Oversize Load Escorts (Beta)






Tennessee Department of Transportation
Third Floor, 505 Deadrick St.
James K. Polk Office Building
Nashville, TN 37243-0331
Phone: (615) 741-3821; Fax: 615-256-5894 or 615-741-1159
Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Central Time


Tennessee is a part of the “SASHTO” Agreement.
See SASHTO AGREEMENT  for details.



Weight: Single - 20,000 Lbs; Tandem - 40,000 Lbs; Tridum - 60,000 Lbs; Quad - 80,000 Lbs. Gross Weight: 5 Axles - 100,000 Lbs; 6 Axles 120,000 Lbs; 7 Axles -140,000 Lbs; 8 Axles - 160,000 Lbs. Movement with gross weight exceeding 150,000 Lbs must be approved by the Structure Division before a special permit can be issued.

Length: 120'

Width: 14';

Height: Load in excess or 15' in height will require Escort with height pole.

If load exceeds any of these dimensions or weights, refer to the State on Super Loads. 150,000 pounds must go to bridge department. Nighttime movement overweight only moves 24/7 with permit.



All movements exceeding 10' wide and/or 75' long require oversize load signs. Adequate marking shall be provided to outline the extremities of the load. Over- width or overlength shall bear a sign reading "Oversize Load" mounted on the front and rear of the movement. The signs must be at least 7' long and 18" high. Signs shall be yellow with black lettering 10" high with a 1 5/8" brush stroke. Each letter shall be solid. Red flags shall be fastened to the load front and rear at the top and bottom of each side which is widest. All flags shall be solid red color and at least 18" square. Specific restrictions will be indicated on your Tennessee permit, curfews in major cities depends on size of load. (See Travel Time or check your permit)


Movement not exceeding 10' wide, no Escort vehicle required. Movements over 10' wide and under 12' wide: No Escort required on interstate system, 4 lane highways or 2-lane highways with a minimum road surface of 24 feet. One Escort is required in front of movement when the roadway surface is less than 24' wide. A flag person will be required at all bridge structures of less than 20’. Movements over 12' and less than 14' wide: front and rear Escort on 2-lane highways. Front Escort vehicle not required on interstates or 4-lane highways. Front and rear Escort vehicles required on interstates where two lanes are traveled. Movements over 14' wide and under 16' wide: Front and rear Escort required on all highways. Over 15' high, height pole required. No annual permits shall be issued. Mobile homes 16' wide need front and rear Escort at all times travel allowed 6 days a week Monday thru Saturday. Weekdays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday thru Friday and all day Saturday.



Rule 1680-2-2-21, all escort vehicles must be equipped with either a rotating amber light or a strobe type amber light which is visible from at least 500' and has a horizontal placement which shall be visible from all directions 360 degrees. Escort vehicles shall display bumper mounted or roof mounted yellow sign(s) reading "OVERSIZE LOAD" with black letters a min. of 10" high, 1 1/2" wide brush stroke, which must be visible from front & rear. 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 escort vehicle against a flat surface backing up the entire area of the sign. 2 flags, either red or fluorescent orange in color, which must be at least 18" in size, shall be mounted at approx. a 40 to 70 degree angle on the escort vehicle's roof rack. All escorts shall have onboard the following equipment and such equipment shall be working order:

A.     Operable two-way electronic communications;

B.     Two 51b. fire extinguishers;

C.    Stop & go paddle (18" with 6" letters);

D.    Safety orange vest, shirt, or jacket;

E.     Red hand-held flag (18" in size);

F.     2 oversized load banners (yellow w/black lettering);

G.    Hard hat (no colr specified);

H.     Reflecting triangles or 18" traffic cones;

Additional equip. recommended, but not mandated: Hand-held two-way electronic communications; Flares; Map(s); Height indicator



Travel is permitted one half hour before Sunrise to one half hour after Sunset. No travel on Sunday. Travel is prohibited on the following holidays: New Years Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. The State Permit Office will be closed on the above-mentioned holidays as well as Martin Luther King Day, Presidents' Day, Columbus Day, Veteran's Day and the day alter Thanksgiving but travel will not be restricted on these additional days. Specific restrictions will be indicated on your Tennessee permit. CURFEW: Movements will not be allowed within any statewide city limits and all heavily traveled adjoining commercial or residential areas between the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 am and 4:00 am to 6:00 pm (Local time) from Monday through Friday because of traffic. Overweight only movements may travel 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Permit still valid 6 days.

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