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Tennessee Oversize / Overweight Regulations

What is considered as "Oversized Load" in Tennessee?

DIMENSIONS: Width: 8' 6" Height: 13' 6" Truck-Semi Trailer Length: 50' Overhang: Front and rear: 5' WEIGHTS: Single Axle: 20,000 lb. Tandem axle: 34,000 lb. Max Gross Weight: 80,000 lb.

What is considered as "Overweight Load" in Tennessee?

Tennessee Oversize / Overweight Permits

Tennessee Permit Department Contact Information


Fax: N/A

8:00 AM - 4:30 PM Central

Tennessee Pilot Cars / Escorts

 Width                              Escorts                              Position                                                  Days of Travel

10 ft. 6 in. to 12 ft             One Escort                     2 lane road – Front                                 7 days
                                                                                     4 lane road – Rear

12 ft. 1 in. – to 14 ft.         Two Escorts                  2 Lane Road - Front and Rear               7 days     

                                              One Escort                    4 Lane Road  - Rear                                7 days

14 ft. 1 in. and 15 ft.          Two Escorts                  2/4 Lane Road                                        7 days

15 ft. 1 in. and 16 ft.          Two Escorts                  2/4 Lane Road                                        Mon – Fri

16 ft and Above                  As Req’d by Permit       2/4 Lane Road                                       Mon – Fri


15 ft.1” – UP                        Front Escort with          2/4 Lane Road                                        Mon – Fri
             Height Pole                           


75 ft.1” – 90 ft.                   One Escort      Light on Rear Required                                         Mon – Fri

90 ft.1” – 120 ft.                 Two Escorts     Rear Escort Required                                          Mon – Fri

                                                 City Limit Travel Restrictions 

120 ft. – up                        Front and Rear Escorts Require                                                    Mon – Fri



Front – Exceeds 10 ft.         One  Front Escort                                                                        Mon – Fri

Rear – Exceeds 10 ft.         One  Rear Escort                                                                           Mon – Fri


Tennessee Axle Regulations

Axle Group                       Maximum

Single                                20,000 lb.

Tandem                            34,000 lb.

Gross Vehicle Weight    80,000 lb.

Maximum Permit Weight Allowed

Conditions for Permitting Overweight Movements

In general, the maximum allowable axle weights by special permit are:

  • Single Axle: 20,000 lb.
  • Tandem Axle: 40,000 lb.
  • In no case shall a single axle in a tandem group exceed 20,000 lb.

However, a special permit for the movement of a non-divisible load may be issued for axle weights exceeding the maximum axle weights established above, subject to the following conditions:

  • The maximum width of the vehicle, including the truck and semi-trailer or trailer combination, shall not exceed 10 ft. provided, however, the load may exceed 10 ft. if properly permitted
  • No single axle shall carry a load in excess of 23,000 lb.
  • No tandem axle group shall carry a load in excess of 46,000 lb.
  • No axle group of 3 axles (tridem) shall carry a load in excess of 60,000 lb.

Any movements with a gross weight exceeding 165,000 lb. may only be permitted if the movement is not detrimental or unsafe to the traveling public and the highway can accommodate the movement. In addition, such movements must be approved by the TDOT Structures Division before a special permit may be issued. Some movements with a gross weight of less than 165,000 lb. may also be subject to the prior approval of the TDOT Structures Division based on the axle spacing of the vehicle carrying the load.


Movement of super heavy and/or extra-overdimensional loads may be permitted provided the highway can accommodate and the move completed safely. “Super heavy” means that the total gross weight of the vehicle and load exceeds 165,000 lb., and “extra-overdimensional” means that the width of the vehicle and load exceeds 16ft, or the height of the vehicle and load exceeds 15 ft. 6 in..

Tennessee Trip and Fuel (IRP / IFTA) Permits

72-Hour Trip Permit

An IRP 72-Hour trip permit is required prior to entering a jurisdiction for any vehicle having a registration, but not registered or apportioned for a particular jurisdiction. This permit allows both inter or intra movement in Tennessee.

Temporary Fuel Use Permit

A temporary fuel use permit is available to freight motor vehicles operated over the highways of Tennessee on an occasional or infrequent basis. The permit may be issued for a period of time not to exceed seven consecutive days and is valid only for the particular vehicle for which it has been issued. The 7-Day Temporary Fuel Use Permit is required prior to entering Tennessee. In lieu of licensing under the IFTA, persons may elect to satisfy motor fuels use tax obligations on a trip-by-trip basis.

The fee for a Tennessee Trip and Fuel Use Permit is $30 per permit plus wire service fees.

Tennessee Overweight / Oversize Fines

Operating an overweight, un-permitted vehicle in Tennessee is a Class C misdemeanor and, upon conviction, subject to imprisonment for not greater than 30 days or to a fine of not more than $50.00.

In addition, it is illegal to move an overloaded vehicle until the load has been reduced to bring it into legal compliance, or a special permit obtained.

Each violation of restrictions on the maximum gross weight of freight motor vehicles and each violation of rules and regulations adopted for safety under that section is a Class C misdemeanor and subject to a fine of $25.00.

Court costs range between $40 and $90 or more.

Fines for overweight loads are:

WEIGHT                                         FINE

For the first three percent over $25 + $.03 per pound

For the remainder                        $25 + $.05 per pound

Running Hours and Holiday Restrictions

Warning Lights: Color and Placement

For any motor vehicle issued a special permit that has a truck-tractor and semitrailer combination carrying a load of excess width or length limitations set forth in Rule 1680-07-01-.01(2), the load shall be permitted movements between 1/2 hour after sunset to 1/2 hour before sunrise, provided on each side of the projecting load there is:

One red side marker lamp, visible from the side, located so as to indicate maximum overhang; and on the rear of the projecting load: Two red lamps, visible from the rear, one at each side; and Two red reflectors, visible from the rear, one at each side, located so as to indicate maximum width.

