You can reach new heights when driving through Colorado—literally. Colorado is home to the highest paved road in North America, climbing up to 14,258 feet above sea level. To travel on this famous road, you’ll need a Colorado oversize permit, and The Permit Company can help.
The Permit Company takes the hassle out of obtaining oversize and overweight truck permits, working directly with state and local agencies on your behalf. Below is everything you need to know about moving oversized loads through Colorado and how to obtain a permit.
1.) How long are oversize permits valid for in Colorado?
Single-trip permits are valid for up to five days.
2.) What are the legal dimensions for loads in Colorado?
The legal limits in Colorado are as follows:
- Gross weight: 80,000 lbs. on designated highways (85,000 lbs. on all other roads)
- Width: 8’6” on all roads
- Height: 14’6” on all roads
- Length: 45’ for single units and buses; 57’4” for semi-trailers on all roads; 28’6” for twins/doubles* on all roads; 70’ for autotransporters on all roads; 80’ for stinger-steered on all roads; 48’ for Rocky Mountain doubles and turnpike doubles on designated highways (permit load only on all other roads*); 28’ for triples on designated highways (permit load only on all other roads*); 97’ for saddlemounts (up to four units) on all roads
*See the section on longer combination vehicles.
The federal bridge formula applies.
3.) What are the permit limits for loads in Colorado?
The routine-issue permit limits in Colorado are as follows:
- Single: 22,000–27,000 lbs.
- Tandem: 42,000–50,000 lbs.
- Tridum: 55,000–65,000 lbs.
- Quad: 60,000–72,000 lbs.
- Gross Weight:
- Five axles: 106,000–132,000 lbs. (single, tandem, tandem)
- Six axles: 119,000–147,000 lbs. (single, tandem, tridum)
- Seven axles: 132,000–162,000 lbs. (single, tridum, tridum)
- Eight axles: 137,000–169,000 lbs. (single, tridum, quad)
- Length: 110’ on mountainous two-lane highways; 120’ on all non-mountainous two-lane highways; 130’ on all four-lane highways
- Width: 17’
- Height: 16’ (over 17’6” requires a survey)
These weights depend on the routes used. If the load exceeds any of these dimensions or weights, refer to the section on superloads.
4.) Is continuous travel allowed for oversize permits in Colorado?
Travel is permitted seven days a week during daylight hours. Some nighttime travel is allowed with certain special lighting restrictions, except where prohibited. Continuous travel, including holidays, is allowed for only overweight vehicles and loads (not exceeding 110,000 lbs.). Loads over 14′ wide are allowed to travel during the hours of darkness with a Chapter 6 Special permit.
Travel is prohibited on Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day. Permitted loads may travel on New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day; however, if any of these holidays falls on a Saturday, travel is prohibited on the previous Friday; and if the holiday
falls on a Sunday, travel is prohibited on the following Monday.
5.) When are escorts needed in Colorado?
Private escorts must have a Colorado safety certificate. There is a $5 fee for the written exam. Colorado accepts escort/flag car certifications from AZ, FL, MN, OK, UT and WA.
For height, consult the state prior to the move. On designated highways, heights of up to 14’6” are legal. On non-designated highways, height limits are 13’. A height pole shall be run by the front escort when the load exceeds 16’, unless otherwise advised by permit. The height pole shall not extend more than 6” above the maximum height of an extralegal vehicle or load.
These requirements are a summary. Colorado has very specific color-coded routes that
indicate pilot needs. Please send for this map at:
C.DOT: State Department of Transportation,
1325 S. Colorado Blvd., Suite 707, Denver CO 80222
On two-lane highways:
- One front escort (and possibly one rear escort)* is needed for widths of 13’–15’.
- One front and one rear escort (two in total)* are needed for widths of 15’–17’.
- One front escort is needed for widths over 8’6” on certain secondary roads.
- One front and one rear escort (two in total) are needed for widths over 11’ on certain secondary two-lane roads.
- One front escort is needed for lengths over 85’ on certain portions of two-lane and four-lane highways.
- One front escort is needed for lengths over 110’.
- One rear escort is needed for a rear overhang of more than 25’ (at the point of overhang).
- One front escort is needed for a front overhang of more than 15’.
- One front escort with a high pole is needed for a height over 16’.
On four- or more-lane highways:
- One rear escort* is needed for widths of 13’–15’.
- One front and one rear escort (two in total)* are needed for widths over 15’.
- One rear escort is needed for lengths over 115’.
- One rear escort is needed for lengths over 85’ on certain portions of two-lane and four-lane highways.
- One escort is needed for overhang that’s more than 25’ (at the point of overhang).
- One front escort with a high pole is needed for heights over 16’.
*Or use a yellow flashing light on the load in lieu of a rear escort.
*Escort requirements vary according to the routes traveled within the state and each major city. The state of CO DOT publishes a “Pilot Car Escort & Oversize Restriction Map” that should be consulted.
To write to the state of Colorado, address mail to:
State Dept. of Transportation
1325 S. Colorado Blvd., Suite 707Denver, CO 80222
6.) What is a superload in Colorado?
Expandable dual-lane trailers and loads that exceed 17’ wide and that are over 500,000 lbs. gross vehicle weight must submit an application with the following information: diagrams, including axle spacings, weight on each axle, load description, length, width, height and routes desired.
There may be additional charges if the roads need to be closed.
Allow up to two days for approval. The fee is $800.
If you need help with getting an oversize permit in Colorado or have a question about permits in any other states, give us a call at (800) 359-9407 or send us an email.