While transporting an oversized item or consolidating multiple shipments may seem fairly straightforward, wide loads and oversized cargo typically involves a range of logistical concerns that will need to be addressed.
From learning more about the legal limitations regarding weight and dimensions to sourcing a trailer that will be able to accommodate an oversized load, adequate preparation is essential for ensuring a successful transport.
Overlooking even a seemingly mundane detail can lead to no end of complications, obstacles and shipping delays that you would do well to avoid.
#1 Determining Load Size
Always refer to the legal limits on width, length, and weight when shipping large cargo.
Shipping dimensions and load limits are provided by the Department of Transportation, although referencing regional, state and local regulations as well during route planning may also prove necessary.
The equipment needed to protect and secure cargo during transit may also add to shipping dimensions and maybe enough to push large or heavy items that are near the limit over the threshold.
#2 Planning an Escort
Escort vehicles serve to alert traffic of the presence of an oversize load and can also be useful in relaying essential information to the driver while in transit.
There are numerous rules, regulations and even fees regarding the use of escort vehicles when transporting oversized cargo, many of which can differ from one state to the next.
While not every oversized load, cargo or shipment may require an escort, those that do may require additional planning and preparation.
Familiarizing yourself with all pertinent rules and regulations and making arrangements to have cargo escorted by an appropriate vehicle is something that should be done long before the shipping date arrives.
#3 Finding the Right Trailer and Equipment Options
Not every trailer may be durable enough to withstand the weight of an oversized load or be large enough to accommodate the cargo.
Whether you are arranging a one-time shipment or maintaining a regular-duty delivery fleet, renting a trailer that is up to the task can often be the best way to approach the situation.
Dealing with trailer companies who are able to provide access to the full range of equipment options and solutions needed to handle a wide load or oversized cargo is not a matter that should be left to chance.
Lacking access to the right trailer, safety equipment or other resources that may be required could lead to no end of problems.
#4 Route Planning
From avoiding tight turns and sharp corners to ensuring that all bridges offer sufficient clearance, detailed route-planning is another essential consideration that will need to be addressed.
Fuel stops, weight limits on roads and bridges and traffic issues may all be factors that may influence the final route. Planning a back-up route or having a contingency plan in place can also be worthwhile.
Changing road conditions, road closures and other temporary obstacles that can be difficult to predict may require you to make last-minute changes or to find an alternate route in order to reach your destination.
#5 Safety Issues
From collisions and road-side accidents to cargo that may be improperly handled or poorly secure, there are any number of potential hazards that can crop up during transit.
Effective planning, proper use of all equipment and access to any additional resources that may be required can all help to ensure your cargo is able to arrive safely at its destination. When managing an oversized load, safety should always be the top priority.
Transporting a wide load or managing oversized cargo involves a number of unique challenges.
Adequate preparation and access to the right equipment, assistance and solutions can help to guarantee safe, successful and issue-free transport.