Who is responsible for ensuring safe transfer of oversize/overweight truck loads? P.1

Last time, we looked a bit at some of the basic principles of cargo securement
by which commercial vehicle drivers and their employers must abide. As
we noted last time, special permits are required for oversize loads, and
each state has different rules on the matter.

Here in Missouri, weight, height, and length limits determine when an application
for an oversize and overweight permit must be filed. Applications must
be completed and fees filed no less than two days before the date of movement,
except for certain situations which require two weeks advance notice.
In an application, the dimensions of the vehicle must be specified so
that a proper route may be determined.

When it comes to compliance with regulations for oversize and overweight
loads, it isn’t only the motor vehicle driver who has responsibilities.
As a recent Safety Alert from the National Transportation Safety Board
makes clear, the authorities responsible for issuing the oversize and
overweight permit and the pilots/escorts responsible for leading the oversize/overweight
load safety on its route are responsible for making sure everything is
done correctly. Mistakes can have serious consequences in terms of accidents
and damage to infrastructure.

According to the Safety Alert, commercial motor vehicle carriers are responsible
for obtaining the necessary permits prior to moving an oversize or overweight
load and providing authorities with accurate information regarding the
dimensions of the oversize load, as well as for accurately planning out
an appropriate route in advance so as to avoid any hazards and arrange
for pilots/escorts.

In our next post, we’ll look at how the duties of those involved in
oversize load hauling can potentially factor into
personal injury litigation.

Source: Occupational Health & Safety, “NTSB Issues Oversize Loads Safety
Alert,” Dec. 11, 2015.

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