Abnormal transport is essentially the transportation of objects that exceed the legal limit in both weight and dimensions. Various abnormal load cargo that gets transported has to follow specific regulations, these may include an escort requirement to ensure the safety of other road users. Trucks carrying low bed trailers and other forms of cartage equipment are generally used for these applications.
Hauling abnormal loads may sometimes require an appropriate permit that exempts the cartage company from the usual road laws, such as weight and dimension. These permits are however only granted if there is no alternative method to move the goods to their desired destination. Once a permit is granted, the abnormal load may proceed, as long as there is no additional risk to the other road users.
In order for the transportation of heavy goods to be successful, driver’s and driver assistants are required. It is also a requirement that some large cargo hauls require the services of escort drivers, this is to ensure the safety of everyone on the roads. The most common industries that require abnormal loads are the mining and construction sectors, as well as some other sectors that require the use of plant and crane hire.
Some of the key factors that influence the abnormal load classification are things such as the dimensions of the cargo (width and height) as well as the wheelbase limitations. A more technical factor that influences the classification of an abnormal load is when the mass of a construction vehicle or cargo load, on each axle, is more than the legal limit.
The overall length of a truck or a semi-trailer truck, is legally not allowed to exceed 18.5 metres in total length, whilst a Superlink is legally not allowed to exceed the 22 metre length limit. A height restriction of 4.3 metres and a width restriction of 2.7 metres may not be exceeded. A Tri-Axle truck has a length limit of 13.5 metres and a weigh in limit of 28 tons, whilst the limit for a 15 metre Tri-Axle is 30 tons. Should any loads exceed these specific restrictions, a permit would have to be obtained from the Transport department in each province that the relevant load will pass through.
All regulations that have been implemented when hauling abnormal loads have been done to protect all road users whilst the large cargo hauls are moved to their desired destination. Abnormal transportation is not permitted during peak times of the year as they do decrease other road user’s vision and increase traffic on the roads. These peak times may include some long weekends as well as most school holidays. Abnormal load transportation companies have to abide by the laws and disperse a specified number of escort and traffic offices, based on the overall dimensions and mass of the load.
The larger and heavier an abnormal load is, the stricter road regulations get.
Escort vehicles are the vehicles that are marked and are used to protect the abnormal load vehicle as well to alert the other motorist on the road of the abnormal load. Due to exceeded dimensions of an abnormal load, the abnormal load driver generally has limited visuals on the road, the escort vehicles help navigate the drivers to the final destination safely.
It is necessary to have insurance that covers damage to both private and public property during the transportation of abnormal loads. The planned route of an abnormal load move has to be the most suitable for the haul, meaning bridges and other road bearing factors have to able to handle the loads weight and dimensions without causing damage to property. It is also essential that all loads are secured properly to the designated abnormal load vehicle.
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