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Load Classifications And Permit Requirements

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Bridges, overpasses, and highway roads are designed to support vehicles that do not exceed designated weight loads and dimensions. A hauler that has been improperly loaded with cargo may be more likely to incur a tire blowout or to roll over when involved in a vehicular accident. Overweight permits are required in instances that prevent a driver from breaking a large amount of cargo down into smaller loads.

Divisible Loads

Divisible loads are cargo components that can be broken down into smaller units. The smaller units would essentially not exceed the maximum load weight and dimension ratings that are mandated in a particular state. For instance, loading down a vehicle with sand, salt, or another loose component may not be the safest way to transport the material. Loose materials can be bagged and stacked.

If it is feasible to break down a load within a normal workday, a driver must attempt to do this. A divisible load can be transported by more than one driver. Otherwise, the sole driver who is responsible for transporting the broken down materials may need to make multiple trips.

Non-Divisible Loads

A non-divisible load is one that cannot be broken down into smaller units. Materials that could be compromised while attempting to split them up will need to remain in their original form. If breaking down items could potentially damage a transport vehicle, the cargo items should also remain in their original state.

The transport of non-divisible loads that exceed weight and dimension amounts within a jurisdiction will require a driver to obtain a permit. A permit provides a driver with access to transport an oversized load. A copy of the permit should be retained while transporting goods. The loads that emergency vehicles use are often classified as non-divisible loads. The materials being hauled are often used to treat and repair roadways.

Super Loads

Some loads are classified as super loads. A super load may consist of heavy duty machinery or materials that are bulky in size. These materials will be treated similarly to non-divisible loads. The transport of extremely heavy or bulk items may necessitate the mapping out of a proposed route.

First, a driver should obtain an overweight permit. Next, they should seek a driving route that will be supportive of their vehicle and the materials that they are hauling. Investigating bridges, underpasses, and other features that will be encountered will aid a driver in preparing a travel route that their vehicle can safely traverse.