Our years of experience in the auto freight shipping industry has accumulated a great deal of helpful information! We are sharing this with you on this blog.

Scott combined his passion for the heavy haul and freight shipping industry with his real-world experience, around the clock work ethic and nationwide contacts to start Scott's Freight Shipping and Heavy Haul Service. His goal? To fill the need for a knowledgeable, responsive, well-priced reliable transport service. To do this, Scott offers unique 24/7 service, insists on using only certified, insured, reliable carriers and personally oversees every job. Scott prides himself on his knowledge of the transport industry which allows him to find the most perfectly qualified carrier for your job - whether an oversized motor home or a single farm tractor.


Top 10 States for Outgoing Freight Loads (And What They Commonly Transport)



Most common transported items are products derived from petroleum and coal, electronics, chemicals, machinery, transportation equipment, and agriculture.

2. california

Most common transported items are airplane components, electric cars, rough diamonds, telecommunications equipment, almonds, petroleum liquids, and integrated circuits.

3. Georgia

Most common transported items are automobiles, ores, slag, construction equipment, iron and steel.

4. Illinois

Most common transported items are light petroleum oils, large vehicles, medicines, telecommunications equipment, mobile phones, airplane components, and grain.

5. Ohio

Most common transported items are airplane components, soybeans, mid-sized cars, big cars, motor vehicle parts, engines, and small cars.

6. Pennsylvania

Most common transported items are coal, pharmaceuticals, liquid propane, aviation components, motorbikes, and palladium.

7. Indiana

Most common transported items are various automotive gearboxes, gas-powered trucks, aviation components, big vehicles, construction equipment, and diesel engines.

8. Tennessee

Most common transported items are whiskey, as well as medical, surgical, dental, and veterinary tools, big automobiles, aviation parts, mid-sized automobiles, cotton, orthopedic devices, and portable computers.

9. North Carolina

Most common transported items are airplane parts, pharmaceuticals, wood pulp, bombs and mines, and diesel engines.

10. Missouri

Most common transported items are gasoline-powered vehicles, aviation components, soybeans, pharmaceuticals, lead ores, refined copper, and pig chops (frozen)..

Call Scott for reliable heavy haul shipping in all 50 states!

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Historic Heavy Hauls With That Wow Factor!

Anything larger than 8.6 feet in width, taller than 13.6 feet in height, longer than 53 feet, or that exceeds 80,000 pounds of gross weight is generally considered a heavy load. Heavy haul transport includes heavy equipment, wide loads, and oversized freight.

“Anything larger” certainly opens the door for some pretty incredible hauls at times! Here’s a few of the most notable heavy hauls in history...

4,800 ton water desalination unit

Heaviest “heavy haul” ever recorded:  4,800 ton water desalination unit. The tractor-trailer truck used for this had 172 axles!

power station transformer weighing 640 tons

The largest item ever “heavy hauled” on the roads of Britain:  power station transformer weighing 640 tons. It was moved at 4 miles per hour which, of course, led to several traffic snarls.

muon g-2 electromagnet storage ring

High-tech transit: The muon g-2 electromagnet storage ring had to be transported in one piece and could not be tilted more than a few degrees without causing irreparable damage to the complex wiring.

Space shuttle Endeavor

Space shuttle moved:  When it was retired, Endeavor was moved 12 miles to the California Science Center. It took up six lanes of traffic and drew a crowd of onlookers.

Big even for Texas:  Over a span of 25 days, the Texas Department of Transportation moved an 850 ton turbine engine. They had to create a custom rig to haul it which spanned the length of a football field.

