Oversize Load Escorts (Beta)






State Department of Transportation
921 Lakeridge Way
P.O. Box 47367
Olympia, WA 98504-7367
Phone: (360) 704-6340
Fax: (360) 704-6350
Office Hours: 7:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time



Weight: Single 22,000 Lbs; Tandem - 43,000 Lbs; Tridum - 65,000 Lbs; Quad - 70,000 Lbs. Gross Weight: 5 Axles - 99,200 Lbs; 6 Axles - 108,200 Lbs; 7 Axles - 134,000 lbs; 8 Axles - 156,000 Lbs all variable depending on bridge formula. Super Loads-200,000 lbs 16' wide, 16' high

Length: No overall length set. All loads over 14' high must be moved by permit.



Oversize load signs (at least 7' long and 18" high with black lettering at least 10" high in 1.41" brush stroke on yellow background) will be mounted on the front of the towing vehicle and on the rear of the load or trailing unit. Signs are not required on loads that are overweight only. Side mirrors for overwidth loads. Side mirrors shall be so mounted on vehicles hauling overwidth loads that the driver can see the highway for a distance of two hundred feet directly to the rear of the driver's side of the vehicle. Escort vehicles may be used in lieu of this distance requirement. All flags shall be clean, bright red flags at least 12" square on all four corners of overwidth objects and at the extreme ends of all protrusions, projections, or overhangs.



May be a passenger car or a 2-axle truck. Vehicle should not exceed a maximum gross vehicle weight rating of 14,000 pounds and be at least 60" wide, All Escort vehicles must be equipped with outside rear-view mirrors on each side of the vehicle. Amber lights on Escort vehicles. Two flashing amber lights will be displayed above the roof line of car. Escorts Headlamps must be on at all times. Identification signs or placards shall be displayed on the pilot car Escort vehicle at all times when escorting. Escort cars shall carry a minimum of flashlight in working order with red nose cone. Standard 18" STOP & SLOW PADDLE sign. Three bi-directional emergency reflective triangles, A minimum of one 5 pound B.C. fire extinguisher. A reflectorized orange vest, shirt or jacket, which must be worn by the operator while directing traffic. An orange hard hat. A height measuring device which is non-conductive and non-destructive to overhead clearances. A first aid kit. A pilot car Escort vehicle shall use a height pole at all times when escorting loads over 14'6" in height, the pole should not extend less than 3" nor more than 6" above the maximum load. The Escort car driver will act as a flag- person to control traffic in hazardous conditions, the rear Escort driver will also act as a flag person when a hazardous condition exists. Two-way radio contact is required. Escort car sign must be at least 5' wide by 10" high with one inch black stroke letters on yellow background or 7' wide, 18" high with 1.41" brush stroke letters, black on yellow background, 10" high. Sign must be mounted at least five feet above the surface of the road or high as practicable. Signs must be above the roof line of the Escort vehicle. Escort car operators must be experienced in the operation of Escort vehicles, and shall not carry any passengers, human or animal (excluding individuals in training status or necessary flag persons) or equip. or load in or on the escort vehicle which: Exceeds the height, length, or width of the escort vehicle, or overhangs the escort vehicle, or otherwise impairs its immediate recognition as a safety escort vehicle by the motoring public. Amending Order 191, filed 3/30/99, effective 4/30/99 WAC 468·38·110 Escort vehicle requirements. Article 17: Compliance with the rules of this chapter requires safe consistent operating procedure for the interaction between escort vehicle, escorted load and the surrounding traffic. Operators of escort vehicles, therefore, must be certified as having received a predefined base level of training as an escort vehicle operator. An escort vehicle operator with a Washington state driver's license must have a valid Washington state escort vehicle operator certificate/card which must be on the operator's person while performing escort vehicle operators duties. Escort vehicle operators licensed to drive in Washington state and operating with current certification cards from a different jurisdiction approved by the department, must get a Washington state escort vehicle operator card upon expiration of their current card, but not later than Jan 1, 2003. Escort vehicle operators with a driver's license from a jurisdiction other than Washington State may acquire a Washington state escort vehicle operator certificate/card, or operate with a certification from another department approved jurisdiction, subject to ongoing department reviews and approval of the issuing jurisdiction's certification program. A current list of approved programs will be maintained by the department's motor carrier services office. Washington state pilot/escort vehicle operator cards must be renewed every 3 years. For registration for class contact the Evergreen Safety Council at 401 Pontius Ave. N., Seattle, WA 98109 (206)382-4090 or 1-800-521-0778 FAX: (206)382-0878. As of now Washington state only recognizes Utah's pilot car certification program and Florida state and N. Carolina. Do not exceed 1/2 mile distance between permitted vehicle and the escort vehicle to maintain radio contact. If the front escort vehicle goes through a traffic light but the permitted vehicle does not, the escort vehicle must pull over to the right side of the highway, where practicable, to wait for the permitted vehicle. If the permitted vehicle goes through the traffic light but the escort vehicle does not, then the permitted vehicle must pull over to the right side of the highway, where practicable, to wait for the rear escort vehicle.



Escort cars are required when:

1. Vehicle or load is 11' in width; both front and rear are required on two-lane highway.

2. Vehicle or load is over 14' wide, one Escort car in rear on multiple-lane highways.

3. Overall length of vehicle or load exceeds 100' or rear overhang exceeds one-third of the total length, one Escort car is required on two-lane highways. The permit may authorize a riding flag person in lieu of an Escort car.

4. Overall length of vehicle or load exceeds 140', one rear Escort car on multiple-lane highways.

5. If height of load is over 14'6", one Escort in front. The Department does not guarantee height clearances; therefore, on any route where the height is in question, a front escort vehicle equipped with a height pole should be used.

6. If overhang is over 20' from steering axle, one front Escort on 2-lane roads.

7. WSDOT may require pilot cars in addition to these if the situation seems to demand them.



7 days a week - One-half hour before Sunrise to one-half hour after Sunset.

Travel is prohibited on the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. If the holiday falls during the week, travel is also prohibited on the afternoon prior to these days. Should any of the holidays fall on a Saturday or Sunday, the preceding Friday or the following Monday shall be considered such holiday. The State Permit Office will be closed on the above-mentioned holidays as well as Martin Luther King Day, President's Day and Veteran's Day, but travel will not be restricted on these additional days. Open Washington's Birthday & Columbus Day. Night Movements Vehicles or combinations operating under special motor vehicle permits that are overweight and/or overdimensional, not exceeding 12 feet wide or 100 feet long, and legal height may be permitted to move at night on state highways during normal atmospheric conditions. Night means one-half hour after Sunset to one-half hour before Sunrise.



Plymouth 1-81 Northbound 509-734-7043
Bow Hill 1-5 Southbound 360-766-6196
Ridgefield 1-5 Northbound 360-887-8231
Spokane 1-90 Westbound 509-226-3366

Vehicles must have permits prior to entering the state. Ports of entry do not issue permits anymore. The Department will prescribe specific hours and regulation for oversize movements in and adjacent to Seattle, Tacoma, Spokane, Everett, Vancouver and other areas as deemed necessary. For more information on curfew hours, of movement pertaining to your permit refer to your provision sheet DOT 560-002 or to the state of Washington, Motor Carrier Services (360) 704-6340.

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Photo courtesy of Intermountain Rigging and HeavyHaul