Wide Load Shipping

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Do you have an oversized piece of equipment or wide load that needs to be shipped? Wide load shipping can be more expensive and take longer to arrive at its destination. Before making plans for a wide load shipment, there are some important factors you need to know to help save you time and money.

  1. Travel escort rules – In various states there are regulations that require you to be accompanied by a travel escort or pilot car if the shipment exceeds 12 feet in width. A pilot vehicle is used to alert the driver of a situation requiring cautious driving such as a construction zone or an accident. Pilot cars are also usedto alert other drivers of an approaching wide load. Escorts are usually paid per mile as well as travel expenses.
  2. How to know if you have an oversized load – oversized loads are typically defined by any load exceeding 8 feet and 5 inches in width. All loads carry weight requirements per axle. To avoid the total weight being exceeded for a certain axle a load can typically be re-positioned to meet the regulations. A wide load shipping does require a special permit, and permits are usually obtained by the driver. A permit, however, can not be obtained for loads that can be arranged to fit within standard weight requirements.
  3. Awareness of legal limits – for the most part, most states have the same guidelines for the weight, height, and width of a shipment, but states may vary. The general rules are a standard shipment cannot exceed 8.5 feet in width or height, a length of 48 to 53 feet, and a weight of 46,000 pounds. If you are need a specific state’s regulation, you can contact that state’s department of transportation. You may also be able to consult with the heavy haul trucking company you are using, at Nationwide Freight Movers and we can help provide you the regulations for the states your load will cross.
  4. Requirements of special load markings – with oversize load shipping there may be a need for special trailer lights or flags. This allows better visibility to other vehicles on the highway. Keep in mind, the travel escort or pilot car may need specific load markings depending on the load.
  5. Scheduling factorsin many states a wide or oversized load can only be on the road during certain hours. Most states outline these times as 30 minutes before sunrise, and 30 minutes after sunset, to allow better visibility for traffic. As such, many states also do not allow these shipments to be on the highway during a holiday or on the weekend when traffic tends to increase.

Wide Load Shipping – Safety First

In addition to the other tips for shipping wide loads or heavy equipment, there are safety measures to be considered.

  • Experiencehaving a driver or hauler experienced in wide load shipping is crucial. Allowing an inexperienced driver or trucking service to handle a heavy load can cause safety concerns for the driver, the load, and anyone else on the road.
  • Trailerhaving an experienced driver will also help you ensure the right trailer is used to haul your heavy or wide load. Ensure that the proper trailer is selected for hauling your oversized load whether it be a container, farm equipment, wind turbines, airplane parts, a car, etc.
  • Road conditionswith the transportation of any load, road conditions are a vital piece of the puzzle. Being informed about construction zones and weather conditions throughout the route can help prevent costly delays and safety hazards.
  • Double check – an inspection of every piece of equipment being used to haul a load needs to be double checked from the truck, trailer, lights, tires, signals, safety systems, to tie downs. Ensuring everything is functioning properly can help avoid issues on the road.

At Nationwide we understand how important getting your shipment to its destination safely and on time is critical. We have the equipment and experienced drivers you need to get your shipment moving. Contact us for more information today, and let’s get trucking!

About the author

Kristi Yokley