Heat Transfer Reactor Experiment reactors

Tubular tower: Two Heat Transfer Reactor Experiment (HTRE) reactors were hauled to a visitor centre at the Idaho National Laboratory in 1988, where they remain today.

prototype Saturn V rocket

Getting a boost: A prototype Saturn V rocket was moved from the manufacturing engineering laboratory to a new stand at Nasa’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, in March 1965.

fuselage of US Airways flight 1549

Hero’s story on display: The fuselage of US Airways flight 1549 that pilot Chesley ‘Sully’ Sullenberger miraculously landed on the Hudson River was towed to the Carolinas Aviation Museum in Charlotte, NC.

Call Scott for reliable heavy haul shipping in all 50 states!

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Heavy Haul and Heavy Duty Tarping


Sometimes you will see flatbeds and stepdecks using heavy duty tarps. This keeps the commodity protected from rain, snow, wind, road debris, and sometimes even thieves.

The most common commodities that are regularly tarped are lumber and steel. Due to how common that is, the tarp types are named after them but not restricted to use on them.

Lumber Tarps

These are used to protect lumber and any other commodity suited for its size and features. They are generally 24’ x 27’ and two will cover a 48’ trailer stacked 8’ high.

They have curtain that covers the front of the load. The second tarp can be turned around so that the curtain covers the back of the load.

Because these tarps can weigh over 100 lbs, anything larger would be too heavy to handle. This is why you use them in pairs.

Steel Tarps

Generally 16’ x 24’ steel tarps can be used on all kinds of commodities other than steel. They are basically designed for loads that don’t take up much volume so there’s less tarp material.

Smoke Tarps and Other Tarp Sizes

If a smaller tarp is needed to protect the load from dust, smoke and soot, these 10’ x 12’ tarps can be put over the front of the load. It can also be used to replace the flap of a lumber tarp.

Custom sizes can also be made to suit your needs.

Call Scott for reliable heavy haul shipping in all 50 states!

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Tire Chain Laws for Commercial Vehicles


During certain times of year (September through May) many states have “chain laws” in effect. This means that when you pass through these states while the chain laws are in effect, you must have chains on your tires.

You can be sure these laws are in effect when snow is covering the road especially on roads with ascending grades. But so as not to guess, drivers are notified via 511 traveler information, electronic message signs and other media outlets.

States That Have Chain Laws

Each of these states have different laws so follow the link to their respective DOT website for specific information

Call Scott for reliable heavy haul shipping in all 50 states!

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Winter Heavy Haul Hazards

Winter Heavy Haul Hazards

Because winter presents road hazards like no other time of the year, heavy haul trucking companies must be extra skillful in providing safe and effective hauling. It is crucial that you consider and understand these hazards when hiring any heavy haul trucking company.

1. Extreme Cold

This is, by far, the greatest hazard to heavy haul trucking in the winter. Choose a heavy haul trucking company that has temperature control for the goods they are hauling. At the very least, make sure their trucks are heavily insulated so as to protect your goods from freezing temperatures.

2. Bad Weather That Affects Driving Conditions

If a heavy haul trucker is driving in or through areas where the winter months include snow and ice, you can be sure they will run into bad weather somewhere along the way. Though they are professionals, even the best of drivers can have problems driving in hazardous conditions. If you still need to risk shipping in the winter, it will probably take longer.

3. Holiday Traffic Issues

During the holiday months of November and December, the roads are often packed with people shopping and traveling to see friends and family. This means that heavy haul truckers may run into traffic jams and other unforseen complications caused by too many people on the road.

Prepare for Potential Problems

Heavy haul trucking in the winter can be done, but it requires that potential problems are prepared for in advance. It also requires using the right heavy haul trucking company! Call us anytime at Scotts. We are happy to discuss your concerns. Rest assured, we take all precautions possible to protect your wide load.

Call For Free Quote: 606-669-4402

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Seasonal Frost Laws That Affect Load Weight and Cause Speed Restrictions on Heavy Hauls


Next time you complain about those nasty pot holes and bumps in the road, know that there’s actually certain state laws designed to limit some of that damage caused by heavy vehicles. Commonly referred to as Frost Laws, these seasonsal restrictions on traffic weight limits and speeds are generally enforced in the months of March, April and May and sometimes June. Why? It’s all about thaw weakening during Spring months.

