Home » Legal Advice » Big Loads Meet Bigger Rules & Regulations

In this modern age and ensuing future, the trucking industry plays an essential role in everyday operation of many businesses. Tractor trailers and fright trucks are responsible for the transportation of the goods and supplies provided by such companies. With the rapid growing economy, the trucking business has become vital to many businesses nationwide. Respectively, the trucking industry handles much more cargo than ships, ports, and even airports. An absence of the trucking industry would result in a catastrophic halt to the US economy.

While trucks are capable of transporting thousands of pounds of products, there are certain rules and regulations requiring synergy. One of these regulations is obtaining an oversized load permit if the weight or size of the cargo exceeds a specific figure appointed by the state. Truckers must obtain this permit from every state they travel through, as each state differs in the number they deem an oversized load. This also brings along a fee in order to legally and safely drive on public roads. Oversize permits specifically detail information regarding shipment date, vehicle operating hours, and the precise travel route. Truckers are also prohibited to the operation of an oversized load vehicle solely, as they must have an escort or a flag signal, also referred to as a “Pilot” vehicle. Additionally, an oversized load vehicle must visibly present an “oversized load” warning sign and flags visible from at least 100 feet away along with a 360-degree amber light

In general, the maximum load specifications for trucks are 8,5 feet wide, and 8.5 feet high, with a maximal weight of around 46,000 pounds varying by each state. Any greater specifications than this will require an oversized load permit complying with state law. Because oversized load vehicles exceed normal operating lengths, weights, and widths, a lead pilot vehicle is required for several reasons. Observation of ahead road conditions and imperfections, alerting the truck driver about ahead obstructions and bridge clearances, and warning pedestrians and other vehicles ahead are some of the escort’s main duties.

While hauling an oversized load increases the efficiency and volume of each transport, they are also susceptible to operation hazards. increased stopping distance, higher fatality risk, and height and clearance issues are all associated with oversized load transportation. Obtaining a permit will help eliminate controllable dangers such as knowledge of bridge weight limits during oversized transports. Everyday bridges and roads may not be able to support this extremely heavy weight. Weight warning signs are often present for the driver’s awareness.

Oversized loads include but are not limited to construction equipment such as cranes and backhoes, building equipment such as beams for bridges, and pre-built homes and shipping containers. Hauling such a load requires road awareness and caution for the public’s safety, as well as precaution of drivers inexperienced in driving near these types of vehicles. Drivers of these vehicle types may also be presented with scheduling challenges. In many states, oversized load vehicles are prohibited from traveling 30 minutes prior to sunrise, and 30 minutes after sunset.

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