California Department of Transportation
 

Truck Lengths & Routes -- Quick Guide

The following three steps will help you determine which routes your truck may legally travel on.

STEP 1 -- DETERMINE YOUR TRUCK CATEGORY

The two categories of truck tractor-semitrailers in California are: (1) the "green" trucks (interstate "STAA" trucks) and (2) the "black" trucks (California Legal trucks).  This table shows the maximum allowed lengths for the two categories of truck tractor-semitrailers:

LENGTHS
"GREEN" STAA TRUCKS
"BLACK" CALIFORNIA LEGAL TRUCKS
 
STAA truck 53'
STAA Truck 48'
Ca Legal Truck
OVERALL LENGTH unlimited unlimited 65 feet MAX
SEMITRAILER 53 feet MAX 48 feet MAX unlimited
KPRA (kingpin-to-rearmost-axle distance) 40 feet MAX (for two-axle semitrailer);
38 feet MAX (for single-axle semtrailer)
unlimited 40 feet MAX (for two-axle semitrailer);
38 feet MAX (for single-axle semtrailer)

Doubles: For maximum allowed lengths of STAA and California Legal doubles (truck tractor-semitrailer-trailers), see the doubles on this Caltrans web page: http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/traffops/engineering/trucks/truckmap/truck-legend.pdf



STEP 2 -- DETERMINE THE STATE ROUTES YOU CAN USE

Caltrans Truck Route Map: The on-line color-coded "Caltrans Truck Route Map" for State highways is is the official government source for truck route information. This map is located in the table below. There are many private truck route guides, e.g., the Rand McNally Motor Carrier Atlas and various GPS systems. However, the accuracy of those private guides cannot be guaranteed, and must be verified by consulting the official "Caltrans Truck Route Map."  The table below also shows which color routes on the map your truck may legally travel on.

CALTRANS TRUCK ROUTE MAP
(Click on the red numbers to open each regional map.)
ROUTE COLORS
ROUTE TYPE
SIGNS
"GREEN" STAA TRUCKS
"BLACK" CALIFORNIA LEGAL TRUCKS
District Map Green Primarily interstates
None
YES YES
green line
Blue State routes
T-Sign
YES YES
blue line
Black-Dashed State routes
Usually none
NO!!! YES
black line
Yellow (KPRA Advisory Routes) State routes
KPRA
NO!!!

YES -- However, we advise you not to travel on an advisory route unless your KPRA is no more than the posted length, which is 30 feet on most routes.

yellow line
Red Varies

Example:truck-ban

The restriction may or may not apply to you. Read the restriction on the map to determine whether it applies.

See also the "Special Route Restrictions" web page.
red line

Truck Route List: The truck route designations in the Caltrans Truck Route Map are also available in more detail in an Excel spreadsheet at this link: ALL TRUCK ROUTES IN EXCEL


Signage:  These two signs indicate where a "green" STAA truck may travel off the interstates.

SIGNAGE
ROUTE TYPE
SIGN GRAPHICS
PURPOSE
T-Sign
(#G66-56)
State Route
Terminal Access
T-Sign
The T-Signs are trailblazer signs showing "Terminal Access" routes where STAA trucks may exit off the interstate and travel onto State and local routes. These T-Signs are also posted on the State and local Terminal Access routes at decision points. IF THE T-SIGN IS NOT POSTED, A STAA TRUCK MAY NOT TRAVEL THERE. If the Terminal Access route deadends, there will be a T-End sign at or near the turnaround location.
S-Sign
(#G66-55)
Service Access
S-Sign
The S-Signs are Service Access signs showing where STAA trucks may exit the interstate onto a local road, for one mile only, for food, fuel, lodging, or repair.


STEP 3 -- DETERMINE THE LOCAL ROADS YOU CAN USE

Destination: Locate your destination using Google Maps to determine which local roads you will need to travel on.

