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How Far Can Something Hang Off The Back Of A Truck?

When you’re carrying a longer load, it can be confusing to try and figure out the answer to a seemingly simple question: how much can something hang off the back of your truck? 

Well, the answer is a little complicated, because it depends. Depending on which state you’re in, the answer might be different. 

Disclaimer of liability: The information herein is for educational purposes only and does not supersede local law or your common sense judgement. Please consult local laws before attempting to transport oversized loads. Camera Source assumes no responsibility whatsoever for any damages as a result of following these guidelines. 

According to the Federal Highway Administration, “No State shall impose a front overhang limitation of less than 3 feet or a rear overhang limitation of less than 4 feet.”

Using the United States Department of Transportation’s Federal Size Regulation law as a general guideline, oversized loads like lumber that exceed an overhang of 3 feet to the front, 4 inches to the side, or 4 feet to the rear must be marked by a white, red, yellow or orange fluorescent flag.

This is a general guideline, and laws vary by state. 

While vehicle size regulations vary by state, when you have a backup camera, you will always know where your vehicle or trailer ends, so you can reverse and park with confidence and ease. Camera Source offers a huge selection of high quality automotive cameras and accessories for optimum safety. 

What can hang off the back of a truck?

Examples of objects that may be too large for your car or truck, and require additional tools such as a roof rack or utility trailer to transport:

  • Lumber
  • Poles
  • Ladders
  • Pipes
  • Kayaks
  • Canoes
  • Surfboards
  • Bicycles 

It's important to make sure that no matter what you're transporting, it should be properly secured and marked with a flag.

What is the widest and highest load without a permit?

Loads exceeding 8.5 feet wide are considered oversize and require a state permit. Most states have a maximum height of limit of 13.5 feet. Some states may permit heights up to 14 feet.

State Breakdown

The following states follow the federal overhang limit of 3 feet in the front and 4 feet in the rear: 

  1. Arkansas 
  2. Georgia 
  3. Illinois 
  4. Indiana 
  5. Iowa 
  6. Massachusetts 
  7. Missouri 
  8. Montana 
  9. New Hampshire 
  10. New Jersey 
  11. New York
  12. North Carolina
  13. Ohio 
  14. Oklahoma 
  15. South Dakota 
  16. Tennessee 
  17. Texas 
  18. Utah 
  19. Virginia
  20. Wisconsin


Below are the overhang regulations by state according to Motor and Wheel. Many of the following states make exceptions in specific cases to allow vehicles to overhang their load beyond the legal limit. But you may require special permits, visual signs and sometimes escorts. 

Alabama

In Alabama, loads can overhang by 5 feet from the front and 4 feet off the rear of the truck or any vehicle. Any load protruding more than the limit must have a visible red flag during the day or a red light at night.

Alaska

The state of Alaska allows an overhang of 3 feet in front and 4 feet in the truck’s rear and widths up to 12 feet. Loads that overhang over 10 feet or 17 feet high must have an “Oversize Load” sign.

Arizona

An object can overhang from a truck by 3 feet in the front and 6 feet in the rear in Arizona. Anything that exceeds this distance violates traffic law even if you use proper markings.

California

California allows cargo to overhang a vehicle by 4 feet beyond the rear, 3 feet beyond the front and 4 inches beyond the side of the vehicle. You must use markings if the load extends 1 foot or more to the left or over 4 feet to the rear of any vehicle. In some cases, California allows overhang up to 10 feet if the vehicle’s overall length does not exceed 75 feet.

Colorado

In Colorado, overhang must not extend beyond 4 feet to the front grill of the vehicle and 10 feet beyond the rear of the vehicle. Any extension beyond the stated limit is a class B traffic offense.

Connecticut

Connecticut allows objects a maximum overhang distance of 3 feet in the front, 4 feet in the rear and 6 inches on both sides. In some cases, there are no restrictions to the overhang provided you use proper markings.

