The Challenges of Oversized Shipments
Oversized or over-dimensional shipments require a ton of planning and careful execution as you usually only have one chance to get it right.
A standard transport trailer is 8.5’ wide, so anything sticking out farther than 8.6’ would be considered over width. Anything over 75’ long would be considered over length and anything over 13’6” high is, you guessed it, over height. In addition, there is another category called “super status,” this would apply to any shipment that is over 15’ high, 14’ wide or 100’ long. These require a different class of permit and may require police escorts to shut down roads and re-route traffic.
Make sense? Just to make things more confusing, everything we just described above is a general rule and varies from region to region. Every state and province has its own laws regarding oversized shipments. Generally speaking any state east of the Mississippi river will have lower thresholds for “oversized” or “super-status” shipments. This is because the infrastructure out east is generally lower than western states.
Travel restrictions vary region to region as well. An oversized shipment will generally be restricted to daylight hours. However some place will allow you to start moving 30 min before sunrise and 30 min after sunset, and others will be the opposite of that.
In addition, we would also be restricted during peak travel periods near major cities. This would mean no travel from 6am – 9am and 3pm – 6pm, again these times will vary depending on the state or province. Some places will allow you to travel on weekends, others only on Saturdays and some regions will not allow travel on weekends at all.
If you think oversized shipments are difficult, it truly becomes a logistics challenge when you are moving cargo that enters the “super-status” category. We could be restricted to travelling in the middle of the night from 12am – 4am only, and not on weekends.
While worrying about all of the travel restrictions along a particular route, you also have to coordinate pilot cars and other escort vehicles. With some extremely large cargo it may be necessary to involve local police to shut down roads and re-route traffic.
While oversized shipments present a number of challenges, it is the best way to move large non-reducible cargo within the continental United States and Canada. When moving large shipments it is important to select a carrier with experience and expertise to ensure the safety of the cargo at all time.
With all oversized shipments it is important to practice patience, things don’t move as fast because there is so much more that can go wrong. Like what happened here: