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The transportation and logistics industry has a wide variety of complex areas and services that companies must take care of to complete the entire supply chain, one of them being heavy haul trucking. There must be cohesiveness between all the moving parts to create a seamless process and transport freight promptly and without any issues to its destination.   

What is heavy haul trucking?  

Heavy haul trucking or heavy haul services refer to the shipping and transporting heavy or oversized freight that exceeds the legal limits. Each state needs to set its regulations for this type of service. Even though each state is required to create its regulations, general guidelines should be considered when classifying oversized shipments.  

If you are interested in knowing the specific regulations for each state, please check out the link and learn more.  

When does my freight require heavy haul trucking?  

It’s important to know when your freight will require heavy haul services. These are some of the general measurements you must consider:  

  • Width of 8.6 feet  
  • Height of 13.6 feet  
  • Length of 48 to 53 feet  
  • Gross weight of 80,000 pounds  

Some examples of equipment that requires heavy hauling are industrial machinery and military equipment.    

These are some general regulations, but every company needs to check the state regulations and comply.   

Why were heavy haul regulations created?  

Since the 1950s, trucks started growing in dimension. Even though bridges were created with the ability to hold many vehicles of different sizes, it was essential to ensure the safety of people and the integrity of the bridge itself.  

Bridge formula  

The U.S. Congress enacted the bridge formula in 1975 to ensure the safety of all the parties involved. This formula establishes the maximum weight any set of axles on a motor vehicle may carry on the Interstate highway system. It limits the weight-to-length ratio of a vehicle crossing any bridge.  

W = the overall gross weight on any group of two or more consecutive axles to the nearest 500 pounds.  

L = the distance in feet between the outer axles of any group of two or more consecutive axles.  

N = the number of axles in the group under consideration.  

To know more about the bridge formula, its use, and importance, click on the following link.   


What are the travel requirements for heavy haul trucking?  

After understanding what heavy haul trucking is and knowing when you need these services, you must consider other aspects. One of the most critical elements of heavy haul trucking is the travel requirements the actual truck needs to transport this kind of freight.   

Vehicles that transport heavy freight are required by federal law to include special signage when traveling. This signage will depend on the state and the size of the load.   

These are some of the general requirements for heavy hauling:  

  • Oversized Load Banners  
  • Safety Flags (brightly colored)  
  • Specialty Lights (rotating, yellow, or LED)  
  • Police Escort  

Permits and Escorts.   

The other two essential aspects that must be taken care of before the cargo is transported are permits and escorts. In some cases, your oversized freight will require escorts to ensure your safety, vehicles around your truck’s safety, and your freight’s integrity.   

These escorts or pilot vehicles are public safety vehicles, and they allow people to be warned about possibly dangerous situations with the oversized freight that’s being transported. Depending on the lane’s size, the escort vehicle will be in the front or back of the load.   

Permitting is also necessary to transport heavy hauls. These permits dictate the amount of time oversized cargo can be transported, seasonal restrictions, holiday and weekend restrictions, as well as the specific hours the load can travel in. Having all the documentation in place will allow your freight to travel until its destination without any hiccups.   

To know exactly what permits you require and if you need an escort, please click on the following link.   

Strategic planning  

One final element to ensure success during the entire heavy haul trucking is proper planning for the entire journey. It’s not all about permitting and escorts; you must consider the equipment and professionals required to ship over-dimensional freight. Having the right professionals help you along the way is essential since they will ensure you have the right equipment to transport your freight and the right and most efficient lanes to do so.   

At LGI, we manage all aspects of the oversized freight load, from selecting the proper equipment for your cargo to planning the best route and ensuring that any permits or escorts are obtained early to avoid costly delays.  


Transporting heavy or over-dimensional freight may be considered complicated since it requires many elements and cohesiveness between moving parts to flow seamlessly. But, with the help of the right logistics partner, with experience and knowledge of the industry, you’ll be able to make the unsimple, simple.   


Partner with LGI and access high-quality services from industry experts. To request a quote or speak to a logistician about your over-dimensional shipping requirements, call 713.957.4812.