Planning to move an oversize load on US Highways or Interstates? Here’s vital information to take into account.

First, what exactly is an “oversize load?” Oversize shipments are regulated by the individual states, not the Federal Government. An oversize load is one that is greater than state restrictions of length, width, or height. Each state has its own legal definition of oversize. Oversize heights generally range from between 13.5 feet to15.0 feet. The state width restrictions for a wide load generally are set at 8.5 feet. Maximum gross vehicle weight of an oversize load is 80,000 lbs. on all axles. Carrying these loads is a job for specialized commercial trucks, trailers, and rigging equipment.

Oversize Load Requirements

There are a number of things you must take into account when moving an oversize load on US highways or Interstate. This is serious undertaking that requires great care. They present significant potential hazards to property and others.

  • A route survey must be taken to ensure the load can safely move through from start to destination.
  • An oversize permit is required for each and every state travelled through.
  • All required Municipal, State, and Federal Government bonds must be satisfied.
  • Frost laws and bridge weight laws must be strictly observed.

Escorts, Banners, and Travel Times

Escorts are often required for oversize loads. These usually include a “pilot car” in front of the oversize vehicle, displaying signage, usually one mile ahead of the load. This car checks for hazardous situations such as low power lines or construction zones. A “pole car” is used for loads over 14’3″ to ensure that the vehicle will safely fit beneath all bridges. A “chase car” or following vehicle may also be required. The vehicle with the oversize load must be identified with a banner stating “WIDE LOAD” or “OVERSIZE LOAD.” A special flag is required at each corner of a wide load. Most states also restrict these loads to daytime travel, between 30 minutes before sunrise and 30 minutes after sunset. They are also generally restricted to travel on weekdays and non-holidays.

State Requirements Vary

It’s important to realize that each state travelled through has its own unique, specific requirements that must be fulfilled. Each state requires a permit. That permit defines the conditions under which the load may travel, the escort vehicles required, and the safety equipment necessary. Safety equipment includes warning signs, special required lights, and flags. It’s important also that sufficient insurance be carried by transporters of these loads. If a load exceeds maximum weight or dimension in a particular state, State Police escort may be required. Assistance from local utilities could be necessary. These special conditions of travel all mean delivery times must be slower than normal travel times as well. But following all requirements is vital to ensure that oversize loads travel and arrive safely!

ASL Forwarding Oversize Load Hauling Services.

It’s very important to know and follow all the requirements when moving an oversize load on US Highways or Interstates. This is a complex, hazardous undertaking, best suited for professionals. For dependable oversize load hauling services, outsource your project to ASL Forwarding. For more information call us at 954.380.1125 or visit us at

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