Sec.8 - Special Transportation Permit

8.1 Introduction


The statutes of the State of Michigan authorize the WCRC to issue special permits for the movement over county roads of vehicles or loads which exceed the size or weight limitations specified by law.


It is the intention of the WCRC to permit the movement of necessary overweight and oversize vehicles or loads consistent with the following obligations:

  1. Protection of the motoring public from potential traffic hazards.
  2. Protection of road surfaces, structures and private property.


The WCRC reserves the right to impose such requirements or conditions as it may in its sole discretion deem necessary to prevent injury to persons or damage to property, and/or to require security against any loss or damages.

8.2 Authorized Applicants


Permits shall be issued only to business entities or individuals actually doing the transporting. The transporting vehicles to be used must be owned by the applicant or operated under a bona fide lease or rental agreement. A copy of the lease or rental agreement must be provided.

8.3 General Procedures


Application may be submitted at the WCRC office by mail, in person, by facsimile or by electronic means if available (with prior approval).


As a matter of general procedure, permits will not be issued for transportation of loads exceeding limitations as specified herein. Efforts should be made to move vehicles or loads exceeding those limitations by some means other than by roadway or to dismantle the object being moved to comply with the limitations. However, issuance of permits may be considered for limited movement of special loads if all efforts to utilize other means of transportation have been exhausted and if the object being moved cannot feasibly be reduced to comply with the specified limitations. A complete written explanation shall be submitted with a properly completed application for further consideration.


A single round trip permit may be issued for one move in and one move out; this permit may be valid for 5 business days. A multiple trip permit may be issued for an unlimited number of trips in a 5 business day period.

8.4 Conditions & Limitations


The maximum allowable axle weight under an Extended Transportation Permit is 140% of the legal axle weights. If the 140% limit is authorized the permit holder must provide the WCRC with 48 hours advance notice and the applicant must provide a specific route. In no case may the Extended Permit be issued for loads in excess of 140% of the legal axle weights.


The issuance of permits is generally limited to those vehicles and/or loads which cannot reasonably be divided, dismantled, reduced or otherwise rearranged to conform to legal dimensions and/or weights as provided by law.


Loads shall be arranged to effect the minimum dimensions for height, length or width. Staggered loading is not permitted. If a loaded commodity creates a single over-dimension, two or more commodities may be transported as one load provided the permit application so indicates, legal axle loadings are not exceeded, and no additional nonconforming dimensions of width, height or length are created or made greater by the additional commodities.


A request for an overweight permit will not be approved for a load consisting of more than one object, and in no event shall any wheel load exceed 700 pounds per inch of tire width. No overweight permits will be issued during the springtime weight restrictions period, except in case of public emergency.


All applications for loads in excess of 13 feet 6 inches shall certify that the proposed route has been traveled to assure vertical clearance.


Any escort vehicle shall be equipped with at least one flashing or rotating amber light on top of the vehicle. Amber lights shall be visible for 360 degrees for a distance of 500 ft.


Oversize Permits are issued for daylight hours only, Monday through Saturday, with the exception that Mobile Home permits are not valid on Saturday. In special instances other time limitations may be considered. Under no conditions will an Oversize Permit be issued for a movement to take place between noon on the day preceding and continuing until daylight of the 1st day after the following holidays:

  1. New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day


When a holiday occurs on a Friday or Monday, permits will not be valid for the period beginning at noon before the three day weekend and ending at daylight of the 1st day after the three day weekend. Mobile Home permits are not valid until noon of the day following the three day weekend.


Any of the following actions shall immediately void the permit and subject the applicant to appropriate legal action: (a) Misrepresentation of information set forth in an application for permit; (b) Any operation on highways beyond the size or weight limitations shown on the permit; (c) a change or erasure on the permit.


All hydraulic attachments or mechanisms must be securely immobilized with adequate chains and binders. Vehicles must have air or lift axles on the ground.


Vehicles shall be registered as required by Michigan statute and shall not violate any statute, ordinance, rule or regulation of any state agency or subdivision of the state. Vehicles shall comply with all statutory provisions as to other permits, licensing, motor vehicle equipment and operation. Overweight permits are valid only if the transporting equipment is licensed for maximum legal axle loadings.


