Abnormal loads

Abnormal loads

This pages provides information for hauliers about taking abnormal loads on the county’s highways.

Abnormal loads – notification

When hauliers wish to move loads classed as 'abnormal' (e.g. those with a gross weight exceeding 40 tonnes), they must notify the abnormal loads officer. The proposed route will be assessed for roadworks, tight bends, bridge restrictions etc.

All movements exceeding construction and use (C&U) regulations must be notified to the police. Only those exceeding the weight criteria need to be notified to the authority. Where possible, we prefer to receive all notifications where transport exceeds the C&U regulations. 

Abnormal loads can potentially go on any road, provided the haulier complies with the law. Some roads are more suitable than others, e.g. A class roads. If a route is deemed unsuitable, alternatives may be suggested. However, it is the responsibility of the haulier to check suitability and survey the route.

In some cases, street furniture (e.g. street lights) has to be removed to accommodate movements, with these costs being met by the haulier. Advance notice will be required.

Notifications must include a form of indemnity to cover the haulier against possible damage to the highway network. Indemnities can be attached with each individual notice or sent annually to cover one year.

Who do I notify of an abnormal load?
Some roads are looked after by agents e.g. A69, Roadlink, Aone etc. Where this is the case, the haulier must notify them directly. Where the route is a combination of county and agents, all the relevant parties along the route must be notified at the same time.

There is no legal requirement to notify the height of a load. However, it is advisable to consult the authority's abnormal loads officer to confirm the suitability of a suggested route, as we have designated high load routes identified, which we can advise hauliers about.

Hauliers must also gain consent from any affected third party bridge owners, e.g. Network Rail.
Notice periods
Due to changes in our legislation, we now require five days clear notice of all movements. For loads between 80 and 150 tonnes, the haulier must also notify the police.

The notice period for loads in excess of 150 tonnes, 6.1m wide or 27.4m long is different. Hauliers moving these loads need special orders from the Department of Transport/Highways England.
More information on abnormal loads
For full details of the notification requirements for large and heavy loads, you can download the appropriate documentation from the Department of Transport website.