Tom Corbett, Governor Barry J. Schoch, P.E., Secretary, Department of Transportation

Size and Weight Limitations for Farm Vehicles

Information on the size and weight limitations for farm trucks and truck tractors can be found in Chapter 49 of the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code.

Width - A single vehicle may not exceed a width of 8 feet, 6 inches. Any truck and truck tractor combination may not exceed a width of 8 feet. There are several exceptions applicable to farm vehicles:

  • A vehicle carrying vegetable crops or nutrients, which does not exceed a width of 12 feet can be driven, hauled or towed between sunrise and sunset on highways other than freeways.
  • A vehicle used for crops or nutrients, which does not exceed a width of 14 feet, 6 inches may be operated between farms, on highways other than freeways between sunset and sunrise. When used at this time, the vehicle shall have and operate at least one flashing or revolving yellow light or strobe light, which shall be mounted to provide visibility to vehicles approaching from any direction, 360 degree visibility, regardless of the method of mounting, and hazard signals.

Despite the above exceptions, all vehicles are still subject to width restrictions for particular roads or bridges.

Height - No vehicles, including farm trucks and truck tractors, may exceed 13 feet, 6 inches in height

Length - No individual motor vehicle, including farm trucks and truck tractors, may exceed a length of 40 feet, including load and bumpers. There is no overall combination length limitation – the length of combinations is controlled by the length of the trailer. For a combination consisting of a single trailer and a tractor, the length of a single trailer may not exceed 53 feet, provided the distance between the kingpin of the trailer and the centerline of the rear axle or axle group does not exceed 41 feet. The length of each double trailer shall not exceed 28½ feet. There is no exception for farm vehicles.

Projecting Load Limitations - The load on any individual vehicle or the front vehicle of a combination of vehicles may not extend more than 3 feet beyond the front of the vehicle and no more than 6 feet beyond the rear of the vehicle.

  • If a load extends more than 4 feet beyond the rear, a red flag or cloth no less than 12 inches square, or if at night, a red light, must be attached to the projecting load.
  • Projecting loads are also limited to the length restrictions imposed on the entire vehicle. Projecting load limitations are not applicable to vehicles transporting live trees for planting or roof trusses.

Weight Limitations - Every truck shall have its own registered gross weight based on the gross vehicle weight rating assigned by the manufacturer (specified on the federal weight certification label) and an equivalent weight rating determined by PennDOT based on axle and wheel strength, horsepower, braking power and other factors affecting the ability of the vehicle to handle heavier loads.

No truck may be operated with a gross weight in excess of its registered gross weight. No combination containing a trailer having a gross weight or registered gross weight in excess of 10,000 pounds shall be operated with a gross weight in excess of the registered gross weight of the truck or truck tractor for a combination.

The gross weight maximum of any individual vehicle, including farm vehicles, is 80,000 lbs. The gross weight maximum of any combination is 80,000 lbs. These limits are subject to the registered gross weight of the vehicle, requirements regarding axle weight and requirements regarding wheel load. Vehicles are also subject to any weight restrictions applied to particular roads or bridges.

A vehicle may only be operated outside these limits with a permit from PennDOT. Oversize/overweight hauling permits may be issued for movement of vehicles, which exceed the limitations on size, weight, and load as established in the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code, Chapter 49. To check requirements for hauling permits, visit PennDOT’s website. Select More Links and scroll down to Hauling Permits. For contact information in your respective area, select Permit Contacts.

Further information on hauling in excess of posted weight limits may be found in Chapter 189, Chapter 191 and Chapter 193 of the PA Code.

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