Overweight permits are an essential part of moving large loads over the road on a truck, and getting all the permits in place can be complex, but there are some ways to make the process easier. Working with a load planner is often one option that can make the process easier and ensure it gets done correctly.
When Do You Need Permits
Overweight permits start to become an issue for loads that exceed eighty thousand pounds on the truck. The US Department of Transportation has set that figure as the standard weight, and anything under it is considered an average load and does not require a permit to move.
It is essential to understand that the eight thousand pounds include the truck and trailer. The GVW (gross vehicle weight) is the weight of the entire unit, so if your truck and trailer top the scales at thirty-five thousand pounds empty, you have forty-five thousand pounds of freight you can add to the truck, but as soon as you go over that weight, you need overweight permits for the truck.
Trucks running over the weight limits without the proper permits can be fined heavily, and in some cases, the driver could face license suspensions. Even if you claim not to know you were overweight, you are responsible as the driver, and you will be the one facing the penalties.
If you suspect the load is overweight, stop at a certified truck scale and have the truck weighed. If the cargo is over-weight, park the truck and call your dispatch right away so that the shipper can reduce the load or acquire a permit for the shipment before you go any further.
In situations where the load you are moving is extremely heavy, you may be required to use a specific route to move the freight. Heavy trucks can add a lot of strain to the road and can cause damage to the surface, so some municipalities do not want heavy loads moving over their main routes.
The overweight permits may be issues with that in mind and may only be valid if you follow the route specified with the permit. The route planner for your company can help ensure you can get your truck through the area that you are being required to use.
If you do not have a route planner to work with, you may need to go over the route carefully, looking for any problem areas so you can be prepared for them. If you can not move the load along the route that the overweight permit specifies, you need to get in touch with the company handling the permit so that the route planner can change it before moving the freight. This will help reduce delays in permitting so that the cargo arrives where it needs to be on time.