Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Back to “Home Base”


Wesley Chapel, Florida (high 89, low 58)

We got on the road leaving Naples, Florida around 11am.  It was a fairly easy all interstate drive.

After we were on the road a while, Al started telling me about a tractor/trailer following us that had a very wide load.  He was trying to pass us when we slowed down due to traffic ahead.

Al was getting very upset because he didn’t think the wide load could pass us without hitting us.

Imagine an interstate that had only 2 northbound lanes at the time.   Then imagine a truck with a load that took up the width of about 1 1/2 lanes.  

Fortunately before the guy could get around us, traffic ahead sped up and we were able to stay in front of him for the time being.

Al kept a close eye on him, but I couldn’t see him so I had no idea how wide this rig was, until he actually did pass us a few miles later.

Fortunately, by this time the interstate had widened to three lanes and he was able to get into the left lane to go around us.


Can you imagine if he had passed us when there were only two lanes?  When he passed us, we were going 60 and he passed us very quickly, so he must have been going pretty fast.

oversized load

I don’t know if this extra wide load was legal, but in our opinion, it shouldn’t be.  The cargo looked to be some sort of concrete blocks.

I decided to call the Florida Highway Patrol to report this, since I was concerned for the public safety.  I told her exactly what mile marker he was on and the direction of traffic.  I hoped to see him pulled over at some point, but I never did.

I was curious about the legal limits for interstate travel with a wide load.

This is what I found.

Pilot car - Escort car requirements.
Over 12' wide (up to 14') needs one pilot car or escort vehicle. Over 14' wide needs two pilot cars or escort vehicles. Over 14' 6" in height needs one pilot car or escort vehicle. Over 15' in height needs two pilot cars or escort vehicles.
Lengths up to 95' only require one pilot car or escort vehicle.
Travel restrictions.
Travel is permitted 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 before sunset.  Travel permitted on Saturday and Sunday if not over 10' wide, 13' 6" in height and 55' long.  Continuous travel permitted if heavy only. Over weight travel is allowed for some constructions items as long as they are reduced (ie. blades removed from dozers, etc.). Be sure to clarify with permit office before travel.

I am guessing he was over 12’ wide since he was taking up half of the other lane.  He had no escort vehicle.


We were glad when he got around us though, so we didn’t have to keep worrying about him.

A little later this truck passed us.  Those are people in the back.  Doesn’t look very safe does it?


You see all kinds.  I worried about these pieces of furniture falling out.   The driver didn’t seem to worry as he traveled about 80 mph.


We got home, set up and visited with some neighbors.  I talked briefly to Jo Beth as she was driving by.  I saw a pretty lady walking her dog later. She had on a cute straw hat and a pretty orange dress. I thought  to myself how nice she looked.  It turned out that was Catherine, but I didn’t see her face so I didn’t recognize her.  Looking good Catherine!

The days are pretty warm here, but oh how nice and cool the nights are!  It was 64 when I got up this morning.  The air is crisp and dry, the sky is blue, and the birds are chirping.


  1. Catherine says "thanks"-She does look especially pretty in that orange dress-.

  2. I drove a truck for 28 years and saw it all.

  3. It sure is nerve wracking sometimes driving down the road.

  4. It's a wonder no highway patrol stopped that truck. Back in my commuting days I saw way too many truck accidents. Seems there were way more than car accidents. I can appreciate Al's concern, I've had truckers try to "push" me along. I know they are working but there is no excuse for doing it unsafely.

  5. That's one scary load that guy had. I warn Jim when something comes up behind him then block the person if needed, another advantage to being following behind. It's only happened once, but I didn't have to block long till Jim could get more room off the road to the right.

    I'm glad to see you're back to home base. Have fun!

  6. Just one of the reasons that driving the RV is my least favorite part of Full timing. Everything out there looks scary. Except Catherine and JoBeth of course. Give them both a hug from me. Lucky you to have them as neighbors.

  7. That cement load certainly looks illegal. I don't think that guy should have been trying to pass anyone no matter how many lanes were on the hi-way.

  8. Glad you are home safe--especially after seeing some of those crazy driving situations. Enjoy the cool nights.

  9. That's crazy!! Especially the truck with the concrete blocks. In California you can't even have a dog in the back of a truck unless he's tied up. You saw some really dumb drivers. :(


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