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Notify the police of an abnormal load: Advice for hauliers

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Advice for hauliers on how to notify Nottinghamshire Police about transporting an abnormal load in our county.

Before you contact us

When do I need to report an abnormal load movement?

An ‘abnormal load’ is a vehicle that has ANY ONE OR MORE of the following factors in place:

  • 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

You must give at least two working days notice to the relevant local authorities, bridge and structure owners like Network Rail and police forces along your proposed route in order that they can approve or reject your proposed movement.

You must use Highways England’s electronic service delivery for abnormal loads (ESDAL) to:

  • Plot your route
  • Notify the police, highways and bridge authorities of your abnormal load movements around the road network
  • Get advance notice of any possible route problems
  • Save vehicle details and routes for future use

Unfortunately we no longer accept email notifications for abnormal load movements.

Late requests will be accepted providing you contact the Abnormal Loads Officer using the contact details provided below and the load is deemed suitable for the route.

Typically we do not normally acknowledge receipt of movement notices. However, if there is an issue or an escort is required, we will contact you with further instructions.

Will I need an abnormal load escort?

We don't routinely escort abnormal loads but do allow the use of private escort vehicles for the majority of movements by hauliers, either by providing their own vehicles or employing a third party.

As a general rule we do not require any escort vehicles (police or private) on the following roads:

  • On motorways (in Nottinghamshire on the M1 between junctions 24 and 27), loads up to 4.6m wide, 30m long and 130t in weight are allowed to move without an escort.
  • On the A1, A46 and A610 only loads of up to 4.3m wide, 30m long and 130t in weight are allowed without an escort.
  • On all other roads, loads must be below 4.12m wide, 30m long and 100t in weight without escort.

However, we will provide a police escort on request of the haulier or where it is deemed necessary due to the size of the load or other extenuating circumstances (usually loads in need of a VR1 or Special Order for permission to move).

Where a police escort is required, we will need 14 days’ notice of this and will charge for this service.

What other responsibilities do I have when transporting an abnormal load?

It is your responsibility to:

  • Survey and complete a risk assessment before the movement to ensure it is able to negotiate the planned route safely.
  • Ensure any tractor unit and trailers are suitable to allow satisfactory distribution of the weight of the load to the road surface, with the appropriate weights and weight/speed restrictions indicated on the STGO plates attached to the relevant vehicles.
  • Display vehicle illumination and projection markers in accordance with Schedule 12 of the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1988.
  • Ensure all extremities of the vehicles and implements are clearly visible at a reasonable distance at all times especially during hours of seriously reduced visibility, in accordance with Schedule 8 of The Road Vehicles (Authorisation of Special Types (General) Order 2003.
  • Ensure no more than two abnormal loads are escorted together.
  • Notify Network Rail of any abnormal loads travelling through automatic barrier level crossings before proceeding across.

When can an abnormal load be transported?

We don't allow the movement of abnormal loads in Nottinghamshire during peak traffic periods between 7.30am and 9.30am and 4.30pm and 6.30pm and on the M1 motorway between 3pm and 8pm on Fridays and Sundays.

We will generally allow abnormal loads to be moved during the hours of darkness on motorways and the A1, providing the load remains solely on these roads and is lit and signed in accordance with legal requirements.

The movement of abnormal loads on all other roads is NOT permitted during the hours of darkness except with the agreement and permission of the Abnormal Loads Officer first.

I regularly move agricultural machinery around the county. Do you provide general dispensations for this?

Yes. When a haulier is regularly moving loads through the county that are in excess of 2.9m wide but below 3.5m wide, a general dispensation may be requested which negates the need to notify the police of individual movements.

Any loads over 3.5m must be notified in the normal way. Agricultural dispensations are issued to allow movements of agricultural machinery up to 4.3m wide within a 25-mile radius of their base without the need to be transported on trailers.

These are issued annually and run from January to December on a renewal basis but we will allow new requests for dispensations throughout the year, which will be valid from the time of issue to the end of December.

If you currently have a dispensation please note that at renewal time it will not be renewed automatically and a new request will need to be raised.

Notifying us of an abnormal load 

Nottinghamshire Police no longer accept email notifications of abnormal load movements. All notifications should be submitted via the Highways England ESDAL application.

Contact information

For more information and for late notifications, please contact the Abnormal Loads Officer on 101 extension 318 0902 or email abloads@nottinghamshire.pnn.police.uk