A GPS Twist on Overweight/Oversize Permits

Each city seems to have set up some form or policy for issuing overweight/oversize permits. But other than filling out the form and securing necessary certificates of insurance, what else should be done to perform a proper review? And how can GPS eventually help improve this process?

My thoughts on the overweight loads are that engineering can figure out the load on the pavement and the strength of the pavement. But for most urban streets, the base becomes the primary concern. And if the base is the controlling factor, the engineers performing the review have to rely on their knowledge and experience with their own street system.

But what happens if a certain delivery is necessary for a business, and the only way is along a road that can’t handle the weight. Can you or do you deny the permit? If you deny access, this can quickly move to a political situation. Because how can the city prevent a critical business in town from receiving equipment or product needed for an important expansion?

As for the oversize loads, the issue seems somewhat more straightforward. For this situation, the primary concern is the ability to navigate the width and height of the roadway. And if lines or signals have to be moved, the freight company takes that responsibility.

The other concern with these permits is how to verify that the load followed the route specified by the permit. Some cities require a police escort. However, many do not have the staff to provide this service. So I was wondering the other day if GPS could be used to improve the permitting process. Many trucks have GPS already installed. What if a city required all permitted loads to submit a route map to prove their vehicle took the correct streets? If the map did not match the permit, a fine could be issued. Would it also be possible to allow real time, online viewing of the truck driving once it got within a certain range of the city?

Do you have a specific review process for overweight/oversize loads or do you have any thoughts on the use of GPS to improve this process?