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Truck Driver's Guidebook
Michigan Weight and Axle Load Limits

Michigan Vehicle Code
Table of Contents

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Understanding the axle and weight load limits can be very confusing. To better help you understand the following is a simple guide for the maximum axle load limits that is not intended for legal purposes.You are responsible for familiarity with the complete weight laws found in the Michigan Vehicle Code, Section 257.722. Should you have questions about weight limits, please call our hot line at (800) 682-4682.

General Information

Maximum load limits may depend on the following:

  • What type of highway you are operating on (See highway types)
  • The number of axles and the distance (spacing) between the axles or axle assemblies on which the vehicle or combination of vehicles are operated (spacing is the distance between axles, measured from the center of one axle to the center of another axle)
  • The gross vehicle weight of the vehicle or combination of vehicles
  • Tire width (published by the manufacturer)

Depending on the conditions above, your vehicle may be subject to the maximums found under the bridge formula or the normal loading standards.

Bridge Gross Weight Formula general information


The bridge formula applies to vehicles operating on interstate highways and specially designated highways which:

  • Do not exceed 80,000 pounds gross weight
  • Do not exceed the maximum allowed under the formula

NOTE 1: A vehicle exceeding 80,000 pounds gross vehicle weight or exceeding the maximum allowed under the formula is subject to normal loading standards

NOTE 2: Except five-axle truck-tractor semitrailers having two consecutive sets of tandem combinations

The bridge formula allows for:

  • 20,000 pounds for an axle with at least 9 feet spacing on each side
  • 34,000 pounds for a tandem-axle assembly (allowed when two consecutive sets of tandem axles have axle spacing of 36 feet, measured for the first and last axles of the consecutive sets; see definitions page 10)
  • Weights for groups determined by using the Bridge Gross Weight Formula See chart on back cover of guidebook)

Normal loading maximum general information MVC 257.722

Maximum loads shall not exceed the number of pounds in the following provisions:

  • 18,000 pounds on an axle with at least 9 feet of spacing on each side
    NOTE: Weight can not exceed 700 pounds per inch of the width of the tire ("width" means as published by the manufacturer)
  • 13,000 pounds per axle when axle spacing is less than 9 feet between two axles but more than 3.5 feet
  • Axles less than 3.5 feet apart shall not exceed 9,000 pounds per axle

It is your responsibility to be aware of frost law restrictions along with county and city weight limits.

State Frost Law Information
(800) 787-8960

Table of Contents


Due to frequent changes in federal and state regulations, the Michigan Center for Truck Safety cannot ensure the accuracy of the material contained in the Guidebook beyond the date of publication. For current information, contact the Center at (800) 682-4682. This document is not intended for legal purposes.



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