"Oversized Load" Banner Regulations and Requirements

All movement exceeding 10 ft. in width and/or 75 ft. in length shall bear information signs reading “OVERSIZE LOAD” as further provided below.

Signs shall be at least 7 ft long and 18 in. high. The background shall be yellow and the lettering black. Letters shall be at least 10 in. high with a one and 1½” stroke width. Each letter shall be solid. Gaps within the stroke of a letter are not permitted.

Signs shall be durable wood or metal construction. Heavy canvas or cloth signs, otherwise meeting same requirements, will be permitted if they can be securely fastened to the movement against a flat surface backing up the entire area of the sign. Signs shall be in a good state of repair, clean and readable.

Flag Requirements

Any motor vehicle having a load or vehicle component that extends more than 4 in. beyond the sides of the vehicle or more than 4 ft. beyond the rear of the vehicle shall have the extremities of the load marked with a red or fluorescent orange flag, not less than 18 in. square, at each point where a lamp is required.

Red or fluorescent orange flags shall be fastened to the load (front and rear) at the top and bottom of each side which is widest.

Flags shall extend from the load in such a manner as to be visible to traffic approaching from both the front and rear. If the widest part of the load is between the top and the bottom, flags shall be placed at this point both front and rear.

Flags, Lights and Banners

Movement is not allowed from sunset to sunrise, anytime on Sunday, or anytime on New Year’s Day, Easter, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. 

Operating hours for permits are 24/7 movement unless the load is classified as a Houseboat, Mobile Home, Site Built Home, Commercial Boat, or Super Load. 

The permit shall not allow movement of vehicles exceeding 12’6” in width, 15’ in height, or 90’ in length on the interstate highway system between the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and between the hours of 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. from Monday through Friday in counties having a population exceeding 250,000 according to the 2010 federal census or any subsequent federal census.

Tennessee Tire Regulations

No person shall use a tire on a vehicle moved on a highway that has on its periphery any block, stud, flange, cleat, or spike or any other protuberances of a material other than rubber that projects beyond the tread of the traction surface of the tire, except as otherwise provided in this section.

A person may use a tire that has embedded in it wire or other material for improving traction on snow and ice during the period of October 1 through April 15 of each year. Such a tire shall be so constructed that the percentage of wire or other material in contact with the roadway does not exceed, after the first one thousand (1,000) miles of use or operation, five percent (5%) of the total tire area in contact with the roadway.

During the first one thousand miles of use or operation of any such tire, the wire or other material in contact with the roadway shall not exceed twenty percent (20%) of the total tire area in contact with the roadway.

The studded tires allowed by this subsection shall not be used at any time on a vehicle with a maximum gross weight of more than nine thousand pounds (9,000 lbs.), unless this a vehicle is a school bus or an emergency vehicle.

It is permissible to use tire chains of reasonable proportions on any vehicle when required for safety because of snow, ice, or other condition tending to cause a vehicle to skid.

Tennessee Annual Permits

The Tennessee Department of Transportation is authorized to issue permits for the transportation of non-divisible loads that exceed State weight limits by up 120,000 lb.. For movements of vehicles with weights exceeding 150,000 lb.., a special permit must be obtained from the Commissioner of transportation.

According to Tennessee Law, a vehicle or combination of vehicle and load requires a permit if any of the following dimensions are exceeded:

Width: 8 ft. and 6 in.

Height: 13 ft. and 6 in.

Length: 50 ft. for truck tractor + semi-trailer combination

Overhang: 60 in. or 5 ft. (total for both front and rear)


20,000 lb. for single axle

34,000 lb. for tandem group

80,000 lb. or greater total gross weight vehicle

A permit is required if the vehicle or combination of vehicles and loads is overweight, over-width, over-length, or over-height. Commodity being hauled must be loaded so that the vehicle or vehicle and load combination presents the least dimension and exposure to the motoring public.

Maximum Limits: 

Length: 975’

Width: 14’11”

Height: 13’11”


Annual - $ 500.00 for vehicle up to 120,000 lb. GVW; 

$ 1,000.00 for vehicle over 120,000 lb. and up to 150,000 lb. GVW

Time, it takes to receive: 1 business day

Mailing method: online

Commodity specific? Truck specific (Each permit now requires every truck to have its own permit. A single permit is not permissible for multiple trucks).

Tennessee Road Conditions

There are always high traffic volumes one should be alert in every state, no different is Tennessee. Slow down and always follow posted work zone speed limits.

  • Pay attention. Workers and heavy equipment may only be a few feet from passing vehicles.
  • Don’t tailgate.
  • Stay alert and minimize distractions such as cell phones.
  • Obey road crew flaggers.
  • Expect the unexpected.
  • Plan ahead. Leave a few minutes early when traveling through a work zone to reach your destination on time.

Tennessee Manufactured Houses and Mobile homes


Single Trip Permit 

Mobile Homes

Width up to 14 ft.             $50.00

Width up to 16 ft.             $100.00

Height over 14 ft. 2 in.    $50.00

Length                                $25.00

Single trip mobile home permits are valid for 6 days.

Annual Permit 

14 ft. Wide Mobile Home          $1000.00

16 ft. Wide Mobile Home          $2000.00


Oversize / Overweight Regulations By State