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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