Member Services

Trailer Laws and Regulations

Transporting boats on shell trailers is where the most significant boat damage occurs. Time and consideration must be taken to ensure the safe and efficient movement of equipment from one venue to another. Trailer safety information is available from the USRowing Trailering DVD, The Foundation for Rowing Education clinics, Mike Davenport’s book The Nuts and Bolts Guide to Rigging and his Web site MaxRigging.

Trailering laws and regulations in the U.S. can be confusing, especially when it comes to shell trailers. Shell trailers don’t fall easily into any category and law enforcement officers are not always aware of all the laws concerning trailering this kind of equipment. Below are two pieces of information to help you to begin to understand what the regulations are concerning shell transportation.

Two great resources are available below in the Related Documents section.

The State Trailering Regulations (Excel file) spreadsheet is a list of the state regulations for allowable height, width and length of trailers. The state regulation number is listed below the feet and inches allowed. Some links take you pretty close to the requirement page and other links take you to the regulations home page. With the regulation number listed to the left, it is pretty easy to find the specific info you are looking for. If you have any information about the blank spaces in green, please let us know.

Shell Trailers and Their Regulation by Brown University rigger Mark Shofer is a good overview on trailer regulations in the U.S. He has extensive experience driving trailers in the Northeast and across the country. The web information listed in the article have changed since it was written.  Please refer to DOT regulations page, in particular, Part 40, sections 355, 390-396. When you get to the page, find on the left hand side the “Rules and Regulations” search box.  Type in, “Part 40 355” and it will take you to the page with the links. Its not casual reading but some familiarity might help down the road.

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