page.
And finally last but not the least of our 2018 State Certifications for Pilot Cars & Escort Vehicles update is the state of Washington. The state of Washington Department of Transportation does require pilot car and escort vehicle operators to be certified by them. They recognize programs and certificates from the states of Utah, Florida, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Colorado however pilot car and escort vehicle operators who desire to operate withing the state of Washington’s jurisdiction must be issued a official Washington state certificate. You can contact pilot/escort, flagging instructor Michael Blackman at: 509-684-7632 or contact the Washington state Pilot Escort official Jim Wright at: 360-704-6345 or you may visit the official state information page at: www.wsdot.wa.gov/commercialvehicle/ If you would like more detailed information about Washington state regulations, requirements, permits, etc visit our regulations page.
State requirements for pilot cars and escort vehicles change from time to time.
It should be noted that state requirements for pilot cars and escort vehicles do change from time to time. The purpose of this page is to provide you with updated information that includes the rules and regulations of the states that do require pilot car drivers and escort vehicle drivers to have special certifications. It should be noted this page was written as a basic guide for pilot car companies and escort vehicle operators to use when researching which states do require certification. We strongly suggest if you are considering operating and any state under the capacity of a pilot car or escort that each state you intend on working in be contacted directly by you before entering that state. Also, in addition to state certifications and requirements always refer to the instructions on the actual permit issued from the state for that particular over dimensional or heavy haul load. The permit should list all responsibilities and detail as well as clarify any additional questions you may have during transit. In closing, remember as a escort vehicle driver or pilot car operator your number one job is public safety.
What is flagging? What flagging certifications am I required to have?
What is flagging?
A “flagger” or “flagging” is a person on a construction site or zone who controls the flow of traffic. Flaggers maximize the flow of traffic while protecting motorists from accidents when the normal flow of traffic is interrupted due to construction, accidents, shipments or anything else that is disruptive to the normal operation of traffic flow in a location. Most states require any person that acts as a flagman or flagging and controls traffic to be certified by that state to ensure they operate within the guidelines set forth by that particular state. A permit is usually required to temporarily control traffic in any location. However, some circumstances require immediate action, thus obtaining a permit isn’t probable. In this type of circumstance it is expected of the individual who decides to control the traffic have the mandatory certifications as well as appropriate equipment to do so. Since over-dimensional shipments have a higher probability of potentially creating a temporary situation where traffic may require a flagger to ensure the safety of motorists some states do require pilot car and escort vehicle operators to be properly certified by them and carry the tools required to do so with them when operating. In this article we’ll have a look at what states require and expect of pilot car and escort vehicle operators while working in their states.
What flagger certifications am I required to have?
Every state we know of requires flagger certification for individuals and companies who intend on controlling traffic or acting as a traffic controller. Many community colleges offer affordable flagger certification classes that are approved by the state. Most flagger certification classes that we are aware of take a minimum of 40 hours of classroom time. If you are interested in becoming a certified flagger or traffic controller the best place to get more information is from the department of transportation or the department of motor vehicles. They should be able to provide you with contact information for state approved flagger certification programs. It is very important for anyone considering controlling traffic at any time to become certified as it is against the law to control traffic without proper authority. You may be able to contact your local police department for assistance in getting connected with a state certified flagger certification program if you are unable to get in contact with the Department of Motor Vehicles or the Department of Transportation. If you would like more information on obtaining your flagging certification or which states require certain certifications you can visit our regulations pages for more information.
What is the proper way to flag traffic?
Flagging traffic is a pretty straight forward thing to do. Obviously you want to protect yourself so you’re not accidentally hit by any oncoming vehicles. Outside of that you want to follow basic standard procedures which seem to be fairly universal anywhere you go. You definitely want to make sure that the motorist has a good distance to see you in advance. We suggest a minimum safe distance of about 300 feet. This allows approaching traffic to have sufficient distance and time to reduce speed before they approach you. In urban areas where speed limits are lower you may not need to have such a long distance so use your best judgement.
Stand with your body facing the traffic on the edge of the road but not on the curb. So you should be just right outside of the traffic lane. Always stand in a location where you can see and be seen by approaching motorists.
