Utah Truck Weight Limits and Regulations

Utah Truck Weight Limits and Regulations

Trucking in Utah is governed by a comprehensive set of regulations designed to ensure the safety of roadways and infrastructure. These rules, managed by the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT), set forth the legal requirements for truck weights, dimensions, and various permits necessary for oversize or overweight vehicles. Adhering to these regulations is crucial for maintaining the integrity of highway structures and ensuring the safety of all road users.

In this article, you will learn about Utah Truck Weight Limits and Regulations.

Key Definitions and Utah Truck Weight Limits

Understanding the terminology and legal limits is the first step in complying with Utah’s trucking regulations. Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) refers to the total weight of the vehicle and its cargo, while axle weight limits specify the maximum weight that can be supported by each axle.

Understanding Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW)

GVW is a critical factor in determining if a truck meets the legal weight limits. It includes the truck’s own weight plus the cargo, fuel, and passengers.

Breakdown of Axle Weight Limits

Axle weight limits are set to prevent damage to road surfaces and bridges. In Utah, the standard limits are 20,000 pounds for a single axle and 34,000 pounds for a tandem axle setup.

Legal Limits for Tandem and Tridem Axles

Tandem axles must not exceed 34,000 pounds, and tridem axle limits are calculated based on the Federal Bridge Formula, which considers the axle spread to determine allowable weight.

Permit Requirements for Overweight Trucks

For vehicles that exceed these weight limits, Utah offers several types of permits. These permits accommodate transportation needs while protecting roadways and infrastructure from excessive wear and damage.

Navigating Overweight Permit Applications

Applying for an overweight permit requires detailed information about the vehicle and its load, including axle weights and spacings, the total weight, and the intended route of travel.

Criteria for Issuing Overweight Permits

UDOT evaluates permit applications based on safety considerations, potential road damage, and the necessity of the overweight transport. Special permits are available for non-divisible loads that cannot be easily broken down into smaller shipments.

Special Permits for Non-Divisible Loads

Non-divisible loads, such as large machinery or construction materials, may qualify for special permits. These permits consider the unique nature of the cargo and its importance to the state’s economy or infrastructure projects.

Exceptions to Standard Weight Regulations

Certain vehicles are exempt from standard weight limits under specific conditions to accommodate essential services and functions.

Specific Allowances for Passenger Buses

Passenger buses may carry more weight per axle than commercial trucks, reflecting their different construction and usage.

Weight Exemptions for Emergency and Utility Vehicles

Emergency and utility vehicles are often allowed to exceed standard weight limits due to their critical roles in public safety and infrastructure maintenance.

Dimensional Regulations for Commercial Vehicles

In addition to weight, trucks must adhere to maximum dimensions to safely navigate Utah’s roadways.

Maximum Height and Width Allowances

Commercial vehicles are limited to a height of 14 feet and a width of 8 feet 6 inches, ensuring they can safely pass under bridges and through tunnels.

Length Restrictions and Exceptions

Length regulations vary by vehicle type, with specific allowances for trailers, combination vehicles, and special load configurations.

Securing Cargo and Managing Overhang

Proper cargo securement is vital for safety, and specific rules govern how loads should be tied down and how much they can overhang the vehicle body.

Cargo Securement Standards

Utah follows federal guidelines for cargo securement, requiring that all loads be firmly immobilized or secured on or within the vehicle.

Regulations on Load Overhang

Load overhang is restricted to prevent hazards to other vehicles and pedestrians. Specific limits apply to both the front and rear overhangs.

Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) in Utah

Operating a commercial vehicle in Utah requires a CDL, with different classes and endorsements based on the vehicle type and the cargo. CDL Requirements and Application Process Drivers must meet specific criteria to apply for a CDL in Utah, including age requirements, possessing a regular driver’s license, and passing both written and skills tests.

Different Classes of CDL and Their Requirements

There are several classes of CDLs, each authorizing the holder to drive different types of vehicles, such as Class A for tractor-trailers, Class B for straight trucks, and Class C for vehicles carrying hazardous materials or more than 15 passengers.

Winter Driving Regulations for Trucks

Winter in Utah presents unique challenges for truck drivers, necessitating specific equipment and driving practices to ensure safety.

Requirements for Snow Tires and Chains

During winter months, trucks may be required to have snow tires or chains to traverse certain routes, especially those through mountain passes or areas prone to heavy snowfall.

Seasonal Driving Restrictions and Advisories

UDOT issues advisories and restrictions based on current weather conditions, and compliance is mandatory for all commercial vehicles.

Truck Parking and Rest Areas

Finding safe and legal parking for trucks is essential for driver rest and compliance with hours-of-service regulations.

Identifying Authorized Truck Parking

Utah provides designated truck parking areas and rest stops equipped with amenities for drivers to safely park and rest.

Features of Designated Rest Areas

These areas offer facilities such as restrooms, food services, and sometimes fuel, making long-haul trips more manageable for drivers.

Understanding Federal Trucking Regulations

Federal regulations complement state laws, setting nationwide standards for truck weights, dimensions, and safety practices.

How Federal Regulations Intersect with Utah Laws

Utah trucking regulations align with federal guidelines, ensuring that trucks traveling interstate comply with a uniform set of rules.

Insights into the Federal Bridge Formula

The Federal Bridge Formula calculates the maximum weight a vehicle can carry based on axle spacing, crucial for preventing bridge overloading.

Enforcement and Compliance

UDOT and law enforcement agencies oversee compliance with trucking regulations, applying penalties for violations to ensure public safety.

Penalties for Overweight and Overdimension Violations

Violations of weight and dimension regulations can result in fines, vehicle impoundment, or other penalties, emphasizing the importance of adherence.

Role of Enforcement Agencies

These agencies ensure that trucks comply with regulations, enhancing road safety and protecting infrastructure from damage.

Safe Trucking Practices

Adopting best practices in load management and compliance can significantly reduce the risk of violations and accidents.

Best Practices for Load Management

Proper load distribution and securement are essential for safe transportation and compliance with weight regulations.

Strategies for Ensuring Compliance

Regular vehicle inspections, staying informed about regulation changes, and obtaining necessary permits in advance are key strategies for compliance.


Complying with Utah’s truck weight limits and regulations is crucial for the safety of truck operators and all road users. By understanding and adhering to these regulations, trucking companies and drivers contribute to the preservation of infrastructure and promote a safer driving environment for everyone.

Additional Resources

For more detailed information and assistance with permits and regulations, contacting UDOT directly or visiting their official website is recommended. This ensures access to the most current regulations and resources available to truck operators in Utah.

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