Whether you’re heavy hauling on the I80 or Nebraska’s network of highways and rural roads, there are some essential preparation steps you should take. From the basics of trucking to more state-specific and advanced preparations, we’re discussing all the ways to make your next shipment easier.
The Basics of Heavy Hauling
There are many safety protocols to follow in heavy hauling to ensure you have the right trailer, plan the right route, and follow the rules of the road. The best place to start is getting the measurements of the equipment that needs shipping. You’ll need to know the height, width, length, and weight of what you’re shipping and the regulations in Nebraska.
Consider the Weather Conditions
Checking the weather before you travel is good practice whether you’re driving a semi-truck, a minivan, a car, or a motorcycle. It’s especially important when driving big trucks and pulling heavy loads. Nebraska weather can be unpredictable at times, with high winds, low visibility, hail, and snow road conditions that can make travel hazardous. Checking the forecast before leaving helps you avoid surprises when possible.
Be Aware of the Signage and Marking Requirements
Nebraska state has laws regarding which signage and markings to put on an oversize load for the safety of the traffic around you. While this tip is an essential step for drivers, as a customer, you might not be aware of the requirements. This is why it’s so important to tell your driver upfront the dimensions of what you need to be shipped. Your driver will know by the dimensions whether they need to apply for a permit and arrange for proper markings.
When you use our load board, the first details we ask for are dimensions, weight, and pick-up/drop-off locations for precisely this reason. Oversize dimensions also signal to drivers that they’ll need to organize additional logistics for the trip.
Hire Experienced Escorts
Oversized loads sometimes require escort vehicles to help them navigate and alert the surrounding traffic of the oversize dimensions. The requirements will vary from state to state, so it’s important to know the rules on the route of your shipment. When you work with an experienced heavy haul driver, they’ll likely have a team of experienced escort drivers they’ll call upon for their hauls.
The role of an escort vehicle and driver includes the following:
- Scanning for hazards or obstacles on the road ahead of the truck.
- Following behind the truck to alert drivers of an overly long load.
- Navigating through detours, weather hazards, or busier traffic zones.
- Scouting for any unexpected overhead hazards.
Be Aware of Construction Zones
If you’re planning to haul a heavy load during the summer months, you’ll likely run into a construction zone. Nebraska, like many other states, tends to ramp up road construction during the warm season. Heavy haul drivers will be on the lookout for construction zones that limit lane spacing, have bridges under construction, or overpasses with work in progress.
When planning a route in advance, it’s always useful to plan alternate routes, especially in the summer months or “construction season.” Having an alternate route up your sleeve means you can save time re-routing when a new construction zone beings and help you avoid delays.
Inform Local Law Enforcement
Local law enforcement will want to know if you’re hauling a large load on a busy roadway. There will be restricted days and times when you can pull a load that is overly tall, wide, or high for public safety and to prevent traffic congestion. Local law enforcement might also have a policy to escort your haul to ensure surrounding traffic flow is aware of the load and stays out of the way. Checking the rules and regulations of each state and city you travel through is important for every haul.
Nebraska State Oversize Shipping Rules
Consulting the Nebraska Department of Transportation website will give you detailed rules and regulations for dimensions and weight restrictions of heavy loads. You’ll also find exemptions to the rules, such as temporary passage for farm vehicles on certain routes during daylight. If your load requires a permit, you can also access the online form and get the phone number of the permit office.
Practice Safe Driving
Safe driving with a heavy load is essential to keeping the equipment on the trailer safe as well as protecting the traffic around you. Not all vehicles on the road will stick to the speed limit or obey traffic rules, which is why truck drivers need to be hyper-aware of the traffic around them.
Because your load is large and requires more time to stop, your driver will need to leave extra distance between themselves and the vehicles ahead of them. This is also why it’s crucial to never cut off a large truck or follow too closely behind them. Even the most experienced drivers need to take extra caution with turns, lane changes, and driving in poor weather conditions.
Heavy Equipment Transport in Nebraska
The key to safe and efficient heavy hauling is to plan ahead, get accurate measurements, and make safety a priority. When you follow the basics and these extra tips, your shipment will complete without a hitch. Try out the Trusted Dispatch free load board today and get your load matched with an experienced driver near you. Start with your free, instant quote.