Abnormal loads

The Abnormal Loads chapter of the Yearbook of Road Transport Law covers the law on some of the more specialised operations undertaken.


Abnormal, or indivisible, loads may be carried on vehicles on the public roads provided the carriage is undertaken in line with a section 44 permit (section 44 of the Road Traffic Act 1988).

These rules allow the carriage of ‘abnormal indivisible loads’ which exceed the weight and/or dimension limits contained in the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986, the Road Vehicles (Authorised Weight) Regulations 1998 and also a variety of unusual vehicles, such as items of engineering plant or military vehicles, whose design and function prevents compliance with construction and use regulations, to be used on public roads in certain circumstances.


Information on the topics below is available to FTA members by downloading the Abnormal Loads chapter of the Yearbook of Road Transport Law

  • Individual Vehicle Special Orders (formerly know as section 44 permits)
  • Abnormal indivisible load
  • Notification of abnormal loads – ESDAL2 project
  • Vehicle categories and weights
  • Offences and penalties
  • Width & Length
  • Projection marking
  • Attendants
  • Automatic level crossings
  • Breakdown on bridges
  • Application of construction and use regulations
  • Speed limits
  • Notice to Authorities
  • Escorts
  • Testing and plating
  • Vehicle excise duty 


Need more information?

If you are an FTA member and have a query regarding this topic, or need more information, contact our Member Advice Centre

Member Advice Centre