This statement released by the County Road Association of Michigan explains the phenomena perfectly. “As frost melts beneath a paved road, the roadbed turns wet and spongy because water is trapped between the pavement and the remaining ice layer beneath. When trucks and heavy equipment travel over a layer of concrete or asphalt that isn’t well supported beneath, lots of permanent cracks can occur.”

In the state of Michigan, for example, the legal axle weights of vehicles are reduced by up to 35%. More axles are then required to haul a heavy or overweight shipment. Some places may also require that heavy vehicles not exceed 35 miles per hour irregardless of the posted speed limit.

US States With Frost Laws

  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Maine
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Dakota
  • Vermont
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Because we know that restrictions will vary from state to state, and even within a state, and because seasonal restrictions may be posted on very short notice, we always check each state’s laws and freeze-thaw postings before quoting a heavy haul.

Be warned... Other heavy haulers may quote your shipment on a 5 axle truck trailer combination and then try to move that load during the frost law restrictions which costs a lot more than what they accounted for in your original quote. They may try passing those increased prices on to you.

Don’t pay for their mistakes! Call Scott for reliable heavy haul shipping all year round.

Call For Free Quote: 606-669-4402

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Types of Shipments That Could Benefit the Most From FTL (Full Truckload Shipping)

FTL (Full Truckload Shipping)

Just about any freight shipment can benefit from FTL services, but the most common ones include commodities such as:

  • Farming and/or construction equipment: tractors, combines, cranes, excavators, etc.
  • Grains: wheat, oats, etc.
  • Gravel and crushed stone
  • Coal
  • Sand
  • Gasoline
  • Crude Oil

As you can see, the list above includes mostly items that can only be shipped FTL such as gasoline and crude oil which are transported by tanker. Another common example is coal and sand which is impractical to ship through any other services besides FTL due to weight and quantity requirements.

But there are some types of shipments that are typically shipped LTL that could greatly benefit from being switched to FTL. (Basically, just because you normally ship LTL doesn’t mean it’s the best way!) So changing to FTL, a full truckload service, for the following types of freight may be beneficial to your bottom line:

  • Household Appliances (washers, dryers, refrigerators, etc.) - A full truckload may be safer and less expensive then LTL.
  • Furniture - Fully assembled furniture is more easily damaged in LTL.
  • Glassware/China - FTL would save money from damages because it’s easier to make sure they are properly packaged.

You, the business owner, have particular shipping needs. We’re here to help you determine what freight shipping services you need most and the best way to ship your goods.

Call Scott’s Freight Shipping for expert advice: 606-669-4402

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Axles and Weight Limitations for Oversize Loads

Axles and Weight Limitations for Oversize Loads

While numbers vary from state to state, most anything that exceeds 80,000 pounds of gross weight, is wider than 8.6 feet, taller than 13.6 feet, and longer than 53 feet, is generally considered a heavy load. But the type of tractor trailer that transports it also plays a major role in who should help you move that oversized load from point A to point B.

The weight limit for oversize loads (set by both federal and state laws) is almost entirely based on the type and number of axles a truck has, where they are located, and how many are near each other. Heavy haul equipment comes in these axle options: 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 13, and 20

Below are general weight limits based on overall restrictions:

Steer axles: These are the first axles on the truck and some trailers.
Weight limit is 12,000 pounds

Single axles: A trailer which has a solitary axle at either the front or the rear, or multiple axles that are more than 10 feet apart.
Weight limit is 20,000 pounds

Drive axles: Often on the tractor but occasionally fitted to the rear of heavy-duty trailer setups.
Weight limit is 34,000 pounds

Tandem axles: Two sets of wheels positioned close together, within five feet of each other. Tandem axles usually refers to the axles in the rear of the trailer, but you might see tandem axles close to the lip of the step on a step or a double-step.
Weight limit is 34,000 pounds

Whether private or commercial, industrial, or agricultural, a small or a large business, the need to safely and legally transport equipment, goods, and vehicles is a routine business need. Use a transportation service that knows the industry and has boots on the ground.