Local Terminal Access & Truck Route Maps: This Caltrans web page lists some local Terminal Access and Truck Route maps and municipal codes: http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/traffops/engineering/trucks/truckmap/local-truck-routes.htm. The list is not complete. We add links to local truck maps to this page as we learn of them.

Local Truck Routes: Most cities and counties allow ONLY the "black" California Legal trucks, and ONLY on certain "truck routes" which are posted with "truck route" signs.  

Local Terminal Access Routes: Most cities and counties have NOT approved any local Terminal Access routes for the "green" STAA trucks. If a local road has been approved as a Terminal Access route for STAA trucks, the State ramp will be approved by Caltrans and a T-sign will be posted at or near the highway exit leading to the local Terminal Access route.  

Local Contacts: For local truck access in cities or counties that are not listed on the Caltrans local route list linked above, you would need to contact the local government (e.g. the local office for Public Works, Traffic, Engineering, or Permits, etc.).

Signs: Look for these signs in the table below to indicate a local Terminal Access route that allows STAA trucks, or a local "truck route" which allows only California Legal trucks.

SIGNAGE
ROUTE TYPE
SIGN GRAPHICS
PURPOSE
T-Sign
(#G66-56)
Local Terminal Access
T-Sign
The T-Signs are trailblazer signs showing "Terminal Access" routes where STAA trucks may travel off the interstates and State routes and onto local Terminal Access routes, and at decision points along the route. IF THE T-SIGN IS NOT POSTED, A STAA TRUCK MAY NOT TRAVEL THERE. If the Terminal Access route deadends, there will be a T-End sign at or near the turnaround location.
Truck Route Sign
(#R14-1)
Truck Route
Truck Route Sign
The Truck Route Signs are posted by cities as trailblazer signs to direct the "black" California Legal trucks on approved truck routes through the cities.


STEP 4 (OPTIONAL) -- APPLY FOR A NEW LOCAL TERMINAL ACCESS ROUTE

Terminal Access Application:  If your "green" STAA truck cannot travel to your destination legally, and you would like to access that facility in the future, it may be worth it to apply for a new local Terminal Access route. Most State routes have already been evaluated, and are continually evaluated as improvement projects are completed; but many local roads have not been evaluated for STAA access. To apply to a local government to evaluate a local route to be considered for Terminal Access, this Caltrans web page provides steps and guidance:  http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/traffops/engineering/trucks/routes/ta-process.htm



STEP 5 (OPTIONAL) -- CONFIRM LEGAL LENGTH LIMITS IN THE CALIFORNIA VEHICLE CODE (CVC)

California Legal Truck:  The 65-foot maximum length limit for vehicle combinations is codified in CVC Secton 35401 which is copied here in part:

35401. (a) "... a combination of vehicles coupled together, ..., may not exceed a total length of 65 feet."

STAA Truck & Routes: The overall length and semitrailer length limits for STAA trucks, and the State and local authority to identify routes, are codified in CVC Section 35401.5(a) which is copied here in part:

35401.5. (a) "A combination of vehicles consisting of a truck tractor and semitrailer, or of a truck tractor, semitrailer, and trailer, is not subject to the limitations of Sections 35400 and 35401, when operating on the" ... (National Network) ... "or when using routes appropriately identified by the Department of Transportation or local authorities as provided in subdivision (c) or (d), if all of the following conditions are met: (1) The length of the semitrailer in exclusive combination with a truck tractor does not exceed 48 feet. A semitrailer not more than 53 feet in length shall satisfy this requirement when configured with two or more rear axles, the rearmost of which is located 40 feet or less from the kingpin or when configured with a single axle which is located 38 feet or less from the kingpin. ..."



CONTACT US

 

Caltrans Legal Truck Access Branch
Casey Robb
Manuel Fonseca
General number (916) 654-5741

E-mail: Legal Truck Access.
E-mail: legal.truck.access@dot.ca.gov.

Return to the Caltrans "Legal Truck Access Branch" page.

Revised 5/15/14.