overweight freight
15 June

Being a professional company truck driver, you mostly haul LTL (Less-than-truckload) or FTL (Full Truckload) in flatbed, dry van, or refrigerated trailers but hauling oversize/overweight freight is quite different and complicated. Heavy loads such as heavy equipment, machinery, or mobile homes come under the category of Oversize/overweight freight. According to the statistical data, transporting oversize/overweight loads is more profitable for truck drivers, which allows them to earn up to 70 to 80 cents per mile than standard-sized loads, where they can only make 40-45 cents per mile. But Do You know how to haul oversize/overweight freight? Are you familiar with the specific legal, strategic, and safety requirements to move an oversized or overweight load? Well, we’re going to discuss here everything you need to know about hauling oversize/overweight freight. 

What is Considered as Oversize/Overweight Freight?

Any shipment or laded vehicle that goes beyond the legal limits for dimensions, size (length, width, and height), and weight determined by the regulatory authorities of the state is considered as an oversize/overweight freight. In some states, oversize/overweight freight is also called a wide load or heavy load. For example, in most states, the legal size of a loaded semi-trailer is 53 feet (13.5 x 8.5 feet), and its maximum gross weight cannot be more than 80000 pounds. So, when the size or weight of a loaded semi-trailer surpasses these limits, it will be categorized as oversize/overweight freight. 

In most states of the USA, any shipment taller than 8.5 feet falls in the category of wide loads. Shipments with a length of more than 48 feet or a weight of more than 46000 pounds are likely to be considered oversized or overweight. However, the legal requirements for a shipment to be oversized or overweight vary from state to state. There is a wide range of factors involved in the determination of legal freight limits, such as:

  • Size of roadways
  • Geographical locations
  • The intensity of traffic on roads
  • Specific rules and regulations
Common examples of Oversize/Overweight Freights
  • Construction equipment
  • Manufacturing equipment
  • Mobile and portable homes
  • Heavy vehicles 
  • Construction materials
  • Grass Turfs

What are the requirements to haul oversize/overweight freight?

Following are the primary requirements that you must meet if you want to transport oversize/overweight freight within the state or across the country:

  • Oversize/Overweight Freight Permit

If you want to transport a wide load, the first and most important thing you need is the oversize/overweight freight permit from state agencies and regulatory authorities. You’re legally required to get this permit as it’s necessary to bring an oversized or overweight shipment on the road. Each state issues a permit for the truckers to transport a wide load only within this state. It means, with the oversize/overweight freight permit from Virginia, you can transport a wide load only within Virginia. However, if you want to transport a wide load across different states, you need to get a permit from each state that lies along your route. 

Most States issue oversize/overweight freight permit through an online permitting system. You can find the links to each state permitting system on the website of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). Currently, more than 30 states of established an automated permitting system that allows trucking companies and truck drivers to apply online for oversize/overweight freight permits. For example, the state of Georgia issues oversize/overweight freight permits through the Georgia Department of Public Safety. 

  • Load Scheduling

In most states, there’s a fixed time for the transportation of oversize/overweight loads due to safety reasons. Most states allow the transport of wide loads only at night, on holidays, or on weekends. So, you should schedule your load in compliance with the time regulations of your state. 

  • Use Escort Vehicle

In most states, you’re legally required to use escort vehicles while hauling any oversized or overweight freight. Escort vehicles are common passenger cars that travel along the wide load shipment carrying a banner to alert other drivers. 

  • Safety Equipment

Safety Equipment is used to alert other drivers that your truck is carrying a wide load. In most cases, banners, flags, and signal lights are used as safety equipment. You can also place a blank or yellow banner at the front or rear of your truck as a way to communicate with other drivers.

Datla logistics is a freight dispatching company providing dispatching services to owner operators and fleet carriers. We also provide freight shipping quotes to shippers who are looking to have their shipment delivered in a safe and timely manner.