If you are planning to transport an abnormal load, Chris Bennett escort vehicle services can help you to get your cargo to its destination safely, and in compliance with local authority regulations.

Escort vehicles are a must for wide loads, unusually heavy shipments, and vehicles that overhang the road edge on bends.

They serve as a safety check, both alerting other road users to the presence of an unusual load, and also ensuring that the abnormal load vehicle itself can safely navigate the route.

What is an escort vehicle?

An escort vehicle serves as an outrider for abnormal loads. It may ride ahead to check the route, or drive behind the main vehicle to help control passing traffic.

Escort vehicles are usually brightly coloured to make them more visible, and may be equipped with strobes and beacons to attract other motorists’ attention.

In an emergency, escort vehicles can quickly drive for nearby help, raise the alarm, and ensure the load is not left unattended until assistance arrives.

Do you need an escort vehicle?

From a legal point of view, abnormal loads do not need to be escorted; however, police forces encourage the use of private escort vehicle services during the movement of abnormal loads.

There are also standards in place that require you to notify local authorities of plans to transport abnormal loads, and they may also ask you to make use of escort vehicles to ensure safety along the route.

In general, even if legislation does not compel you to use escort vehicle services, it is common sense to have one or more outriders who can alert the main vehicle to any parts of the planned route that might not be navigable.

Why use an escort vehicle?

We have already looked at several benefit of escort vehicles. Some of the most compelling reasons to use an escort vehicle include:

  • Alert other road users to presence of abnormal load and reduce risk of incidents
  • In an incident, raise the alarm and go for help or stay with main vehicle until help arrives
  • Demonstrate mitigation of risk to police and local authorities when seeking approval to transport an abnormal load

There are very real safety concerns that can be satisfied using escort vehicles, for example if the route involves a tight bend, narrow road or low bridge, where the escort vehicles can check clearance from both ahead and behind.

What should you look for from an escort vehicle?

When transporting any load, it is important to know what to look for in a reliable haulage company.

This is particularly important when transporting abnormal loads, since escort vehicles should be compliant with the relevant current standards – something Chris Bennett (Heavy Haulage) Ltd ensure is always the case with our fleet.

The Highways England Code of Practice calls for escort vehicles to be a conspicuous colour and equipped with flashing warning beacons, to be easily visible to drivers and pedestrians.

It’s also important that drivers are trained to the necessary standard; all Chris Bennett drivers are fully trained and familiar with the Highways Agency Code of Practice.

More reasons to use escort vehicles

The reasons given above are practical, on-the-day reasons to use escort vehicles, but in more general business terms, there are many more advantages.

During the planning stage, local authorities and police will look favourably on your route if you have allowed for escort vehicles to check the route is safe during transportation itself.

This reduces delays in planning and approval, unexpected delays along the route, health and safety risks, and ultimately financial losses due to late or failed deliveries.

To benefit from Chris Bennett (Heavy Haulage) Ltd’s escort vehicle services and protect your bottom line when transporting abnormal loads, contact us today.