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Oversize Load Signs
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Choosing the right oversize load sign is critical to ensure safety on Canadian roadways.
Our selection of oversize, wide load, and long load signs are available Canada wide, and will enable you to clearly mark your load to help ensure maximum safety while traveling, and can help avoid any pesky fines that could be issued for not following extensive regulations surrounding oversize load haulage.
The below should not be considered definitive legal advice, and your own provincial/territorial regulations should be consulted as the ultimate source of information.
A variety of signage materials, as well as tie down methods also ensures that we have what you need for all of your oversize load signage needs.
Types of oversize load signs – and when to use them
Oversize load signs
Escort vehicle size (Pilot Vehicle Size)
Oversize load signs for escort vehicles or pilot vehicles are typically 35 cm (14”) high x 150 cm (60”) wide; these will fit your escort vehicle much better than simply using the standard sized Oversize Load sign intended to fit on the rig carrying the load.
Oversize load signs for semi trucks are typically 45 cm (18”) x 210 cm (84”), although at least in Ontario the actual size required isn’t stated in measurements of the actual sign itself. As of 2021, the MTO website states visibility requirements instead of sign dimension requirements.
The sign must be visible from a distance of 150m, and the letters on the sign (OVERSIZE LOAD) must be at least 200mm high, and 30mm thick.
In addition to being 30 mm thick, the letters must be black, and placed on a yellow background.
Display location required
Oversize load signs must be displayed on both the front and rear.
This usually means the front of the truck and rear of the load, but if the load is not overhanging, the sign is often displayed on the rear of the trailer.
It is critical that the sign is attached without covering any lights, or any other safe driving features.
Reflective Oversize Load Signs
Dimensions for Reflective Oversize Load Signs are the same as for non-reflective. Please see above!
The color requirement is also the same: Black letters on a Yellow background.
The material itself is different however, and regulations in Ontario (please check your own province/territory if outside of Ontario) state that high intensity, retro-reflective material should be used conforming to this standard: CGSB 62-GP-11M
Display location required
Display location is the same as non-reflective.
D Signs for Oversize Loads
D signs are required in Quebec; some provinces might allow a D sign as well, in place of a sign that says Oversize Load, but in general it’s best to use a D sign in Quebec and an Oversize Load sign everywhere else in North America.
With our convenient double sided D sign (OVERSIZE LOAD on one side, D sign on the other), you only need to make a quick stop near the Quebec border to swap the sign around on the front and rear of your load and you are good to go.
The “D” on a D sign comes from the D in “Over Dimensional”. This was chosen as the abbreviated form and intended to be readily identifiable from a distance of 150m.
Can you use a D sign in the USA?
While you could probably use it in some states, it’s much better to use the appropriate Oversize Load, Wide Load, or Long Load sign instead. The main idea is to keep the truck rolling, and not risk a possible roadside stop due to incorrect signage.
The regulations again don’t specifically state a size, but that the sign must be visible for a distance of at least 150m.
We recommend a size of either 30.5 cm x 245 cm (12” x 96”) or 45 cm x 245 cm (18” x 96”), either of which are suitable.
Here are the specs on our 30.5 cm x 245 cm (12” x 96”) sign:
Ensuring your D Sign is either sized as above, or larger is advisable.
Long load sign/Wide load sign
Long Load signs, and Wide Load signs both come in 18” x 84”.
They are required to fit the same “visible from 150m” criteria.
Black letters on yellow background is the regulatory specification for these signs.
Display location required
Front of the truck and rear of the load (if overhanging) or trailer (If the load is contained inside the bounds of the trailer).
Oversize Load Sign Styles
There are several types and sizes of oversize load signs, each with their own specific application. We’ve covered all types, and also mentioned which ones are NOT recommended.
Oversize Load Sign banners are the most popular, since they are lightweight, easy to roll up, easy to store for future use, and inexpensive. Banners are the most versatile and recommended for oversize load signage.
