In the United States, a wide or oversized load is any load more than 8’6” wide. While every state has its own unique set of requirements for shipping wide loads, there are some general rules that are going to be consistent across pretty much every location.
With this in mind, here are some things you should know about oversize load shipping in Houston, TX before you send off your shipment:
- Know the limits: Most states have pretty consistent legal limits for shipments. Typically the maximum legal load width is 8.5 feet (102 inches), with a maximum height of 102 inches. Legal length can be anywhere from 48 to 53 feet, with a maximum weight usually falling around 46,000 pounds. While you might be able to get away with going a little heavier, depending on the truck and the area, that’s likely going to be the maximum in your location.
- Checking to see if you’re oversized: The weight restrictions for trucks are applied on a per-axle basis, which means your shipment might not actually be higher than the weight limit, but it could still be higher than the per-axle weight limit. What’s more likely to make your load “oversized” is the width measurement. If your load ends up exceeding 12 feet wide, you might be required to use a couple pilot vehicles in the front and/or back of the truck. The flatbed driver is responsible for taking care of any permits required, and if the load can feasibly be broken down into smaller shipments, that permit will not be granted.
- Know when you need escorts: As we previously mentioned, loads that are more than 12 feet wide are typically going to require you to use travel escorts. You’ll need to pay for hotels and other incidentals for these pilots. These escorts provide warning of upcoming hazards, such as construction zones, traffic jams, low bridges and wires and any other hazards, and help alert other drivers on the road to the presence of the oversized load.
- Know what the special markings mean: The size of the load you’re shipping will determine whether or not it’s necessary to have flags or lights on the tractor or trailer. Usually amber lights and/or red flags will be required when you’re hauling an oversized load to increase its visibility to other drivers sharing the road. Escorts that accompany these oversized loads will also have flags or lights on their vehicles.
- Plan ahead: Any time you’re shipping an oversized load, there are going to be more factors that could arise and have an impact on your schedule. Oversized loads might only be able to be on the road for certain times each day, and might even be prohibited from driving on weekends or holidays. Different states might also have different permitting requirements and restrictions.
For more information about oversized and wide load shipping in Houston, TX and what you should know before shipping a load, contact the experts at Pro Delivery LLC today.
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