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2022 Washington State Shipping Regulations

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2022 Washington State Shipping Laws, Regulations, and Limitations for Heavy-haul Trucking and Oversize Loads

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Maximum Legal Load Limits in Washington

Maximum legal limits. Standard Metric
Length: 75 feet. 22.8 meters.
Width: 8 feet, 6 inches. 2.6 meters.
Height: 14 feet. 4.2 meters.
Weight: 80,000 pounds. 36,287 kilograms.
Overhang: 15 feet from the rear, 3 feet from the front. 4.5 meters from the rear, 91 cm from the front.
Notes: Rear overhang is measured from the center to the rear axles. The front is measured from the bumper.

Legal Load Limits in Washington

Length: The maximum overall length allowed legally is 75′.
Width: 8’ 6” wide.
Height: 14’ tall.
Weight: 80,000 lbs.
Overhang: 3′ in the front measured from the manufacturer’s front bumper and 15′ rear is the maximum and measured from the center of the rear axle.

Routinely Issued Oversize/overweight Permits in Washington

Oversize/overweight transport/trucking permits are routinely issued by Washington WSDOT.

Maximum routine permit limits Standard Metric
Length: Case-by-case basis.
Width: 14 feet on 2-lanes. 16 feet 4-lanes. 4.2 and 4.8 meters.
Height: 16 feet. 4.8 meters.
Weight: Some routes up to 200,000 pounds. 90,718 kilograms.
Overhang: 15 feet from the rear, and 4 feet from the front. 4.5 meters. 91 cm.
Notes: non-divisible loads can not be made smaller or lighter. Exception: Dozers have blades detached and sitting on the trailer. No multiple blades. Loaders may have the bucket detached as long as it is a pertinent piece for the loader being transported. No multiple buckets are allowed.

Length: No set limits other than travel times. Case by case basis for routine maximums.
Width: 2 lanes, 14′ or less, multi-lane roads with barrier strip 16′
Height:  16′ (note anything over 14′ will be required a pilot car w/height pole).
Weight: Single axle 22,000 lbs, tandem 34,000 lbs, tridem 55,000 lbs, quadem 70,000 lbs, gross weight on 5 axles 99,200 lbs, 6 axles 108,200 lbs, 8 axles 156,000 lbs.  These weights are limitations and totally dependent upon the federal bridge formula.  Superload is 200,000 lbs. Also, tire weight on all axles – 600 pounds per inch tire width.
Overhang: 3′ in the front and 15′ in the rear – also read in “legal loads” above.

Boat Shipping Boom, Masts, Cranes, Shovels, and Drilling Equipment Restrictions in Washington

Transporting booms, masts, cranes, shovels, or drilling equipment is permitted provided no less than ⅔ of the length is fully supported with no more than ⅓ of overhang from the rear of any trailer. Any protrusions from the trailer must be secured to prevent any bending or movement. Front projections that may extend further than the front axle must not restrict the vision of the truck driver.

Washington Superload Information

Shipments in excess of the following weights/dimensions are classified as superloads in Washington.

Superload size/weight classification Standard Metric
Length: 125+ feet on some routes 38.1+ meters.
Width: 16 + feet. 4.8+ meters.
Height: 16+ feet. 4.8+ meters.
Weight: 200,000+ pounds. 90,718+ kilograms.
Overhang: 15+ feet, case-by-case. 4.5+.
Notes: Superloads have finely detailed instructions clearly printed on the official permit. Any discrepancies should be discussed with the issuing Washington superload permit office official prior to commencing movement/transport.

In-depth Washington Superload Information.

Superloads are classified as vehicles or loads that are non-divisible (or a combination of the two) that weigh in excess of 200,000 lbs or over 16′ in height or over 16′ in width in Washington state. A superload application must be submitted 30 days prior if your shipment exceeds the weight maximum or 7 days if exceeding the height or width maximums. You will need to document why it is in the best interest of the people of Washington state to grant you permission to perform the move, show that it can not be reduced in any way reasonable, have a mechanical drawing of the truck, trailer, and shipment showing all of the axle positions, why you can’t perform the shipment via water, have an iron-clad route in mind, a detailed plan for controlling traffic, how you plan to use your pilot cars, show that you are aware of all railroad route time tables if performing any crossings, and have a way to prove that any kind of emergency vehicle at any time can easily get past you. If you have all of this together then the Washington DOT will take a look at it and may even charge you for their time. Superloads in Washington should be completely handled by a professional or you may lose time and money. If you need assistance please see our consultation section as we have staff that specializes in superload shipments.

