An “oversize load” in trucking refers to a load that exceeds the standard legal limits for size, weight, and dimensions set by transportation regulations. These regulations vary by jurisdiction, but oversize loads typically exceed the maximum width, height, length, and weight restrictions allowed on roads and highways. These loads typically include large industrial equipment, construction machinery, prefabricated structures, wind turbine components, and vehicles such as mobile homes or oversized tanks.
Transporting oversize loads requires special permits, coordination with authorities, and often additional safety measures such as escort vehicles, signs, and proper markings to ensure the safe movement of the oversized cargo while minimizing disruption to traffic and infrastructure.
A Few Things to Know About Oversize Loads in Florida
These loads can be heavy, unwieldy, and difficult to secure properly. Oversize loads in Florida require permits issued by the Florida Department of Transportation. Oversize loads are often restricted from traveling during certain hours, such as during peak traffic times or adverse weather conditions, to minimize traffic disruptions. Oversize load permits may come with specific route restrictions to avoid areas with low clearances, weight limits, or other obstacles. Oversize loads must have proper markings, flags, and lighting to make them visible to other drivers.
Legally, an oversize truck is one taller than 14 ft., longer than 65 ft., more than 8 ft. 6 in. wide, or heavier than 80,000 lbs. There are different types of permits depending on the size, weight, and dimensions of the load.
Width Limit: The maximum width for oversize loads is usually 8.5 feet on designated routes. Loads wider than this require special permits and may need additional escort vehicles.
Height Limit: The maximum height for oversize loads is typically 13.5 feet. Loads taller than this must obtain permits and may need to follow specific routes to avoid low clearances.
Length Limit: The maximum length for oversize loads varies depending on the type of load and the type of permit obtained. Loads that exceed the standard length may need permits and must adhere to route restrictions.
Weight Limit: The weight limits for oversize loads depend on axle configurations and the type of road. Permits are required for loads that exceed legal weight limits.
There are also escort requirements. Depending on the size and dimensions of the oversize load, escort vehicles may be required to accompany the load. Escort vehicles help ensure safe passage and warn other motorists of the oversize load’s presence. Most of us have seen trucks emblazoned with a bright yellow and black “oversize load” banner barreling down the highway with their escort vehicles out in front.
Risk Associated With Oversize Trucks
Oversize trucks increase the risk of some types of accidents. This is due to:
#1 Extended stopping distances. Adding more mass to a vehicle increases the amount of force needed to stop it, thereby lengthening stopping distances. This is due to the principles of physics and the increased force of momentum. Heavier loads have greater inertia, which is the resistance of an object to changes in its state of motion. This means that a truck with a heavier load will require more force to slow down or stop. This increases the risk of devastating rear-end collisions.
#2 Greater fatality risks. What would have been a relatively minor crash with a smaller vehicle becomes catastrophic when a massive truck and oversize load is involved. Oversize trucks cause more damage due to their size and weight. As the mass of a truck increases, so does the risk of death in the event of a collision.
#3 Greater risk of tire blowouts. Oversize loads can overwhelm a tire’s ability to handle the pressure, causing them to explode. These blowouts are extremely dangerous, since they can cause a driver to completely lose control over his truck. This may result in a jackknife accident, which is dangerous all on its own.
Oversize Load Truck Accident Compensation
If you’ve been injured in a collision with an oversize truck, you’re entitled to pursue damages for your medical bills, lost income, as well as pain and suffering. Yet, the compensation you need and deserve is not automatic. You need a truck accident lawyer to help you receive the compensation you deserve. That is Nunez Law!
If a truck has an oversize load, it can have even more devastating impacts due to the size and weight of the vehicle. If you feel this applies to your recent truck accident, call upon our truck accident attorneys to fight on your behalf. After an accident with a truck, especially one with an oversize load, it is very possible that you are entitled to damages for your medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. Reach out to our lawyers today and we’ll begin working on your behalf.