How to Haul an Oversize Load Across the Country

Hauling a load of any size across the country can be a daunting task. How do you secure it? What kind of trailer do you use? Who is equipped to drive the load? These questions become even harder to answer as soon as you have an oversized load.

Knowing how to transport oversize loads is critical to the success of your business. Whether you’re shipping cargo to your customers or moving equipment from one work site to another, you may have ongoing transport needs.

Determine What Your Oversized Load Is

An oversized load means that it exceeds the state limit in terms of length, height, width, and potentially even weight for interstate shipments. It will require special permitting – and special trailers that are capable of dealing with the added weight and size of your load.

In many instances, if your load is more than 40,000 pounds or wider than 8.5 feet, you will have an oversized load on your hands.

Common examples of oversized shipments include:

  • Manufacturing equipment
  • Construction equipment
  • Agricultural equipment
  • Pipelines and other construction material
  • Prefabricated and mobile homes
  • Trucks, boats, and other vehicles

As soon as you have identified that you have an oversized load, you need to take the necessary precautions on how to get it transported across the country.

Explore Permit Requirements

There are state and local permits that will need to be obtained so that you can transport a heavy load within a state – and even across state lines.

The federal government does not issue these load permits. As such, they have to be obtained from the state. The further your load is going, the more permits you will need to obtain. You will have to get a permit from every state your load will be traveling through.

Carriers will also have to meet the necessary state insurance levels so that permits can be obtained.

As you obtain oversize load permits, you also have to explore the rules for every state. Many states will require that you avoid certain roadways depending on the size and weight of your load.

Consider Your Deadlines

There are deadlines that have to be carefully considered when you want to move heavy cargo from one location to another. How fast does it need to arrive? There may be restrictions that will prevent transportation during the evening or weekends or holidays.

Larger loads may also require a pilot vehicle – and these shipments may have to take place between the hours of sunrise and sunset.

The tighter your shipping deadlines, the more challenging things will get. It’s why it can be overwhelming – and you’ll need to have knowledgeable people working with you every step of the way.

If you skip a step along the way in order to speed up a deadline, such as bypassing a permit for a particular state, it could result in serious fines and other penalties.

Remember the Safety Aspects

As soon as you begin using an oversized load transport trailer, you have to consider the safety components. The safety is not only for the integrity of your cargo but also to ensure you meet state requirements.

Your load may need banners that identify “oversize load” or “wide load” at the front and rear of the truck. Flags of varying colors may also need to be placed on the corners of the load.

There may need to be lights on the truck if you’re traveling in areas of low visibility or at night. And in some states, lights may have to flash or rotate on the top of the truck cab.

There may also be the need for pilot or escort vehicles in some states. Typically, this ensures that there’s a buffer so that other vehicles on the road are aware of the wide load. Texas escort flaggers, for example, have to receive specific training. So, you have to familiarize the requirements for such vehicles in every state you will be traveling through.

The escort vehicles are traditionally only required when the loads are 10 feet wide or more – though this depends on the state laws. In some instances, you will even need to arrange for two escort vehicles, with one being in the front of your load and the second being at the rear.

The need for various safety components can impact the cost of hauling an oversize load and also increase the lead time so that you can schedule the necessary components.

Work With a Logistics Specialist

Shipping oversized loads can be a challenge, regardless of how far the cargo is going. It’s imperative that you have the necessary permits in place and that you are taking the necessary safety precautions.

At Osage Specialized Transport, we have over 40 years of experience working with oversized loads from almost every industry. Allow our specialists to help to connect you to large carriers that will meet your needs every step of the way.

Contact us today to get a quote and find out how we can help with finding an oversized load transport trailer for your cargo.