Any approvals, reviews, and inspections of any nature by the WCRC, its officers, agents, and employees shall not be construed as a warranty or assumption of liability on the part of the WCRC. It is expressly understood and agreed that any such approvals are for the sole and exclusive purposes of the WCRC, which is acting in a governmental capacity. Any approvals, reviews, and inspections by the WCRC will not relieve the Applicant of the Applicant’s obligations hereunder, nor are such approvals, reviews, and inspections by the WCRC to be construed as a warranty as to the propriety of the Applicant’s performance.


Applicant agrees to accept responsibility for any damage caused to wires, mailboxes, trees, buildings, or the road, including the structures and appurtenances, and shall reimburse the appropriate parties for any damage caused by the moving of said vehicle or load. Applicant shall save harmless, indemnify and defend the WCRC against any and all claims for bodily injury or property damage or any other claim arising out of or related to the moving of said vehicle or load, or its presence on or use of the highway.


Construction Equipment, Prefabricated Items, and Boats: Maximum overall dimensions (loaded or unloaded)

  1. Single Move Permit
    • 16 feet in width
    • 15 feet in height
    • 150 feet in overall combination length
  2. Extended Transportation Permit
    • 12 feet 6 inches in width
    • 13 feet 6 inches in height
    • 75 feet in overall combination length
    • 45 feet in length of one truck or power unit
  3. 8.4.15

    Mobile Homes: Maximum overall dimensions

    1. Single Move Permit
      • 16 feet in actual body width; fixtures not to exceed 6 inches on each side.
      • When height is over 13’6”, applicant shall check for vertical clearance and overhead obstructions along route
      • 80 ft. in body length of the mobile home or module; 95 feet overall length with towing vehicle.
    2. Extended Transportation Permit
      • 14 feet in actual body width; fixtures not to exceed 3 inches on each side.
      • 14 feet; when height is over 13’6”, applicant shall check for vertical clearance and overhead obstructions along route.
      • 80 ft. in body length of the mobile home or module; 95 feet overall length with towing vehicle.
  4. 8.4.16

    Poles, Pipe, and Similar Loads: Maximum overall dimensions (loaded or unloaded)

    1. Single Move Permit
      • 16 feet in width
      • 15 feet in height
      • 150 feet in overall combination length
    2. Extended Transportation Permits
      • 9 feet in width
      • 13 feet 6 inches in loaded height
      • 75 feet in overall combination length
      • Consideration will be given to the issuance of extended permits to public utility companies and their contractors for loads of utility poles in excess of 75 feet. Any such permit, if issued, shall be limited to the service area of the utility company. Firms under contract to utility companies who wish to obtain extended permits in excess of 75 feet in length shall submit written confirmation from the utility company.

8.5 Designated Haul Routes


The WCRC is authorized by MCL §257.725 to designate routes for the operation of vehicles of a weight exceeding the maximum otherwise specified for said roads. A designated haul route shall be defined as a road or series of roads where normal load and dimension limits may be exceeded up to the designated load and dimension maximums. Permits may be issued on a seasonal or shorter term basis, depending on the route to be followed and the conditions of the road or series of roads along the route.


A permit for a designated haul route shall be obtained from the WCRC prior to commencing hauling operations. All applications for permits will be reviewed for safety, traffic and other transportation impacts. These factors may include, but are not limited to, locations of driveways, sight distance, interference with other driveways and road intersections, width of haul route roadways and shoulders, dust control on unpaved roads, horizontal and vertical curves, traffic volumes, adjacent land uses, and the composition of the road and the drainage systems and their ability to withstand the proposed use. Any permit shall be subject to all conditions and specifications appearing on the permit. Haul route permits will not be issued if, in the opinion of the WCRC, the requested usage will adversely impact the public health, safety and welfare. Haul route permits may be issued for periods up to but not exceeding one year and all permits shall expire no later than December 31st of each year unless otherwise specified.


It is the intent of the WCRC that no designated haul route permits will be issued which would allow vehicles to cross bridges and/or culverts while carrying loads which exceed posted limitations. Any permit so issued will in no way supersede posted load limitations on any bridge or other roadway structure.


Permits will not be valid during the time of weight restrictions as set forth in MCL §257.722 (commonly referred to as Seasonal Weight Restrictions) or at such other times during the year as determined by the WCRC.


It is understood that road improvements may be necessary in connection with the issuance of designated haul route permits to protect the public health, safety, and welfare. These improvements shall be made at the applicant’s expense and the extent of such improvements will depend on the nature and duration of the requested usage. In the event that the applicant’s type of operation can reasonably be expected to be continuous over a number of years and to generate high traffic volumes, the WCRC may require that the haul route be upgraded at the applicant’s expense to such extent that a haul route permit is no longer required.


