Abnormal loads and STGO rules & regs

Chris Bennett (Heavy Haulage) Ltd have been providing the full range of haulage services for more than 40 years, and an integral part of that is our abnormal loads service.

The rules and regulations for abnormal loads are set out in section 44 of the 1988 Road Traffic Act and in the Motor Vehicles (Authorisation of Special Types) (General) Order 2003, commonly referred to as ‘STGO’.

Under STGO rules & regs, ‘abnormal indivisible loads’ can be carried by vehicles that exceed the usual permitted maximum dimensions and weights.

These rules apply when the load to be carried cannot reasonably be divided into separate smaller shipments, and when the vehicle or vehicles carrying that load either exceed 44,000kg in weight, or otherwise do not comply with Construction and Use Regulations.

Three STGO weight categories

STGO rules distinguish loads according to three weight categories:

Category Maximum gross weight (kg) Maximum vehicle weight (kg)
1 50,000 N/A
2 80,000 7,500 x D
3 150,000 12,500 x D

In calculating the maximum gross vehicle weight, D is defined as the distance between:

  • The front and rear axle OR
  • The kingpin and rear axle on the semi-trailer of an articulated vehicle OR
  • The frontmost and rearmost axle on a group of vehicles carrying in combination.

If your load falls under the definition of ‘abnormal’ you will be subject to certain legal requirements, including to notify police, highways and bridge authorities before commencing transport.

Chris Bennett (Heavy Haulage) Ltd work with local authorities and police forces nationwide, so no matter where your route takes you, we can obtain the required authorisations in good time.

Definition of an abnormal load

The technical definition of an abnormal load is not only based on weight, but also on several other dimensions of the vehicle or combination of vehicles used.

Your shipment is likely to be classed as an abnormal load if it meets any one of the following criteria:

  • Gross weight over 44,000kg
  • Total width over 2.9 metres (9.5 feet)
  • Rigid length over 18.65 metres (61 feet)
  • Axle load over 10,000kg on a single non-driving axle
  • Axle load over 11,500kg on a single driving axle

Again, this is an ‘or’ list, not an ‘and’ list. If your vehicle or combination of vehicles meets any of the listed criteria, you should check if it is an abnormal load.

How to notify authorities

The Electronic Service Delivery for Abnormal Loads (ESDAL) online notification system can be accessed via the internet.

It allows you to notify the relevant authorities, including bridges and highways agencies, and the police.

ESDAL also includes route planning tools, which can help to chart a suitable route to your destination, taking into account hazards like weak bridges and narrow roads.

How Chris Bennett can help

Chris Bennett (Heavy Haulage) Ltd can take care of the reporting requirements for you, plan your route and prepare all the necessary documentation for every aspect of your delivery.

We have a fleet of specialist vehicles including low-loader and semi-low-loader trailers, and every vehicle hire includes experienced drivers.

To make an enquiry, call us today on 0161 406 8466 or email sales@chrisbennett.co.uk and a member of our team will get back to you as soon as possible.