Abnormal Load and Wide Load Regulations and Requirements

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Transporting an abnormal load on public motorways entails an array of strict regulations and compliance requirements. For instance, truckers cannot overload the vehicles regardless of the cargo being transported. Disobeying this rule leads to hefty fines or prosecution. Hence, the need to work with professional heavy haulage companies like SG Haulage.

One of the best ways to maintain compliance with weight requirements is to dismantle and transport the load in batches. However, this approach is not always possible. Some types of cargo, such as aircraft wings, come with limited disassembly options.

SG Haulage makes it easier to transport different types of heavy or wide load items, including crane ballast, military ordnance, construction equipment, and mobile homes. These items require special planning and specialised trailers to move them within the limits of the road rules.


Adherence to the rules ensures public safety while preventing damage to the cargo. Additionally, abnormal and wide load regulations (https://www.sghaulageltd.co.uk/heavy-haulage/abnormal-loads/) help protect road infrastructure from unwanted damage.

To qualify under the abnormal load category, a vehicle weighs a minimum of 44,000 kilograms. The same applies to trucks with a rigid length of 18.65 meters and a width of 2.9 meters. If your proposed axle load weighs over 10,000 kilograms (non-driving axle) or 11,500 kilograms (driving axle), you need to comply with specific abnormal load requirements.

Restrictions over bridges

When approaching a bridge, the driver must ensure that no other abnormal load vehicles are already on the bridge. Additionally, the law prohibits stopping on any bridge unless circumstances leave the operator without any options. If the vehicle breaks down over the bridge, it is vital to take urgent measures to tow it away.

You should seek the relevant authority’s advice if you are planning to jack up the truck or apply a concentrated load. This rule also applies if it is necessary to employ spreader plates. The best part is that SG Haulage eliminates the need to worry about your cargo or adhering to the road rules. An experienced team of haulage specialists ensures a smooth trip to the destination.


The law also requires the involvement of an attendant based on the dimensions of a vehicle exceeding a specified width or length. When travelling in a convoy of three or more vehicles, attendants should be available in the convoy’s first and last trucks.

This requirement applies to vehicles with a combined width of three meters or less, and the lateral projection of the load surpasses 305 millimetres in length. An attendant should also form part of the crew if the combined width of any lateral projection and the truck exceed 3.5 metres. The requirement also covers loads that have a projection or rigid unit with a length exceeding 18.75 metres.

The attendant’s role aboard the abnormal load vehicle is to act as a safety officer. Thus, the attendant keeps a close eye on the possible hazards that the vehicle and the load may cause to other road users, the crew, road infrastructure, and the cargo. You can count on SG Haulage to deploy an experienced attendant whenever necessary.

Warning beacons

Abnormal load vehicles travelling at low speeds (25 kilometres per hour and below) require amber flashing lights when moving along an unrestricted dual carriageway. They can also deploy light bars, which should be visible at appropriate distances from the truck.

On the other hand, a vehicle classified under categories one or two can carry multiple abnormal loads. This allowance depends on whether the vehicle complies with other wide load and abnormal load regulations. However, the combined loads should have the same characteristics. The allowance is applicable if the loading location and the destination are the same.

SG Haulage has more than 25 years of experience transporting wide-ranging oversized items. Its team of experienced truckers understands the need to dismantle cargo, such as engineering plants.
In such cases, the dismantled components travel aboard the same vehicle. This approach makes it easier to reduce the dimensions of the plant during transit. Dismantling minimises the possibility of some parts protruding precariously from the vehicle.

Abnormal load transport services

With SG Haulage, your cargo travels on a well-maintained fleet of vehicles driven by experienced drivers. The company operates in Grantham, Nottingham, Lincoln, and surrounding areas. You can count on the haulage specialists to deliver items to destinations across the United Kingdom and Europe.

SG employs Electronic Service Delivery for Abnormal Loads (ESDAL) to maximise efficiency while transporting your precious cargo. ESDAL is an innovative mapping software solution capable of helping haulage companies plan the ideal route for oversized loads. Furthermore, it enables SG Haulage’s crew to communicate with the relevant authorities, including the Highway Agency and law enforcement officers.

Communication with various stakeholders is essential during the transportation of abnormal cargo. ESDAL helps establish two-way communication between haulage firms and the authorities more conveniently. Truckers rely on the system to inform agencies when travelling along roads in certain areas. Doing so allows police and highway management agencies to provide the appropriate support.

Read more about our heavy haulage services and abnormal load and wide load haulage services, or request a quote today.