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Studying the Impacts of Over-dimensional  Hauling on Ohio’s Roadways

In response to the changing needs of Ohio’s hauling businesses, the Ohio Department of Transportation is modernizing and standardizing many aspects of its permit process for vehicles carrying oversize, overweight and over-dimensional loads. These new “common sense” regulations are part of ODOT’s commitment to improving commerce and economic opportunity while still prioritizing safety on our roads and bridges and preserving our extensive state highway system. Over the past several months, ODOT has studied the impact of over-dimensional hauling on the condition and maintenance of state highways and bridges.



 Overdimension Vehicle Permitting Documents

ImpactsofPermittedTrucking-Web.pdfImpacts of Permitted Trucking on Ohio’s Transportation System and Economy1820 KB
Ohio Legislative Transportation Task Force Report.pdfOhio Legislative Transportation Task Force Report83 KB
OverweightVehiclePermittingPresentationWeb.pdfOverweight Vehicle Permitting Presentation341 KB
Bibliography-Reference-Links.pdfBibliography/ Reference Links58 KB

 Research and Resources


Several research outlets and resources were used in preparing ODOT’s final report, to be delivered to the Ohio Legislature in February 2009. Please reference the documents linked to the left. Below are several additional sources cited in the research:


A Guide for Reducing Collisions Involving Heavy Trucks (NCHRP Report 550)

Authors: RONALD R. KNIPLING, Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, Falls Church, VA; PATRICIA WALLER, Chapel Hill, NC; RAYMOND C. PECK, R.C. Peck & Associates, Folsom, CA; RONALD PFEFER, Maron Engineering, Ltd.; Zikhron Yaacov, Israel; TIMOTHY R. NEUMAN/KEVIN L. SLACK/KELLY K. HARDY, CH2M HILL, Herndon, VA

Corp. Authors/Publisher: Transportation Research Board

Year: 2004

Safety Information: Document deals with “heavy trucks” as opposed to “overweight trucks.”  The report states. “heavy trucks are overrepresented in fatal crashes. Compared with passenger cars, when a heavy truck is involved in a crash, it is about 2.6 times as likely to result in a fatality.”  Also, 76% of heavy truck fatal crashes occur two-lane roads.

Conclusion: To reduce the number of heavy-truck fatality crashes, the document supports the following objectives:

• Reducing truck driver fatigue

• Strengthening commercial driver’s license (CDL) requirements and enforcement

• Increasing public knowledge about sharing the road

• Improving maintenance of heavy trucks

• Identifying and correcting unsafe roadway and operational characteristics

• Improving and enhancing truck safety data

• Promoting industry safety initiatives


Regulation of Weights, Lengths, and Widths of Commercial Motor Vehicles (Special Report 267)

Authors: Committee for the Study of the Regulation of Weights, Lengths, and Widths of Commercial Motor Vehicles

Corp. Authors/Publisher: Transportation Research Board

Year: 2002

Safety Information: Document is a study of the regulations governing the weights, lengths, and widths of commercial motor vehicles operating on highways subject to federal regulation, and to recommend any revisions to the regulations deemed appropriate.

Conclusion: The report draws the following conclusions with safety implications:

1.    Opportunities exist for improving the efficiency of the highway system through reform of federal truck size and weight regulations. Such reform may entail allowing larger trucks to operate.

2.    Appropriate objectives for federal truck size and weight regulations are to facilitate safe and efficient freight transportation and interstate commerce, to establish highway design parameters, and to manage consumption of public infrastructure assets.

3.    Changes in truck size and weight regulations made in coordination with complementary changes in the management of the highway system offer the greatest potential to improve the functioning of the system.

4.    The methods used in past studies have not produced satisfactory estimates of the effect of changes in truck weights on bridge costs.

5.    It is not possible to predict the outcomes of regulatory changes with high confidence.

6.    It is essential to examine the safety consequences of size and weight regulation. Research and monitoring needed to understand the relationship of truck characteristics and truck regulations to safety and other highway costs are not being conducted today.

