Hauling a normal load can be difficult enough. When hauling an oversize load, there are specific dangers that drivers can encounter – not least of which are other motorists that ignore signage and treat trucks like ordinary vehicles. Oversize loads come in a variety of forms. The following are the primary dangers that drivers need to be aware of when hauling oversize loads.
A loaded tractor-trailer will require about 200 feet to come to a complete stop, compared to an ordinary passenger vehicle that needs about 135 feet. Stopping distance is a simple matter of physics and the laws of physics can’t be ignored. The more weight and mass a truck is hauling, the longer it will take to stop. For every 20,000 pounds added after the first 80,000 pounds, stopping distances will increase by a little over 25 percent.
The surface upon which trucks travel can create substantial difficulties in the form of potholes and other existing damage that can unsettle a load. The route taken should be pre-planned carefully and an escort vehicle should accompany the load.
When an oversize load is due to height, it’s imperative that drivers travel on approved routes to avoid bridges, overpasses and other obstacles that are lower than the height of the load. Failure to do so can result in a load that’s jammed under an overpass and significant damage to infrastructure.
Just as height is a factor in oversized loads, so is the weight the tractor will be hauling. Again, only travel on approved routes that avoid bridges that can’t handle the weight, along with roads that are unable to accommodate the load without damage. It’s critical that the weight of the load be distributed properly to minimize danger.
The length of the load will also be a factor. It will require wider turns and extra care if the driver will need to back up.
It’s critical that extra care and diligence be utilized when properly securing oversize loads. Drivers should never assume load security throughout the haul. Every load should be inspected at every stop to ensure safety.
Crashes and Accidents
An oversize load won’t be able to navigate sharp curves and turns the way other haulers can. Rollovers and jackknife crashes are a very real danger if a driver must brake quickly. There’s also the potential for a load to shift or break loose. Driver fatigue and distractions, blown tires and speeding are all elements that can result in an accident or rollover.
With over a decade of transporting and Heavy Haul experience, we ensure any and all of your heavy equipment export is transported safely. Our skilled logistics team understands it’s mission-critical to get your load where it needs to be on time, every time and will make it our main focus when shipping for you.
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