It is never easy to transport or haul excessively heavy loads from state to state. Each state has its own sets of definitions and laws regarding these types of loads, which are known as superloads.
Superloads stand out in terms of height, weight, width, and length. Are you familiar with heavy hauling? To appreciate what superloads are, you would need to imagine something that’s several times larger than the heavy hauling you are accustomed to seeing.
Each state has its own share of laws for superloads. Nevertheless, the definition of the many different laws revolves around routine permit limits. Secondly, any haul that falls into this category has to be non-divisible.
What is a Superload?
It is not impossible to define a superload. As stated above, it refers to a massive load or haul that exceeds a state’s routine permit limits by a huge margin. However, the range of hauls that could be categorized as superloads is quite broad too.
Secondly, another quality that defines a haul as superload is non-divisibility. Essentially, this means that you can’t divide (disassemble) the load into smaller parts for easier hauling or transportation.
Typically, a superload exceeds predefined routine permit limits through:
One or more vehicles are often used to transport such loads.
At this point, it’s good to differentiate between a superload and an oversize load. Again, each state has its own definition and criteria for categorizing oversize loads versus superloads.
For example, in New York State, an oversize load is defined as a vehicle hauling loads measuring over 8ft wide, 13.5ft high, and 40ft long. Ordinarily, New York State defines superload as a vehicle hauling a load that is:
● 16ft wide
● 16ft high
● 200,000 pounds heavy
Examples of superloads include the following:
Why Do You Need a Permit for a Superload?
Each state has a set of requirements that one must adhere to before hauling any superload. For this reason, you should not imagine hauling superloads without any permit. A permit protects you in case of a serious accident or incident. Superload trucks have been known to knock out power and internet cables. Without a permit, you could face licensing reprimand and fines.
How to Deliver a Superload
One has to follow a special process of delivering a superload. Otherwise, law enforcement officers could seize the superload truck and its occupants for disobeying the law.
The first step is to apply for the appropriate permits. Again, this would entail visiting the relevant offices. Remember, each state has a unique definition, requirements, and laws on what a superload is. These laws also define how to deliver superloads.
A bit of patience is required when applying for the superload permit. This is because the process is much more complicated than applying for smaller loads. In some states, authorities might require:
● Route survey
● Bridge analysis
What is a route survey? It simply refers to the data that is pertinent to the route you intend to use or follow. A route survey is essential in many states; hence, you must inquire if it is a requirement on your route before embarking on the journey.
State approval can take anywhere between a few weeks to several months to get.
On the other hand, a bridge analysis refers to the mathematical formula used in determining the maximum weight that the truck can haul over bridges and overpasses. Vehicles used here must have multiple axle configurations to haul superloads.
As earlier stated, superloads exceed specific routine permit limits. Usually, these include length, width, weight, and height. A superload is considered one if it exceeds 1, 2 or all of these factors.
When you realize that your haul qualifies to be labeled a superload, then you should apply for the permit. Depending on the location of the intended route, authorities could demand an engineering survey too.
Apart from that, authorities also need a list of the utilities involved. A route survey, as mentioned earlier, is also necessary. In some cases, you would need police escorts and other escort vehicles that include:
a) Civilian escorts
b) Pilot escorts
c) Bucket trucks
The law allows civilian escorts to work closely with the state to act as the guide you need for your superload. Bucket trucks, which are effective at lifting obstructions such as wires and cables, are necessary when dealing with ultra-tall superloads.
Highly skilled personnel are also crucial for the safe delivery of the superload. Without specialized equipment, the skilled person would be incapable of performing their task well.
Collaboration between different professionals and experts is essential for the efficient delivery of superloads. In this case, logistics planners have to work closely with transportation personnel for smooth and trouble-free shipment.
State Permits Needed for Superload Hauling
A single-trip permit for a superload is valid for no longer than five consecutive days. Additionally, all superload permits are only usable between 9:00 pm and 6:00 am Sunday through Thursday, unless otherwise approved by the permit office.
The Alaska Department of Transportation defines the weight of a superload as 250,000 pounds or more. One must apply for the permit from Commercial Vehicle Customer Service Center at least five days in advance.
In Arizona, a superload is defined as a vehicle or vehicle combination that has a weight of 250,000 pounds or more. The width, length, and height are limited at 14ft, 16ft, and 120ft or more respectively.
Any permit you get in Arkansas for a superload is only valid during the day. You cannot and should not use it at night. You might also be able to use the permit on Arkansas highways Saturdays and Sundays but not on holiday weekends.
California classifies any gross vehicle weight exceeding 80,000 pounds as a superload.
You can find more information on Colorado superload permits and regulations here.
In Connecticut, you need a special superload CT ePass. Learn more about it at the official Connecticut government site.
In Delaware, weights exceeding 120,000 pounds are classified as superload. Special superload permits are a requirement for such vehicles or vehicle combinations.
Florida’s law enforcement officers can fine you up to $1,000 for driving a superload vehicle without a valid permit.
