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North Carolina Pilot Cars

When Do You Need a pilot car for your oversize load in North Carolina ?

Escort Requirements

Gross Vehicle Weight Exceeding 149,999 lbs.

  • 1 escort required (Lead).

Width Greater than 12’ up to 14'

  • 1 escort required (Lead).

Width Greater than 14’1"

  • 2 escorts required (Lead and Chase).

Height Greater than 14’5”

Length Greater than 110’ up to 150'

  • 1 escort required (Chase).

Length Greater than 150’

  • 2 escorts required (Lead and Chase).

  • Vehicles on 4-lane highways requiring only one escort for overwidth must have that escort following the load.

Note: Escorts may be required at any time at the discretion of the issuing agent.

Police Escorts

  • In addition to private escorts, a police escort is required when:

  • Width exceeds 16’.

  • Height exceeds 16.5’.

  • Law enforcement escorts may also be required at any time at the discretion of the issuing agent.

Super Loads

  • Anything above normal permit issue may be considered a super load:

  • Weights in excess of 132,000 lbs.

  • Width over 16'.

  • Height determined by route.

No set length limit.

Special Rules for NC Oversize Loads

Special Rules For Superloads:

Superloads are a special category of permitted loads. Specific instructions will be dictated on the permit—read it carefully.

A superload is defined as:

• Weight in excess of 132,000 pounds gross weight on seven or more axles

• Weight on four or more axle grouping 68,000 pounds

• Weight in excess of allowable weight over low limit/posted bridge

• Width in excess of 15 feet (excluding mobile homes).

Special Rules For16’ Wide Mobile Homes:

16’ wide mobile homes are a special extension of oversized permitting rules. While each permit will specifically list the special requirements, in general requirements will include:

1. Travel times: Monday through Saturday only (plus holiday restrictions), with hours limited to 9 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.

2. All escort vehicle operators are required to obtain an approved escort certification prior to performing the duties of an oversize, overweight load escort vehicle operator in North Carolina.

Special Rules For16’ Wide Mobile Homes:

• Front escort for permitted loads more than 12 feet wide on two-lane/twoway traffic highways and to move as a rear escort on multi-lane highways or as determined and stated on the permit document by issuing agent.

• A total of three escorts for permitted loads in excess of 15 feet in width, one of which must be from the NC State Highway Patrol.

• Rear escort required for permitted loads exceeding 110 feet in length or rear overhang greater than 14 feet.

• Front Escort required for weights in excess of 149,999 pounds

• Additional escort required as determined by issuing agent.

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