The equipment required to produce oil and gas in the petroleum industry comes in a variety of sizes, from a small wellsite separator to a large compressor.
Major components are often mounted on large skids to accommodate the auxiliary equipment required to operate the units. Transportation of oversized equipment may require specialized trucks and additional logistics planning.
When it comes to transportation logistics, it is important to consider the equipment dimensions, including the weight, width, height, and length. When dimensions are considered oversized, special marking, escorts, or permits may be required to move these units.
Each province’s transportation departments determine the maximum vehicle weight allowable (typically per axle) and the dimensional limits. These limits ensure the public’s safety and help prevent damage and excessive wear on provincial roads and highways.
Provincial dimension and weight regulations are applicable to any registered vehicle traveling on public roads. In Alberta, these are specified under the Commercial Vehicle Dimension and Weight Regulation of the Traffic Safety Act. The regulations also include provisions for the movement of oversized loads and any additional requirements that may be needed.
What are Over-Dimensional Loads?
An oversized load refers to a vehicle or load that exceeds the normally acceptable length, height, or width stipulated by each provincial authority. Generally, the maximum permitted dimensions without any special considerations are:
- Load Width – 8’6” or 2.6 meters.
- Load Height – 13’6” or 4.1 meters.
- Load Length – 75’5” or 23 meters.
Any shipment within the specified dimensions and carried by a trailer with enough axles for the weight does not need any special permits. Loads that exceed these limits may have additional requirements such as warning flags, additional lights, escort or pilot vehicles, and restricted travel routes and times.
Escort and pilot vehicles are the same things and there is no difference in their function or placement. Pilot cars or trucks travel with the oversized shipment and are in constant communication with the driver of the load. The location and number of the pilot vehicles depend on the dimensions of the load being shipped and the number of lanes on the route.
Pilot Car Requirements in Alberta
The following requirements are for loads that are over the legal limits in Alberta:
- Loads between 8’6” – 10’ wide – Flags marking the ends of the load are required during the day and marker lights at night.
- Loads from 10’ – 11’ wide – Over-dimensional load signs are needed in the front and rear.
- Loads from 11’ – 12’7” wide – Additional flashing strobe lights are needed.
- Loads from 12’7 – 14’7” wide – One escort vehicle is required, traveling in front on 2 lane roads and in the rear on 4 lane roads.
- Loads from 14’7” to 18’ wide – Two escort vehicles are required.
- Loads from 18’ to 24’ wide – A third escort vehicle is needed and trailer with a minimum tire to tire width of 10 feet. The third escort can be omitted on certain roads.
Loads greater than 24 feet wide are classed as super loads and require notifications to RCMP, Emergency Services, and all utility companies on route.
Shipments exceeding 14’7” wide, 16’4” high, and 111’5” long, require single trip permits and approved routing. Loads above 17’4” (5.3M) high require approval from Fortis and all utility companies on route.
British Columbia and Saskatchewan have similar requirements, but each load must be planned separately to ensure compliance with the local jurisdictions’ such as cities, towns, and rural counties.
Transport heights are a significant element that needs to be considered for the loads to ensure adequate clearance of bridges, traffic signals, power lines, and other overhead obstructions. It helps to know that you may need police escorts and power line crews for loads over the typical height of 13’6” or 4.11m.
Fortunately, in Alberta, the provincial government has invested in creating a network of high load corridors to handle over-dimensional loads. It includes highways within the province that have raised overhead utility lines to allow for shipments up to 9.0 meters high. Some corridors in the province can accommodate loads up to 12 meters.
Aspire Energy Resources is connected to Alberta’s high load corridor enabling convenient and economical shipment of oversized equipment to and from our facility.
Wide Selection of Production Equipment for The Oil & Gas Industry
Transportation can be expensive, especially when it comes to transporting large equipment used in the petroleum industry. We have an experienced logistics team and strategic transportation partners who work to safely and efficiently ship any size project from our facility to your desired destination.
For more information about our transportation capabilities and extensive equipment line-up, call us at 403-314-5422 or toll-free at 1-800-993-9958, or visit us online https://www.aspireenergy.com/.