If you just need to slow the traffic down position your flagging sign so the word slow are facing the oncoming traffic. Never wave or sign when using the sign always hold it up right towards the oncoming traffic so they can see the word slow. It needs to be clear to the motorist exactly what you are wanting them to do. The drivers should never have to guess what you want them to do so never wave your your sign. Simply hold it up straight and firmly with your body facing the traffic.
If you need to slow the traffic down so you can then stop them you will want to make sure your sign is facing them with the word stop on it from me nice clear distance. Let’s for instance say you are chasing 120 foot long load and the turn radius will require the truck to almost come to a complete stop in order to make the turn then you are probably going to decide the traffic needs to come to a complete stop. In some cases you can use your freehand by holding it up in one position with your palm facing towards the oncoming traffic. This should instill confidence in the motorist that you are protecting them by wanting them to stop and that you are clearly paying attention to them. Always be very courteous and very brief. You will find over all being candid towards motorists pays off as they appreciate what you are doing for them.
Now let’s say do you want to get the traffic moving again. You may decide if they need to move slowly to use your slow sign. In this case with your body facing the traffic flip your sign so the word slow is facing the oncoming traffic with your body. With your freehand you can also wave for them to proceed. Once you get the traffic flow going again simply lower your sign so it is upside down and below your waist. It’s also a good idea to consider holding your sign below your waist with the flat side facing the traffic so they don’t see either of the words slow or stop.
Keep in mind that some states may require you to set up as many as three safety cones or triangles and in some conditions even road flares near the position where you will be flagging from. So it’s a very good idea to have your flagging certification so you are aware of the laws and can abide by them. This article covers just the basics and is by no means to be anticipated under any circumstances as state law. Each state has a specific set of rules and instructions that will need to be obeyed. Make certain you are familiar with the flagging and traffic control laws in the state you are operating in.
2019 Minnesota state DOT shipping laws, regulations, rules, limitations for oversize and heavy-haul trucking permits.
Heavy-haul trucking and pilot cars.
Minnesota oversize, heavy-haul and pilot car companies for hire:
Do I need a trucking permit? Legal load limits.
Minnesota maximum load limits until a trucking permit is required.
Length: Trailers no longer than 53 feet on designated highways. All other roads 53 feet.
Width: 8 feet and 6 inches.
Height: 13 feet and 6 inches.
Weight: 80,000 pounds GVW, 20,000 pounds on a single axle, 23,000 pounds on tandem axles with spread limited to 20,000 pounds, 20,000 pounds on tridem axles, quadem axles is 18,000 pounds maximum.
Overhang: 3 feet in the front and anything over 4 feet in the rear must be red flagged in the day and red light at night.
Routine oversize and heavy-haul trucking permits.
These maximum dimensions/weights are considered routine oversize or heavy-haul trucking permits in Minnesota:
Length: Combinations overall length over 75 feet requires a permit. Single vehicles that exceed 45 feet require a permit. Anything under 130 feet long is considered routine.
Weight: Single axle 20,000 pounds, 40,000 pounds on tandem axles (46,000 pounds with a bridge check), tridem axles 60,000 pounds, quadem axles 72,000 pounds, trunion axles 60,000 pounds. Gross weights: 5 axles 92,000 pounds, 6 axles 112,000 pounds, 7 axles 132,000 pounds, 8 axles 144,000 pounds. Over 150,000 pounds is a superload.
Width: Figure up to 14 feet to 16 feet as a routine permit. Anything over 16 feet wide man have routing issues and require a route survey.
Height: Over 13 feet and 6 inches requires a permit. Up to 14 feet is easy, then at 15 feet and 6 inches route restrictions start to apply. If over 15 feet and 6 inches you have the pleasure of paying for a route survey unless it’s an easy short run then you may wiggle out of it.
Notes: Farm equipment operating at less than 30 miles per hour may be exempt. Utility poles may be exempt. Heavy-haul loads have to deal with frost laws. Visibility from inclement weather can side-line you as well.
What constitutes a superload in Nebraska:
Superloads in the state of Nebraska are defined as any shipment in excess of the above weights or dimensions described above in “routine”. Also see: Laws for Minnesota state oversize and heavy-haul.
Legal travel times for oversize and heavy-haul loads.
