In this section:

1. What is an abnormal load?
2. When and who you need to notify
3. How to notify

How far in advance you need to tell someone, and who you need to tell, depends on the type, weight, width and length of the load.

The dimensions and weights of vehicles used on British roads are regulated by the:

In the tables below we use C&U and STGO to refer to limits set by these rules. Which C&U or STGO limits apply to you depends on the type and specifications of your vehicle.

 

Total weight of vehicle including the load Notification requirements
Over C&U limit up to 80,000kg (78.74 ton) Two working days notice with indemnity to road and bridge authorities.
80,000kg to 150,000kg (147.63 ton)

Two working days notice with indemnity to road and bridge authorities.

Two working days notice to the police.

Over 150,000kg (147.63 ton)

Five working days notice with indemnity to road and bridge authorities.

Five working days notice to the police.

Highways England special order. You should apply at least 10 weeks in advance. Highways England recommend you apply as early as possible. Approval is not automatic.

 

Width Notification requirements

C&U loads: over 2.9m (9ft 6ins) up to 4.3m (14ft 1 ins) wide

STGO loads: over 3.0m (9ft 10ins) up to 5.0m (16ft 5ins) wide

Two working days notice to police.
Over 5.0m (16ft 5ins) up to 6.1m (20ft) wide

Two working days notice to police.

Highways England form VR1. You should apply at least two weeks in advance. Highways England recommend you apply as early as possible. Approval is not automatic.

Over 6.1m (20ft)

Five working days notice to police.

Five working days notice with indemnity to road and bridge authorities.

Highways England Special Order. You should apply at least 10 weeks in advance. Highways England recommend you apply as early as possible. Approval is not automatic.

 

Length Notification requirements

C&U loads: over 18.65m (61ft 2in) up to 27.4m (90ft) long

STGO loads: over 18.75m (61ft 6 ins) long

Two working days notice to police.
Overall length of a vehicle combination over 25.9m (85ft) Two working days notice to police.

Over 30.0m (98ft 5ins)

Also some very light loads, for example yacht masts:

  • with a rigid length over 27.4m (89ft 11ins)
  • that are moved on conventional motor vehicles not exceeding 12 tonnes gross weight
  • or moved on trailers not exceeding 10 tonnes gross weight 

Five working days notice to police.

Five working days notice with indemnity to road and bridge authorities.

Highways England special order. You should apply at least 10 weeks in advance. Highways England recommend you apply as early as possible. Approval is not automatic.