For some, the idea of driving a large commercial vehicle is completely terrifying. For CDL drivers, however, a big truck is part of the job. What do you do when you also have to worry about oversize cargo? An oversize load can include farm equipment, bulldozers, cranes, prefabricated homes, and much more. What can you do as a driver to make sure your cargo and the drivers around you stay safe?
Oversize Loads: 3 Considerations
Find Out What Qualifies
How do you know if you’re hauling an oversize load? Generally speaking, any cargo that is over 8.5 wide qualifies, while items that are over 12 feet wide might require one or two pilot vehicles to go in front of and behind the truck. You’ll need a permit for wide loads but remember: you won’t be able to get a permit for anything that can be broken down in size or weight, so make sure your measurements are accurate.
Know the Rules
Every state has its own laws about hauling wide and oversize loads. Many states will require one or more pilot vehicles to accompany the truck to alert other travelers about the potentially dangerous cargo. Pilot vehicles can also keep truckers alert to any changes in the road or unexpected construction that can throw off the route.
Additionally, oversize loads require special markings, banners, and/or lights to alert other drivers. Pilot vehicles need similar markings for the same reason. Before you embark on your journey, make sure your cargo is following all the rules of the road so you don’t find yourself in trouble down the line.
Stick to Your Schedule
Finally, know the route you plan to take and any potential hazards that could come your way. Some states won’t allow truckers to haul oversize loads over weekends or holidays. Sometimes, inclement weather makes it too dangerous for you to haul your cargo. If you plan ahead of time, you should be able to safely haul your oversize load and deliver it securely to its final destination.