Travel times and restrictions for heavy-haul and oversize loads:
Travel times are primarily from 2 AM until 10 PM except for holidays. Some areas have rush hour restrictions 7:30 AM to 8:30 AM and 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM so check your permit as any applicable restrictions will be listed on it. For heavy-haul loads there are spring restrictions that start usually late in February and usually end and the end of May. Night time travel is simply defined as local times of sunrise and sunset. The state of Minnesota observe Central standard Time.
Lights, safety flags and warning signs for heavy haul and oversize loads.
Required marking, safety flags, warning signs for heavy haul and oversize loads:
Signs: Oversize load signs will need to meet the following requirements: be constructed of a rigid material or mounted on a flat surface that ensures the sign will remain flat and clearly legible to all approaching traffic. Warning signs must be a minimum size of 18 inches tall and 84 inches wide. The background of all signs must be yellow in color with the letters OVERSIZE LOAD”printed on them with a clear font that is no less than 10 inches tall and 1 and 3/8ths of an inch thick and black in color. The sign panel shall be lighted when ever use during night time transport. Whenever lighting a sign it must be an a manner that illuminates it well enough to be seen from a distance of no less than 500 feet. Any oversize load that is in excess of 12 feet wide requires oversize load signs. Oversize load signs are required on all vehicles and shipments that exceed 95 feet in length. All signs will need to be legible, clean and in good condition whenever used. The appropriate and applicable sign will need to be mounted on the roof of the escort vehicle (not on the bumpers) whenever a escort vehicle or pilot car is required. Oversize load signs will need to be mounted on the cab of the truck that is towing the shipment and on the rear of the trailer that is hauling the shipment and installed no less than 5 feet above the pavement. Signs will need to be displayed when escorting or moving a oversize load. The oversize load sign shall be required on any oversized loads with multiple dimensions. “WIDELOAD” and “LONG LOAD)” signs must be used on escort vehicles, whichever is applicable. Signs will not be permitted to extend beyond the width of the fenders of the vehicle more than 6 inches to the left or the right of pilot car vehicles. The Minnesota DOT may even require additional signs if they determine that it is necessary.
Flags: Flags are required to be used on any projection(s) that extend more than 3 feet beyond the front bumper or 4 feet beyond the rear of the truck bed of any semi-trucks or when any loads exceeds 9 feet wide and or 65 feet long. Flags must be either safety fluorescent red, yellow or orange and be no less than 18 inches square. They must be securely attached to all extremities of overhang whether on the front the rear and at the corners at the widest point so they are clearly visible to approaching motorists.
Warning lights: warning lights are required when traveling during night hours and must be visible from a distance of no less than 500 feet on a clear day. Simultaneously flashing warning lights will need to be spaced as far apart from each other as possible and are required on the front and rear of the shipment and have a flash rate somewhere between 60 and 90 flashes permit. Lenses on all warning lights must be a minimum of 4 inches in diameter or have a minimum lense surface area of 12 and 1/2 inches. Instead of a pair of warning lights that flash simultaneously either one or more strobe lights or rotating lights may be permitted.
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:
Length: 95 feet to 110 feet 1 pilot car or escort vehicle on the rear. Over 110 feet requires 1 front escort and 1 chase pilot car.
Width: Loads over 12 feet and 6 inches most of state roads requires one (but not all), 14 feet and 6 inches to 16 feet require 1 front pilot car and 1 rear escort on non-divided highways but only 1 rear on divided highways. Over 16 feet wide and they will require 1 lead pilot car and a Police/LPA on the rear. On less than 4 lane roads 1 front pilot car is required and on 4 lanes 1 rear escort is required. Up to 15 feet wide at which point a second escort is required. 18 feet or wider requires a police escort.
Height: If over 14 feet and 6 inches in height you may be required to have a high pole depending on route..
Note: Permits will state on them if they are valid for either 3 or 5 days.
Pilot cars/escort vehicle certifications and requirements.
Pilot car or escort vehicle mandatory operator certifications and vehicle requirements:
The state of Minnesota has two different types of pilot cars/escorts.
“Civilian” escorts/pilot cars and “Peace Officer” escorts/pilot cars. Let’s learn about the two types first.
Civilian escorts/pilot cars: A civilian escort is an individual with a valid drivers license and a valid certification from Minnesota state DOT which has reciprocal agreement (MVCSHTO) with the following states: Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Utah and Washington state. Operators must be a minimum of 18 years old and in a properly equipped automobile or pickup truck. This agreement allows other civilian escorts (pilot car operators) certified in participating states to operate in each other.
