Carrying Overweight Loads On Highways- The Key Considerations 


Are you in the trucking industry and carrying a heavy load? You might need to get your hands on oversize permits. Did you know there are 600 million tons of overweight truck loads annually? 

An overweight load is when you exceed the truck’s legal width, length, and height. Essentially any load more than 8.5 feet wide is oversized. Such trucks require a permit to move on highways or narrow lanes. 

You might be wondering when you require such overweight permits, isn’t it? Fret not; this article will enlighten you about the considerations for a heavy and wide load and the importance of obtaining permits. 

Top 5 considerations for an oversized load 

Sometimes ferrying heavy loads on trucks is inevitable. However, there are several considerations to bear in mind to ensure a hassle-free process. Below are the top 5 considerations for a heavy load: 

  • The permits 

In the USA, each state has different regulations for a heavy load. Ensure you research thoroughly and obtain the correct oversize permits

Failing to obtain the permits can result in penalties of over thousands of dollars. It can also result in revocation or suspension of permits. While traveling on the highway, you need to check the rules and regulations of each state and get the necessary permits; otherwise, you’ll risk traveling the wrong route or timings. 

  • All safety equipment 

The reason to have permits for overweight loads is the safety hazard it poses. That’s why you need to ensure you have all the safety equipment on hand. Most states require you to have a flag, banner, or lights stating that you are carrying a heavy load. 

Typically, you need to have an 18inch flag that indicates the truck is carrying overweight loads. You might need to have flashing or rotating lights on top of the truck cab. 

  • The costs 

You will also need to bear in mind the cost of the permits. You can end up paying anywhere between $15 to $70 or more for the licenses. This cost depends on the size and weight of the load. 

While the cost might seem steep, you can probably set up an account with some states for reduced fees, especially if you carry frequent heavy loads. 

  • Escort vehicles 

Some states have a requirement for an escort vehicle with a board stating an oversized load is following behind. Most states require this of vehicles carrying loads more than 10 feet wide. This vehicle acts as a buffer between the heavy load vehicle and other vehicles. 

  • Any scheduling issues 

When ferrying overweight loads, you need to consider the timings. Ensure you adhere to the permitted timings that vary from state to state. Most states will allow shipments till 30 mins before sunrise and 30 minutes after sunset. 

Another aspect to consider is that some states may only allow you to travel in daylight hours. 


When ferrying items in a truck through the highways, you need to know whether you are carrying an oversized load. This is because you need to obtain oversized permits from the US Department of Transportation. 

Hauling overweight loads can prove to be a safety hazard on the highway. Add to that the lack of permits, and you will risk a lot as authorities will be caught unawares. When you carry an overweight load over 8 feet wide, you must ensure you have the due permits. 

You must also consider the scheduling, safety equipment, escort vehicles, and costs. So, when you have bulk shifting, ensure you do your research and obtain the necessary permits, and bear in mind the top 5 considerations. 

That way, you can move heavy loads hassle-free.