Heavy Haul Services: What You Need to Know

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Heavy Haul Services: What You Need to Know

Are you wondering if you need to use heavy haul services? Oversized and overweight items can present a challenge when it comes time to transport. From military equipment to large industrial machinery to large-scale construction materials, regular forms of transportation won’t suffice. These types of shipments require special attention in the form of handling, permits, and routing. Before you attempt to transport large items, use this guide to understand heavy hauling and what you need to know before proceeding.

Defining Heavy Haul Freight

Heavy haul services are necessary to transport oversized loads on public roads. Heavy haul refers to oversized or overweight trucking shipments that exceed standard legal limits for transporting freight. Each state is required by the federal government to set their own regulations for heavy haul shipments. However, there are general guidelines that are widely accepted to classify oversized or overweight shipments.

A shipment requires heavy haul services if it exceeds a:

  • Width of 8.6 feet
  • Height of 13.6 feet
  • Length of 48 to 53 feet
  • Gross weight of 80,000 pounds

Be sure to check out your state’s requirements for heavy haul transport to ensure you follow their specific guidelines.

Understanding Axel Restrictions

Heavy haul load weight limits are set on a per-axel basis. To understand why, you have to go back around the 1950’s and 60’s when transportation vehicles were getting heavier and carrying larger loads. The roads themselves were actually fine, but regulations had to be set to protect bridges, as they were (and still are) designed to support certain weights. The solution was to limit the weight-to-length ratio of a vehicle crossing a bridge. In 1975 Congress enacted the Bridge Formula to do just that.

The result was setting weight limitations on a per-axel basis:

  • Steer axles may carry no more than 12,000 pounds
  • Single axles may carry no more than 20,000 pounds
  • Drive axles may carry no more than 34,000 pounds
  • Tandem axles may carry no more than 34,000 pounds

When cargo exceeds these weight limitations, special heavy haul equipment with additional axels is necessary.

Getting Permits

Heavy haul freight requires permits and documentation in order to fulfill transport. Permits are issued for each shipment and most heavy haul orders require location-specific permits, like from the city, county, or municipality through which you will travel. Other restrictions may apply as well, including:

  • Time allowed to travel
  • Seasonal travel restrictions
  • Holiday and weekend restrictions
  • Operating hours in which to transport

Talk to your heavy haul service provider to learn the state guidelines in which you will travel and to acquire all necessary permits.

Travel Accommodations and Requirements

Heavy haul services include more than just large trailers and trucks. There are also several other requirements for transporting oversized loads. Most notably, for travel the transportation vehicle is required by federal law to be marked with special signage when traveling. Depending on the state and the size of the load, some travel requirements include:

  • Oversized Load Banners
  • Safety Flags
  • Specialty Lights
  • Pilot Cars
  • Police Escort

Check with your heavy haul services provider to learn about all the necessary requirements for your specific shipment.

Choose a Trusted Heavy Haul Services Provider

Moffitt Services is a trusted name in heavy haul. If you need to transport oversized or overweight shipments, contact us today. We’ll handle everything so your shipment arrives safely, on time, and most of all, legally. Get started with Moffitt Services today

Moffitt Services
Moffitt Services
Since 1947, the Moffitt name has been synonymous with great service. Whether you need a 500 gallon tank on a construction site or a 10,000 gallon order to fuel your entire fleet, we welcome the opportunity to earn your business.


  1. Millie Hue says:

    Thanks for helping me understand that permits are needed to ensure that there will be no issues from city to city. I will make sure that the transportation we will hire will be able to provide this, especially that we, not just a city away, but it will be a state away. This is because we need to move to a new place due to my husband’s job.

  2. Sam Li says:

    I appreciate what you said about heavy haul load weight and how it varies depending on axle strength. Using a reliable transportation company is vital if you plan on hauling heavy machinery. If I were to require such services, I would make an effort to find a company that specializes in transporting heavy equipment safely.

  3. Erika Brady says:

    I’m glad that you mention how there are general guidelines for classifying oversize loads as well as specific regulations for each state. Since this is the case, it would probably be a good idea to ensure you know the route that will be taken so you can figure out the specific guidelines you’ll need to follow. This could also help with choosing a heavy haul company so you can trust them to know the requirements for oversize loads and meet them to prevent any problems.

  4. You made a great point when you said that heavy haul services are necessary to transport big loads on public roads. My brother works as a construction worker that specializes in remodeling residential and commercial buildings. It might be good for them to utilize a hauling service so that they can transport a large number of materials to and from a work site.