Georgia has two types of superload permits, namely, Superload Plus and Superload Single. They go for $500 and $125 respectively.
Applications for a superload permit can take up to three weeks in Hawaii; hence, the need for patience.
Permits issued for superloads are only valid for five days in Idaho. The law allows you to use them only from 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset.
Single-trip and round-trip superload permits are valid for 5 and 10 days, respectively, in Illinois.
Depending on road conditions, superloads that don’t weigh more than 200,000 pounds could require police escorts. However, you certainly need police escorts for superloads that exceed 200,000 pounds in the state.
Do not forget to apply for your superload permit from Iowa’s Department of Transportation.
If your superload exceeds 90ft in length, then the Kansas Department of Transportation expects you to have at least one escort vehicle or pilot escort.
In Kentucky, the permit pricing for a superload ranges from $80 to $1,500 depending on the type and size of load you are transportin
You would not be able to cruise through Louisiana with your 125ft-long superload without a steerable dolly, as the law demands.
The law prohibits you from moving your superload along Maine streets 30 minutes after sunset or 30 minutes before sunset.
It is worth remembering that Maryland authorities do not allow superload movement in areas with high traffic between 9 am and 3.30 pm every day.
In Massachusetts, superloads are classified as those weighing more than 130,000lbs. Visit mass.gov to apply for a superload permit.
Any load that measures 16ft in width, 15ft in height, and 150ft in length, is considered a superload in Michigan. Therefore, apply for the relevant permits.
When hauling a superload through an undivided roadway anywhere in Minnesota, you would need an escort vehicle at the front and rear to accompany you.
Two escorts are mandatory when hauling a superload measuring 105ft in length on any road in Mississippi. Otherwise, the Office of Law Enforcement at the Mississippi Department of Transportation would be on your case.
A Missouri Oversize Overweight Permit is an absolute necessity for anyone hauling a superload through the state’s streets.
In Montana, superload applications are assigned 1-3 class types. Therefore, check with the Department of Transportation first to know which class type applies to you.
The law allows you to transport a superload in Nebraska seven days a week, including on weekends.
Be ready with drawings that include axle spacings and weight, which the Nevada Department of Transportation might require in case it needs a special review of your superload application.
29) New Hampshire
In New Hampshire, any haul that measures longer than 110ft is categorized as a superload. The transportation of such loads requires route surveys.
30) New Jersey
New Jersey Department of Transportation says that route surveys are mandatory for superloads that are over either 14 ft in height or 16ft in width.
31) New Mexico
Any load that is over 190ft in length, 20ft in width, and 200,000lbs in weight is classified as a superload in New Mexico.
32) New York
In New York, the Department of Transportation has set restrictions on superload route and timing, specifically on New York City.
33) North Carolina
You would be at risk of breaking the law in case you haul a load that is over 132,000lbs in weight without a superload permit in North Carolina.
34) North Dakota
If your load exceeds 150,000lbs in weight, you must apply for a superload permit from the North Dakota Department of Transportation.
You can travel with your superload during specific holidays in Ohio as long as you observe the relevant laws.
A route approval is a necessity when hauling loads that exceed 185,000lbs in Oklahoma. The law defines such loads as superloads.
Any load or combination of hauling equipment and load that exceeds 150ft in length is defined as a superload in Oregon.
In Pennsylvania, the Department of Transportation allows superload movers to use Certified Escort Vehicles (CEVs) instead of escorts from the Pennsylvania State Police.
39) Rhode Island
Rhode Island’s Department of Transportation requires all superload movers to carry copies of applicable restrictions lists at all times.
40) South Carolina
A pilot car is mandatory for escorting a superload that exceeds 16ft in height in South Carolina..
41) South Dakota
All pilot or escort cars hired for transporting a superload must display a huge 5ft x 12ft “OVERSIZE LOAD” sign in South Dakota.
In Tennessee, a route survey is only valid for 15 days for a single trip in the case of a superload that measures over 15ft in height.
The Texas Department of Transportation defines superloads as loads exceeding 200,000lbs-254,300lbs in weight.
The only time you might not be required to display a superload permit is when entering Utah through I-15, I-80, or I 80.
The Department of Motor Vehicles requires you to obtain a permit for superloads exceeding 150,000lbs in weight, 100ft in length, 15ft in width, and 14ft in height.
Virginia laws relating to superload permits for single trips are specific to each vehicle. Therefore, you should read this manual to learn more.
Here, you must apply for a superload permit in writing no less than 30 days before making the trip.
48) West Virginia
Weight is not much of an issue in West Virginia, but all loads are required to pass through a bridge analysis.
You must provide details such as axle weight and spacing when applying for a superload permit from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.
Your application for a superload permit in Wyoming will only be approved if it complies with the relevant Wyoming Statutes and Regulations on moving such loads.
At VeriTread, we are here to help you move superloads across any state in the US. Let us take the headache out of heavy haul by trusting us with such an important task. For more information, contact VeriTread today!