County designated and normal routes are shown on the current edition of the Truck Operator’s Map published by the WCRC which may be obtained at the WCRC administrative offices or downloaded in .pdf format from the WCRC website at


General Procedures

  1. A haul route application will be considered separately from any driveway access permit application. Because the determination of the access driveway location may involve many factors, the WCRC should be contacted during the site planning process.
  2. The applicant must allow sufficient time for processing of the application in order that a proper inspection can be made of the requested route. Review of the application will require a minimum of 30 days and a maximum of 60 days processing time.
  3. An application for a designated haul route permit will be accepted from the property owner, facility operator, or truck operator. A designated haul route shall apply only to the applicant under the permit, and only for the duration of the permit. It should be understood that there may be more than one haul route permit in effect simultaneously on any section of road.
  4. An application for a haul route permit shall be submitted in the manner prescribed on forms supplied by the WCRC. An applicant shall be required to supply route descriptions, estimates of traffic volumes and tonnage to be hauled, hauling duration, township agreements and land use approvals, and any other pertinent information requested by the WCRC.
  5. An application fee shall be submitted with the original permit application form.
  6. The WCRC staff shall review the application and route for compliance with the current procedures and requirements.
  7. If the application appears to be in compliance, the WCRC staff will determine the amounts of the necessary security, the sign fee, and any extraordinary inspection/analysis fees as well as any upgrading requirements.
  8. If the application is acceptable, the WCRC will notify the applicant of the financial and any necessary road improvement requirements. If the application is unacceptable as presented, the applicant shall be so notified.
  9. Upon receipt and satisfactory review of any required road improvement agreement the application will then be referred to the Board for approval or denial. The annual renewal of existing permits will be referred to the County Highway Engineer and Managing Director for approval or denial.
  10. The Applicant shall submit a security guarantee, permit fee, applicable sign fees, and a certificate of insurance. The amounts of the guarantee, fees, and insurance shall be shown on the approved application. These financial requirements shall be submitted after approval of the application and prior to the issuance of the permit.


The applicant shall be responsible for all costs of “above normal” maintenance work necessary on the haul route. Unless otherwise specified on the permit, the WCRC shall perform all maintenance work. The cost of the “above normal” maintenance is based on current labor rates, equipment rental rates and material costs, plus indirect costs and overhead. The applicant shall reimburse the WCRC within 30 days following issuance of billing statements for costs incurred by the WCRC or the permit may be revoked.


Conditions and Limitations

  1. A designated haul route permit is subject to the following conditions and limitations as well as any conditions noted on the permit itself:
    1. The WCRC reserves the right to have its weighmaster stop and weigh vehicles and confirm compliance with conditions of the permit. If it is specifically determined that weights exceed those allowed by the permit, the truck operator will be ticketed according to the load and dimension restrictions in effect prior to permit issuance.
    2. Copies of the permit shall be available at the originating facility in a conspicuous location and shall also be carried in all vehicles to which it refers. The permit shall be available for verification when requested by a WCRC weighmaster or other law enforcement officer.
    3. All trucks shall carry a certified load ticket.
    4. The applicant is responsible for all loaded hauling operations to and from their source, and shall use the designated haul route.
    5. Renewal is required annually.
    6. The permit does not relieve the applicant from compliance with all applicable requirements of federal, state, and local laws and ordinances.
    7. Road improvements authorized in connection with the permit shall be completed and inspected to the satisfaction of the WCRC on or before the agreed completion date.
    8. The applicant shall maintain all facility driveways to the satisfaction of the WCRC and shall be responsible for the prevention and removal of material tracking onto public roads.
    9. If the applicant fails to comply with any provisions of the permit the WCRC may revoke the permit. Costs incurred by the WCRC to correct non compliance with the terms and conditions of the permit shall be the responsibility of the applicant.


