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 rigid length of more than 18.65 metres

When hauliers wish to move loads they must notify us and police force that the proposed route is suitable. We will check the route for road works or temporary obstructions, check underground structures will not be affected by the weight of the vehicle driving over it and that no street furniture obstructs its passage.

The haulier must indemnify us and all bridge owners along the proposed route (e.g. Network Rail) in case any damage is caused.

An abnormal load can potentially go on any road provided the haulier complies with the law.

Notice periods

The law requires the haulier to give a minimum of two clear days notice to the us, the Police and bridge owners before moving the load.

The notice period for loads over 150 tons, 6.1 metres wide or 27.4 metres long is different and hauliers moving such loads need special orders from the Department for Transport. 

You can use Highways England’s online system to notify all the relevant authorities and plan your route.

  Submit an abnormal load notification Opens in a new window