If your haul is oversize, you will need a permit to transport it. This means you know your GVW is over 80,000 pounds, is over 102 inches wide, 70 feet in length, 14 feet tall, or has a 10 foot overhang in the back. Maybe you have divisible cargo that can be easily disassembled into separate parts but still have an oversize load. When it comes to acquiring permits, you can save a fair amount of money by doing it yourself.
Most state departments of transportation have an online system for applying and this means you can all the sooner get hauling boats, mobile homes, and large equipment. You probably already have a route picked out and a transport broker is ready to connect you with a haul.
A decent resource is Wide Load Shipping’s website. They have a page devoted to helping you navigate state DOT websites to apply for permits. Their list is fairly extensive but is missing a few states and their list will not link you directly to states’ websites. To save some time, I have put the links to state DOT websites’ oversize permit pages in another article, along with any pertinent information.
Every online system requires you to create an account. Some allow credit card payment and some require escrow accounts. Be careful while you are looking for permits; if you will be using a third party to get your permits, make sure they are trustworthy, and keep an eye out for email phishing scams. Use departments of transportation rather than third parties when you are getting permits. There are companies that will do all the paperwork for you, but they want a fee. You can save money by doing it yourself and you will not have to learn the rules of a third party in addition to the laws regarding your permits and authority. This does not mean it is more cost effective to do everything yourself, just that you can find ways to reduce your costs. A transport broker, for example, is one of the best resources for connecting to transporters and clients; business blogs are incredibly useful for learning about developments in the fields they concentrate in.
Most of this should be common knowledge for truckers, but a refresher never hurts, and brokers need to know this, too. It is a way to measure which carriers are reliable. Two things to remember before registering with a state DOT for a permit are your Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration number and your United Carrier System number. Some states might not require, but if you are passing through states that do, stay on top of it, which you were doing already. A transport broker can help you with any questions and just like a state, they want proof of insurance. Make sure to check out “The Grand List” article for a complete list of states’ DOT websites for OS/OW information.