Daily dispatch, March 24: States issuing special overweight permits for coronavirus relief haulers

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Trucking news and briefs for Tuesday, March 24, 2020:

Ohio, Illinois issuing special overweight permits
The Ohio and Illinois transportation departments are issuing special overweight permits to help carriers hauling COVID-19 emergency supplies without having to go through normal overweight procedures.

Ohio DOT approved a special blanket permit for haulers carrying heavy or oversized loads of food, non-alcoholic beverages, medical supplies, cleaning products and other household goods. Ohio’s permit applies to travel on roads and bridges maintained by the ODOT, including interstates, U.S. highways and state highways. Loads with the permit are limited to 90,000 pounds gross vehicle weight and must comply with all posted bridge weight and height restrictions.

Carriers can download and print the special permit and must travel with a copy of it, and this form. Carriers are also required, within 24 hours after the trip is completed, to report back to the department where they travel and how much weight they carried. ODOT will use the information to monitor road and bridge conditions along the routes traveled by the heavyweight vehicles.

In Illinois, carriers can haul up to 88,000 pounds, or 10% of the vehicles gross axle, gross axle combination or gross vehicle weight limits. Drivers using the waiver must have a copy of this order from Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, along with this order from the Illinois DOT.

Central Freight Lines acquires Tennessee-based carrier
Waco, Texas-based LTL carrier Central Freight Lines (No. 84 on the CCJ Top 250) announced Monday it plans to purchase Volunteer Express, a Dresden, Tennessee-based carrier with 12 terminals across the South.

The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, and the deal is expected to close on April 5.

A press release from Central Freight says all operations will be combined, and the companies will function under the Central Freight Lines brand.

Central Freight says the acquisition will “allow for an increase in internal processes and expand the footprint and services for all customers.”

CVSA webinar to cover COVID-19 roadside inspection safety

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance will host a webinar Wednesday, March 25, to address questions about safety as it relates to roadside inspections during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The webinar, titled “The Trucking Industry’s Guide to Infectious Substances and COVID-19,” will offer personal protection and decontamination guidelines, as well as inspection guidelines and more.

The webinar will be held from 12-1 p.m. Central time Wednesday. Registration is available online here.