By: Michelle Tunquist

Every state has different regulations and permit requirements.  When planning a heavy haul project that crosses state lines, it is necessary to meet those different regulations and obtain all required permits. This alone can take many hours of planning. Heavy haul equipment can only be driven on certain roads, at specified times and axle weight guidelines must be met. The logistics of determining the best route and whether escorts are needed can be a challenge. WM Services makes this simple by doing the planning and obtaining all appropriate permits.

OS/OW Restrictions and Requirements

Oversize and overweight hauls require special permits because not every road, bridge and tunnel can handle the size and weight of the load.  Sometimes roads are restricted temporarily because of construction or maintenance or at certain times of day to keep traffic flowing. Every state has separate restrictions and permit requirements.  This can make planning a haul across state lines especially difficult.

CPCS Transcom Maps

CPCS Transcom has created a map that details the different regulations for each state. The drop down menu allows the selection of each different type of map.  This does a great job of showing how complicated transporting a heavy haul can be. For every oversized, overweight haul, the following have to be taken into consideration for each separate state:

  • Maximum Permitted Axle Weights. States regulate how much weight is allowed per axle.  Depending on the weight, axles have to be added, but since this adds to the overall weight, it is best to use as few axles as allowed.
  • Civilian Escort Requirements. Civilian escorts must travel with the load for certain sized loads.
  • State Police Requirements. Sometimes police escorts are required to ensure safe travel of the load.
  • Permit Processing Time. Every state has different permit processing requirements, and the length of processing time can differ.
  • Hours of Travel. Loads that exceed certain size limits may only be able to travel certain hours during the day. It is important to check the regulations of each state.
  • Route Surveys. If the load exceeds a certain height, states may require a survey. This means someone has to drive the route with a height pole set higher than the load height to ensure that the load can safely travel the route.
  • Utility Notification. Sometimes power, phone and cable lines can block a load along the route.  All utilities must be notified if a load will be passing under their lines.
  • Minimum Clearance. Each state sets a minimum clearance (distance between the load and the overhead structure).
  • Seasonal Weight Restrictions. These are most common in Northern states where the ground can freeze. During the spring when the ground is thawing there are restrictions on the weight of loads.

Planning Hauls

A lot of planning occurs before the load is transported.  Routine loads can get planned, with permits obtained often within six to twenty five days, but superloads and megaloads can take four to thirteen months to plan.  The following steps go into the planning of every haul:

  • Contracting. Negotiating and signing the contract for the load.
  • Engineering. Determining what the load will require, and creating a detailed lift plan.
  • Application for Permits. Applying for all required permits in each state, city, and county.
  • Scheduling. Contacting utilities and coordinate escorts.
  • Field Surveys. Conducting field surveys when required.  This involves driving the route in advance.
  • Equipment Prep. Preparing equipment for the job.
  • Mobilization. Getting the equipment to the location to move the load.
  • Assembly. Assembling any equipment required to move the load.
  • Load Securement. Securing the load for transport.

Each of these steps must be planned and completed before the load even leaves the first location.

WM Services Does the Heavy Lifting

We can haul any heavy load, and the heavy lifting doesn’t stop there. WM Services will plan your heavy haul and obtain all necessary permits so you don’t have to.  Give us a call today at (208) 547-4707 and get your next project started.