Being a truck driver is not an easy job. Not only is the job itself hard, but the lifestyle that comes with trucking is also difficult. It requires long work days, an unpredictable work schedule, and a lot of alone time. Drivers who haul oversized loads are especially aware of how difficult truck driving can be. Oversized loads are defined by any shipment that exceeds the maximum dimensions that are set in place by the state. Drivers that haul oversized loads face a different set of challenges than drivers that haul regular sized loads. For tips on hauling oversized loads, keep reading below!
Get the Right Equipment
Having the right tools and equipment for your oversized load is essential for a successful delivery. There are many different types of oversized trailers. Here are some of the most common amongst truckers:
- Drop Deck Trailer - Drop decks, also known as a step deck or lowboy trailer, are one of the most popular types of oversize trailers. These specific styles of trailers have an upper and lower deck. They are similar to flatbed trailers, but the main difference between the two is the maximum height of the cargo that can be transported.
- Gooseneck Trailer - These types of trailers are ideal for loading and unloading large equipment. The bottom of the trailer drops down to create a ramp, which makes the loading process easier.
Plan Your Trip
Planning your trip in advance is important for oversized truck drivers. Knowing the route before you hit the road can help reduce stress and keep you safe. You also will have a good understanding of what kind of supplies or equipment you will need.
A good way to plan ahead for your trip is to use a GPS that is specifically designed for truck drivers. Using a GPS made for truckers allows you to clearly see the route and road condition.
Know the States Laws and Regulations
The laws for hauling oversized loads differ in each state. Although each state has different rules, most states require oversized loads to have pilot vehicles throughout the haul. Pilot vehicles escort truck drivers hauling oversized loads to help minimize danger and maintain safety.
Some states may also require drivers to have permits and licensing certificates. Check out state transportation websites for more information. https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/about/webstate.cfm
Have the Right Special Markings
Hauling oversized loads poses a danger to others on the road, so it’s important to have the right special markings. Special markings are used to alert other drivers on the road that an oversized load is near. Each state has different requirements, but the most common markings for oversized loads are:
- A yellow reflective banner that says “oversize”
- An 18 or 12-inch square bright red or yellow warning flag
- Amber or red lights with optional flashing amber lights.
Check out this guide for each states special marking requirements http://nationwideexpressservices.weebly.com/uploads/2/9/4/0/2940251/signs_flags_and_lights.pdf