The law covering moving abnormal loads

The Road Vehicles (Authorisation of Special Types) (General) Order 2003, otherwise known as the STGO, is the legislation that covers abnormal loads.


If a vehicle and load weighs over 44 tonnes (or for a mobile crane 12 tonnes in gross weight) you have a statutory duty to notify and indemnify all structure owning authorities of your intention to travel along the roads managed by them. You must give them two clear working days’ notice before you intend to move (or five clear working days of your vehicle and load weight is over 80 tonnes). This gives structure owners the opportunity to check that the weight of the vehicle and load will not cause damage to any of their assets and ask you to amend your route if necessary.

If a vehicle and load width exceeds 3 meters or its length exceeds 18.75 meters you also have a statutory duty to notify all police forces. Again you must give them two clear working days’ notice before you intend to move which gives the police the chance to ensure the load can safely negotiate the route without causing disruption to other traffic.

Click here to view the full legislation: The Road Vehicles (Authorisation of Special Types) (General) Order 2003

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