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Abnormal loads

Large or heavy loads which need to be transported are known as abnormal loads. If you are planning to take an abnormal load along the highway you need to tell us beforehand.

An 'abnormal load' is a vehicle that has any of the following:

  • a weight of more than 44,000 kilograms
  • an axle load of more than 10,000 kilograms for a single non-driving axle and 11,500 kilograms for a single driving axle
  • a width of more than 2.9 metres
  • a length of more than 18.65 metres.

If you are moving loads which are classed as abnormal then you need to notify the police, the highway authority (the council) and other bridge owners such as Network Rail.

We are able to advise on the structural capacity of bridges but do not hold information on road widths, street furniture locations or overhanging structures and vegetation. The haulier is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the route is suitable for the intended abnormal load.

Any request for an abnormal load movement check through a proposed route must include an indemnity insurance to ensure that the cost of repairing any damage to the highway caused by transporting the abnormal load can be recovered.

You can contact us for advice using the details below.

You can also notify all authorities of abnormal loads using the Highways Agency electronic service delivery for abnormal loads (ESDAL) system.