The Basics of Heavy Haul


Do you ever wonder how airplane parts, mobile homes and construction equipment are moved? Highly skilled truck drivers, the right equipment and meticulous planning ensure that oversized loads move safely and efficiently to their destination. This is generally described as heavy haul transportation. 

It starts with an oversized load

While loads that fit into the standard “legal” dimensions are the bulk of what gets hauled on the road, there is an entire market that is consistently moving products that are outside of the limitations of a standard flatbed truck. As a general rule, a standard flatbed can handle product that does not exceed 8’6” wide, 8’6” high, 48’ long, or 48,000 pounds. 

Some carriers pull specialized trailers that can help expand the size of the shipment you can haul without having to go through the process of getting permits, thereby saving you money. For example, you could hire a step deck trailer if you have product that is 9’ tall or a 53’ flatbed if your product was a little long. 

Other types of trailers such as lowboys, extendable flatbeds and removeable goosenecks are all examples of trailers that are specially designed to help in hauling the material that is so large that the carriers are required by law to obtain special permits. 


One primary area of focus will be on the exact permits needed to move over-dimensional loads. These vary depending on the city, county or state.  Every state has the ability to set their own limitation and permit restrictions, so if the shipment crossed over more than one state, planning needs to go into each part of the route. Usually, these permits are issued per-shipment, and covers the amount of time an oversized load can travel, and the allotted hours of operation. 

Heavy Haul Extra Equipment 

When going heavy haul, you're going to be required to use special equipment for safety. Transporting a giant wind turbine over the highway isn’t easy. Below is a list of some of the equipment you can expect to hire with an oversized load.

  • Safety flags & lights: Bright orange flags and rotating LED lights are required by some states to be positioned on the truck.
  • Pilot cars: These cars act as escorts for wide loads. They are usually positioned in the front or back of the heavy haul carrier.
  • Banners: Big yellow banners that read “Oversized Load” will be required on the front and rear of the vehicle.

The drivers that pull this material have to know the right way to load it, strap it down, and maneuver past other vehicles without damaging the goods or causing an accident. It is for this reason that you always want to select a seasoned driver with experience on these types of moves. These drivers and the dispatchers that assist them in the setup are very familiar with the permits and the extra equipment that is required.

Are you looking for first-rate heavy haul services? Contact ARL Network to learn more!

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