Abnormal loads

The movement of large or heavy loads is known as ‘abnormal loads.’ The law requires the haulier to give notice to the Police, Highway Authority and bridge owners before moving certain types of loads.

About abnormal loads

Abnormal loads are large or heavy loads (for example those with a gross weight exceeding 40 tonnes, a width of over 2.9m or a length of over 18.65m). Before a haulier can move such a load, they must notify and gain consent from the police.

In addition, if the gross weight or axle weights exceed those specified on the ‘Construction and Use’ regulations, they must indemnify the Highway Authority and all bridge owners along the proposed route.

An abnormal load can potentially go on any road provided the haulier complies with the law, however some roads are more suitable and extensively used, such as A class roads.

Notice periods

The law requires the haulier to give a minimum of two clear days notice to the Police, Highway Authority and Bridge owners before moving the load.

The notice period for loads over 150 tonnes, 6.1 metres wide or 27.4 metres long is different. Hauliers moving such loads need special orders and full details of the notification requirements for large and heavy loads can be obtained from the Department for Transport.

Updated: 6 November 2014