Wide or oversized loads require extra care during transport. Not only do industry regulations and safety precautions need to be strictly adhered to, state and local ordinances concerning large loads must be followed to a “T.”
Safety for Wide Load Shipments
Safety is especially critical when it comes to wide load transport. A driver should follow all applicable safety rules and regulations. Here are a few additional safety tips for shipping wide loads.
- Use the right trailer. Do you need a standard flatbed or would a drop deck make more sense? One of the most critical decisions in oversize and over dimension load transport is which trailer to use. If you aren’t sure which trailer or axle configuration is best, consult an expert who can help you decide.
- Inspect your truck before you leave. Once you’ve got the right trailer secured, take the time to make sure that all lights, signals, mechanical and safety systems are working before heading out.
- Double check all tie downs, cargo nets and other load-confining implements before you set out. Check again when you get back on the road after a stop.
- Drive defensively. Stay highly aware and don’t let anything distract you from driving safely and watching the road.
- Stay informed about road conditions. Make sure you’re aware of any upcoming changes in weather, accidents or other factors that could affect your route. Slow down by at least 10 miles per hour if you expect to drive through rain or snow ahead.
- Use an experienced driver. Only skilled, experienced drivers with good safety records should transport wide and heavy loads.
Permits and Regulations for Wide Load Transportation
As previously mentioned, any oversize or wide load must be in compliance with any industry regulations. In addition, transport companies will likely carry their own set of rules for transporting wide loads. Oversize and wide load transporters must obtain the necessary permits, use the proper signage and follow any pilot car guidelines. Regulations and laws vary by state so it’s important to obtain a permit and study the wide load transport laws for every state your load will be transported through. Not doing so could result in costly delays.
Shipping wide loads calls for a thorough understanding of oversize and over dimension load-handling and should only be taken on by experienced professionals. Failing to heed even one safety precaution or making just one uninformed decision about which equipment to use can be disastrous. If you’re not experienced with wide load transportation, reach out to trusted industry experts for help in ensuring a successful haul.