Simplify Your Oversize/Overweight Loads

  • Instantly Determine Permit & Escort Costs
  • Calculate Max Legal/Permitted Axle Weights
  • Understand Equipment Limits
See How It Works

Ontario Pilot Cars / Escort Vechicle Requirements

When Escort Vehicles are Required: 

A permit may be issued on the condition that the permit holder provides an escort vehicle(s) either preceding or following the overweight vehicle or load. A description of when an escort vehicle is required is as follows:

No Escort Required:

  • for widths from 2.61 m to 3.99 m
  • for lengths from 23.01 m to 36.75 m
  • for heights from 4.16 m to 4.86 m

When a Private Escort Warning Vehicle is Required:


  • from 4 m to 4.99 m- 1 escort vehicle required on multi-lane highways
  • from 4 m to 4.59 m - 1 escort vehicle required on two lane highways
  • from 4.6 m to 4.99 m - 2 escort vehicles required on two lane highways

One private escort warning vehicle is required to accompany the movement of the authorized load. The private escort warning vehicle shall be required to precede the load on two lane highways or follow the load on multi-lane highways.

A second private escort warning vehicle is required to follow the load authorized by this permit while travelling on two lane highways.


  • from 36.76 m to 45.74 m - 1 escort vehicle required
  • rear overhang greater than 4.65 m - 1 escort vehicle required at the rear of load

Exceptions — see Mobile/Modular Homes below.


  • 4.87 m and greater - 1 escort vehicle (pole car) required

Permit holder is responsible for all horizontal and vertical clearances along the route and must ensure that proper clearance(s) exist. A pilot escort vehicle equipped with a height pole 8 cm higher than the load must precede the load to ensure proper vertical clearances and communicate any obstructions to the driver of the permitted vehicle.

Mobile/Modular Homes:

(This includes office and construction trailers and portable schoolhouse)

Mobile/modular homes greater than 29.25 m in length are not permitted to travel in convoy and require TWO private escort warning vehicles to accompany each load.

Private Escort Warning Vehicle Requirements:

Where a permit is issued on the condition that the permit holder provides a Private Escort Operator, Warning Vehicle and Equipment:

i. The escort vehicle shall be operated by a person eighteen years of age or older, with at least two years of driving experience and in possession of a valid driver’s licence equivalent to at least an Ontario Class G2 driver’s licence. The escort vehicle(s) shall not have more than 2 axles and a wheelbase length of not less than 2.65 metres and shall be equipped with flashing amber warning lamp(s) located on the roof of the escort vehicle. Lighting shall consist of either a rectangular amber bar positioned perpendicular to the length of the escort vehicle or at least one amber warning lamp conforming to standard SAE J845 or J1318 Class 1 or 2. All lights shall be visible on a 360 degree basis from the vehicle. The lenses must be kept in good and clean condition, free from the accumulation of dirt, snow or pit markings, as to not diminish the effectiveness of the lamp. All lamps required throughout this condition must be kept in good working order.

ii. Either a "D" or an "OVERSIZE LOAD" sign shall be used. [See "D" sign (as illustrated in Figure 1) attached. If using an "OVERSIZE LOAD" sign, the letters shall be in black on a yellow background]. The sign shall be mounted on the front and rear, or on the roof, of the escort vehicle. The sign shall not obstruct warning lights and other safety devices. If mounted on the roof, the sign shall be perpendicular to the length of the escort vehicle and shall be made of durable rigid material and must not interfere with the view of the light bar or warning light and the sign must be printed on both sides of the panel. The sign shall be removed or covered when not in use.

The escort vehicle(s) and towing vehicle(s) shall be equipped with a working two way radio communication device permitting direct communication between the vehicles.

The escort vehicle(s) shall be equipped with a fire extinguisher in effective working order, six 45 cm (18") traffic cones and/or portable reflectors approved by the MTO, and extra bulbs to maintain all lights required by this schedule.

All units, including the escort vehicle(s), will be operated with headlights on when travelling on a highway and shall maintain a distance of 60 to 150 metres from the load being escorted.

Caution: Escort vehicles do not have traffic control authority. The escort driver must obey all traffic laws and regulations.

Certified Superload Escorts are Required:

  • Width: 5 m and greater
  • Length: 45.75 m and greater
  • Weight: upon Weight and Load Engineer's request

There may be instances where, due to the parameters of the highway, escort requirements may change. If necessary, the region(s) may require escorts when normally none are required or additional escorts to those already requiring escorts.

Certified Superload Escort Requirements:

Effective July 1, 2018 persons wishing to become certified to direct traffic for movement of superloads will be required to successfully complete an MTO-approved training course before being eligible for appointment.

