3 Critical Questions About Oversize/Overweight Shipments

September 15, 2020 | By Al Reisman

Tags: Trucking, Legislation, Public Policy, and Regulations, Transportation

Although your supply chain may not require oversize/overweight shipments on a regular basis, there will likely be a time when the need arises. If this level of specialized shipping is not within your comfort zone, you should turn to the expertise of a heavy haul carrier to guide you rather than trying to handle it on your own. An expert heavy haul carrier will have detailed answers to the following questions:

Q: What’s included in an oversize/overweight transportation plan?

A: Many moving parts must be coordinated when transporting oversize/overweight cargo—all of which should be outlined in the freight transportation plan. Each plan is unique to the scope of the project and should include (but not necessarily be limited to):

The weight, dimensions, and value of your load

The permits and equipment needed

Capabilities and access at the shipping/delivery location

The possible need for a route survey, escorts, or pole car

Potential repositioning of utility lines, signage, or guardrails

Applicable state-by-state requirements

Q: How do regulations on oversize/overweight freight vary by state?

A: Every state has different regulations for the transportation of oversize/overweight freight. All states have some form of height, width, length, or weight restrictions that can vary by route, weather, time of year, or time of day.

For example, one state may require a rear escort whereas other states do not, and another state may restrict transportation over weekends or holidays.

If your freight is crossing the U.S. border, there are even more regulations. An experienced carrier with a long track record of transporting oversize/overweight cargo will cover these details in your shipment’s transportation plan.

Q: What securement procedures should be followed?

A: The correct securement procedures will vary based on freight characteristics and the trailer type used to haul your freight. These critical details will emerge during the pre-planning phase of the project.

Your carrier should guide you through this process and make proper recommendations. The details will determine the proper equipment and experience the truck operator must have in order to transport the load safely.

A company that overlooks important securement details risks racking up serious costs associated with damages and delays. If outsourcing this responsibility to a carrier, you need to trust the carrier excels at the oversize/overweight transportation business, understands your product, and has a safety culture that extends to every single person involved with the transportation of your shipment—especially the truck operator.

When a project or load requires expertise beyond your realm, particularly when it comes to something as complex as shipping oversize/overweight freight, make sure to rely on the support of a qualified and experienced carrier to get your shipment delivered safely.