South Carolina DOT shipping regulations for oversize and overweight trucking on state highway and roads.
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Trucking company & pilot car directory.
Locate trucking companies and pilot car companies in South Carolina state:
South Carolina trucking company directory.
South Carolina pilot car company directory.
Legal load limits.
Legal load sizes and weights:
Length: 60′ is the overall maximum length allowed without a permit.
Width: 8′ 6″ in the maximum legal width allowed to travel on state roads.
Height: 13′ 6″ is the maximum legal height allowed to travel without a permit.
Weight: 80,000 lbs maximum GVW is the maximum weight permitted to travel without a permit.
Overhang: 3′ in the front and 6′ in the rear is the maximum permitted overhang for legal travel.
Routine trucking permits.
Trucking permits for overweight and oversize loads that are handled on a daily basis:
Length: 125′ in length pretty much is the maximum for routing permits. 100′ in length is the maximum on mobile homes. Overhang see; escort requirements below but the maximum is about 15′ in length.
Width: 16′ in width is the maximum allowed on a routine permit. Over this width depending on routing and you may become a superload.
Height: 16′ in height is about the maximum. Anything over 16′ in height and you start to run into trouble. Any shipment that is over 16′ in height will be required to have a route survey done prior to getting a permit issued. Also your routing requires that the overall height of your shipment is a minimum of 6″ less that any obstructions on the route in order to get that route approved routinely.
Weight: Single axle maximum weight: 20,000 lbs, tandem axle maximum weight is 40,000 lbs, tridum axle maximum weight is 50,000 lbs, quadem axle maximum weight is 70,000 lbs, 5 axle maximum weight is 90,000 lbs, 6 axle maximum weight is 110,000 lbs, 7 axle maximum weight is 130,000 lbs. Anything over 130,000 lbs in weight is a superload and will need to have a bridge analysis done. See superload section below.
Overhang: 3′ in the front and 15′ of rear overhang is about all you are going to get. You can call for more information but expect trouble.
Notes: South Carolina DOT is pretty tough on shipments that exceed any of these weight/dimensions. So if you are a boat shipper you’d better figure out a way to cut that fly-bridge off, sorry and don’t shoot the messenger.
We have the following information available on superloads:
As far as length goes you can get some play as long as your routing keeps you away from historic areas. Width is the same thing with traffic density and population considered. Height is big trouble with the South Carolina DOT. You will be required to have a pilot car with you at all times if you are over 16′ in height for sure. Count on a full route survey for shipments over the 16′ in height and remember that they are NOT going to want to let you travel ANY route where the clearance is less than the required 6″ overage in height. So if you are 18′ in height then the obstruction on the proposed route needs to be a minimum of 18′ 6″ in height or you are going to have delays in getting your permit. Weight is a serious issue if you want to cross over ANY bridges so if your shipment is over 130,000 lbs in overall gross weight get ready for bridge studies and time delays. Our suggestion: examine routing alternatives. Overhang is a rare issue but when it comes up and you are wanting to overhang in excess of 15′ you are going to have trouble. This is the case anytime you want to exceed the basic rule which is more than 1/3 of the overall shipment length; you just don’t do it as it’s too dangerous and the South Carolina DOT knows it.
Permitted travel times and restrictions.
Permitted travel times and restrictions:
The 1 half hour after sunrise and 1 half hour before sunset rule applies. Travel is permitted Monday through Saturday with no travel permitted on Sundays. It is possible to get Sunday travel approved but the basic rule is “no travel on Sundays“. If you are allowed to travel on a Sunday it will be clearly stated on your travel permit. You may not travel on the following holidays: New Years day, Independence day, Labor day, Memorial day, Thanksgiving day and Christmas day. You may not travel past 12 noon on the day previous of the holiday day and until after 12 noon on the day after the holiday. In high traffic density areas you are not allowed to travel from 7 AM -9 Am and 3 PM – 6PM if you are in excess of 14′ in width. If you are 16′ in width or over, on Saturdays you are only permitted to travel between the hours of 9 AM and 3 PM with no travel before or after permitted in any locations.
When pilot cars are required.
A pilot car (escort vehicle) is required when:
Length: Length is tricky in South Carolina, call the DOT to make sure. Leave your comments below for others please.
Width: From 12′ to 14′ in width will require 1 front pilot car (escort vehicle) on 2 lane roads. 14′ to 16′ in width will require 1 front and 1 rear pilot car (escort vehicle) on all roads in the state. If your shipment is over 16′ in width you will be required to have 3 pilot cars (escort vehicles) 1 front, 1 rear and 1 police escort in the rear.
Height: It all depends on your routing. You could be required to have a pilot car (escort vehicle) with a height pole the entire trip if you are 13′ 7″ (seriously). Please share your expertise with others below.
Weight: If you are approved for weight and able to maintain the minimum speed requirements the South Carolina DOT permit office will probably not require you to have a pilot car (escort vehicle).
Overhang: If your pulling a 48′ or a 53′ (just to clarify) long trailer and you have less than 15′ of overhang you can probably get away with flagging or amber lighting your shipment instead of a rear pilot car (escort vehicle). Anything over the 15′ mark and forget it you will be required to have a pilot car (escort vehicle).
Pilot car certifications.
Pilot car (escort vehicle) certifications & requirements:
The South Carolina DOT is pretty relaxed on pilot cars. You are required to have the proper banner/sign stating “OVERSIZE LOAD” or “WIDELOAD” displayed either prominently on the top of the vehicle or on the front of lead vehicles or rear of chase vehicles. You must have a flashing or strobing amber light on the top of the vehicle that is visible from 360 degrees from a distance of no less than 500′. You are required to have a CB radio or 2 way communication device and be in communication with all drivers working on your shipment. You are required to have your headlights turned on while working.
Note: It is only our professional opinion that pilot cars also have a minimum of the additional items but not required: 2 – 5 pound fire extinguishers type A, B and C, a paddle 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, 8 burning road flares, 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).
Shipment, truck & trailer markings.
Truck, trailer and shipment required signs, banners and flags:
Amber lights: you are required to have 1 rotating or strobing rear amber light on any vehicle that is shipping a load in excess of 12′ in width. Flags in safety colored orange or red with a minimum length in any direction of 12″ must be mounted on the 4 outer most corners of the entire overall shipment. Banner signs stating “OVERSIZE LOAD” OR “WIDELOAD” must be placed on the rear and front of the overall shipment. Banner signs must have a letter height of no less than 12′ and have a letter thickness of no less than 1 1/2″. Banner signs must have a yellow background with black lettering.
South Carolina DOT & information.
South Carolina DOT contact and other useful information:
South Carolina Department of Transportation – DOT
PO Box 191
Columbia, SC 39202
Telephone help line: 803-737-6769
Fax number: 803-737-2199
Hours of operation: 8 AM until 4:30 PM Monday thru Friday – EASTERN TIME ZONE.
South Carolina DOT oversize/overweight information website.
South Carolina DOT road closures and conditions reports.
South Carolina guidelines for movement of oversize and overweight loads.
South Carolina do it yourself single trip permit application – warning you can loose your money if you are not trained.
South Carolina state flag.