Peace officer escorts: A peace officer escort is a Minnesota state licensed peace officer using a state authorized emergency vehicle displaying red and/or blue lights. A peace officer escort is the only type of escort permitted that has the ability to require on-coming traffic to yield to the right of way whenever an oncoming wide load encroaches over a 2 lane road center-line. A peace officer escort or pilot car will be required whenever a loaded trucks width extends over the roadway center-line and into on-coming traffic or whenever a loaded truck dimensions require the truck to travel in the wrong lane of the roadway. The Minnesota DOT has determined if extreme hazards exist a peace officer escort or pilot car is the most reasonable solution to maintain road safety for motorists. The carrier must arrange for peace officer escorts or pilot cars whenever they are required whether it is specified on the permit or not. Any time a shipment may potentially cross over the center-line a peace officer escort or pilot car is required.
Civilian escorts/pilot cars continued: Pilot car and escort vehicles can be either a pickup truck, SUV, van, or a passenger vehicle that is in good operating condition and is properly equipped. The driver of a pilot car or escort vehicle must be a minimum of 18 years of age and have a valid drivers license. No pilot car or escort vehicle is permitted to tow any type of trailer or other vehicle when operating in the capacity of a escort or pilot car driver. A pilot car or escort vehicle operator is not permitted to perform any other duties other than operating the vehicle. If a rear steer is needed or a remote is being utilized the operator of the pilot car or escort vehicle is not permitted to take part in any of these operations. All escort vehicles and pilot cars are required to be equipped with a wide load or long load sign that shall be displayed on the top of the vehicle. This sign must be clean clear and visible to all traffic. Rotating strobe being or flashing amber lights are required to be installed in the center of the roof of the vehicle and not be obstructed by any other signage. Multiple lights may be used provided they are not obstructed by anything and should be placed on the far right and left hand sides of the upper portion of the vehicle. A pilot car operating in the capacity of a lead vehicle will need to proceed the shipment by a minimum distance of 300 feet and no more than 700 feet. Rear escort vehicles or chase vehicles must follow the shipment at a close safe distance that clearly identifies it as part of the escorted shipment. Convoys are not permitted unless specifically authorized by the Minnesota state DOT.
Minnesota DOT contact information and notes.
Minnesota DOT office and permit contact information:
Minnesota Administrative Truck Center
395 John Ireland Boulevard
St. Paul, MN 55155
Telephone line: 651-296-6000
Hours: Monday – Friday 8:30 AM – 3:00 PM (closed from Noon until 1 PM).
Central Standard Time
Notes: Minnesota is a member of the MVCSHTO agreement.
