While there are a lot of cargo loads that are well within the weight limits set on roads, some loads are too big or too heavy to travel on certain roads normally. The weight limits are posted to keep the streets from breaking down. The weight limits may be temporary due to weather conditions, or they may be permanent. However, sometimes it is necessary to carry a heavy load on those roads. When that happens, the trucking company needs to have an overweight permit. That is a one-time special exemption to go on those roads. There is a process for getting one of these permits.
Not Federally Issued
The first part of the process is ensuring the application is going to the right person. Overweight permits are not issued on a federal level; the state handles them. If the load goes through several states, each state will have to issue a permit. Each state may have slightly different requirements for permits. Some towns and cities may also have permits that have to be issued or specific rules that have to be followed even for permitted loads. The surface roads in small towns may be more fragile than state-maintained roads.
Part of the permitting process is finding a specific route. When finding those routes, it's important to note the high weight limits on those roads. The difference between the weight of the load and the tolerance of the proposed course may be too big for even a one-time permit, which means a new way will have to be planned out. The permit may also limit the hours when the truck can drive on the proposed route because of traffic. Driving at night may be easier for an overweight load because of the lower traffic load. As part of the application process, the issuing state may approve the route, or they may suggest another route or change parts of the proposed course.
Part of shipping can include having to carry heavy, overweight loads. Some cargo companies specialize in dealing with overweight loads. One thing that every company that transports heavy-weight loads has to do is apply for a permit so that they can take those loads on the roads. Without those permits, that kind of cargo can't be transported by road, and there may not be any other way for that particular load to get to where it needs to go.
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20 April 2023
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