Load Limits 101: Learn How Much You Can Ship

a blue full truckload on the road
Load Limits 101: Learn How Much You Can Ship

Choosing the right expedited trucking company is hard enough without worrying about the size of the bed. Even though the length of your average haul decreased by 4% from 2011 to 2016, distributors still struggle with oversized freight and overweight freight.

Here's what you should know about the dimensions for flatbed trucks to ensure you're getting the best truckload shipping rates:

Do I have a Legal Load?

Most of the loads that are transported adhere to the dimensions the federal government has established. When the freight is up to code, it can be called a 'legal load' since the maximum restrictions for the cargo have been met, including the height, width, and length.

For flatbed trucks, these are the dimensions an expedited trucking company must adhere to:

    • Width: In order to remain street-legal throughout the country, the maximum width of a flatbed truck cannot exceed 8'6".
    • Height: The maximum load height, including the total height of your trailer and freight combined, cannot exceed 13'6".
    • Length: Every trailer is different, but the maximum length for a trailer traveling on international highways cannot exceed 53'. However, trailers measuring 48' can accommodate overhanging loads.

When should I choose a Flatbed Trailer?

Flatbed trailers are some of the most versatile forms of transportation. Unless you need to ship refrigerated loads, flatbed trucks are often able to serve as industrial machinery transports and other large objects that would normally be difficult to transport.

Flatbed trailers are great when you need to expedite your shipping process. Because these trailers can be loaded from virtually all angles with the help of a forklift or crane, you can quickly unload bulky materials to cut down on shipping costs.

Keep in mind, however, that a flatbed will not protect your materials from the elements. If your load is too large to ship within these dimensions, alternative forms of transport are often required. However, some companies are able to purchase a special permit for oversized loads. Though these permits will often come with certain restrictions on travel, this is a great option for people who need specialty freight shipped promptly.

By 2040, trucks are expected to transport more than 18.79 billion tons of cargo. When you want to ship your overweight freight through expedited trucking, rely on Diversified Transportation Services for excellent customer service and cost mitigation.

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