Ada, Adams, Adrian, Afton, Aitkin, Akeley, Albany, Alberta, Albert Lea, Albertville, Alden, Aldrich, Alexandria, Alpha, Altura, Alvarado, Amboy, Andover, Annandale, Anoka, Appleton, Apple Valley, Arco, Arden Hills, Argyle, Arlington, Arnold, Ashby, Askov, Atwater, Audubon, Aurora, Austin, Avoca, Avon, Babbitt, Backus, Badger, Bagley, Balaton, Barnesville, Barnum, Barrett, Barry, Battle Lake, Baudette, Baxter, Bayport, Beardsley, Beaver Bay, Beaver Creek, Becker, Bejou, Belgrade, Bellechester, Belle Plaine, Bellingham, Beltrami, Belview, Bemidji, Bena, Benson, Bertha, Bethel, Bigelow, Big Falls, Bigfork, Big Lake, Bingham Lake, Birchwood Village, Bird Island, Biscay, Biwabik, Blackduck, Blaine, Blomkest, Blooming Prairie, Bloomington, Blue Earth, Bluffton, Bock, Borup, Bovey, Bowlus, Boyd, Boy River, Braham, Brainerd, Brandon, Breckenridge, Breezy Point, Brewster, Bricelyn, Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Brook Park, Brooks, Brookston, Brooten, Browerville, Brownsdale, Browns Valley, Brownsville, Brownton, Bruno, Buckman, Buffalo, Buffalo Lake, Buhl, Burnsville, Burtrum, Butterfield, Byron, Caledonia, Callaway, Calumet, Cambridge, Campbell, Canby, Cannon Falls, Canton, Carlos, Carlton, Carver, Cass Lake, Cedar Mills, Center City, Centerville, Ceylon, Champlin, Chandler, Chanhassen, Chaska, Chatfield, Chickamaw Beach, Chisago City, Chisholm, Chokio, Circle Pines, Clara City, Claremont, Clarissa, Clarkfield, Clarks Grove, Clearbrook, Clear Lake, Clearwater, Clements, Cleveland, Climax, Clinton, Clitherall, Clontarf, Cloquet, Coates, Cobden, Cohasset, Cokato, Cold Spring, Coleraine, Cologne, Columbia Heights, Comfrey, Comstock, Conger, Cook, Coon Rapids, Corcoran, Correll, Cosmos, Cottage Grove, Cottonwood, Courtland, Cromwell, Crookston, Crosby, Crosslake, Crystal, Currie, Cuyuna, Cyrus, Dakota, Dalton, Danube, Danvers, Darfur, Darwin, Dassel, Dawson, Dayton, Deephaven, Deer Creek, Deer River, Deerwood, De Graff, Delano, Delavan, Delhi, Dellwood, Denham, Dennison, Dent, Detroit Lakes, Dexter, Dilworth, Dodge Center, Donaldson, Donnelly, Doran, Dover, Dovray, Duluth, Dumont, Dundas, Dundee, Dunnell, Eagan, Eagle Bend, Eagle Lake, East Bethel, East Grand Forks, East Gull Lake, Easton, Echo, Eden Prairie, Eden Valley, Edgerton, Edina, Effie, Eitzen, Elba, Elbow Lake, Elbow Lake, Elgin, Elizabeth, Elko, Elk River, Elkton, Ellendale, Ellsworth, Elmdale, Elmore, Elrosa, Ely, Elysian, Emily, Emmons, Erhard, Erskine, Evan, Evansville, Eveleth, Excelsior, Eyota, Fairfax, Fairmont, Falcon Heights, Faribault, Farmington, Farwell, Federal Dam, Felton, Fergus Falls, Fertile, Fifty Lakes, Finlayson, Fisher, Flensburg, Floodwood, Florence, Foley, Forada, Forest Lake, Foreston, Fort Ripley, Fosston, Fountain, Foxhome, Franklin, Frazee, Freeborn, Freeport, Fridley, Frost, Fulda, Funkley, Garfield, Garrison, Garvin, Gary, Gaylord, Gem Lake, Geneva, Genola, Georgetown, Ghent, Gibbon, Gilbert, Gilman, Glencoe, Glenville, Glenwood, Glyndon, Golden Valley, Gonvick, Goodhue, Goodridge, Good Thunder, Goodview, Graceville, Granada, Grand Marais, Grand Meadow, Grand Rapids, Granite Falls, Grant, Grasston, Greenbush, Greenfield, Green Isle, Greenwald, Greenwood, Grey Eagle, Grove City, Grygla, Gully, Hackensack, Hadley, Hallock, Halma, Halstad, Hamburg, Ham Lake, Hammond, Hampton, Hancock, Hanley Falls, Hanover, Hanska, Harding, Hardwick, Harmony, Harris, Hartland, Hastings, Hatfield, Hawley, Hayfield, Hayward, Hazel Run, Hector, Heidelberg, Henderson, Hendricks, Hendrum, Henning, Henriette, Herman, Hermantown, Heron Lake, Hewitt, Hibbing, Hill City, Hillman, Hills, Hilltop, Hinckley, Hitterdal, Hoffman, Hokah, Holdingford, Holland, Hollandale, Holloway, Holt, Hopkins, Houston, Howard Lake, Hoyt Lakes, Hugo, Humboldt, Hutchinson, Ihlen, Independence, International