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Maximum Allowable Towing Width

7826 Views 5 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Barty
Ok peeps, after several phone calls to various state and county and city organizations, here are the results.
In Michigan, the maximum allowable towing length is 59 ft. The maximum allowable towing width is 96 inches or 8ft without a permit for state roads (surface streets) and 102 inches or 8ft. 6in. for interstate highways.

Anything wider than those widths needs separate state and county permits. Each county has different rules governing the use of "wide load" flags and (an) accompanying vehicle(s). Only one state permit is necessary for all state roads. Each county that you drive through has to issue a separate permit for that county in addition to the state permit. All county's vary as far as needing a yearly, one time, permanent, or whatever and also vary vastly in price and regulations.

The numbers are:
Michigan Motor Vehicle Division / Division of Trucking and Towing
Michigan County Road Association
Macomb County Road Commision
Oakland County Road Commision
StClair County Road Commision
Wayne County Director of Roads - Permit Devision
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If I am not mistaken the permits are only valid during day light hours. If you like to tow in the evening or at night when traffic is lighter you will have to risk the ticket.

I have a buddy that had a Formula 330 SS (9'8" beam I think). He also did all of this research and decided that it would just be cheaper to pay the fines if he ever got a ticket. He towed that boat 3 or 4 times a year for 3 years and never had a problem. Michigan hardley enforces load limits for large trucks, (when is the last time you saw an open weigh station and look at our roads) I think it would be a cold day before you got pulled over just for being a tad over width. Now if you are trying to tow a boat with a 12' beam you may catch some flack.

I don't know what kind of liability he took on by not getting the permits. For example. Could his insurance company deny a claim based on the lack of a permit?

I bet if you where to add up the cost of all of the permits it would take to tow from LSC to Charlevoix it would almost be cheaper to hire a marine hauler. Do I smell a conspiracy? Factor in towing during daylight hours only and that can ruin that long weekend you planned.

I am curious. Is there anybody on this site that tows a slightly oversized boat and gets all of the proper permits?

The preceding in not an endorsement by Boater2Be to brake any law.
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I am bringing this topic back to life as I am planning on trailering home the new boat in a couple of weeks. My old boat had an 8ft beam and this one is 10ft. I will be coming from Ohio and taking it to Shelby Twp. Does anyone know how to get these permits? Do you have to go to a Dept of Transportation office? Or is it something that can be done online? And no, I haven't called the numbers above yet. Figured I would start a conversation while being bored at work

I appreciate any insight!
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I am in your same shoes. I am going to trailer home a 33 Formula SS from Traverse City. I went online to MDOT and tried to figure it out but I think that I am just going to have to go to the TSC Transportation Service Centers and talk with them. The closet to me is the Macomb TSC @ 38257 Mound Road Sterling Heights, MI 48310 586-978-1935.
I am going to trailer home a 33 Formula SS from Traverse City. I went online to MDOT and tried to figure it out but I think that I am just going to have to go to the TSC
You both might think of chatting with some of the local 'big' haulers to see what they'd recommend on the permits (or maybe even even seeing if it would be worth a few $$ to let them handle just the paperwork?). They may have some contacts or suggestions that you could follow up with and you might get a lot farther with one or two initial calls to get the overall picture.
You will need state permits for each state you drive through. You will also need a county permit for when you get off the interstate. I'm speaking from experience, had a boat brought all the way up from Georgia. No problems until the driver exited I94 on to 26 Mile. He got pulled over after about heading east on 26 for 30 seconds. Also Ohio can be a bitch to go through, my driver wanted to go through Indiana instead of Ohio but the timeline didn't allow it.
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