Information on the changes to the HTA and the new regulation can be found here:

Below is a description of the new regulatory requirements:

  • Driver Licencing
  • The Ministry wishes to ensure that Certifed Superload Escorts have a record of compliance with highway traffic laws, including any conditions stated on the permit. To be eligible for appointment as a Certified Superload Escort. The Certified Superload Escort will need to have maintained a valid full driver’s licence for at least four years and must not have accumulated more than six demerit points.
  • All Certified Escorts must complete Ontario Traffic Manual Book 7 prior to attending the MTO approved Certified Superload Escort Program.
  • Certified Superload Escorts will need to be identifiable; escorts are required to provide proof of their appointment upon request. Escorts from other jurisdictions must be certified in Ontario.
  • Certified Superload Escort Vehicle Signage and Lighting
  • Certified Escorts will be required to use a full-size pickup vehicle that are highly visible and easily identifiable.

Certified Superload Escort vehicles are required:

  • To display signs with the words “OVERSIZE LOAD” either on the front and the rear or on the roof facing both the front and back of the vehicle
  • To display signs with the words “Certified Escort” on the both sides and the rear
  • To display blaze orange marker flags on each side
  • To have amber lighting on its roof visible on a 360 degree basis consisting of either of a rectangular bar positioned across the width of the vehicle or of two warning lamps, one on each side of the roof, that qualify as Class 1 warning lights, according to Standard J845, published on June 10, 2013 by SAE International, as amended from time to time

Certified Superload Escort Persons Clothing and Signage

For safety purposes in directing traffic, it is important that over-dimensional vehicle escorts be dressed in clothing that makes them visible to motorists and they use signage that conforms to prevailing standards.

A Certified Superload Escort’s garments are required to meet set standards below:

  • It covers at least his or her upper body and has the following features
  • It is fluorescent blaze or international orange in colour.
  • On the front and the back, there are two yellow stripes that are 5 centimetres wide. The yellow area must total at least 500 square centimetres on the front and at least 570 square centimetres on the back.
  • On the front, the stripes must be arranged vertically and centred and must be approximately 225 millimetres apart, measured from the centre of each stripe. On the back, they must be arranged in a diagonal “X” pattern.

If a Certified Superload Escort uses a hand-held stop sign to direct traffic, the stop sign will need to meet below requirements:

  • The stop sign must be octagonal in shape, measure 450 millimetres between opposite sides, and be mounted on a pole that is 1.2 metres long.
  • The stop sign must be high-intensity retro-reflective grade red in colour, with the word “STOP” written in legible high-intensity retro-reflective grade white letters 150 millimetres high in a central position on the sign.
  • The stop sign must be maintained in a clean and legible condition.

Communication Devices

Ontario Regulation 366/09 (Display Screens and Hand-Held Devices) under the Highway Traffic Act contains a number of exemptions from the prohibitions in the Act against display screens and hand-held devices. Specifically, Certified Superload Escorts are exempted and permitted to use two-way radios while engaged in their duties.

Additional Requirements

In addition to regulatory requirements the ministry will be including the following vehicle specifications under permit conditions for Certified Superload Escort (CSE) Vehicles:

  • CSE vehicles shall be marked with two or more orange flags of not less than 40cm square and shall be mounted to the top of the vehicle angled outwards at approximately a 45 degree angle, extending not more than 15 cm beyond either side of the vehicle. The flag(s) must be kept in good and clean condition so as not to diminish their effectiveness.
  • CSE vehicles must be identified with a sign on the driver side, and passenger side, and rear stating ‘CERTIFIED ESCORT’ (see below for minimum sign details) The sign shall be a removable and shall only be displayed when a CSE vehicle is require by permit for an over-dimensional and/or overweight move.

  • CSE vehicle shall be a full-size pickup with no significant post factory modifications such as chopped or elevated suspension, extra-large tires etc. The rear window shall not be blocked by any devices such as a camper or truck cap. The pickup may include a storage box which does not extend more than 12 cm above the pickup box.

In addition to the above, annual and project permit holders must provide a private escort warning vehicle on the following highways when the load measurement meets or exceeds the listed widths:

3.00 metres:
528A, 538, 546, 564, 566, 580, 586, 587, 670, 671, 801, 802

3.35 metres:
510, 518, 524,525,528,529, 529A, 553, 556, 560A, 569, 570, 572, 573, 577, 595, 603, 605, 607A, 617, 619, 621, 633, 636, 639, 641, 645, 645, 661, 665, 804, 811, 7036

3.66 metres:
71, 105,101,125,129,130, 502, 516, 519, 527, 532, 540, 542, 547, 548, 551, 552, 557, 562, 563, 571, 579, 582, 585, 588, 589, 590, 593, 594, 597, 599, 600, 601, 602, 607, 608, 609, 611, 614, 615, 618, 622, 623, 625, 627, 628, 630, 631, 634, 638, 640, 642, 643, 644, 651, 657, 658, 664, 667, 668, 673

Highway 144:
From 20 km north of Highway 17 at Whitson Creek (Chelmsford) to the junction of Highway 144 and Highway 101:

  • For loads ranging in width between 3.66 and 3.99 metres, two private escort vehicles are required.
  • For loads ranging in width between 4.00 and 4.56 metres, one OPP escort at the front of the load and one private escort vehicle at rear of the load.
  • For widths greater than 4.57 metres, two OPP escorts are required, one at the front and one at the rear of the load.

Calculate Oversize/Overweight Load Regulations and Prices Instantly with