5 Things to Know About Heavy Hauling in Tennessee

Written by Trusted Dispatch

May 8, 2023

Tennessee is a beautiful state in the tri-state area with rich farmland, lush forests, and serene mountains. While millions of people flock to the state for the vast musical legacy of Nashville, others come for the mountains, camping, and culture in one of the many cities. The state also has several thriving industries, including farming and agriculture, and manufacturing, along with some logging and mining. For those industries that require heavy hauling, we’ve got you covered throughout Tennessee and the tri-state area. 

Heavy Hauling in Tennessee

Heavy hauling across the United States and North America is not drastically different from state to state, but there can be variations in road restrictions, permit requirements, and transport laws. These differences make it extremely valuable to work with an experienced heavy haul driver who is aware of the procedures in each state you need your load hauled through. Knowing the rules and how to prepare a shipment saves time, money, and stress during the trip. 

While some variables remain fairly similar, such as road weight restrictions, and height limitations on bridges and tunnels, there are certain factors that change from state to state. The two main elements are the weather and the terrain. Each region of the United States boasts vastly different landscapes that are beautiful and unique in their own way but can also present unique challenges for heavy haulers. In Tennessee, much of the driving is through relatively easy farmland terrain. However, there are mountainous routes. Depending on the haul and which industry a driver is serving, the challenges can shift. 

If you’re planning a haul within or through Tennessee, here are five helpful tips for you to prepare for a successful trip. 

Know Your Dimensions

Before you confirm shipping heavy equipment of any kind, it’s essential to know the dimensions of the machine, supplies, or equipment for transport, whether you own it, are selling it, or are renting it from a heavy equipment rental company. When hauling heavy equipment, any driver needs to know how long, wide, tall, and heavy the pieces of equipment are. Once they have these details, they can complete the following steps to prepare for pick-up day:

  • Secure the right-sized trailer
  • Add any necessary axles or boosters to accommodate heavy loads
  • Plan their route options according to accessibility and state restrictions
  • Apply for and secure any necessary permits

Advance planning and preparation make heavy haul trucking less stressful and more efficient for everyone involved. 

What Is an Oversize Load in Tennessee

The state of Tennessee recognizes a load as overweight or over-dimensions when it exceeds the following measurements:


  • 80,000 pounds for Gross Weight
  • 20,000 pounds per Single Axle
  • 34,000 pounds per Tandem Axle


  • 8’6″ in Width
  • 13’6″ in Height
  • 45′ in Length for a Straight Truck
  • 65′ in Length for a Straight Truck with a Trailer
  • 50′ in Length for a Truck Tractor & Semi-Trailer from kingpin to rear of the trailer


There are a few exceptions to these rules. When transporting poles, logs, or timber in single-length pieces, the maximum length is 75′. When transporting livestock, automobile, or other motor vehicles, the maximum length is 52′. 

For complete details on the state’s legal requirements and limitations on heavy hauling, consult the Tennessee State Government website.

How to Get a Heavy Load Permit in Tennessee

In the state of Tennessee, there are requirements for both single-trip and annual trip permits when hauling oversize or overweight loads. You can obtain your permit through the Tennessee TRIPS application or TNTRIPS. You’ll need to have an existing account when applying for a permit. Is this your first time requesting a permit? You or your company can apply for one online. Just select “Register a New Account” when you use the TNTRIPS system. You can also apply for a permit through a recognized third-party permit agency.

Map Your Routes

Once the dimensions of the load are confirmed, your driver can then plan the best route to take. Experienced drivers will often plan multiple routes in the event of unexpected obstacles caused by construction, weather events, or any other surprise hazard. Having alternate routes means that your load has a greater chance of arriving safely and on schedule when the unexpected occurs. 

Mapping out the routes in advance also gives you security, knowing that your driver is not putting your valuable machine at risk on a road that cannot accommodate its size or weight. If any additional permits are needed, or there are restrictions on transport times, you’ll know ahead of time what to expect rather than be surprised about the route. 

Use the Right Equipment

No matter what you’re hauling, the right equipment should always be a priority. Failing to have the right trailer can lead to damage to both the truck transporting the load, but also the trailer and whatever machine or material are getting hauled. Not using the right equipment also creates a safety hazard for the driver and the surrounding traffic. If a heavy load is not secured properly, the consequences can be dire, resulting in fines or worse. Professional heavy haulers take their work seriously and will come prepared with the right equipment, permits, and skill for a safe, legal haul. 

Get a Professional Driver

If you’re working for an industrial company, a construction firm, or an outfit with internal logistics, you may not need to get involved in the heavy transport process. However, if you’re shipping your own equipment, purchasing a machine from out of state, or need to amplify your own transport team, you’ll want to work with a professional heavy haul driver. Working with someone who has experience hauling heavy machinery means you can have peace of mind that the job you need to be done will go smoothly. 

Your Reliable Network of Heavy Haul Drivers in the United States and Canada

At Trusted Dispatch, we provide a network of professional, experienced, and vetted heavy haul drivers who can step in to transport your equipment or load where it needs to go, anywhere in North America. Get started with a free, instant quote in three easy steps.

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