Call For Free Quote: 606-669-4402

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How Wide Is Your Flatbed Shipment?

oversized-flatbed-shipment What is included and what is not when it comes to measuring the width of flatbed freight shipments?

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.

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Wide Load Best Management Practices

oversize-load Tips to manage your over-dimensional freight shipment to avoid fees, fines, and delays. Complex wide load permitting can be managed with planning, know-how, and a smart route.

Over-Dimensional Freight Transport Cost and Schedule Control

Overland transport of wide loads or over dimensional flatbed hauling is a complicated business. Freight transport that exceeds federal, state, or local transportation rules, regulations, and guidelines of standard weight, height, width, or length dimensions can trigger a multitude of shipping requirements.

The range of requirements can leave your head spinning. Follow these tips to help avoid a mistake that can be expensive to your budget and your schedule.

  • Know Your Metrics – Falling under any over-dimensional standards can save your bottom-line and your schedule. Keeping your freight shipment within standard dimensions means avoiding permit costs, escort logistics, and the effort required to manage a wide-load route. But if the load falls within Over-Dimensional limits, know it and then plan for it.
  • Know Your Route Requirements – Consistency in over-dimensional standards and requirements is the exception, not the rule, when you cross jurisdictions. Standards vary not only by state, but by locality, season, temporary conditions and more. A single load can require an escort on one part of the route and not on another or can be prohibited on weekends or certain parts of a route completely. Knowing this can save your schedule and costs.
  • Avoid Unplanned for Costs – Permit fees vary by state and can change;loading delays can result in detention fees. And if your dimensions are not correct expect to pay extra fees, fines as well as time delays. These and more unbudgeted costs can be avoided with a well-planned freight transport.

Planning and know-how can make an over-dimensional shipment cost and time efficient. Take care to know your load, the regulations, and the route and make the most of your over-dimensional freight shipment.

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Wide-load Transport and Requirements for Pilot Vehicles

pilot-vehicle A route for an oversized load must be thoroughly researched and planned for in order to meet escort and pilot car requirement.

Do I Need an Escort Vehicle?

If you have load that meets the criteria as an oversized transport, the next consideration is whether or not it will require escort vehicles for some or all of the route. And, as with all other rules of heavy load transportation, each state has it’s one set of pilot car requirements. Within each state these same rules and regulations for escort vary by season, changing road conditions, time restrictions, and other variables. This adds complexity to establishing whether a part of the entire transportation route requires escort vehicle.

Here a few state specific pilot car requirements:

  • Most states do not require an escort for loads equal to or less than 10 feet wide; however, a few states requires escorts for all oversize loads,
  • The number of escort vehicles required may be determined by the absolute measurements of the wide load and/or the type of materials being transported.
  • Depending on the type of road being traveled, escorts vehicles may be required in the front and back of the wide-load, or only in the back.
  • Within a state, escort requirements may change moving from a multi-lane highway to a two-lane.
  • Some states requires escorts for all oversized loads if transporting during the night, regardless of the general pilot cars requirements.
  • Crossing from a state with no escort requirements for a particular load, into a state with escort requirements for the same load, required escort vehicles to meet the oversized load at the state line.
  • Extra-wide loads, as defined by each state, may require an escort by law enforcement.

The point here is that even a short route within a single state may require changes in escort requirements for an over-dimensional haul. A route for an oversized load must be thoroughly researched and planned for in order to meet escort and pilot car requirement.

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Does Your Overland Freight Transport Require Over Dimensional Permitting?

over-dimensional-permitting Federal and state exemptions for special mobile equipment includes military or farm equipment, road construction or maintenance machinery, emergency apparatus and equipment, etc.

