What Are Some of the Classifications of Oversized Loads?


Quick Answer

Some of the classifications that states use to define oversize and overweight loads are overwidth, nondivisible and divisible, explains the U.S. Department of Transportation. "Overwidth" refers to loads and vehicles breaching the stipulated 102-inch federal width limit, while "nondivisible" refers to loads or vehicles that exceed applicable weight and length limits, but meet requirements to be considered inseparable.

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Full Answer

Statutory authorities classify loads and vehicles as nondivisible if their separation requires more than eight hours to complete using relevant equipment, or where such division would impair function or value, notes the U.S. Department of Transportation. To receive transport permits for loads that would require more than eight hours to separate, applicants have to prove that the time would exceed eight hours.

The maximum gross vehicle weight that the federal government stipulates for the country's highways is 80,000 pounds, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. The authority's prescribed maximum single axle weight is 20,000 pounds, while the upper limit for tandem axles is 34,000 pounds.

While the federal government stipulates the weight and width limits that apply on the nation's thoroughfares, it does not issue oversize and overweight permits, reports the U.S. Department of Transportation. Instead, state authorities fulfill that function, and are at liberty to issue permits without regard for certain federal stipulations. For instance, they can issue nondivisible load licenses without considering axle, gross and federal bridge formula requirements, or grant permits to vehicles exceeding the set federal width limit.

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