Vinyl Oversize Load Signs
Vinyl banners are the most popular, since they are a good blend of visibility and durability.
Mesh Oversize Load Signs
Mesh banners are helpful if you have to mount the sign in such a way that it catches the wind.
Using a mesh banner in that application should put less strain on the banner since the wind can pass through it and these are our number one recommendation.
Reflective Oversize Load Signs
Consult the regulations in your Province or Territory for what is determined “night”, but if you are hauling a load into that window of the day, a reflective sign is required.
2 Sided Oversize Load Signs
As mentioned above, a 2 sided Oversize Load Sign is recommended when a trip starts, ends, or goes through Quebec.
When purchasing a 2 sided sign, we recommend purchasing one with OVERSIZE LOAD on one side, and the red and white striped D sign on the other, as per the image below:
This is so that when you get to the border of Quebec, you can simply unhook the sign, turn it around, and then bungee it back down again.
There are other variations of sign available, such as OVERSIZE LOAD on one side, and LONG LOAD on the other.
However, we don’t recommend those, since while it seems like you are saving money by getting two signs in one, it’s likely the banner will wear out by the time you get a Long Load, or an Oversize Load to haul.
Unless you are used to the same loads all the time and you often switch between oversize and long loads and know your specific needs, it often ends up just costing more for a sign that you really only use one side of.
This is why the only double sided sign we carry is the one with OVERSIZE LOAD on one side, and a D sign on the other.
Banners with Integrated Bungees
Oversize Load Signs with integrated bungees (rubber strap with hooks each end) are a nice little upgrade and ensure you aren’t caught without enough rubber straps to properly secure your sign.
Another bonus of these is that they are slightly more durable than the grommet ones, since there’s no grommet that could tear out.
Wooden or Metal Oversize Load Signs
The advantages of wooden or metal oversize load signs are that they are more durable than a banner, and could present cost savings over time if they last a long time.
The metal signs are either aluminum, painted steel, or stainless steel.
They are bulky, heavy, and not easy to fasten to either your truck or a load which can lead to the risk of the sign coming off – and they are heavy!
And, painted steel signs can rust as the paint chips off.
The up front cost is more as well, so they are only recommended if you are doing regular runs where signage is required and you know the needs are the same every time.
In a case like that, you can modify the sign to fit your trailer, or your trailer to accommodate the sign.
Otherwise, either a vinyl or a mesh banner is going to be your best option since there’s greatly reduced risk, and lower cost.
Magnetic Oversize Load Signs
All around, we don’t recommend magnetic oversize load signs. They seem like a great idea, but reality is far different than the theory when it comes to these signs.
First off, if you try to use one on your truck, they are not going to stick to your stainless steel bumper. Stainless steel isn’t magnetic.
Second, they absolutely must be stuck to a perfectly smooth surface for the entire face of the sign.
The magnetic material they are made out of is very low strength, and if they aren’t entirely adhered to a perfectly smooth surface, they will fall off.
Even if only one portion of the sign is not perfectly stuck to a flat surface, the wind can get under there and once it does, the sign can very easily blow off.
Also, the material isn’t conducive to rolling up repeatedly and can crack after a very small number of times being rolled up.
For the added cost, plus the lack of integrity in the magnetic bond, the only time it might make sense to use a magnetic sign is if you can make a painted steel surface that is mounted to your truck or trailer, and adhere the sign to that.
And at that point, our thoughts are the same as above in the Wooden and Metal oversize load sign section.
We hope the above has been a helpful source of information regarding your oversize load signage needs.
We also have a good array of oversize warning products like flags, beacon lights, so all of your oversize load hauling warning product needs are covered.
If you don’t see what you need, feel free to contact us and we’d be happy to assist.
No part of this document should be considered legal advice regarding regulations of any sort. Trison Tarps Inc. bears no responsibility for any action taken based on the information provided here.