  5. Erika Brady says:

    I’m glad that you mention how there are axel load limits that you need to understand to figure out how much weight the truck can handle. When choosing a hauling service, it might be a good idea to figure out the weight, dimensions, and other requirements. You could then research local companies and check out the dump trucks and any other vehicles they use to get an idea of their limitations and figure out which to hire based on your situation.

  6. Amy Winters says:

    Thank you for pointing out that heavy hauling services are necessary to transport oversized loads on public roads. I’ve always wondered if it is the company that hauls their own equipment or if they hire a transport company to haul it for them. It’s good to know that it’s usually another company that hauls the heavy equipment.

  7. Jenna Hunter says:

    I can imagine that it could be useful for a business to get the right freight services. It would be really helpful for them to be able to trust a professional to transport their products. It was interesting to learn about how wight limits are set on a per-axel basis

  8. Sarah Packer says:

    My husband and I are building our dream house, so I wanted tips and advice on transporting all the machinery. I didn’t know you should use heavy haul services when your load is wider than 8.6 feet. I’ll have to keep that in mind to find the right trucking that has experience delivering to residential areas, thanks to this post!

  9. I am really glad that you talked about how important it is that you check with your heavy haul services to see what the requirements would be for your specific situation. My dad was telling me about the time that he worked in construction and how there was not really a way to send shipments with big machines in them, so that made things more complicated. He mentioned that it was impressive for him to see how much things had evolved and how easy it would be to transport heavy equipment today with the help of the right service.

  10. Kate Hansen says:

    I’m glad that you mentioned that your haul needs to have a weight of 80,000 pounds. My husband and I are wanting to get rid of a lot of the things we own that have just been sitting in our garage for years and we wanted to know some tips about hiring a heavy haul service to get rid of it. We’ll make sure to keep this in mind as we search fora hauling service to help us with getting rid of our things!

  11. I didn’t realize that when it’s overweight it classifies as a heavy haul. A week ago my boss started a new project that’s going to involve a lot of materials. We’ll have to look into heavy haul trailers.

  12. Amy Winters says:

    It’s great that you elaborated on the definition of heavy hauling as the transportation or transport of an oversized trucking shipment. It’s cool to think that there are professional services available to people who need to transport really big items. I appreciate you helping me learn more about heavy haulage and its requirements.

  13. Jenna Hunter says:

    I can imagine that it could be really nice for a business to get their heavy equipment moved by a professional. Making sure that it is done by a professional could be really useful. It was interesting to see that you should make sure that they have permits.

  14. Vivian Black says:

    I really like how you talked about how heavy haul load weight limits are set per-axel. There is a lot of dirt in my backyard that is a result of a pool being installed and I need a way to get rid of the excess dirt. I will definitely make sure I get a professional to help me decide which heavy transport is best for my situation.

  15. Mindy Jollie says:

    That’s good to know that a heavy haul requires a shipment with a gross weight of 80,000 pounds. I imagine that those kinds of loads are not that common unless you’re shipping big products like plane wings or construction equipment. If I needed to ship a bulk load, I’d like to know that it would make it to its destination.

  16. Jacob Brown says:

    I like how you point out that large scale construction materials need to be handled by a heavy haul service. I am thinking about starting a construction company, and I may need to employ a heavy haul service to move my materials around. I am going to see if I can find a good one in my area.

  17. I never thought to consider that there would be restrictions on how much time it takes to travel with a load. My father is a truck driver and he wants to learn how to drive tilt tray trucks. I wonder if there are time restrictions for that type of truck driving as well.

  18. I like what you said about heavy hauling services being needed if what you’re transporting is wider than 8.6 feet. My boss has been telling me about a large machine that she wants to get moved in the coming weeks. I’ll share this information with her so that she can look into her options for heavy haulage services that can help her with this.

  19. I like that you explain how oversized trucks normally exceed the legal limits for transporting freight. My husband has a friend that has to send a really large part of his project that he 3D printed to his other office. I think he should look into hiring an oversized trucking company to help him and to make sure it gets there safely.

  20. Wow, it’s interesting to know that all sorts of permits such as one for holidays and weekends are required for heavy haulage service to properly operate. I’m planning to get four marble statues from my grandmother’s transferred to my vacation home to decorate its garden. I hope I can find a heavy haulage service that can guarantee that the statues wouldn’t be damaged in anyway.

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