How Wide? How Long? How High?

Measuring TapeHow Wide? How Long? How High? These questions, when asked in relation to vehicles and their loads, probably bring large commercial vehicles to mind for most drivers. The Commercial Transport Regulations do set out the maximum dimensions for commercial vehicles and their loads. The Motor Vehicle Act Regulations take a legal short cut and apply them and some other provisions to light vehicles too.

In general, your light vehicle and it's load cannot be more than 2.6 m wide, 12.5 m long and 4.15 m high. In addition, it's load cannot project more than 1 m ahead of the front bumper, 1.85 m behind the back of the vehicle or 4.5 m behind the center of the last axle. If you are driving something other than a pickup or delivery van, the load cannot be wider than the sides of the vehicle.

Things can get quite complicated from here if you add a trailer, are driving a pickup truck or delivery van or are carrying special commodities. Perhaps the simplest way to get advice before you set out on your trip is to know your exact dimensions and contact the nearest weigh scale. The inspectors there will provide expert advice and some scales are always open for your call.

Commercial vehicles may obtain exemptions from basic size rules through the use of a special exemption permit as long as the conditions of the permit are followed. The regulations do provide for the use of permits for light vehicles as well, but the last time I checked the policy was that these permits would not be issued.

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How wide,how long, how high

My question would be these pick-up trucks that have sled decks mounted on them, these stick out out past most mirrors which I guess then they would be to wide wouldn't they?


That would depend on whether they were wider than 8'6" or not. If they were, then it would depend if they had a permit or not.


Sled decks

Every sled deck I have had or seen, is 8’ 6”.


IFIXCATS Mobile Heavy Equipment Repair.

'In general' ?

I'm wondering about this, particularly in regard to vehicle length:

In general, your vehicle and it's load cannot be more than 2.6 m (8' 6") wide, 12.5 m (41') long and 4.15 m (13' 7") high.

Seems to me that the majority of semi-trailers we see on the roads these days are 53' long (not even including the tractor unit).

So, I'm puzzled.


For those of us in cars and pickups, it's probably a more or less valid expression.


It wasn't that long ago that Kamloops scale was writing up MANY citations for trucks running "hockey stick" pipes. If they were turned out too far, they exceeded 8' 6" wide , when measured tip to tip. 


IFIXCATS Mobile Heavy Equipment Repair.

Sea to sky accident August 2020

Wonder if this showed up in the recent posts due to the above accident.

Back when I got my drivers licence it had to be taken on a vehicle under 2725Kg (6,000 Lbs). If you were driving anything with a higher GVW you had to get your "C" licence which would be comparable to a Class 3 today. If you got your licence on a automatic you were restricted to driving automatics. May seem like a minor detail but as I like to explain it you can take your licence on a Honda Civic automatic today and walk across the street and rent a 5 ton truck with a standard transmission and 2 speed axle. Completely legal and then we wonder why we have problems on our highways. Not sure how this works out with the Graduated licence system.

As for the recent accident on the Sea to Sky I do see a few infractions but then one is speculating on what you can see in the picture. What actual happened can be completely different. One thing you cannot argue is the load was not properly secured.

How the regulations of the 1950's play into this is the knowledge required to get that higher licence. I got my licence for driving a car on Monday and upgraded to the equivalent of Class 1 with air on Wednesday. Regulations were far lighter in those days but you still had to know your maximum width, height, length, allowable overhang etc. I have taken several practice test over the years and courses on defensive driving etc. yet have never seen any questions on properly securing a load or how far you can have a overhang past your rear lights.

Recently on another theme I questioned bike racks. I'm positive that some of those exceed the maximum and most obscure the licence plate. All infractions. Unfortunately the people that should be enforcing the MVA in this province have blinkers on and can only see a couple of things. If your speeding, don't have a seatbelt, using you cell phone. Until the MVA is enforced we are going to continue to see accidents like the above. And the vast majority of the public is happy with this. I'll probably get flack for defending speeders. In this weeks article the topic is immediate road side suspensions. Most people are happy with letting cops be Judge and Jury on someone that blows 0.5 impounding their vehicle and causing them thousands of dollars in fines. Yet accidents such as the one on the Sea to Sky happen because no one cares if a load is improperly secured, over hangs any of the vehicle too far, a bike rack sticks out too far, conceals the licence plate and in some cases signal lights.

I have watched vehicles go through road checks with ticketable infractions with nothing being said or done. As long as you are not in violation of what is being checked that day you are fine to carry on your merry way.  

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