Falls, Inver Grove Heights, Iona, Iron Junction, Ironton, Isanti, Isle, Ivanhoe, Jackson, Janesville, Jasper, Jeffers, Jenkins, Johnson, Jordan, Kandiyohi, Karlstad, Kasota, Kasson, Keewatin, Kelliher, Kellogg, Kennedy, Kenneth, Kensington, Kent, Kenyon, Kerkhoven, Kerrick, Kettle River, Kiester, Kilkenny, Kimball, Kinbrae, Kingston, Kinney, La Crescent, Lafayette, Lake Benton, Lake Bronson, Lake City, Lake Crystal, Lake Elmo, Lakefield, Lake Henry, Lakeland, Lakeland Shores, Lake Lillian, Lake Park, Lake St. Croix Beach, Lake Shore, Lakeville, Lake Wilson, Lamberton, Lancaster, Landfall, Lanesboro, Laporte, La Prairie, La Salle, Lastrup, Lauderdale, Le Center, Lengby, Leonard, Leonidas, Leota, Le Roy, Lester Prairie, Le Sueur, Lewiston, Lewisville, Lexington, Lilydale, Lindstrom, Lino Lakes, Lismore, Litchfield, Little Canada, Little Falls, Littlefork, Little Rock, Long Beach, Long Lake, Long Prairie, Longville, Lonsdale, Loretto, Louisburg, Lowry, Lucan, Luverne, Lyle, Lynd, Mabel, McGrath, McGregor, McIntosh, McKinley, Madelia, Madison, Madison Lake, Magnolia, Mahnomen, Mahtomedi, Manchester, Manhattan Beach, Mankato, Mantorville, Maple Grove, Maple Lake, Maple Plain, Mapleton, Mapleview, Maplewood, Marble, Marietta, Marine on St. Croix, Marshall, Mayer, Maynard, Mazeppa, Meadowlands, Medford, Medicine Lake, Medina, Meire Grove, Melrose, Menahga, Mendota, Mendota Heights, Mentor, Middle River, Miesville, Milaca, Milan, Millerville, Millville, Milroy, Miltona, Minneapolis, Minneiska, Minneota, Minnesota City, Minnesota Lake, Minnetonka, Minnetonka Beach, Minnetrista, Mizpah, Montevideo, Montgomery, Monticello, Montrose, Moorhead, Moose Lake, Mora, Morgan, Morris, Morristown, Morton, Motley, Mound, Mounds View, Mountain Iron, Mountain Lake, Murdock, Myrtle, Nashua, Nashwauk, Nassau, Naytahwaush, Nelson, Nerstrand, Nevis, New Auburn, New Brighton, Newfolden, New Germany, New Hope, New London, New Market, New Munich, Newport, New Prague, New Richland, New Trier, New Ulm, New York Mills, Nicollet, Nielsville, Nimrod, Nisswa, Norcross, North Branch, Northfield, North Mankato, North Oaks, Northome, Northrop, North St. Paul, Norwood Young America, Oakdale, Oak Grove, Oak Park Heights, Oakport, Odessa, Odin, Ogema, Ogilvie, Okabena, Oklee, Olivia, Onamia, Ormsby, Orono, Oronoco, Orr, Ortonville, Osakis, Oslo, Osseo, Ostrander, Otsego, Ottertail, Owatonna, Palisade, Parkers Prairie, Park Rapids, Paynesville, Pease, Pelican Rapids, Pemberton, Pennock, Pequot Lakes, Perham, Perley, Peterson, Pierz, Pillager, Pine City, Pine Island, Pine Point, Pine River, Pine Springs, Pipestone, Plainview, Plato, Pleasant Lake, Plummer, Plymouth, Ponemah, Porter, Preston, Princeton, Prinsburg, Prior Lake, Proctor, Quamba, Racine, Ramsey, Randall, Randolph, Ranier, Raymond, Redby, Red Lake, Red Lake Falls, Red Wing, Redwood Falls, Regal, Remer, Renville, Revere, Rice, Rice Lake, Richfield, Richmond, Richville, Riverton, Robbinsdale, Rochester, Rock Creek, Rockford, Rockville, Rogers, Rollingstone, Ronneby, Roosevelt, Roscoe, Roseau, Rose Creek, Rosemount, Roseville, Rothsay, Round Lake, Royalton, Rush City, Rushford, Rushford Village, Rushmore, Russell, Ruthton, Rutledge, Sabin, Sacred Heart, St. Anthony city (Hennepin County), St. Anthony city (Stearns County), St. Bonifacius, St. Charles, St. Clair, St. Cloud, St. Francis, St. Hilaire, St. James, St. Joseph, St. Leo, St. Louis Park, St. Martin, St. Marys