Federal Exclusions to Width Measurement for Overland Transported Freight
In general, if the freight you're hauling is less than 102 inches wide, you are below the limits set by the federal government that triggers wideload permitting requirements. This means no over-dimensional permits, escorts, or other cost and schedule impacting rules to follow. Knowing your width measurements are very important to effectively managing shipping schedules and project budgets. And you’re the one responsible for accurate measurements – not the state or federal representatives.
But what is included and what is not when it comes to measuring the width of flatbed freight shipments? Federal rules and regulations clarify this issue. The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration states the following:
WIDTH EXCLUSIVE DEVICES - States must allow certain devices to extend beyond the 2.6 m (102-inch) width limit of Commercial Motor Vehicles on the National Network and reasonable access routes. These include rear-view mirrors, turn signal lamps, handholds for cab entry/egress, splash and spray suppressant devices, and load-induced tire bulge. Also excluded are non-property carrying devices that do not extend more than 3 inches beyond each side of the vehicle.” U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), 23 CFR Part 658
This may or may not seem obvious. But when it comes to cost and project impact between an over dimensional load and one that falls below these standards, it’s important to know the regulations to be safe and legal. Being able to defend your freight measurements can mean the difference between state-by-state wide load permits and rerouting and a streamlined transport.