Abnormal Load Routes

Abnormal Indivisible Loads are defined in the Road Vehicles (Authorisation of Special Types) (General) Order 2003, usually known as STGO, as follows:-

A load that cannot without undue expense or risk of damage be divided into two or more loads for the purpose of being carried on a road, and that

  • a) Owing to its dimensions, cannot be carried on a motor vehicle (N3 motor vehicle) [a vehicle used for the carriage of goods and having a maximum mass exceeding 12 tonnes] or trailer (O4 vehicle) [a trailer with a maximum mass exceeding 10 tonnes] or a combination of such vehicles that complies in all respects with Part 2 of the Construction and Use Regulations; or
  • b) On account of its weight, cannot be carried on a heavy motor vehicle at Category N3 or a trailer at Category 04 or a combination of such vehicles that complies in all respects with -
    • i) the Authorised Weight Regulations (or, if those Regulations do not apply, the equivalent provisions in Part 4 of the Construction and Use Regulations); and
    • ii) part 2 of the Construction and Use Regulations.

It is essential that the abnormal load routes of any such proposed journey are fully assessed to identify any junctions or stretches of road that may require temporary restrictions or adjustment to allow the abnormal load to pass safely.

Vehicle Swept Path Analysis work on the proposed route may be required to ascertain that the abnormal load can negotiate the route planned including roundabouts and/or junctions. The outcome of this may entail many different measures ranging from temporary parking restrictions to the temporary removal of traffic signal equipment and signage etc.

It is, therefore, of paramount importance that the assessment is undertaken by competent engineers who are fully conversant with the requirements of the Local Highway Authority and who will be able to recommend a scheme as part of a feasibility study or formal planning submission and put a cost to the measures required.

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Abnormal Load Routes, STGO, N3 motor vehicleO4 vehicle, Authorised Weight Regulations Vehicle Swept Path Analysis