1. Cargo that extends laterally beyond the limits of its conveyance.

This term is primarily used in the context of truck shipping. A wide load occurs when an object, broken into its atomic parts, is still too wide to fit within the confines of an eighteen-wheel flatbed. Apparently, the solution is to load it up anyway, and string a large yellow sign on the back of the assembly, proclaiming in black letters, "WIDE LOAD". The truck will ususally have a rotating yellow light atop the cab. Wide loads are often preceded and/or trailed by cars or pickup trucks that also have similar signs and lights. These wingmen keep pace with the truck and enforce a buffer against the rest of the traffic.

Wide loads often consist of:

2. Wide load has also been taken as a derogatory term for large people.