Things to consider when transporting abnormal loads

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Transporting loads tends to be pretty straightforward – it’s all about taking things safely from one place to another. That being said, it’s important to keep in mind that, if you need to carry an abnormal load, there are additional restrictions in place that need to be adhered to in order to be both compliant and safe for all those involved. Vehicles that carry goods are often limited by regulations such as the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986. This is what stipulates the legal load that you are allowed to carry.

If you’re looking to transport something which doesn’t fit under these regulations, then you will need to transport them under the abnormal invisible loads provisions of the Motor Vehicle (Authorisations of Special Types) General Order 2003. This will ensure you are compliant and that it is all done correctly. It’s vital to look up rules and regulations ahead of time to avoid any potential fines or other repercussions. When you are transporting abnormal loads there is more to think about than just normal transportation. Here we take a look at the main things you need to consider that will help the next time you need to transport an abnormal load.

What is an abnormal load?

An abnormal load is considered any load that weighs more than 44,000kg, has an axle load of more than 10,000kg and has a width of more than 29m or a length bigger than 18.65m. If you fall under this category, you will need special equipment and permissions in order to get it from one place to another. Abnormal load items could be items such as building site equipment and machinery, large pipes, transporting other vehicles and more. If you are unsure whether your load is classed as abnormal, it’s important for you to speak to a professional. This will ensure you take the necessary steps in order to get your items moved from A to B safely, securely and without breaking any regulations along the way.

Do you have the necessary permissions?

The first thing you need to consider when it comes to transporting abnormal loads is if you have the relevant permissions that allow the load to be carried. Under section 44 of the Road Traffic Act of 1988 you need to notify the Police and any other relevant authorities to let them know this will be happening. You must also use the Electronic Service Delivery for Abnormal Loads (ESDAL) in order to notify the authorities. You will need to organise this ahead of time to ensure you get approval. If you are moving a heavy load abroad you will also need to notify the country you are heading to and any that you will be travelling through of the load. Countries can differ in their requirements and permissions so ensure you are up to date on these well ahead of time.

Have you added marker boards to the vehicle?

Marker boards are another vital aspect that you will need to organise ahead of moving a large load. These essentially attach to the sides of the load and let other drivers on the road know that you are carrying a load that is large and can potentially cause obstruction. This means they will give you extra room and can help to avoid any potential accidents. You can buy marker boards from a specialist as well as many stores both in person and online.

Will you need a crane or other special equipment?

Depending on what it is that you are transporting from one place to another, you might need a crane or other specialist equipment to lift it into the vehicle. Keep in mind that you will need to organise this for both sides of your journey, so when you are loading your goods and when you are unloading these at the other end. The last thing you want is to arrive at your destination and not be able to unload your goods as you haven’t organised a crane or other specialist equipment in order to help you do so.

Will you need an attendant to help?

Once your load goes above the height, weight and length restrictions mentioned above then it means you require an attendant to help you transport it from one place to another. An attendant will drive a pilot car that goes in front of your vehicle and will warn other drivers on the road that there is an upcoming abnormal load being transported on the roads. This helps to keep everyone on the roads safe and while the pilot can’t stop traffic or assist in that way it can make the journey a lot easier and help to prewarn other drivers and make them more considerate when they are driving near you.

How a professional can help

One of the best ways to safely transport your abnormal load is to hire a professional company such as SG Haulage to help move it for you. A professional will be aware of the rules and regulations and have all the necessary equipment to get the objects in the right place for you. All the drivers will be experienced and know not only the equipment that is needed, but also be able to answer any questions and help out wherever possible to get the job done safely and securely. A professional is the best way to get the job done right.

These are just a few of the main things that you need to consider when transporting abnormal loads. Here at SG Haulage, we are a reliable and experienced company specialising in transporting loads of all sizes. With our FORC bronze level accreditation, we operate road haulage throughout London and the UK and can safely and efficiently transport loads from one place to another. A family-run business, we are dedicated to the task at hand and you can relax knowing you can trust us. Get in touch with us via our website, email or phone to find out more about what we can do for you.