Federal Legislation of Truck Vehicle Dimensions

In the United States, federal legislation plays a pivotal role in regulating truck vehicle dimensions on the National Network. These comprehensive regulations encompass overall vehicle length, trailer length, and vehicle width, aiming to maintain road safety and standardization.


  1. Overall Vehicle Length
  2. Trailer Length
  3. Vehicle Width
  4. Conclusion

Federal legislation imposes clear guidelines and limitations to ensure uniformity in truck vehicle dimensions.

white truck parked on road
white truck parked on road

Overall Vehicle Length

Federal regulations do not impose a specific length limit on the majority of truck tractor-semitrailers operating on the National Network. However, there is a notable exception. Combination vehicles, designed for the transportation of automobiles or boats using specially designed racks, must not exceed a maximum overall vehicle length of 65’ or 75’. The precise limit varies depending on the type of connection between the tractor and trailer.

Trailer Length

Across the National Network, no state has the authority to impose a length limitation of less than 48’ on semitrailers involved in any tractor-semitrailer combination. Federal law further dictates that no state may enforce a length limitation of less than 28’ on a semitrailer or trailer operating within a tractor-semitrailer-trailer combination on the National Network.

Vehicle Width

Throughout the National Network, states are not permitted to impose a width limitation that exceeds or falls short of 102 inches. It’s crucial to understand that safety devices, including mirrors and handholds essential for the safe and efficient operation of motor vehicles, are not factored into the calculation of width.

Federal regulations are meticulously designed to ensure consistent and safe truck vehicle dimensions, reducing the risk of accidents and infrastructure damage.


Federal legislation governing truck vehicle dimensions is paramount for maintaining the safety and integrity of the National Network. These regulations provide a standardized framework that both truck operators and regulatory authorities must adhere to, thereby enhancing safety and efficiency in transportation.

For more information on federal truck regulations, please visit this link. Understanding and complying with these rules is imperative for truck operators and those responsible for upholding road safety standards, guaranteeing secure and efficient transportation on the National Network.

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