It’s not uncommon for companies to use the help of a trucking service when they need to transport a large piece of equipment. Construction companies may need to move a large construction crane across state lines.
Similarly, an aerospace company might have to transport a fuselage between their manufacturing facility in one city and an airport hangar in another city.
However, transporting these large items isn’t easy. In fact, it’s illegal for trucking companies to transport oversized loads without a permit. These restrictions were put in place to ensure the safety of drivers, pedestrians, and the roads/highways themselves.
Oversize load trucking companies need to exercise caution due to the many dangers they could encounter during transportation. Here are 3 dangers associated with transporting oversized loads.
3 Dangers Associated With Oversized Load Trucking
1. Tire blowouts
Oversized loads are typically defined on the basis of their physical dimensions; however, freight could also be classified as oversized if it exceeds a certain weight. If the combined weight of a truck and its freight exceeds 80,000 lbs, it will be classified as overweight.
These items can still be transported via trucks, but the vehicle’s tires could blow out if the load is too heavy. If a serious blowout occurs while the truck is in motion, the driver could lose control of their vehicle and swerve into oncoming traffic.
Blowouts can also cause the truck’s weight to become imbalanced on the remaining tires. This may result in the truck overturning and/or toppling its cargo onto the road.
Tire blowouts are dangerous to drivers and to other cars on the road, so they should be avoided at all costs. Experienced oversized load trucking companies check the weight of their cargo before shipping out. They make sure that their truck tires can handle the heavy load so that the risk of tire blowouts is minimized.
2. Jackknife crashes
Jackknife crashes occur when the semi-truck’s tractor section comes to a sudden stop while the rear load remains in motion. Applying brakes to the tractor portion doesn’t stop the flatbed portion’s momentum, so this often results in accidents where the tractor and flatbed portions fold together at a sharp angle.
Jackknife crashes can be prevented if the driver remains vigilant while driving. Oversize load trucking drivers are trained to avoid driving too fast as it increases the risk of jackknife crashes occurring.
Experienced oversized load trucking companies use pilot vehicles that drive in front of the semi-truck and keep an eye out for any obstructions or diversions on the road. These pilot vehicle drivers inform their oversize load trucking drivers about any obstacles or accidents well in-advance. This gives truckers ample time to slow down their vehicle at a safe rate and avoid jackknife crashes.
3. Height clearance issues
Some oversize freight items tend to be very tall. These items could collide with their surroundings during transport through tunnels or under bridges.
Oversize load trucking companies can work around these problems by choosing different delivery routes that are free from tunnels and bridges. Some other companies use special trucks with lower flatbeds called lowboys to transport tall freight safely. Each method requires careful planning on the oversize load trucking company’s part.