7.    Although violations of size and weight regulations may be an expensive problem, monitoring of compliance with the regulations is too unsystematic to allow the costs involved to be estimated.


National Transportation Library: (ntlsearch.bts.gov)

Searching the site for “overweight trucks” produced 139 hits.  Most documents did not appear to contain any information related to safety, or if they did, they referred to bridge safety (i.e. structural sufficiency).  However, four articles did seem to have some reference to general safety.


Estimating the Cost of Overweight Vehicle Travel on Arizona Highways

AN: 01025701

Authors: Semmens, John; Straus, Sandy

Conference: Transportation Research Board 85th Annual Meeting

Corp. Authors/Publisher: Transportation Research Board

Year: 2006

Database: TRIS Online

Safety Information: Nominal safety is mentioned, but only in passing.  The document mainly focuses on preventing damage from illegal (non-permitted) overweight trucks. 



AN: 00920259

Authors: TAYLOR, BRIAN; Bergan, Art; Lindgren, Norm; Berthelot, Curtis

Journal: Traffic technology international : the international review of advanced traffic management. 2000

Corp. Authors/Publisher: Great Britain. Defence Research Agency; Digital Image, Inc.; Schwartz Electro-Optics, Inc.; Kistler Instrumente AG; Measurement Specialities, Inc.; International Road Dynamics, Incorporated; Talking Signs, Inc.; Nichia America Corporation; Telisys Fren Trading; Truvelo Manufacturers Ltd.

Year: 2000

Database: TRIS Online

Safety Information: Document deals with nominal safety only.    This document suggests that trucking operators that knowingly overload their trucks frequently also violate motor carrier and driver regulations.

Conclusion: “Truck operators that operate overweight are also likely to be safety deficient as well. As a result, an added benefit of screening commercial traffic for overloading is that it also provides agencies with the opportunity to screen for trucks with the highest probability of safety infringements.”



AN: 00789179

Journal: Analysis Brief

Corp. Authors/Publisher: Federal Highway Administration; Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

Year: 1999

Database: TRIS Online

Safety Information: Long combination Vehicles (LCVs) appear to be involved in only 1.3% of all fatal crashes involving tractor semitrailers.

Conclusion: “Based on the data presented in this brief, no conclusions can be made on the relative safety of LCVs compared to other truck combinations.”



AN: 00607587

Corp. Authors/Publisher: United States House of Representatives

Year: 1991

Database: TRIS Online



Transportation Research Board: (www.trb.org)

Searching the site for “differential speed safety” produced numerous hits.  The bulk of the research done on this issue since speed limits were increase in the late ‘80s all concur that there is not statistical difference in crash data from states with differential speed limits (DSL) verses those with universal speed limits (USL) .  The following document is the latest study on the matter.  The document name has been hyperlinked to a copy of the document located on SPPM’s X: drive. 


Safety Effects of Differential Speed Limits on Rural Interstate Highways

Authors: Nicholas J. Garber, John S. Miller, Bo Yuan and Xin Sun for Virginia Transportation Research Council

Conference: Transportation Research Board 85th Annual Meeting

Corp. Authors/Publisher: Federal Highway Administration

Year: 2005

Safety Information: No consistent safety effects of DSL as opposed to USL were observed in the study.



American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials:


Searching the site for “overweight trucks” produced no results.



Google: (www.google.com)

Searching the site for “overweight trucks safety” produced 338,000 hits.  The more interesting results follow:


Safety Information: This site is maintained by a private organization “Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety.”  The website describes this organization as, “an alliance of consumer, health and safety groups and insurance companies and agents working together to make America's roads safer.”  The site does contain some interesting stats and figures relating to truck crashes, but the sources of the stats are not always clear.



Safety Information: News article published January 13, 2008 documenting the reluctance of local officials to address the issues of overweight trucks in Florida.



Safety Information: News article published September 10, 2007 dealing with the safety of bridges.