Point, St. Michael, St. Paul, St. Paul Park, St. Peter, St. Rosa, St. Stephen, St. Vincent, Sanborn, Sandstone, Sargeant, Sartell, Sauk Centre, Sauk Rapids, Savage, Scanlon, Seaforth, Sebeka, Sedan, Shafer, Shakopee, Shelly, Sherburn, Shevlin, Shoreview, Shorewood, Silver Bay, Silver Lake, Skyline, Slayton, Sleepy Eye, Sobieski, Solway, South Haven, South St. Paul, Spicer, Springfield, Spring Grove, Spring Hill, Spring Lake Park, Spring Park, Spring Valley, Squaw Lake, Stacy, Staples, Starbuck, Steen, Stephen, Stewart, Stewartville, Stillwater, Stockton, Storden, Strandquist, Strathcona, Sturgeon Lake, Sunburg, Sunfish Lake, Swanville, Taconite, Tamarack, Taopi, Taunton, Taylors Falls, Tenney, Tenstrike, The Lakes, Thief River Falls, Thomson, Tintah, Tonka Bay, Tower, Tracy, Trail, Trimont, Trommald, Trosky, Truman, Turtle River, Twin Lakes, Twin Valley, Two Harbors, Tyler, Ulen, Underwood, Upsala, Urbank, Utica, Vadnais Heights, Vergas, Vermillion, Verndale, Vernon Center, Vesta, Victoria, Viking, Villard, Vineland, Vining, Virginia, Wabasha, Wabasso, Waconia, Wadena, Wahkon, Waite Park, Waldorf, Walker, Walnut Grove, Walters, Waltham, Wanamingo, Wanda, Warba, Warren, Warroad, Waseca, Watertown, Waterville, Watkins, Watson, Waubun, Waverly, Wayzata, Welcome, Wells, Wendell, Westbrook, West Concord, Westport, West St. Paul, West Union, Whalan, Wheaton, White Bear Lake, White Earth, Wilder, Willernie, Williams, Willmar, Willow River, Wilmont, Wilton, Windom, Winger, Winnebago, Winona, Winsted, Winthrop, Winton, Wolf Lake, Wolverton, Woodbury, Wood Lake, Woodland, Woodstock, Worthington, Wrenshall, Wright, Wykoff, Wyoming, Zemple, Zimmerman, Zumbro Falls, Zumbrota.
Shipping laws, regulations, limitations and rules for shipping oversize and over-weight loads over the roads and highways in the state of Illinois.
Please share your expertise or knowledge of Illinois state shipping regulations with other visitors below.
Trucking and pilot car location system:
Locate trucking companies and pilot cars in Illinois.
Legal load limits in Illinois.
Illinois DOT legal load size & weight limitations.
Length: 65’ overall length maximum.
Width: 8’6” on interstate and other designated highways, 8’ on non-designated highways.
Weight: GVW 80,000, Single 20,000, Tandem 34,000, Tridem 42,000
Height: 13’6” is the maximum allowed height for legal loads.
Overhang: 3’ front in the front and 3’ off of the rear of trailer.
Routine oversize shipping, trucking and transport permits.
Oversize and overweight trucking permits that are routinely issued by the state of Illinois.
Length: Up to 145’ long. Anything longer see superload section below.
Weight: Single 24,000, tandem: 48,000, tridum: 60,000, Quadem: 60,00 gross, 5 Axles 100,000 lbs., 6 Axles 120,000 lbs., 7 axels: 120,000, 8 axles: 120,000 lbs.
Width: 14’6” (any load over 16′ will require special admin approval before permit is issued).
Height: 15’ (any load over 16′ tall requires a route survey).
Illinois DOT superload information.
Length: Any load that is longer than 145′ is considered a superload.
Width: Any load that is in excess of 14′ 6″ in width is considered a superload.
Height: Any load that is in excess of 15′ 6″ in height is considered a superload.
Weight: Any load that exceeds 120,000 lbs on any standard axle configuration whether it’s a 6,7 or 8 axle configuration or not is considered a superload.
Overhang: Contact them as this varies depending on route.
