Wisconsin is home to the bratwurst, snowmobile, Swiss cheese, inner tubing and jump rope capitals of the world. So, there’s no shortage of good food and fun. If you find yourself driving an oversized load through the cheesehead state, you’ll need to obtain an oversize Wisconsin permit, which is where The Permit Company comes in.
At The Permit Company, we help you obtain oversize and overweight truck permits by working directly with state and local agencies on your behalf. If you have any questions about moving oversized loads through Wisconsin or about securing a permit, you can find the answers below.
1. How long are oversize permits valid for in Wisconsin?
Single-trip permits are valid for five consecutive days. You may also get a permit for the return trip if requested at the time of the trip application. Permits may be ordered five days in advance of the trip’s start date.
2. What are the legal dimensions for loads in Wisconsin?
The legal limits in Wisconsin are as follows:
Gross weight: 80,000 lbs.*
Width: 8’6” on all roads
Height: 13’6” on all roads
Length: 45’ for single units and buses on all roads; 53’ for semi-trailers on designated highways and 48’ on all other roads, provided that the distance between the kingpin and center rear axle group is 43’; 28’6” for twins and doubles on designated highways (not allowed on other roads); 66’ for autotransporters on designated highways (can exceed if the semi-trailer does not exceed 48′ plus overhang), and 66′ plus the overhang on all other roads; Rocky Mountain doubles, turnpike doubles and triples not allowed on any roads; and 75’ for saddle mounts on designated highways (not allowed on other roads).
*The Federal Bridge Formula applies.
3. What are the permit limits for loads in Wisconsin?
The routine-issue permit limits in Wisconsin are as follows:
5 axles: 100,000 (depending on spacing and vehicle configuration)
6 axles: 166,000 (depending on spacing and vehicle configuration)
7 axles: 182,000 (depending on spacing and vehicle configuration)
8 axles: 191,000 (depending on spacing and vehicle configuration)
Length: No limit
Mobile home: 80’, 110’ overall length
Mobile crane: 60’
Mobile homes: 16’ (some exceptions)
Height: No limit
A permit will not be issued for a vehicle and load exceeding 100’ in overall length when the rear
supporting axle(s) are at or near the rear of the load unless the rear support is steerable and
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 Wisconsin?
Vehicles that are only overweight, unless otherwise specified on the permit, may operate 24
hours a day, including weekends and holidays.
If the size does not exceed 12’ wide, 13’06” high or 150’ long, the vehicle does not have any restrictions — unless specified on permits — in all counties, with the exception of:
In the Columbia, Dane, Milwaukee, Rock and Waukesha counties, the vehicle may not operate:
4–8 p.m. on summer Fridays and year-round on Sundays
4–8 p.m. during any evening before the holiday and on the day of the holiday, except if July 3 falls on a Saturday
If the size is greater than 12’ wide, 13’06” high or 150’ long, unless hours are specified on the permit, the vehicle may not operate:
- 4–8 p.m. on summer Fridays and Sundays
- After noon on Saturdays until sunrise on Sundays
- Noon the day before a holiday until sunrise the day after the holiday
- During the hours of darkness
Holidays with restricted travel times are:
- New Year’s Day
- Easter weekend (Saturday and Sunday)
- Memorial Day weekend (Saturday, Sunday and Monday)
- Independence Day
- Labor Day
- Opening and closing of gun deer season
- Christmas Eve
- Christmas Day
- New Year’s Eve
5. When are escorts needed in Wisconsin?
On two-lane highways:
- One escort is needed when any part of the vehicle or load extends beyond the road centerline.
- One front escort is typically needed for widths 15’–16’.
- If designated by permit, one or more escorts are needed, as well as a uniformed police officer. The permittee paying for the service must also be in the vehicle.
- One escort is needed for widths more than 16’.
- One pole car is needed for loads more than 16’ high.
On multilane highways (same as two-lane highways, except):
- One escort is needed when any part of the vehicle or load extends into a second lane.
- One escort is needed for widths more than 12’ on certain highways.
The permittee must give prior notice to owners of overhead wires, cables or other facilities affected by an oversized load.
6. What is a superload in Wisconsin?
Loads exceeding 16′ wide and 140’ long, and weighing more than 130,000 lbs., may incur a fee to cover application review costs. If a fee of $10 per district is assessed, then the maximum fee will be $10, even if the load is both overweight and oversized. You must submit an application, including axle weight and spacing. Super heavy loads will require diagrams.
Approval takes anywhere from one day to a week.