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Abnormal Loads

What is an Abnormal Load?

The Construction and Use Regulations provide the basic law by which normal motor vehicles and trailers (up to a maximum of 40 tonnes) are built and operate on the road.

The movement of large or heavy loads and cranes that exceed dimensions set down in the Regulations is permitted provided they comply with Special Types General Orders. These are generally referred to as Abnormal Loads.

For more detailed guidance on the regulations click on the  Abnormal Loads Legal Guide at the bottom of the page.

Report a Problem with an Abnormal Load

If you have any concerns regarding an abnormal load, please contact us using the details at the bottom of this page.

How big can these loads be?

Loads over 150 tonnes, 6.1 metres wide or 27.4 metres long need Special Orders from the Department of Transport. The largest loads moved in recent years was a Gas Turbine for a power station. The dimensions on the trailer were 80 metres long, 5.95 metres wide, 5.84 metres high and weighed 432 tonnes pulled by two 40 tonne tractors.

An Abnormal Load generally describes a vehicle of:

  • carrying more than 44tonnes

  • being wider than 3metres

  • being longer than 18.75metres

Where and when can they be moved?

An abnormal load can potentially go on any road provided the haulier complies with the law including weight limits. Some roads are more suitable and more extensively used e.g. A Class Roads. Before a haulier can move an abnormal load he must notify the Police. In addition, if the gross weight or axle weights exceed those specified on the C & U regulations he must indemnify the Highway Authority and all bridge owners along the proposed route. (e.g. Network Rail).

Who is the Highway Authority In the Borough of Dudley?

Dudley Council is the Highway Authority for all public roads except for the M5 , A449 , A4123 and the A456.

What Notice periods do I have to give?

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

The notice period for loads over 147.63 tons, 6.1 metres wide or 30 metres long is different and hauliers moving such loads need special orders from the Department of Transport.

In an emergency Dudley Council will accept a lesser period provided it is checked by telephone first and then confirmed in writing.

How do I Notify the Council

Please notify us using the contact details at the bottom of this page.

Specific details that the haulier shall supply for each abnormal load movement include:

  • origin and destination of load (address and postcodes)
  • dates of load movements
  • details of proposed route
  • brief details of type load, i.e. Crane, excavator
  • length, width and height of load (and whether load can be reduced in height)
  • gross vehicle weight
  • individual axle weights and axle spacing (and number of wheels per axle)
  • vehicle registration number;
  • name, address, telephone, fax numbers and e-mail address

Any request for an abnormal load movement check through a proposed route must include an indemnity insurance to ensure that the cost of repairing the damage to the highway caused by transporting the abnormal load can be recovered.

Useful Numbers

West Midlands Police
Tel: 0121 322 6018
Fax: 0121 322 6039

Trunk Roads
Tel: 0121 788 1369
Fax: 0870 240 5954 - Amey Mouchel

Trunk Roads

The Trunk Road Network is the Motorways and other principal roads with the main purpose of providing long distance routes between the main urban, Industrial, seaports, airports, tourist regions and other major generators of long distance traffic. The online classified roads network listing has been issued as a guide to the classified route network within the borough of Dudley.

West Midlands Freight Quality Partnership

Many roads within the borough of Dudley are unsuitable for use by HGVs, except for access. This may be because of weight restrictions, height restrictions, width restrictions or environmental weight limits.  The West Midlands Freight Quality Partnership, which is a joint working group made up of local freight operators, representatives from the Road Haulage Association, Freight Transport Association, Highways Agency and the Local Authorities, have produced The West Midlands Commercial Vehicle Driver's Road Atlas 2005 which identifies these restrictions.

If you work for a freight company and would like to help improve the freight industry in the West Midlands and you would be willing to spend a little time each quarter, then perhaps you would like to join the West Midlands Freight Quality Partnership. New members are welcome to contribute to the improvement of freight movements across the conurbation.

If I am not satisfied with the service I have received what can I do?

If you feel we have failed to provide you with good service, please contact us and we will endeavour to resolve any concerns you may have. We also have a formal complaints procedure.

How do I find out more information?

For full details of the notification requirements for large and heavy loads, visit the Department for Transport website.  

Contact Details

  • Name Traffic and Road Safety
  • Address Place Directorate, 4 Ednam Road, Dudley, West Midlands DY1 1HL
  • Telephone 01384 814469
  • Opening Hours Monday to Friday, 8.45 am to 5.00 pm, Please note that the offices are closed at weekends and Bank Holidays