A Truck Divided

The basic principle of a divisible load is simple, only those items broken down to the bare minimum qualify. One bucket per excavator. One excavator per trailer. Nothing more, nothing less. Cranes cannot carry extra equipment or building materials, and concrete pumpers must be made as light as possible. Permits were created to provide objects too heavy to be legal weight an opportunity to be brought to a job site. But as with anything in the trucking industry, sometimes divisible items are considered non-divisible loads. Read on for a few examples.

Concrete pumpers use water (and a lot of it) to help push the material over a longer distance, or sometimes up a great height. Water is easily divisible, as it could be carried to the job site by a different vehicle or an on-site water source. By allowing the concrete pumper to simply pay for the extra weight of the water by obtaining a permit, they are able to be more efficient.

For many years mobile cranes were not allowed to carry counterweights, requiring a separate “oiler” truck had to follow behind with all the necessary equipment to make the crane functional. In recent years, IDOT has relaxed this rule and has allowed counterweights when they are securely mounted on the crane. Crane companies can save thousands of dollars by eliminating the second vehicle.

One thing which has not been addressed is spare tires. Every vehicle is required to have spare tires in the event they get a flat. Some trucks use different size tires for different axles requiring multiple spares to be brought with. The advantage is if a flat occurs, the truck driver knows he has the correct spare and does not have to rely on the tire service company called to the scene.

But where does this allowance end? When does a non-divisible load change to a divisible one? The importance of safety in keeping spare tires with the truck is obvious, but how many tires should be allowed? And how much water in the pumper is too much? And when do the counterweights of a crane become too much weight in too small a space for the roadway it’s driving on?

Business in Illinois must move efficiently and effectively, and sometimes there are legitimate exceptions for divisible loads. It’s important for the trucking industry and law enforcement to work in conjunction with the Illinois Department of Transportation to understand what is an acceptable exception to the rule and what is simply a divisible load.

The Illinois Truck Enforcement Association is here to work with the trucking industry, law enforcement and the Illinois Department of Transportation so everyone has a uniform understanding and agreement as to what is divisible and what is not.

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