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Oversize Freight

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What Is Oversize Freight?

When a freight load exceeds defined limitations, it is referred to as oversize freight, oversize load, or heavy haul. Shipping oversize freight requires specialized logistics since special equipment and careful pre-planning are needed because oversize freight exceeds design clearances.

oversize freight

A lot goes into determining freight size and weight restrictions—definitions can range from individual carriers themselves, the road limitations such as an area’s infrastructure, or state laws, amongst other factors.

Oversize Freight General Dimensions

  • Exceeds 8 ft. 6 in. (2.59 m) in width
  • Exceeds 13 ft. 6 in. (4.11 m) in height
  • 34k to 80k; depends on number of axles

Some examples of oversize freight would be boats, heavy equipment, machinery, generators, trusses, and the like. If you aren’t certain what your freight qualifies as, consult your freight agent.

Does Oversize Freight Require Specific Transportation Equipment?

Oversize freight requires specific transportation equipment, such as:

  • Lowboys—A semi-trailer with a drop deck. There are 2 drops, with the first located behind the gooseneck, and the second in front of the wheels. The trailer sits very low to the ground.
  • Drop decks—A semi-trailer on a platform. It lacks a roof, sides, and doors. Drop decks have 2 deck levels and sit higher than the lowboy.
  • Stretch trailers—A stretch trailer is an extendable flatbed, lacking roofs, sides, and doors. Stretch trailers are used for carrying oversize loads that are too long for standard trailers by providing support and circumventing overhang. These can be single or double.
  • Removable gooseneck trailer (RGN)—These trailers are good for carrying long, tall freight. The front is detachable, and the trailer can be dropped to the ground to make a ramp. 3-20+ axles.
  • Extendable double drop trailers—An extendable double drop trailer is used to carry and haul freight that exceeds the length of a standard double drop trailer. The number of axles (2-3) is dependent on the freight’s weight.

These services specialize in moving shipments that exceed the limitations of LTL and FTL carriers. State, federal, and local laws will have restrictions on weight and dimensions that freight trucks can haul without special permits and equipment. Packaging requirements may also push the shipment outside the size limitations.

The Difference Between Oversize and Overlength

Unlike oversize freight, the term overlength freight pertains only to shipments for which length is the only outstanding dimension. Pipe and lumber are examples of freight that can face an overlength limit. Individual carriers establish their own limits for length.

Increasingly, carriers are setting 96″ as their overlength limit. They will still take on freight that is beyond the limit but will charge extra for it. A number of FreightCenter carriers continue to accept cargo up to 12′ (144″) in length without charging an overlength fee.

Need to ship something that is longer than 8′ and don’t want to pay an overlength fee? Contact your shipping agent at 800.716.7608.

How Can FreightCenter Help?

You could spend your time researching which carriers are available to service your area and call for pricing, or you could save time and money using our services that will handle all the research work for you so that you can save time and money! Our freight quote will instantly compare rates from many highly-rated U.S. carriers.

Next time you have an oversize freight or package, contact FreightCenter immediately and we’ll carry the load instead. Start your free freight quote today, or call one of our expert freight agents at 800.716.7608.

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Some Oversized Items We Commonly Ship

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