Aligning Oversize and Overweight Truck (OSOW) Permit Fees and Policies with Agency Costs

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 Research Brief Final Report

Primary Investigator

Bob Gollnik
Wisconsin Transportation Center
1415 Engineering Drive, 2205 EH
Madison, WI 53706


Over the past several years, many states have witnessed increased demand for oversize and overweight truck (OSOW) load capacity on their roadways. Much of the development of permitting systems for these loads has been the result of a reaction to shipping industry demands without a critical assessment of actual and perceived costs incurred by OSOW operations. This study aims to provide a thorough analysis of the broad impacts of OSOW operations on states and will establish a framework for linking fee structures with the public policy decision-making process.


This project will provide a framework for states and institutions to evaluate cost recovery options due to OSOW operations. The project will also provide a thorough review of current permitting practices, fee structures, and outline preliminary outlooks for OSOW demand in the foreseeable future. The basis for the project will be Midwest States, but will incorporate national trends and data as appropriate.


  1. Review of OSOW demand and permitting trends: [a] Demand from commodity types and industry sectors; [b] United States freight trends
  2. Summarize current OSOW permitting practices: organization and responsibilities within State’s (enforcement, application review, routing)
  3. Review current fees and fee structures
  4. Determining roadway, infrastructure, and other impacts of OSOW loads.
  5. Identify other considerations, including truck-to-rail diversion
  6. Determine thresholds for costs incurred by OSOW activity
  7. Compile best practices

Project Information

  • Duration: 12 months
  • Dates: September 2009 – September 2010
  • Budget: $80,000
  • Student Involvement: One graduate student
  • Modal Orientation: Highway
  • Project ID: CFIRE 03-17
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