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Texas Legal Size and Weight Limits

The State of Texas has established legal size and weight limits for vehicles and the loads when operating on state-maintained roads and bridges.

Width Limits

Width is measured from the outside points of the widest extremities, excluding safety devices.

 

Explanation

Measurement

Legal width limit

8', 6" (102")

Maximum width permitted on holidays

14', except for manufactured housing

Maximum width permitted on controlled access highways* (Interstate Highway System)

16', except for manufactured housing

Maximum width permitted without route and traffic studies and certification by applicant on file

20'

Maximum width permitted for new houses

34'

Maximum width permitted for existing houses

40'

Maximum width permitted for new tanks

34'

Maximum width permitted for existing tanks

40'

Maximum width permitted for portable buildings

No limit

Maximum width for manufactured housing

No limit

 

*Controlled access highways are those highways that must be entered from an access road, not from a stop sign. Traffic can cross the highway only by way of an overpass or underpass. Controlled access highways are usually considered to be the Interstate Highway System.

 

    • One escort is required for all loads exceeding 14' up to 16' wide. Two escorts are required for all loads exceeding 16' wide. The escort must precede the load on a two-lane highway to warn oncoming traffic of the approaching overwidth load. The escort must follow the load on a roadway of four or more lanes to warn approaching traffic of the overwidth load ahead.
    • Loads exceeding 20' in width must physically inspect a proposed route and certify to the Motor Carrier Division by letter or facsimile that the overwidth load can safely negotiate the route.
    • There are special requirements for manufactured Housing.

 

 

Height Limits

 

Explanation

Measurement

Legal height limit

14'

Maximum height permitted on holidays

16'

Maximum height permitted without a route and traffic study and route certification by applicant on file

less than 19'

 

    • One escort is required for loads exceeding 17' in height. The escort must be equipped with a height pole to accurately measure overhead obstructions.
    • Front and rear escorts are required for loads exceeding 18' in height.
    • Loads 19' or higher must physically inspect a proposed route and certify to the Motor Carrier Division by letter or facsimile that the overheight load can safely negotiate all power, communication, and cable television lines, and all other low vertical obstructions.

Length Limits

 

Vehicle(s) Type

Legal

Maximum

Truck or single vehicle

45'

75'

Truck and trailer combination

65'

 

Commercial truck and stinger-steered semi-trailer combination transporting automobiles or boats

75'

 

Combinations such as truck, travel trailer & boat or motor home, boat and towing a car

65'

 

Truck-tractor

unlimited

unlimited

Truck-tractor combination

overall unlimited, trailer limited to 59'

 

Semitrailer

Single unit

59'

 

2 trailers

28', 6"

 

Front overhang

3'

25'

Rear overhang

4'

30'

Maximum overall length

180'

180'

Maximum length permitted without route and traffic study and route certification by applicant on file

125'

125'

 

One escort is required for loads exceeding:

    • 110', but not exceeding 125' long
    • 20' front or rear overhang

Front and rear escorts are required for loads exceeding 125' in length.

NOTE: The overall length indicated on the permit includes any overhang, but the amount of the overhang must be noted on the permit.

Weight

The basis for maximum legal weight is the number of axles. This information, in conjunction with the Permissible Weight Table, is used to determine maximum legal weight for a vehicle. The following terms are used in relation to weight:

    • drive axles - the axles which power a vehicle
    • inner bridge distance - the distance from the center of the first drive axle to the center of the last trailer axle
    • outer bridge distance - distance from the center of the steering axle of the truck to the center of the last trailer axle
    • steering axle - the front axle of the truck (legal weight and permitted weight are the same on steering axles)
    • tandem axle weight - total weight transmitted to the road by two or more consecutive axles whose centers may be included between two parallel transverse vertical planes spaced more than 40" and not more than 96" apart, across the full width of the vehicle.
    • Maximum legal gross weight cannot exceed 80,000 pounds.
    • Maximum legal weight for a single axle cannot exceed 20,000 pounds.
    • Maximum legal weight for a tandem axle group cannot exceed 34,000 pounds.

Tires may not carry a weight greater than the weight specified and marked on the sidewall of the tire.

Source: Jan 2012 Texas DOT