If you need to get an oversize permit in Tennessee and aren’t sure where to start, you’ve come to the right place: our Tennessee permit FAQ.
How long are oversize permits valid for in Tennessee?
Ten travel days unless the load is a houseboat, mobile home, site-built home or commercial boat, in which case permits are valid for six travel days. The permit itself must remain in the vehicle while in Tennessee.
What are the legal dimensions for loads in Tennessee?
The legal limits in Tennessee are as follows:
- Gross Weight: 80,000 lbs. on all roads (federal bridge formula applies)
- Width: 8’6” on all roads
- Height: 13’6” on all roads
- Length: 40’ for single unit, 53’ for semi-trailer, 28’6” for twins/doubles, 52’ for autotransporters; rocky mountain doubles, turnpike doubles and triples are not allowed
- For semi-trailers over 48’, the kingpin to center of rear axle group cannot exceed 41’.
- Overhang: Any overhang over 4’ requires flags during the day and lights at night
- Exemptions: Wooden poles, logs or timber up to 75’ are permitted
What are the permit limits for loads in Tennessee?
The routine-issue permit limits in Tennessee are as follows:
- Single: 23,000 lbs.
- Tandem: 46,000 lbs. (up to 150,000 lbs.; loads over 150,000 lbs. only allow 40,000 lbs. on tandem)
- Tridum: 60,000 lbs.
- Quad: 80,000 lbs.
- Gross Weight (depends on outerbridge axle configuration and routes):
- 5 axles: 100,000 lbs.
- 6 axles: 120,000 lbs.
- 7 axles: 140,000 lbs.
- 8 axles: 160,000 lbs. (loads exceeding 150,000 lbs. must be approved by the Structure Division before a special permit can be issued)
- Length: 120’ (no set maximum overhang)
- The rules regarding kingpin length in Tennessee are complex. Please give us a call at (877) 416-1051 and we can walk you through the specifics.
- Width: 16’
- Height: 15’
Is continuous travel allowed for oversize permits in Tennessee?
For most loads, travel is allowed 24/7. The exceptions are:
- Mobile homes, site-built homes, commercial boats and superloads can travel 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset, Monday–Saturday. There is no Sunday travel for these loads.
When are escorts needed in Tennessee?
On two-lane highways:
- One (front) escort is needed when width is between 10’ and 12’6” (if pavement excluding shoulders is less than 24’) or when width is between 12’6” and 14’.
- One flagperson is needed when width is between 10’ and 12’6” at bridge structures where road width is less than 20’.
On four-lane or interstate highways:
- One (rear) escort is needed when width is over 12’6” and up to 14”.
On all highways:
- Two (front and rear) escorts are needed if width is over 14’.
- One (rear) escort is needed if length is between 90’ and 120’.
- One (front w/ height pole) escort is needed if height is over 15’.
- Two (front and rear) escorts are needed if length is over 120’.
- Two (front and rear) escorts are needed for moving houses.
Additional restrictions apply for mobile homes and houseboats.
What is a superload in Tennessee?
In Tennessee, loads over 16’ wide, over 15’6” high or larger than 165,000 lbs. are considered superloads.
Loads over 15’ in height require a route survey which is only good for 15 days and 1 trip. Route surveys may also be required if length exceeds 120’ or width exceeds 16’.
The complexities of permitting in Tennessee (or anywhere else) can be daunting, but that’s why we’re here. If you have any questions or would prefer that someone else do the heavy lifting (pun intended), give us a call at (877) 416-1051 or send us an email.