The United States federal government does not issue permits for oversized or overweight vehicles. However, there are state and federal laws that define weight limits for the transportation of goods. On interstates and major highways, vehicles must not exceed 80,000 pounds. Other weight restrictions depend on the number of axles.
It is important to note that a load may be overweight but not too large. This is because a bulky load can fit perfectly in a standard transport truck. However, excessive loads can cause significant damage to road structures and bridges. Therefore, drivers must comply with all laws and regulations regarding oversized and overweight loads.
Along with state laws on oversized and overweight loads, there is a federal mandate on maximum weight. These include the gross vehicle weight of 80,000 pounds, the single-axle weight of 20,000 pounds, and the tandem axle weight of 34,000 pounds. Compliance with federal weight regulations also takes wheelbase into account. The number of axles and the distance between the axles that support the vehicle's load are important to protect bridges.
The oversized cargo truck industry is very complex, involving transportation companies, their drivers, brokers, customers, safety equipment vendors and contract escort vehicle operators. In addition to trucking companies and their drivers, there are intermediaries who contract their services, their customers, and companies that support large transportation operations, including vendors of safety equipment and signs, as well as operators of contract escort vehicles. It is essential for truckers to understand the regulations surrounding oversize loads in order to ensure compliance with all applicable laws. This includes understanding the maximum weight limits for different types of vehicles as well as the requirements for obtaining permits for oversized loads. Additionally, truckers should be aware of the potential risks associated with transporting oversized cargo and take steps to mitigate these risks. Truckers should also be aware of the various safety measures that must be taken when transporting oversized cargo.
This includes ensuring that all safety equipment is in good working order and that all signs are properly displayed. Additionally, truckers should be familiar with the rules regarding contract escort vehicles and ensure that they are properly utilized when transporting oversized cargo. Finally, truckers should be aware of any additional regulations or restrictions that may apply in their state or local area. It is important to research these regulations before transporting an oversized load in order to ensure compliance with all applicable laws.