What is Oversize Trucking?

There are many types of specialized trucking that may interest you over the course of your career. In most cases, you will want to have some experience between graduating from a commercial driver’s license (CDL) school and getting one of these specialized jobs. This is because they require expertise and drivers who have spent more time on the road are usually more prepared to handle the unique responsibilities and challenges.

However, having an idea of the many jobs that are out there can help you plan for your career. One option is oversize trucking, which involves transporting loads with large dimensions and weight. Heavy-haul truckers are in high demand, although there are many unique considerations for this type of career.

What is Considered an Oversize Load?

Each state sets its own weight and size limits for which vehicles are considered oversize. In general, anything greater than 8.6 feet wide, 13.6 feet tall, 53 feet long, or 80,000 pounds of gross weight is a heavy load. These hauls may include specialized equipment, airline parts, or mobile homes.

Special Requirements for Overweight Trucking

Before transporting an overweight load, the trucking company will need to obtain all necessary permits for the regions that the vehicle will be traveling through. Each state, municipality, and county have different requirements for these types of hauls.

The route needs to be carefully planned, and unlike other over-the-road (OTR) jobs where the driver has some flexibility with which roads they use, oversize truckers will need to follow the route on their trip plan as closely as possible.

In most cases, the vehicle will need to be clearly labeled as an “oversize load.” In some areas, especially if the terrain is more difficult to navigate, there will need to be pilot cars, also known as guide vehicles. These are cars or trucks that travel in front of and/or behind the oversize truck. They alert others on the road that an oversize load is approaching and inform the trucker about any approaching road hazards.

Doubles & Triples

A doubles/triples CDL endorsement may be necessary for some oversized loads. Having this on your license can open up more job opportunities, even if it is not required for every haul.

Considerations for Oversize Truckers

If you are considering working toward a career as a heavy-haul trucker, you should be prepared for the challenges it can present. Driving any semi-truck is a big responsibility and can take some getting used to. This is even more true when the truck is oversized. 

The haul may block your visibility and requires extreme care to transport safely. This type of job is not generally a good fit for new CDL drivers. In general, oversize truckers have several years of experience with other types of freight before transitioning into heavy-haul trucking.

Planning for a Specialized Trucking Career

If you love the idea of hauling oversize freight, the first step is getting your CDL. Focus on building your skills and plan to have another type of trucking job first. Our program can help you earn your license in as little as four weeks and start your trucking career with the skills you need to succeed.

To learn more about our CDL training, contact us today.

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