Oversize Permits & Overweight Permits

Hauling a load across the country means traveling through several states, each with their own weight and size regulations. Prime Permits makes sure that no matter the requirements along your route, you have the trucking permits needed to meet your deadlines.

When Do I Need an Overweight Permit?

You will need an overweight permit if your truck-trailer-load combination exceeds 80,000 lbs. gross weight.

What Is an Overweight Load?

While 80,000 lbs. is the average limit, overweight load guidelines can vary by state. It’s also important to know if a load is “divisible” or “non-divisible” – overweight loads must be non-divisible.

What is a non-divisible load? A non-divisible load exceeds weight or length limits and cannot be divided into smaller loads or vehicles within eight hours. A load is also non-divisible if:

  • Its intended use would be compromised by division
  • The load is unable to perform its intended task or function when divided
  • Disassembly would devalue the load or vehicle

Common examples of non-divisible loads include:

  • Construction equipment
  • Military vehicles
  • Emergency response vehicles
  • Vehicles that haul specialized loads or have large attachments
  • Construction components (poles, girders, columns, trusses, coiled steel, transformers, buildings, houses)
  • Food shipments (bulk milk)

What is a divisible load? A divisible load can be broken down into multiple loads to get weight within standard limits. This must be able to happen in a maximum work period of eight hours and cannot compromise the physical integrity or intended purpose of the load.

Common examples of divisible loads include:

  • Aggregate (topsoil, sand, gravel, stone)
  • Scrap metal
  • Fuel
  • Logs
  • Packages (boxes, crates, pallets)
  • Pipes

These types of loads can be divided in as many units of legal dimensions as necessary to avoid the need for an overweight limit.

What Is the Purpose of Load Divisibility?

The goal of the divisibility requirement is to help haulers minimize the risk posed by overloading cargo on their trailers. If loads are determined to be divisible, then they must be divided. In that case, loads will generally be within standard weight and size limits. If they cannot be divided, then a carrier can apply for a non-divisible permit. Each state can have its own specific requirements, so every step of a route needs to be considered in order to meet all applicable regulations.

When Do I Need an Oversize Permit?

You will need an oversize permit if your truck-trailer-load combination exceeds 8’6″ in width and/or 13’6″ in height (or 14′ for many western states) and/or 48’-53’ in length.

What Is an Oversized Load?

Oversized loads will be non-divisible and weight restrictions may be based not on the total weight limit but on a per-axle basis. Understanding what is required in each state is important so drivers know if they can adjust a load to make a shipment legal, or if they need to apply for an oversize trucking permit.

Escort vehicles, road closures, and law enforcement attendance may be required once loads exceed the legal limit. State-specific trucking permits and other arrangements for an oversized or overweight shipment must be acquired ahead of time in order to maintain tight shipping schedules.

You Can Rely on Prime Permits

Prime Permits makes it quick and easy for customers to procure oversize and overweight trucking permits. Our clients span across the nation and countless industries, including aerospace, military, heavy and residential construction, general freight, and energy/utilities. Our goal is to simplify the permitting process and while keeping costs reasonable. We offer online ordering for oversize, overweight, wideload, superload, and over-dimensional trucking permits for all of the contiguous 48 states. Visit our permit portal to view current permits, order history, and to check on permit status.

Shipping oversize and overweight loads presents its own set of challenges, but it's still an efficient way to move freight and it can be done legally and safely. If you aren’t sure if a load requires an overweight permit or oversize permit, please get in touch with us – we are ready to help!