Best Practices and Considerations when Transporting Over Dimensional Freight

Shipping items is tricky; shipping oversized items is complicated. What makes an item oversized? Regular cargo has dimensions such as weight, height, and size. Any item that goes out of the regular is considered oversized. Items like construction machines, military equipment, vehicles, etc., are oversized items. When shipping such items, you must take certain precautions to avoid incidents and overspending. Do you want to learn more about how to avoid specific issues when shipping oversized loads? Keep reading this piece to learn more.

Before we dive in, let’s properly define what an oversized load is.

What is an Oversized Load?

Every load shipped will pass through different states and regions before it gets to its destination, and these states have standard legal size criteria for loads. If a shipment exceeds the state’s legal size criterion, it is said to be oversized. Hence, being oversized is dependent on individual states. However, there is a general guideline to determine whether a load is oversized. An oversized cargo is over 53′ long, 8′ 6 ” wide, and 13 ‘6″ tall.

Things to Consider for Oversized Load Shipping

It is essential to plan sufficiently before any over-dimensional freight moves. Many well-informed shippers have efficiently executed oversized load shipping, and specific practices have aided the shipping. Let’s look at the top considerations for every shipper.

1.     Discover the Route and Timing of Your Shipment

This has to be one of the complex practices to master, but it saves you a lot of stress. If you don’t know, the route your cargo transverse determines the time covered.

For legal loads, the time spent can be easily calculated. It is straightforward. While the distance impacts the transit time, the shipment’s driver’s hours of service clock determines the delivery. Although traffic and other factors can change the timing for legal loads, it is not always the case. Unlike legal loads, over-dimensional freights have different realities.

It is expected that shippers adequately plan their routes. You can have a comprehensive route plan by collecting information from states, counties, and municipalities on your routes. It is important to gather specific information about each area’s travel curfew, service of area resources, and oversized permits, amongst others. While this is not all, it is the most essential.

2.     Weather Impact

Even legal loads get affected by the weather. So, it is one of the top considerations for shippers of over-dimensional cargo. Elements like storms, ice, heavy rain, etc., may affect the route and timing of your shipment. So, speak with a professional load shipment expert to plan for the weather adequately.

3.     Size of Your Load

The size of your load directly affects the space it takes on the cargo, which also affects the price. Ensure to take the proper measurements of your load size to avoid incurring unnecessary expenses. If you are used to legal load shipping, you are highly expected to incorrectly assume the space your load will occupy. However, to avoid unforeseen abnormalities, it is best to take accurate measurements. You can also partner with a transportation expert to help you handle the measurements.

Best Practices to Aid Smooth Shipping of Oversized Loads

Let’s quickly look into some essential practices that will ensure budget-friendly and timely shipping.

1.     Gather Information on Your Cargo

Any discrepancy in your cargo information can delay your shipping and increase your expenses. So, it is crucial to measure your cargo correctly. Take account of every inch of the shipment. Additionally, have an accurate item description and a detailed handling instructions manual.

2.     Plan Adequately

The earlier you start planning, the better for you. Most last-minute shipment planning attracts higher rates and may require an escort shipping service.

3.     Have a Transport Management System (TMS)

Planning for an oversized load is more complex than a legal load. Hence, adequate planning and documentation should be carried out. A TMS is your best bet to ensure visibility and shipment execution.


Oversize load shipping is intricate. It requires a lot of measurements and ample planning. You will notice we have hammered on these points since the start of this piece.

While it is not impossible to handle all the processes of over-dimensional shipping, it is more feasible if you let freight experts take the entire process. You can let the SAC heavy haul transport team handle your over-dimensional load. Contact the team at (866) 452-3657.