Wide Load Metrics – Straight-Forward But Variable

Of all the metrics that determine if a cargo load meets over-dimensional shipping criteria, width is the most straight-forward measurement to deal with. Why? Because unlike the other freight shipping metrics of length, height, and weight that go into determining if an over-dimensional permit, or permits, are required, width is the one measurement that is fairly uniform from state to state. Height, weight, and length regulations vary enough between states that determining if, as well as where, when, and how over-dimensional permits are required is a complex business.

If anything that measure more than 102 inches or 8 feet 5 inches, in width, your cargo most likely meets over-dimensional permitting requirements in all states.

But you’re not going to get off completely easy. When it comes to road transportation, road conditions and restrictions make it a requirement that every mile of your route is reviewed to determine if the 102-inch maximum width criteria holds from start to end of your shipping itinerary.

Over width load regulations change according to many factors, and can be reduced on any part of your route due to things such as:

  • Bridges - the presence of, and condition of, bridges,
  • Lane width – these can vary from one mile to the next; interstate to rural route
  • Non-designated roads – specific roads can reduce the width limit to 8 feet and below
  • Seasonal restrictions – many states have changing over width criteria in different seasons

And then there are the federal and state exemptions from over dimensional permits for “special mobile equipment” which includes military or farm equipment; road constructions or maintenance machinery, emergency apparatus and equipment, etc.

So you see, even the simplest over dimensional permitting metric is not, in the end, simple. The planning and logistics of flatbed transport starts with cargo measurement. From there, it’s the state-by-state, mile-by-mile route investigation establishing if your shipment exceeds any over width criteria along any portion of the route.

It can be complicated, but an expert effort is worth it – knowing your permit and route restrictions is best known before the load hits the road.

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Things To Know When Shipping Over Dimensional Freight

special-permit-transport Successfully navigating overweight transport rules can make or break a project. Know the DOT rules before loading up.

Transporting loads that exceed height, weight, or length standards such as construction, military, agricultural equipment, for over the road shipping presents routing, permitting, and scheduling challenges. Shipping oversized and over-dimensional equipment and freight requires adherence to numerous rules, restrictions, and regulations. Understanding and navigating shipping requirements is challenging but necessary for safe, legal, and efficient transport of any over-dimensional loads.

States are required by the federal government to regulate loads that exceed height, weight, and length standards. Each state has the authority to set standards to meet the unique conditions in that state. Heavy or wide loads shipped within or through a state are subject to different laws, regulations, and restrictions in each state. Add to this the changing road conditions unique to each state, city, and town, and oversized shipment planning becomes a complex puzzle.

Optimizing routing for an over-dimensional load takes planning and expertise. Areas of jurisdiction of federal and state Department of Transportation regarding flatbed loads that exceed certain restrictions include:

  • Weight, height, length,and gross weight of a shipment
  • Per-Axle weight restrictions
  • State permits may include:
    • Single trip, multiple trip, or annual permit
    • City and/or county permits
    • Farm machinery transport
    • Permit-to-operate
  • Seasonal weight/travel restrictions
  • Drive-time restrictions including holiday, weekend, nighttime limitations
  • Escort and pilot vehicles requirements
  • Safety banners, lights, flagging and other signage requirements
  • Route restrictions due to construction, closed roads, etc.

These and more affect how, when, and where a heavy or wide load can be transported. Knowing these and building them into your shipping plan is critical to good project management.

Transporting under an oversized load permit can be challenging but it is often the most efficient way to transport equipment, building materials, and machinery in many situations. Piecing together a route that meets the variety of transport rules and regulations can make or break a budget or a schedule. Ensuring compliance can help your project stay in the black and meet on-time delivery schedules.

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Is My Shipment Oversized?

construction-materials-transport With knowledge and planning, and a reputable, experienced transport company, oversize load management can meet scheduling and budget requirements.

