Special considerations will need to be made when preparing to transport an oversized or wide load on the interstate. Depending on where the shipment is traveling and the size of the load, special permits and accommodations will be required. The purpose of these guidelines is to make sure shipments are secure and safe for travel. Despite the added oversite, sometimes using a flatbed truck is still the easiest solution. It is important to check each state for its legal requirements. However, there are standard factors that every state examines.
Determine Legal Limits
Flatbed truck loads must fall within certain dimensions, or special DOT permits New York City are required. In general, the height of a flatbed with the load secured must be less than eight and a half feet. The width of the shipment also should not exceed eight and a half feet. If an oversized shipment can be broken up without ruining the integrity of the contents, then the Department of Transportation will require you to transport sections separately. Remember, it is the responsibility of the driver to obtain the required permits.
Obtain Travel Escorts
Travel escorts are needed for shipments over 12 feet wide. Travel escorts, also called pilot vehicles, travel with the shipment while it is on the road. Escorts travel ahead of the truck to look for hazards to bring to the truck driver’s attention. They keep an eye out for construction zones, traffic, accidents or unexpected items on the road. Pilot vehicles are clearly marked and sometimes have flashing lights. These features are used to alert other drivers that a wide load is ahead and they should proceed cautiously.
Understand Travel Restrictions
Many states limit the hours oversized shipments can travel on roadways. Most of the time, travel is restricted during weekends and holidays, when traffic is typically heavier. Drivers should stay up to date on road closures and new traffic patterns. For safety reasons, large loads are often limited to driving in the daytime. Drivers have to identify what routes they plan to take within each state when obtaining permits. Permits will be required from each state the shipment travels through, not just where it starts and finishes.
Install Special Markers
Flags and amber lights may need to be attached to the flatbed truck and also travel escort’s vehicles. The size of the truck determines if extra lights or flags are necessary. It is important to check the requirements for each state of travel. Special markers are essential for traveling in certain weather conditions, increasing visibility for everyone sharing the road.