President Biden has proposed more than $2.3 billion in infrastructure spending over the next eight years. Industries like construction, oil and gas, and manufacturing increase transportation needs as the economy continues to rebound.
If you need to ship large equipment and materials, you may need heavy haul trucking. This specialized form of transportation can handle your oversize and overweight cargo.
Find out more about heavy haul trucking. First, learn who needs heavy hauling and how it works. Then, you’ll know what to expect for your next shipment.
What Is Heavy Hauling?
Heavy haul trucking carries loads that are larger than the standard legal dimensions for transporting freight by road. A shipment needs heavy hauling if it’s larger than:
- 8’6″ wide
- 13’6″ high
- 48′ to 53′ long
- 80,000 lbs gross weight
These general guidelines are widely accepted. However, the federal government requires every state to set its own regulations for oversize and overweight cargo. Therefore, you should always verify the requirements for each state you’ll be traveling through.
The weight limits for heavy hauling are per axle. This helps protect bridges by limiting the weight-to-length ratio of vehicles crossing the bridge. In addition, spreading the force out makes it less severe.
The full cargo weight shouldn’t be spread evenly over the truck’s axles.
The steer axle has a maximum of 12,000 lbs. A single axle should carry no more than 20,000 lbs. Drive axle tandems and trailer tandems each have limits of 34,000 lbs.
If the tandems are spread apart, the axles can hold more weight. The total limit of 80,000 lbs still applies, though.
If your load exceeds the weight limit per axle, you need heavy haul trucking.
Types of Cargo
Many types of cargo need heavy hauling. Some examples include manufacturing equipment, farming equipment, and military vehicles. Heavy haul trucking can also handle more complicated types of freight like wind turbines and nuclear reactors.
What’s Used for Heavy Hauling?
A variety of trucks and trailers can carry oversize and overweight loads. Your trucking services provider will help you find the right type of trailer for your cargo.
The more axles a trailer has, the more weight it can carry. Trailers can have as many as 19 axles. Axle splits from five to nine are more common.
Extended Flatbed Trailers
Oversized flatbed trailers are available for large freight. Flatbeds are one of the most common types of trailers because they can carry many kinds of cargo. Extendable flatbeds can hold long loads like pipe or lumber.
Removable Gooseneck Trailer
Removable gooseneck trailers have a removable front end. This lets the bottom of the trailer lower to create a ramp. You can drive equipment directly onto the trailer.
Removable gooseneck trailers usually have more axles to safely carry the larger cargo.
Drop Deck and Step Deck Trailers
Drop deck, and double drop deck trailers haul tall cargo that would exceed the legal 8’6″ height limit. Therefore, the trailer has a well in the middle and a higher deck on either end. These types of trailers can accommodate loads up to 12′.
Step-deck trailers are another option for hauling tall loads. They have one higher deck. The large cargo sits on a lower deck. The higher deck can hold smaller freight.
Permits and Documents for Heavy Haul Trucking
When your load needs heavy haul trucking, you also need the right permits and documentation. You’ll need a permit for each shipment.
Getting a Permit
Each state, not the federal government, issues oversize and overweight permits. Most heavy haul shipments also need permits from the city, county, or municipality the truck will be traveling through.
The time it takes each jurisdiction to issue the necessary permits can vary widely. As a result, the cost varies significantly as well. Working with an experienced heavy haul trucking services company can help you navigate the process as efficiently as possible.
Permits define the approved route and any restrictions on transporting the shipment.
Travel restrictions often apply to heavy haul trucking. For example, most state permits are only valid for a certain number of days. In addition, States often only allow transport during daylight hours for safety reasons.
Heavy haul loads may not be allowed to travel on weekends or holidays like Memorial Day and Labor Day. This is to avoid problems due to traffic congestion. Seasonal restrictions can also apply.
A permit defines the safety equipment a shipment must-have. Safety equipment can include signs, flags, and lights.
States usually require a yellow and black “wide load” or “oversize load” banner across the front of the heavy haul truck. A second banner is necessary on the back of the trailer or the end of the load if it’s longer than the vehicle.
An oversize load needs warning flags on the front and back corners. In addition, some states require a rotating or flashing light on top of the truck’s cab.
Escort vehicles (pilot cars) may be necessary for heavy haul trucking. Escort vehicles travel in front or the back of the heavy haul truck. They alert the public if the shipment causes traffic changes or obstacles. In addition, they alert the truck driver of any potential problems while traveling.
Some states require a police escort. However, this is usually only the case for larger loads than a state’s limits for routine permits.
Finding the Right Heavy Hauling Service
Heavy haul trucking has specific demands that don’t apply to other types of freight logistics. Using the right trucking services provider helps ensure that your cargo gets to its destination safely and on time.
Patriot Freight Group is an experienced solution-based provider for your heavy haul trucking needs. We’re one of the most versatile heavy haul trucking companies for transportation across the US and Canada. We’ll find the right truck for your cargo and get the necessary permits.
You’ll get regular updates on the progress of your transport. In addition, you can check our GPS truck tracking at any time with your personalized link.
Contact us today for a no-hassle quote. But, first, let us demonstrate the Patriot Freight Group difference.