4 Proven Wide Load Hauling Tips

Hauling a wide load is something you never get used to; it’s a completely different beast than hauling normal flatbed loads.

Hauling wide loads isn’t an easy task, but with some preparation it’s something you can excel at.

1. Clear, Consistent Communication

The first key to hauling a wide load is communicating clearly and consistently. Whether with your pilot car/s or with other tractors on the road, communication will help everyone stay safe.

Your pilot car/s should be communicating with you to let you know of accidents, exits and other obstacles which can help you prepare ahead of time. Communication between you and other tractors on the road is key, especially on two-lane roads if they wish to pass. You may be able to see obstacles the tractor behind you cannot, due to your width.

2. Proper Permitting & Signs, Especially When Travelling Interstate

Your pilot car company, as well as the company contracting you, should ensure you have the proper permitting for the jurisdictions and states/provinces you’ll be travelling through, but it never hurts to ask questions and double-check. It would be inconvenient if something were amiss in your paperwork.

Your signage and the signage of your pilot car/s should be double-checked as well, to ensure nothing is missing at the beginning of your trip, as well as at every stop . . .

3. Inspect At Every Stop

Speaking of every stop, when hauling a wide load, it’s important to inspect the load, straps and chains, tires, brakes, as well as any fluid levels at every stop, besides checking for damage and signage/light functionality.

Checking these at every stop may save you a costly inspection by state or provincial or national transportation authorities.

4. Drive Defensively

Defensive driving is the key to keeping yourself and others on the road safe with a wide load:

  • Plan ahead for the unexpected
  • Control your speed
  • Be prepared to react to other drivers
  • Do not expect the other driver to act predictably
  • Respect other users of the roadway
  • Be aware of special road and weather conditions
  • Be alert and avoid distractions, e.g., cell phone use, eating

Never assume that other drivers are sober, alert, or will follow the rules of the road at all times, and you and others will be much safer.