Over dimensional cargo is defined as cargo that protrudes over the sides of the vehicle transporting them. This often includes oversized objects such as industrial factory components, construction machines, and pre-built homes which are usually transported by truck.
Transporting oversized loads by road can be a challenge for any trucking company. The process requires careful planning and consideration to ensure that the item is being transported legally and does not pose a danger to its surroundings.
Over dimensional trucking is unavoidable in many cases, so here are 3 things to check before transporting an oversized load.
While most states have the same height requirements for cargo (i.e: oversize vehicles shouldn’t be taller than 14’6”), there may be differences in cargo width, length, and weight limits permitted between states.
Each state has its definition as to what consists of an “oversized load”, as well as different upper limits for the size and weight of oversized truck loads. You should check these requirements with the Department of Transportation for the states the cargo will be passing through to ensure that your company isn’t breaking any laws.
These restrictions should be well understood before planning the route the truck will take to transport the cargo.
Over dimensional trucking loads usually require temporary permits to transport. These permits authorize the transportation of oversized trucking through the state specified in the permit, so you will need to get permits from each state you plan to transport the oversized load through.
This is usually a requirement if your vehicle and cargo have a combined weight exceeding 80,000 pounds.
The temporary permits issued by each state can be valid for single or multiple trips. You may be issued an annual permit in the case of repeated trips. A summary of permit prices for oversized loads can be found here.
In many states, trucks with loads that are wider than 12 feet may require a pilot or escort vehicle. Pilot car drivers may drive in front of the truck or behind it, and warn the public of any traffic changes or disruptions that have occurred due to the truckload.
Escort drivers are sent in separate cars to make sure transportation activities such as lane changes and crossing bridges are safe for the truck to perform. They also make sure the driver of the truck isn’t breaking any traffic laws during the transport of over-dimensional trucking loads.
Certain states require that pilot and/or escort cars are fitted with large signs and or flashing lights to ensure that other cars and pedestrians are well aware that a truck with an over-dimensional trucking load is passing through.
Many companies offer pilot and escort car services, but if you’d like to use your pilot or escort vehicles, you will have to check and see that it meets all the state requirements.