California Vehicle Code specifies an over-sized load to be anything more than 8’6” wide, 14’ high and 40’ long. Allowable weight is 80,000 lbs. for a truck, trailer and load. The weight must be distributed properly -- allowing a 3-axle truck to carry 12,000 lbs. on the front (steering) axle, 34,000 lbs. on the two truck axles and 34,000 lbs. on the trailer. Cal Trans issues three classifications of permits depending on the weight and size of the load. The more weight, the more restrictions; such as -- loads of over 10’ wide cannot travel in Los Angeles between 6-9 a.m. and 3-6 p.m. or through San Diego between 5-9 a.m. and 4-7 p.m. and there are restricted areas in California they cannot drive through at all.
DOT (Department of Transportation) ID stickers are also required on all over-sized loads, and trucks coming in from states other than California will be required to have a trip and fuel permit. For more information on the permits your production vehicles will require, a good source is: Phil García of On-Time Permits at: 1 (619) 223 5466 or 1 (800) 223 8794 www.ontimepermits.com. Phil will not only advise you, but he can obtain all the permits and information you need to successfully get your trucks in and out of México.
Certain over-sized loads will require entering México through an over-sized gate at Customs, for which prior arrangements and permission must be secured. Local Mexican authorities may also require that over-sized loads be transported to Baja Studios during off-peak hours (late at night). Since each situation is going to require a different set of regulations, your best bet is to plan ahead and coordinate the details with your border representatives.