Oversize Load Regulations by State


Oversize Load Regulations by State

Oversized loads haul many types of materials and products that keep us everyday consumers moving forward. From tree trunks that turn into lumber for our homes, manufactured homes that give us shelter, and solar panels that create energy for those homes; oversized shipments are needed to keep society running. But they can have some of the most complex shipments. Oversized loads may need safety equipment, escorts and permits for their travel alone. Additionally, regulations vary in every state. That is more than enough to give anyone a headache. That’s why we wanted to write up this blog; to simplify what you need to know when shipping oversized loads and offer you one place to find all oversize load regulations by state.

Shipping heavy haul or an oversize load? This type of freight shipping can be complicated. We’re here to help you understand the regulations that go into these shipments so you can navigate them with ease.
What is considered an oversized load?

An oversized load can be any load that exceeds the maximum legal weight or dimensions. Each state has different legal limits, however federal guidelines are as follows:

  • Length: Maximum of 75’ from front of truck to the end of the load
  • Width: Maximum of 8’6”
  • Height: Maximum of 13’6” from ground to top of load
  • Weight: 80,000 lbs including truck, trailer and cargo.

*It is important to know the exact dimensions of an oversize load to be able to determine if a permit and/or support services are required.

Proper equipment

Besides meeting legal regulations, oversized freight needs the right equipment to move it. You want to make sure know your equipment limits and to not overload it. Overloading can have bad effects on steering, braking, and speed control, not to mention causing damage to the truck itself. Your freight should be positioned correctly on the flatbed for even weight distribution. Poor positioning and being too top heavy can mean a higher possibility for a rollover. 

Oversized freight can cause big problems if not secured properly. Loose cargo that falls off can cause traffic problems and has the potential to hurt someone or worse. Make sure the right materials are used to tiedown the freight or equipment to keep it from moving during transport.

*Finding the right equipment and experienced driver can be challenging with oversized loads. Thankfully, Trinity Logistics has a carrier network of over 70,000 and strong relationships with experienced heavy haul carriers.


The rule of escort vehicles also differ by state. Depending on the type and size of the load, there may need to be one or two escort vehicles required. Additionally, if the load is extra wide, some states demand that there be law enforcement escorts, with their time usually paid for by the hauling company.

Safety equipment

Safety equipment includes warning signs, flags, and lights to give visibility to drivers of the oversized load and its edges. Most states call for a yellow and black sign or banner that states “WIDE LOAD” or “OVERSIZED LOAD” on the back and/or front of the vehicle. If the load is permitted to move at night, amber or red lights are required, as well as whenever there may be reduced visibility, such as fog or rain. 

*All safety equipment is required to be removed or turned off when the truck is not hauling the load.


Even though oversize load regulations vary by state, any load that exceeds legal limits in weight or size MUST get a permit for the state being traveled through. For an oversized shipment traveling through multiple states, that may mean multiple permits. Permit fees can range to as little as $15 or over $70, depending on the state and size of the load. Some states charge $15 application processing fess, but if you frequently move oversized loads, they may offer you to set up an account to reduce or drop future application fees. Permits can be purchased for one-time moves, multiple moves of similar hauls, or even an annual permit for the movement of similar hauls.

*Exact routes need to be specified on the state permit for oversized loads. Penalties for not adhering to the conditions of the permit, or for not having the permit can result in significant fines.

Looking for an extensive guide to keep on hand for your over-dimensional shipping? Check out our Over-Dimensional Shipping guide here.

Oversize load regulations by state

The most important takeaway, and most challenging aspect of oversized loads, is that every state has different regulations. The operator must be aware of the requirements in each state and be prepared to honor those when moving through multiple states. Find out what you need to know about a certain state’s requirements by clicking on its link below:

Alaska  Alabama  Arizona  Arkansas  California  Colorado  Connecticut  Delaware  Florida Georgia  Hawaii  Idaho  Illinois  Indiana 

 Iowa  Kansas  Kentucky  Louisiana Maine  Maryland  Massachusetts  Michigan  Minnesota  Mississippi  Missouri  Montana  Nebraska 

 Nevada  Nebraska New Hampshire  New Jersey  New Mexico  New York  North Carolina  North Dakota  Ohio  Oklahoma  

Oregon Pennsylvania  Rhode Island South Carolina  South Dakota  Tennessee  Texas  Utah  Vermont  Virginia 

 Washington  West Virginia  Wisconsin  Wyoming

It’s easy to see the complicated aspects of an oversized shipment is. You can simplify your oversized shipments by finding a reliable and experienced logistics provider, such as Trinity Logistics. Complex shipments are what we excel in, and oversized shipments are one of those niches that we have developed a skill for. We have the knowledge you’re looking for and the reliable carriers you need to keep your business moving. 

Why not simplify your logistics today?
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Author: Christine Griffith