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
- 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.