A few months ago I was driving on state highway 193, the portion that connects Lincoln, CA to I-80. This stretch of road is anything but straight so I was shocked to be flagged down by a escort vehicle who signaled me to stop. A few minutes later I watched as a obviously oversize
truck with a very large pipe-like object eased
around the curved road ahead of me. The trailer looked to be a minimum of 65-feet long and to top it off there was a second truck with a similar load. Being very familiar with this 10-mile stretch of road I wondered how on earth those trucks had managed the sharp curves on the first part of this stretch. That they were facing me is testimony to their skill maneuvering this difficult road.
They obviously had else I wouldn’t be facing them right then. In a few minutes both trucks had passed me and were headed toward a much straighter stretch of 193. I really thought taking I-80 to Sierra College Blvd would have been a better route.
It wasn’t until I headed home and took a good long look at the Sierra College/193 intersection that I realized that most likely the drivers would not have been able to negotiate the left turn at that corner without taking out the sign.
I’ve always wondered who was responsible for making sure the chosen route would accommodate these loads. An article posted online by Sandy Long says each state provides the routing through that state but I recently spoke with a driver of oversized loads and, at least here in California, he said the driver is responsible for making sure the load fits under and through bridges or other potential hazards.
The permits and whether or not a professional and/or police escort is necessary for a load depends on the size, both width and height, and the weight of the load. These loads are often restricted to daylight hours Monday thru Friday.
It takes a special kind of person to tackle this unique segment of trucking. Each load is more likely to be unique and takes a measure of innovation to secure the load.