Large freight is usually transported across the country with the help of over-dimensional shipping services. These companies routinely transport oversized freight across state lines and often have to abide by the unique guidelines in each state.
Oversize load shipping companies need to know about these rules beforehand, or they could end up paying heavy fines. Here are some things to check before transporting over-dimensional freight across state lines.
1. Size restrictions on oversized loads
Freight typically needs to exceed certain dimensions to be classified as oversized. Each state has its own guidelines for classifying oversized loads, so a shipment that is considered oversized in one state may not be considered oversized in another.
Things to Check Before Shipping Over-Dimensional Freight Across State Lines
This is important because special permits are usually required to ship an oversized item across a state. If your item isn’t classified as oversized within a particular state, over-dimensional shipping services won’t need a permit to transport it.
Many states classify cargo as oversized if its width exceeds 8’ 6” or its height exceeds 13’ 6”. However, some states may have tighter dimension requirements for oversized cargo. These variations usually exist due to differences in the width of roads in different states.
Similarly, each state also has unique restrictions on the maximum size for oversized cargo that can be transported on roads. However, these restrictions may also be chosen to protect truck cargo that is passing under low hanging bridges or through narrow tunnels on highways.
2. Pilot or escort vehicles
Some states require over-dimensional shipping services to use pilot vehicles or escort vehicles when they are shipping oversized cargo. Escort vehicles usually follow behind the transport truck, or they may be in front of the truck on roads and highways.
These vehicles are usually fitted with flashing lights and flags to warn other cars and pedestrians about the approaching wide load. Some over-dimensional shipping services use their own pilot vehicles to accompany their trucks, while other companies use pilot vehicles from third party providers.
Only a few states require pilot vehicles to be certified; however, all states require them to contain special equipment such as flags, flashing lights, fire extinguishers, and traffic cones.
3. Operating times
Drivers should also be aware of travel time restrictions in different states. Oversized loads can only be transported during certain hours of the day.
Most states allow truckers to transport their oversized loads between sunrise and sunset. However, they may have additional restrictions that prevent travel through certain cities during rush hour. Over dimensional shipping services need to be aware of these travel restrictions when they are planning their travel route.
If your oversized load is passing through a state with heavy restrictions on travel times, it may be faster to bypass this state and travel through an adjacent one with fewer travel time restrictions.
As you can see, there are many factors to consider before shipping oversized cargo across state lines. However, most over-dimensional shipping services are well-versed with the aforementioned rules and restrictions and should be able to ship your cargo with minimal problems.