In recent years, more and more people choose to ship their items internationally or cross-state. However, not everyone is familiar with the laws that restrict these shipments. Moreover, oversize loads require their own set of permits and have their own regulations. If your shipment falls under this category, you should know what to expect. Read our guide for oversize and wide load regulations in 2019 and avoid unpleasant surprises when it comes time to ship your items.
What is an oversize or wide load?
To begin with, we must first define what exactly falls under the category of an oversize load. Generally speaking, an oversize load is one that exceeds the maximum width, height, length, and even weight stated by each state in the United States. This means that an oversize vehicle is any that is carrying a load wider than 8’5”. This is due to the fact that a standard truck bed is 8′ wide. While there are different oversize and wide load regulations for each state, there are some standard measures across the country. For example, the height of a load is considered oversized if it exceeds 14 feet. There is also a type of shipment called ‘superload’. Under this category fall the loads that are taller than 16 feet. Like oversize loads, superloads also require their own set of rules and regulations.
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Permits required for oversize and wide load
Although states have their own regulations for these loads, they all require some type of permit. Any deviation from the norm, including weight, height, length, or width, will call for this permit. The cost of the permit will also depend on the type of the load and roads you intend to take. For a basic load, the cost can vary from $15 up to $70 dollars, with a $15 application fee. This permit will include all different parameters of your travel, such as the routes taken and the safety equipment required. Moreover, when you obtain a permit, you will have a specific time or date during which it is viable. If you plan on obtaining a permit for a longer period, you should know that they need to be renewed annually.
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The safety equipment you will need
When you are carrying this type of load, safety is of key importance. You don’t want to get into an accident on the highway. That is why oversize and wide load regulations include the necessary safety equipment. While regulations differ from state to state, most states will need you to put a banner with the words ‘WIDE LOAD’ or ‘OVERSIZE LOAD’ at the front as well as the back of the truck. This banner needs to be yellow with printed black letters so that everyone can see it. Additionally, this type of truckload will need to have neon red or orange flags that are 18′ square in size. You need to place them at all four corners of the truck. Alternatively, you can place them only in the places that exceed the limitations for a regular load.
Finally, if the truck has a permit to travel at night, you will need to place red lights in the same spots as the flags. They are also necessary for conditions of limited visibility on the road. At the end of the haul, you need to take down all of this equipment, as it can distract other drivers on the road.
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Oversize and wide load regulations – when can you drive?
The permit you obtain for an oversize load will also have some restrictions on the time you can drive the truck. For example, many states allow these trucks to be on the road 30 minutes before sunrise and 30 minutes after sunset. This rule prevents accidents from occurring, as it is dark before dawn and after the sun has set. Moreover, most states do not allow wide truckloads to be on the road during weekends or holidays. Make sure to check the rules for each state you will be traveling through. These restrictions are in place to avoid oversize trucks at a time when there is a lot of traffic already. Do not drive during restricted hours, no matter the hurry you are in. You will be fined for breaking the conditions of your permit, which will only be an additional expense to an already costly move.
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When do you need escort vehicles
Oversize and wide load regulations dictate that an escort or pilot vehicle is required for certain loads. These types of cars drive in front and in the back of the truck. They protect both the oversize truck and other cars in traffic. If your truck is over 10 feet wide, or 12 feet in some states, you will need to have a pilot vehicle in most states.
While it depends on the type of the oversize load, you will likely need to have two pilot vehicles, on in the front and another in the back. The pilot car in the front will alert the truck driver if there is traffic ahead, as well as alert other drivers of the presence of the truck. The pilot car behind the truck will make sure that everything is going smoothly and that the truck’s signaling is proper.