Permitted Travel Times & Restrictions in Washington

Washington permitted travel times and restrictions for heavy-haul and oversize loads:

7 days a week.  One half-hour before sunrise and one-half hour after sunset is permitted.  No movement after 3 pm on Fridays, and Sundays, and only travel until 12 noon.  Holiday travel is not permitted on the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Independence Day, and Christmas day.   If the holiday is on a Saturday or a Sunday there will be no Friday or Monday travel permitted.  The Washington State permit office is closed on the above holidays in addition to Martin Luther King’s day, Presidents day and Veterans day however travel is not restricted on these holidays as well as Columbus Day and George Washington’s birthday.  Night travel is permitted for shipments that are under 12′ wide, 14′ 6″ in height, and 105′ overall in length.  Overweight-only loads that do NOT exceed any of the legal maximums in width, height, or length are permitted to travel 24/7 as long as the tractor can maintain the minimum rated speed limit for that particular road or highway.

Notes:  There are travel restriction times during heavy traffic hours for Seattle, Tacoma, Spokane, Everett, and Vancouver.  Please call the main number above for exact times or refer to the documentation on the permit that is issued.

Shipments that Require a Pilot Car or Escort Vehicle in Washington

If your dimensions/weight is over any of the following you will be required to have a pilot car/escort.

Length: If the load is over 105′ in length you will be required to have 1 rear pilot car (escort).
Width: If over 11′ in width you will be required to have 1 front and 1 rear pilot car (escort).
Height: If the height of the load exceeds 14′ 6″ a front high pole pilot car (escort vehicle) is required.
Weight: If this is your only exceeded limit no pilot car/escort vehicle is required as long as the tractor can maintain minimum road speeds.
Overhang: No set limits, case by case basis.

Pilot Car/Escort Vehicle Certifications and Requirements for Operating in Washington State

Required certifications for pilot cars and escort vehicles in Washington

Pilot car or escort vehicles can be a car, truck, or SUV as long as it has a gross vehicle maximum rating of at least 14,000 pounds and a wheelbase of at least 60″ in width. Headlights must be on at all times while escorting shipment. Each vehicle must be equipped with 2 amber lights on top of the vehicle and 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.  Company identification signs must be placed on both sides of the pilot car (escort vehicle) displaying the name of the company, and 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. Vehicles must be equipped with a CB radio or 2-way communication device, a 5-pound fire extinguishers type A, B, and C.  A sign hand help 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. 3 bi-directional road safety triangles.  While operating the vehicle the driver will is required to wear a reflective safety vest, jacket, or shirt.  An orange hard hat and a first aid kit must be kept in the vehicle.  A non-conductive height measuring device that is to be used while escorting loads with any height in excess of 14′ 6″ and should be set at a length of no more than 6″ above the actual height of the load and no less than 3″.  Pilot car (escort vehicle) operators are NOT allowed to carry passengers other than co-workers. Washington state escort drivers are required by law to be state certified and have a copy of their Washington State Certification ID in the vehicle at all times.  Some programs in other states may qualify the driver to operate in Washington State but you will want to verify this by calling the main office number above.    Pilot cars (escort vehicles) must keep a distance of no less than 1/2 mile from the shipment they are escorting.  If at any time ANY vehicle either the actual shipment or escorting vehicle is delayed from each other said vehicle MUST pull over and wait for the other to resume position.  All pilot cars/escort vehicles must display a 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.  The sign must be a minimum of 5′ above the pavement.  The vehicle should have 2 safety flags red or orange in color and be a minimum of 18″ in length and/or height mounted at a 40 to 70-degree angle on all 4 corners of the vehicle but these (the flags) are NOT mandatory at the time of this publishing.

Note: In our professional opinion all pilot cars and escort vehicle operators have items in addition to the above: two 5-pound fire extinguishers type A, B, and C, 3 reflective emergency road triangles, or 18″ traffic cones, 8 burning road flares, 2 OVERSIZE LOAD banners (yellow with black lettering) and a hard hat.

Shipment, Truck and Trailer Flags, Lights, and Markings in Washington

Required truck, trailer, and shipment markings. Signs, banners, flags, and markings.

Washington DOT (WSDOT) locations and contact information.

Washington WSDOT contact information and other helpful links.

Washington State Department of Transportation
921 Lakeridge Way
PO Box 47367
Olympia, WA  98504-6340

Ports of entry:
The ports do NOT issue permits in the State of Washington.
Bow Hill: (I-5 S) 360-766-6196, Plymouth: (I-82 N) 509-734-7043, Ridgefield: (I-5 N) 360-887-8231, Spokane: (I-90 W) 509-226-3366

Email: if you know of a good one please leave it below.
Help telephone line: 360-704-6340
Fax: 360-704-6350
Hours: Monday – Friday 7:00 am – 5:o0 pm.

Pacific Time Zone

See also:

Washington heavy-haul and oversize trucking permits.

Click here for the State DOT Website for oversize and overweight hauling permits.
Click here for Washington State road & highway conditions.

4 Responses

  1. As of June 3, 2017; Oversize loads requiring a high pole lead and are over 12′ wide, a rear pilot is also required on all multiple lane roadways. A signed copy of a single-trip permit is also required to be in the pilot car operators possession either hardcopy or electronic.

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