Following Proper Loading Procedures

Released February 12, 2018


Safety is a core value at Loup. It is something to which we hold ourselves to the highest standards, and that includes following procedures related to the safety of fleets, drivers and shipments.

Proper loading is one of the safety measures we take very seriously at Loup. We have a team of experts available to help our carriers and customers ensure freight is properly loaded with equal distribution of weight on container floors, and that containers are properly blocked and braced for intermodal transport in accordance with AAR standards. Loup will not engage in hauling overweight or over-gross shipments, as defined by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).

Maximum Gross Weight

The maximum gross weight allowed, including tractor, in 53-foot domestic intermodal containers is 80,000 pounds. This includes the total combined gross vehicle combination weights of the tractor, chassis and container weight, including lading. For overweight on an axle, please follow the current DOT guidelines:

  • Steer axle (tractor) must not exceed 12,000 pounds
  • Drive axle (nose) must not exceed 34,000 pounds
  • Trailer axle (tail) must not exceed 34,000 pounds

For additional information regarding container weights, please refer to the Union Pacific Master Intermodal Transportation Agreement (MITA), specifically, Item 510. You can access MITA by visiting

These weight standards may vary by state. To verify applicable laws and weight limitations, visit

Please be aware that there are also requirements unique to the State of California (e.g. CA bridge law). These can be found at

Helpful Tips

In order to prevent moving overweight containers, please be aware of the following:

  • If the Bill of Lading weight exceeds 42,500 pounds, the container may need to be scaled at or near the origin shipping facility.
  • A 53-foot domestic intermodal container and chassis typically weigh 3,000 to 4,000 pounds heavier than a standard aluminum over-the-road trailer.
  • All loads, including those with a sleeper berth tractor, which can weigh up to 18,500 pounds, must be within legal weight limits.

In the event Loup identifies a moving container that exceeds the maximum weight allowance, we will either direct the container to the nearest facility to adjust the loading configuration of the shipment or may dispatch a mobile rework facility to the container's location.

Preventing the movement of overweight containers is important for the safety of both shipments and people. Have questions? Contact us.

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