Notes: Spacing between steer and first tandem must be more than 8′ 1″. The spacing before the first axle and the trailer must not exceed 18′ 6″. All axle spacings combined must not be less than 43′ 6″. Superload permit processing times vary. Expect delays. Before requesting a route you are expected to do as much research on your own as possible. They will refer you to: GettingAroundIllinois for construction zones and other closures.
Permitted travel times and restrictions in Illinois:
Illinois travel times and restrictions for oversize loads.
Travel is permitted from ½ hour before sunrise to ½ hour after sunset Monday thru Friday and ½ hour before sunrise until 12PM on Saturdays. Loads that are overweight only may travel 24/7 on all days of the week (make certain it is not documented otherwise on your permit before doing so). No travel is permitted on Sundays unless you are below the routine permit standards of no more than 115′ in length, 12′ in width, 13′ 6″ in height (sunrise to sunset rules apply). No movement is permitted on the major holidays: New Years Day, Memorial Day, Independence day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Travel stops at 12PM on the day before any of these holidays. The Illinois oversize load permit office is closed on MLK Day, Lincolns birthday, Washingtons birthday, Columbus Day, Election Day, Veterans Day and on the day after Thanksgiving. However, travel is not restricted on these days. Always refer to your permit for approved travel times.
Required shipment, truck and trailer markings:
Truck, trailer and shipment required signs, banners and flags.
A rotating amber light must remain on at all times mounted on top of the cab and be visible from 360 degrees from a minimum of 500′ in direct sunlight. If your overall length is more than 80′ in length you are required to have one amber light over the cab of the truck and one amber light no more than 10′ from the rear of end or trailer/load at the highest point that is practicle. Oversize load signs must be a minimum of 7′ in width x 18″ in height, have a yellow background color with black lettering no less than 10″ in height x 1″ thick – we have recently heard 12″ tall x 2″ thick so please clarify and comment below if you know which is correct. Flags are required at all 4 corners of the load and front of truck and are to be safety red in color and no less than 18″ square. Shipments over 75′ in length, 10′ in width or 14′ 6″ in height are required to have signs. Signs must be placed on the front and rear extremities of the truck, trailer or load.
When pilot cars are required:
Length: If over 110′ in length you are required to have a minimum of 1 pilot car and in some places 2 pilot cars (higher traffic density or certain times of year). If over 145′ (150′ in some very rural areas) in length you are required to have 3 pilot cars – yes 3. If over 175′ in length a police escort will be required.
Width: Up to 14’6” requires 1 pilot/escort vehicle. Over 16’ requires 2 pilot/escort vehicles. Over 18′ in width will require a police escort.
Height: Up to 14’ 6” 1 pilot/escort vehicle, over 16’ requires 2 pilot/escort vehicles. Over 18′ in height will require a police escort.
Weight: No requirements as long as you can maintain minimum speeds. However on bridge moves that require all other vehicle traffic to be removed will required appropriate number of pilot cars which is a minimum of 2 and possibly 3 with police escort. All areas are different and require evaluation.
Note: If you exceed any two dimensions, then you are required to have an additional pilot car. So if you’re over 14′ 6″ tall and 14′ 6″ wide you would be require to have 2 pilot cars.
Required pilot car certifications:
Cars, vans or trucks may be used as long as gross weight of pilot car vehicle is rated at no more than 8,000 lbs. Pilot car driver must be 18 years of age minimum with a valid regular drivers license. Pilot cars must have a rotating or flashing amber light mounted on the top of the vehicle (no specs as of time of writing 2014). Must display red flag at all 4 outer most points of the vehicle and have “OVERSIZE LOAD” signs that are a minimum size of 5′ wide x 12″ tall and have black lettering no less than 8″ in height. Must have radio and be in constant communication with the driver transporting the shipment at all times. Must have $500,000 per occurrence combined insurance that covers property and body.
How to apply for trucking permits:
Illinois Department of Transportation – DOT
Bureau of Traffic, 2300 S Dirksen Parkway
Springfield, IL 62764
Email: dot.permitoffice “at” illinois.gov
General inquiry phone: 217-782-6273
Phone: 217-785-1477 or 800-252-8636 within the state.
Note: Fee varies depending on dimensions and miles traveled. Permit is valid for 5 days.
Hours: from 8 AM until 4:30 PM
Central Time Zone