Everything You Need To Know About Oversize And Overweight Permits

Posted on: 20 May 2022

While you may have seen signs on a passing truck announcing a wide load, the process of getting that sign is much more complicated than you may realize. Here's what you need to know about oversize and overweight permits.

What are weight limits? 

The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration determines the maximum allowable weight for trucks. Currently, they are as follows:

  • 80,000 pounds gross vehicle weight
  • 20,000 pound single axle weight
  • 34,000 pound tandem axle weight

While the federal government does not make exceptions to the above limits, each state is allowed to make adjustments as they see fit.

What is an overweight permit?

An overweight permit is a document that allows a truck to exceed the legal weight limit in certain circumstances. The permit will specify the maximum weight allowed, as well as any other restrictions such as the routes that can be taken or the time of day the truck can operate.

Why would you need an overweight permit?

There are many reasons why a truck might need to exceed the legal weight limit. For example, a truck carrying a heavy load of construction materials may need an overweight permit in order to avoid making multiple trips.

How do you get an overweight permit?

The process for getting an overweight permit varies from state to state. In most cases, you will need to submit an application and pay a fee. The permit will likely be valid for a specific period of time, after which it will need to be renewed.

What are the consequences of operating a truck without an overweight permit?

If you are caught operating a truck without an overweight permit, you may be subject to a fine. In some states, the truck may also be impounded.

How much is an overweight permit?

The cost of an overweight permit varies from state to state. In some cases, the fee may be based on the weight of the truck or the length of the route.

What are some other things to keep in mind?

There are a few other things to keep in mind when operating a truck with an overweight permit. First, you will need to make sure that your truck is properly marked with the permit information. Second, you should be prepared to show the permit to any law enforcement officers who may stop you. Finally, you should be aware of any special restrictions that are placed on the permit, such as routes or time limits.

What is the widest load without a permit?

The federal government also determines the maximum allowable width for vehicles on the road, Currently, the widest load without a permit is 102 inches, or 8.5 feet. Like overweight permits, each state has its own rules on oversize load permits.

Overweight permits are an important part of operating a truck in the United States. By understanding the rules and regulations surrounding these permits, you can help ensure that your truck is in compliance with the law.