Delaware

In Delaware, the DOT allows trucks to carry loads that protrude 3 feet beyond the foremost part of the vehicle and 6 feet beyond the rear. 

Florida

Florida allows trucks transporting automobiles and boats to overhang their cargo by 9 feet beyond the rear and 3 feet in front of the vehicle. Trucks with trees can overhang 10 feet beyond the rear. Other vehicles are allowed 4 feet of overhang beyond the vehicle’s end.

Hawaii

Hawaii allows the transportation of overhanging loads which does not exceed 4 feet beyond the front and 10 feet in the vehicle’s rear.However, the rule does not apply if you are hauling objects which cannot be readily disassembled such as poles and pipes. But you must use proper markings at the extreme ends of the load.

Idaho

The Idaho DOT allows a maximum overhang of 4 feet beyond the front and 10 feet beyond the rear of a vehicle. Loads can also overhang to a maximum of 6 inches beyond the right and left fender of a vehicle.

Kansas

In Kansas, loads are allowed to overhang 3 feet to the front and 4 feet to the rear. When transporting cargo which cannot be easily disassembled, the state allows more overhang so long as the overall length of the vehicle does not exceed 85 feet.

Kentucky

Kentucky permits an overhang not exceeding 3 feet in front and 5 feet in the rear of a truck.

Louisiana

Louisiana allows an overhang of 4 feet to the front and 8 feet to the rear of a truck.

Maine

Maine allows trucks to carry loads with a front overhang not exceeding 4 feet and rear overhang of 6 feet.

Maryland

The legal overhang limit in Maryland is 3 feet to the front and 6 feet to the rear of the truck.

Michigan

Legal overhang for trucks in Michigan is unrestricted so long as you stay within the legal length of your vehicle. But anything that protrudes over 4 feet to the rear must be flagged.

Minnesota

In Minnesota, the legal overhang limit is 3 feet in front, 4 feet beyond the rear of the vehicle and six inches beyond the end of the fenders on the left and right sides of the vehicle.

Mississippi

Mississippi has an overhang limit of 3 feet in the front and 15 feet in the rear of a truck.

Nebraska

Nebraska permits any amount of overhang so long as you don’t exceed the legal length of your truck.

Nevada

Nevada has an overhang limit of 10 feet to the front and extreme rear of a truck.

New Mexico

In New Mexico, the overhang limit is 3 feet to the front and 7 feet to the rear of the vehicle.

North Dakota

This state has a legal overhang of 10 feet to the front and the rear of the vehicle.

Oregon

In Oregon, trucks are allowed an overhand not exceeding 4 feet to the front and 5 feet to the rear.

Pennsylvania

The legal overhang in Pennsylvania is 3 feet to the front and 6 feet to the rear.

Rhode Island

Rhode Island permits an overhang not exceeding 3 feet to the front and 6 feet to the rear of a truck.

South Carolina

The regular overhang in South Carolina is 3 feet to the front and 6 feet to the rear. However, trailers less than 48 feet are allowed 15 feet overhang to the rear while trailers measuring 53 feet and above can overhang up to 10 feet to their rear.

Vermont

Vermont allows an overhang of 3 feet to the front and 6 feet to the rear. In some cases, the state does not restrict the amount of overhang at the rear so long as it does not exceed 1/3 of total length.

Washington

Washington has an overhang limit that must not exceed 3 feet to the front and 15 feet to the rear.

West Virginia

The legal overhang limit in West Virginia is 3 feet to the front and 6 feet to the rear.

Wyoming

Wyoming allows an overhang of 4 feet to both the front and rear of a truck.

Camera Source for A Safer Road 

No matter what state you’re in, safety should be the first priority. A backup camera can be helpful when navigating long loads. No matter what kind of backup camera you need, Camera Source has it covered. We offer a massive selection of both OEM and aftermarket cameras, so you can make sure that no part of your vehicle is unmonitored. Our friendly and knowledgeable customer service team is there to support you. Get in touch with us or start browsing our inventory now. 

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