Determining If Your Cargo Shipment Requires An Over-Dimensional Transport Permit

Moving cargo that exceeds overland weight, height, or length shipping standards requires planning, permitting, and patience. Not to mention a bigger budget. With technical exemptions, legislative changes, and changing road conditions, navigating the over-dimensional permitting and logistical process is complex. And, if you’re transporting an overweight or wide load through multiple states, the complexity soars. Truth is though, even transporting a wide load from one interstate off ramp to off ramp requires adherence to state limits, permitting requirements, scheduling restrictions.

Here are three key points to consider to determine your freight transport permitting requirements:

  1. Know your cargo metrics - Knowing the length, width, height, and weight of your cargo is the first step. Getting it right could mean the difference between jumping through permit hoops or not.
  2. Know the over-dimensional standards for your scheduled route - Overlaying the load metrics with route requirements will identify if any of your metrics exceeds any of the over-dimensional limits for any part of your route. But it’s not the final answer.
  3. Know if a Wide-Load/Over-Dimensional Permit is needed - The final decision is not as simple as knowing your load’s metrics and any one state’s baseline over-sized transport standards. Factors range from the type of transport vehicle to the time of year your shipping to grandfathered exemptions.

There is a lot that goes into each of these steps. Expertise and experience will help you get the best final answer for your shipment.

Over-dimensional transport logistics can be complicated. But with knowledge and planning, and a reputable, experienced transport company, oversize load management can meet scheduling and budget requirements.

We’ll be discussing the details in navigating the process in upcoming posts.

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Navigating Federal and State DOT Oversized, Overweight Transport Permit Requirements

work-truck-transport When traveling through multiple states, loads are required to meet state standards of load restrictions, permitting requirements, and other state-by-state standards.

An oversized load is simply anything the exceeds the maximum weight, height, width, or length dimension established by federal and state standards. Easy right?

Traveling over federal interstates and other federally designated highways are subject to federal standards on weight, width, and length (there are no federal height restrictions.) Overlaying these standards are state standards which can vary state-to-state, and within each state, from road-to-road. The easy part of transporting heavy equipment, construction material, farm equipment, or specialized mobile units is the actual loading, securing, and transporting the load. The toughest part may prove to be navigating the restrictions and permitting processes required for a route.Typical permit requirements are triggered when the following dimensions are exceeded for a single load:

  • Height - exceeds 13’5”
  • Width - exceeds 8’5”
  • Length - exceeds 48’
  • Weight - exceeds 80,000 lbs

These dimensions are starting points when determining if a load falls under Department of Transportation over-sized permitting requirements. These vary by state, by road, by federal exception, grandfathered standards or other federal, state, or even local requirements and restrictions.

For example, permitting questions to transport a oversized load through Kentucky takes into consideration the following the Kentucky Department of Transportation standards:

  • Multi-lane highway versus two-lane
  • Travel time restrictions
  • Holiday restrictions
  • Escort requirements for two versus 4-lane highways
  • Power unit flax, signing, and lighting requirements
  • Current detours, restrictions, and closures
  • Hauling coal or coal-products
  • Superloads
  • Single trip versus annual permits

When traveling through multiple states, loads are required to meet state standards of load restrictions, permitting requirements, and other state-by-state standards.

This is the tip of the iceberg. There are many more details then the basics presented here to be aware of when making final routing and permitting decisions. Understanding the multiple, overlapping, and changing oversized load transporting requirements is critical to meeting federal and state regulations.

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Welcome to the World of Heavy Hauling and Freight Transportation


Almost anything can be transported over the roads, highways, and interstates of America. Construction equipment, building materials, carnival equipment, yachts, mobile homes, and stretch limos! That’s called heavy hauling. Then there’s freight shipping that covers the transport of commodities, merchandise goods and cargo. If it’s on a pallet, it’s freight shipping.

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