From tractors and industrial equipment to trailer homes and steel beams, oversized trucks are engineered to transport the heaviest of loads across the country. Reliable Permit Solutions specializes in temporary permits for oversize and overweight loads. What are some of the unique challenges you’ll face compared to driving any other truck and how do you navigate the roads while transporting these enormous shipments? Here are some rules to follow to help get you and your shipment to your destination safely.
Definition of Oversized/Overweight Loads
You may need a temporary permit if your truck and its load:
- Exceeds 13’6” in height
- Exceeds 8’6” in width
- Exceeds 48’ in trailer length
- Exceeds 80,000 lbs in overall weight
In some cases where the width of your shipment exceeds 12’, pilot vehicles or ‘escorts’ are required. The job of these escorts is to alert the shipment driver of special circumstances such as traffic, construction zones, bridges, and other obstacles that may impede the shipment. They also serve as a warning to other drivers on the road that an oversized load is travelling nearby. On long journeys, travel escorts will often accompany the shipment the entire way, so shipping companies will pay for accommodations.
Preparing Your Route
In most states, oversized loads with travel escorts can only travel 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset for safety. Before travelling, coordinate with your shipping company and fellow drivers to establish a safe route that works with your delivery schedule and your shipment’s dimensions and weight.
Stay Slow and Controlled
Drivers of any truck need to practice safe and defensive driving habits in order to avoid accidents, but even more so for overweight/oversized shipments. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, speeding was the number one factor in fatal large truck crashes in 2009, and continues to be so today. Keep speeds even more conservative on ramps and inclines, and slower during inclement weather or high-speed winds. Tailgating is never a good idea, even in heavy traffic. And when backing up with an oversized load, remember this acronym when in doubt: G.O.A.L. It stands for “get out and look”!Reliable Permit Solutions is dedicated to getting you the permits you need to help you keep your busy schedule. Stay safe out on the road, and feel free to contact us if you have any questions about routing your shipment or hiring pilot vehicles.