Alabama’s Oversize Permit Requirements What You Need to Know

When you want to move large, oversized loads like pipeline construction equipment, machinery, or other super-sized loads, you can make the entire experience smooth and easy with the right transport service. Every state and city your load has to pass through needs the proper documentation and safety requirements. Work with the most experienced, knowledgeable, and professional service like Osage Specialized Transport to make your haul as seamless as possible.

Alabama Oversize Permit Basics

This state has just a few general rules oversized load haulers need to follow in addition to getting all required permits. They state that:

  • Alabama permits for oversized loads are valid for five consecutive days.
  • If you’re coming into Alabama from another state, you must have your permit before entering the state with your oversized load.
  • No oversize load traveling on certain holidays and holiday weekends.

Know What Alabama Oversize Permits You Need for Your Haul

When you hire an oversize haul transportation service, they should be able to help you with the planning and paperwork for your haul. You should also know what your load will require, from permits to extra safety measures.

If you’re moving your pipes, machines, or other large cargo in the state of Alabama, it helps to know the maximum size load you can have before you need a permit. Here are the maximum measurements:

  • Length: 57 feet
  • Height: 13 feet, 6 inches
  • Width: 8 feet, 6 inches
  • Weight: 80,000 pounds gross weight
  • Overhang: 4 feet off of the back and 5 feet from the front

Anything that exceeds these measurements requires a permit in the state of Alabama.

Alabama Oversize Load Escort Vehicle Requirements

If you’ve seen a large load on the highway that has a vehicle with flashing or rotating lights on it in the front or the back, you’ve seen that load’s escort or pilot vehicles. Alabama has its own escort vehicle requirements that state: 

  • When a load has a height of more than 15 feet, six inches, it must have an escort vehicle in the front of the haul with a height pole that stands four to six inches higher than the shipment itself. If you’re traveling on roads that are not state highways, the pole may be required for lower heights.
  • For loads over 12 feet wide, the haul must have two front and one rear escort vehicle. 
  • One rear escort vehicle is required for any load over 85 feet long.
  • Loads over 105 feet in length must have both a front and rear escort car.
  • A rear escort car is needed if a haul’s load overhangs more than ten feet from the front or five feet off the back of the flatbed or trailer.

Remember that there may be special escort requirements for different types of hauls beyond these measurements. For example, equipment like loaders, bulldozers, scapers, and other machines often have specific escort requirements. Check with the Department of Transportation for Alabama and any cities you’ll pass through for specific escort details for your haul.

Times to Legally Travel for Overweight or Oversized Loads

While getting an Alabama oversize permit is mandatory, it helps to know when you aren’t allowed to apply for a permit or move your load. Travel guidelines are as follows:

  1. You may travel ½ an hour before sunrise to ½ hour after sunset.
  2. Oversized loads may travel on Saturday. No Sunday travel is allowed.
  3. Any loads 120 feet to 150 long may only move between 9 am and 3 pm, Monday through Friday.
  4. Travel is prohibited on:
  • New Year’s Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day

It helps to know when the Alabama Department of Transportation is closed so you don’t waste a trip to the office. For example, the office isn’t open on Martin Luther King Day, Washington’s birthday, Columbus Day, Confederate Memorial Day, Jefferson Davis’ birthday, and Veteran’s Day.

Required Lights, Signs, and Flags for Oversized Load Travel

All loads over width or overlength must have an “Oversize Load” sign on the front and back of the vehicle. All front and back corners of an oversized load must have flags placed in them. Any load with more than a four-foot overhang must have lights at night.

Alabama has no flag or sign requirements for over-length or overweight loads. 

Odds and Ends for Moving a Large Load in Alabama

If you’re moving large machinery, there are some special requirements to move it legally and safely. For example, bulldozers or similar machines need to be loaded with the blade facing the rear when the blade sticks out beyond the sides of the transport vehicle. 

Any overweight dozer and blade are required to remain attached to the machine. If not, they must be hauled on separate loads.

There’s also an Alabama Blade and Bucket Rule that requires two escort vehicles at 12 feet any time a black or bucket sticks out beyond the edges of the trailer. This typically applies to machines with a bucket or blade, but you should check with the Department of Transportation if unsure.

What Are Superloads?

If you have a load exceeding any of the measurement requirements for an oversized load, you must apply for a superload permit. Superloads are when a load exceeds any of the following dimensions:

  • Width: 16 feet
  • Height: 16 feet
  • Length: 150 feet
  • Weight: 250,000 pounds gross weight

Superload permits require a:

  1. Letter of Justification
  2. Load Dimensions
  3. Axle Configuration Drawings
  4. Special Worth Authorization
  5. Route Survey
  6. Utility Notification
  7. Escort Requirements
  8. Approval for Secondary Roads
  9. Travel Times
  10. Lighting Requirements
  11. Insurance Requirements

Having a transportation service to help you along the way can make this kind of project less stressful and overwhelming. Whether you have an oversized load or superload, getting everything you need from one place to another is possible without any bumps in the road.

Make Every Oversized Haul Experience Your Best

You can always have the best transportation experience when you work with Osage Specialized Transport. They bring decades of experience, exceptional customer service, and expertise to meet your particular transport needs. So get in touch today to learn how your next oversized haul can be the best one yet!