Fee Requirements

  1. A non-refundable application fee for a haul route permit shall be paid at the time of application in accordance with the current fee schedule policy of the Board of County Road Commissioners. This fee shall cover review of the application by the WCRC office. If more extensive inspection and analysis, such as non destructive testing, bridge or culvert analysis, etc., of the proposed haul route is determined necessary, all special or extraordinary costs shall be at the applicant’s expense.
  2. A non-refundable combined permit, administrative, and inspection fee shall be paid in accordance with the current fee schedule policy of the Board of County Road Commissioners. This fee shall be paid prior to the initial permit issuance and prior to annual renewal of the permit, if applicable.
  3. The applicant shall post a surety bond using forms provided by the WCRC or submit an irrevocable bank letter of credit to serve as surety for repairs in the event the roads are adversely impacted by the hauling operations. If a surety bond is posted, a cash deposit in the form of a certified check will also be required to guarantee a payment of bills for “above normal maintenance” necessitated by the applicant’s operations. The amount of the deposit will be 10% of the approved bond amount. The deposit, minus any unpaid charges, will be refunded at the expiration of the permit.
  4. A sign fee shall be paid, if applicable, in accordance with the current fee schedule.
  5. An appeal fee shall be paid whenever an appeal is submitted.


Permit Renewal

  1. Short Term haul route permits generally will not be renewed or reissued more than once. Conversely, it is expected that Long Term haul route permits may be renewed or reissued annually, provided that the applicant has abided by all rules and regulations, paid all fees and charges, performed all required road improvements, and provided that the physical condition of the road warrants such continued use.
  2. Upon the completion of any required road improvements for a Long Term haul route, the applicant may expect to be able to continue to use the haul route for a number of years by renewing the permit annually, provided the conditions of the permit do not change. However, the WCRC does not relinquish its right to reduce load limits to protect the public health, safety and welfare and road integrity.
  3. In order to renew a haul route permit annually, the applicant shall submit a permit renewal application each year. The application shall include a statement of any proposed changes in conditions, along with a documented declaration of estimated tonnage for the coming year.


Road Improvement Requirements

  1. On all haul routes, the applicant may be required to accomplish improvements of the roads according to the following requirements in order to provide for the public health, safety, and welfare, and to protect the public investment in the current road system. The WCRC, based on the existing road conditions and the expected use by the applicant, will determine the scope of improvements required. The improvements may be performed prior to issuance of the permit or at some future time, in accordance with the terms of an approved agreement between the applicant and the WCRC:
  2. Improvements on gravel roads:
    1. Small volumes: Up to 75,000 tons per year or up to ten round trip truck movements per day on average. Adequate sight distance shall be provided at the driveway access connection.
    2. Medium volumes: 75,000-250,000 tons per year or 10-25 round trip truck movements per day on the average. In addition to intersection sight distance improvements, reconstruct the road to current standards suitable as a base for a future hot mix asphalt surface, establish drainage, widen narrow segments to allow for safe, two-way traffic, and other improvements as directed.
    3. High volumes: 250,000 tons per year or more, or over 25 round trip truck movements per day on average. Reconstruct to a County designated route road standard.
  3. Improvements on paved roads:
    1. Small volumes: Up to 75,000 tons per year or up to ten round trip truck movements per day on the average. Provide adequate sight distance at the access driveway.
    2. Medium volumes: 75,000-250,000 tons per year or 10-25 round trip truck movements per day. Provide adequate intersection sight distance at the access driveway. Pave all access driveway approaches for at least 60 feet from the edge of pavement of the public road with a minimum of three to four inches of surfacing. Resurface the haul route and improve drainage as determined necessary by the WCRC.
    3. High volumes: 250,000 tons per year or more, or over 25 round trip truck movements per day. Reconstruct the haul route to a County designated route road standard. Pave the facility driveway approaches as required above.
  4. Road improvements may be performed by the applicant, the WCRC or a designee. This shall be determined by agreement between the parties. In any case, the work shall be conducted under WCRC supervision and funded by the Permit Holder.
  5. Prior to approval of the agreement, the applicant shall submit an engineering plan for the construction. The applicant shall also submit material quantity estimates, cost estimates and a construction schedule.
  6. The applicant shall enter into an agreement with the WCRC for road improvements on the haul route, including fees, payments and improvement schedules, prior to the issuance of the permit. The terms of the agreement shall be based on an approved plan that is in compliance with the WCRC Haul Route Policy and road construction standards.
  7. The cost of all roadway improvements required for a new haul route shall be borne by the applicant. The applicant shall pay all costs directly to material suppliers and contractors, if any. If the applicant requests that the WCRC carry out the road improvements, then the applicant shall pay in advance to the WCRC an amount equal to the approved cost estimate, plus right-of-way acquisition, preliminary engineering, and construction engineering.