Everything You Need to Know About Oversized Loads - Straight Forwarding
Everything You Need to Know About Oversized Loads - Straight Forwarding

When Will You Need Permits?

If the dimensions or weight of your load surpass the limits, you’ll need an oversize/overweight load permit. Moreover, the permit is only issued for oversized loads when they can’t be trimmed in size or length. 

However, it’s been regulated that 3 conditions also need permits:

  1. They can’t fulfill the purpose for which they were designed.
  2. They are useless for their intended use.
  3. They require a lot of resources and time to dismantle(more than 8 hours).


So, What Kind of Limitations Are There?

  • Overheight: The load cannot be composed of articles stacked on top of each other because that will create more height.
  • Overwidth: The load cannot be composed of articles stacked beside each other because that will create extra width.
  • Overlength: The load cannot be composed of articles stacked one behind the other because that will create additional length.
  • Overweight: The load must not be composed of more than one article. When crossing bridges, loads over 45,000 kg gross weight must be transported at the lowest rate.


4 Types of Oversize/Overweight Permits

Oversize load permits have specific conditions that must be strictly followed.

  • Annual Permits: Annual Permits are used for recurring trips with oversized loads.
  • Project Permits: Project permits are issued to allow carriers to transport similar loads over the same route depending on the period of the contract.
  • Single Trip Permits: A single trip permit is issued for a one-way tour along a route for a limited period.

Special Vehicle Configuration Permits: Special vehicle configuration permits are issued for vehicles with specific weights.

Important Guidelines for Oversize Loads

If you’re preparing to transport oversize loads, you must consider lots of different aspects. It’s really essential to calculate the proper dimensions and weight of your shipments in order to apply for the right permits and plan for the correct type of equipment. After all, to meet customers’ expectations is a top priority.


  • Recognize the limits for flatbed loads 

The legal limits for shipments are recorded and fairly consistent in the United States. To sum up, the legal load width can be as much as 8.5 feet (102 inches), and the height can’t exceed 102 inches. In addition, legal length is generally 48 to 53 feet, and the maximum weight is about 46,000 pounds.

  • Other restrictions that might require you to apply permits 

Surprisingly, sometimes a shipment might not surpass the total weight limit, but it may exceed the per-axle limits. To tackle this problem, simply modifying the load can make the shipment legal and spare you from the need for permits.

  • Some shipments need travel escorts

Normally, shipments over 12 feet wide require travel escorts. More than that, shippers typically pay for accommodations, and would be included in total freight costs. 

If you’re in need of expert advice, come talk to SFI today and we will provide you with the best possible service and quotes for your shipping needs. 

Feel free to email info@sfi.com or call us at (909) 594-3400.     

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