The height maximums vary among states. Some allow heights of 13.6 ft., while others will allow heights up to 14 ft. Drivers have to be very careful about height. Even an inch over the legal limit in a specific state can place the truck and cargo in the category of a super load. A super load has a myriad of very special permits.
The variable limits on height limits for tractor and trailer loads is one of the reasons that companies specializing in hauling heavy equipment and similar items use trailers with low beds that can be slung just inches off the ground to ensure the load doesn’t exceed height limits. When applicable, buckets and similar attachments can be detached and carried on the same trailer.
These types of trailers are typically referred to as a lowboy or RGN, but there are several types of trailers used to transport taller than average loads. For example, a drop deck trailer can bring the bottom of the trailer to within 18 inches off the ground. That can translate to an extra 3 ft. of clearance levels for cargo. That can eliminate requirements for specialized permits and save money for clients. The trailers are also a safer choice, as they have a lower center of gravity making them less likely to tip or sway.
Double drop trailers are another option for loads that are very large, heavy, or wide. The trailers are an excellent choice for awkwardly-shaped items, machinery, equipment, or cargo that needs to be loaded with a crane.
It’s essential that drivers know what the height requirements are in each state they’re traveling through, since the limits can vary widely. It will ensure drivers don’t cross over into the super load classification. Even the smallest of variations can result in fines and a load that gets sidelined at a weigh station or the DOT.
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