With more than three million truckers on the road, professional hauling services account for more than 70% of all freight moved in America. Most of the time, it’s as simple as loading up a truck and driving it to where that load needs to be. However, things change when you start talking about oversized loads. Oversized loads refer, as one would expect, to freight on the roads which are larger or heavier than typical loads. For these loads, heavy haul services are needed. There are numerous special requirements for carrying oversized loads, and it’s almost always best left to professionals to handle.
Does your load qualify as oversized? Here’s what you need to know.
Understanding What Distinguishes Oversized Loads
Every state has its own laws regarding what size loads are legally allowed on the roads without being considered oversized. However, the following guidelines present a good overview of common definitions.
A standard shipping container is usually either 53 feet long and 102 inches in width, or 48 feet by 96 inches in width. Additionally, height rarely exceeds 13 feet to ensure safe passage beneath overpasses. So, an oversized load is going to exceed those measurements. The larger it is, the more difficult transportation becomes – particularly if it’s over 13 feet high and has to be routed around overpasses.
Weight and axle requirements
Since the 1970s, the weight of truckloads has been measured and regulated on a per-axle basis, to reduce wear and tear on roads and bridges. The following is the formula used:
- Steer axles cannot carry over 12,000 pounds
- Single axles cannot carry over 20,000 pounds
- Drive axles and tandem axles cannot carry over 34,000 pounds
If the load exceeds those limits on even a single axle, it’s considered oversized.
An oversized load almost always requires permits from every state it will be traveling through. Along with the paperwork, the loads may also be required to have:
- Warning flags or beacons
- “Oversized load” banners
- Pilot cars or police escorts
- Filed travel paths and times
In short, moving oversized loads is a lot of work, and it’s almost always best left to professional heavy haul services.
Heavy Haul Services
Bobcat Contracting is one of the most-trusted construction contractors in Texas, and we also make our fleet of heavy vehicle haulers available for oversized loads. We have the expertise to deliver your oversized freight safety – contact us for details.