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What You Need to Know About Oversize Permits

Transporting an Oversize Load

1. What is an Oversize load?

Within the United States, an Oversize load basically pertains to load “width” – or is more commonly referred to as wide loads in the logistics industry. It is important to distinguish wide loads or an Oversize load from Overweight loads.

2. What Dimensions are considered an Oversize load?

Within the United States, an Oversize Load or wide load is any load measuring more than 8.5 feet wide, with an equal height limit of more than 8.5 feet. An oversize load may be defined by weight as well, or an Overweight load. Federal law defines Overweight loads as loads exceeding the following weight dimensions:

a. 80,000 pounds gross vehicle weight;
b. 20,000 pound single axle weight;
c. (and/or) 34,000 pound tandem axle weight.

3. Do you need Travel escorts?

Travel escorts are usually required in the case of a shipment whose measurement exceeds 12 feet wide. Travel escorts are (1-2) pilot vehicles maintained in the front and/or back of the truck.

4. Will your schedule be affected by travel limitations?

Travel limitation will affect shipment schedules. Within the United States, transporting Oversize loads carry daily restrictions which must be legally adhered to. These include the following:

During the business week (Monday to Friday), oversize loads with travel escorts may only travel from 30 minutes pre-sunrise to 30 minutes post-sunset.

Transporting Oversize loads is prohibited from holiday and weekend travel.

5. How to obtain permits

It is advised that companies requiring Oversize load permits review the following link: https://omnipermits.com/permit-application/

Permits are legally required before transporting an Oversize load. Individual states issue transport permits, not the Federal Government. However, the Federal Government is the author of Oversize Permit Regulations for commercial vehicles carrying shipments. It is important to note that even individual cities and counties may hold permitting power. Exact travel routes must be specified as part of the permit process.

The routing portion of the permitting process is the most important. This includes route planning for shipment dimensions (infrastructure: bridges, roadways, and height restrictions from pole cover and similar).

Oversize permit regulations include more specific variables such as fuel. An International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA)is required for vehicles with two axles weighted at over 26,000 lbs, vehicles with dimensions for three or more axles, and any vehicle traveling through a state which requires an IFTA decal. The last condition may be legalized with a temporary fuel permit to replace an IFTA decal.

Safety obviously is the most important condition when transporting Oversize loads, and hopefully this information has clarified safety requirements for the Oversize trucking industry.