Over-Dimensional Freight: Customer Considerations

  • Over Dimensional Freight

When it comes to preparing an over-dimensional freight shipment, one needs to take into account many factors and considerations. Knowing what to expect when preparing your shipment will ensure that your operations run smoothly and avoid the sometimes costly mistakes often made by many oversize trucking companies. As many states and provinces implement different regulations, heavy haul trucking companies need to ensure they comply with these regulations to avoid costly consequences.

Escort Vehicles

Depending on the region, oversize trucking companies may be required to use escort vehicles if the district they are shipping through require them. Also referred to as pilot vehicles, they aid in warning other road users that heavy cargo is approaching. These escort vehicles will also run ahead of the cargo to check for any low-hanging bridges, wires, or any other potential challenges that may impede the shipment. The number of pilot vehicles required (in back and/or in front) will be determined by the rules and regulations set out by local authorities.

Travel Time

Some jurisdictions may have limitations on the number of hours your cargo can spend on the road when moving an over-dimensional shipment. If the region through which the shipment is traveling limits travel to just daylight hours, this will significantly reduce the time available to be spent on the road; and shorter daylight hours during the winter months will restrict time even further. When entering populous areas, rush hour may often play a role in restricting movement during times of heavy traffic.

Safety Equipment

Depending on the shipment’s dimensions, lights and flags may be required on trailers, tractors and escort vehicles. Most oversize load trucking companies will utilize amber lights and orange or red flags to alert other road users to be cautious when approaching or passing.

Route Surveys

To alleviate shipping, safety and security concerns, route surveys may be required for heavy haul freight. Conducting these route surveys assists in prevention of damage to property, ensures road safety and protects other road users. Mapping out the route and determining any potential hazards, such as low bridges or tight turns, will alleviate any potential headaches when the cargo is eventually en route to its final destination.

Most reputable heavy haul trucking companies will ensure that all necessary permits are secured prior to shipping. These permits usually require documentation for what is being transported, the cargo dimensions, the final destination and the shipment’s origin. Also included will be conditions necessary to ensure the shipment is transported safely, such as time restrictions, escort vehicles and safety equipment requirements. Costs to acquire these permits will vary according to jurisdiction.

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