Abnormal loads

What is an abnormal load?

An ‘abnormal load’ is a vehicle that has any of the following:

  • 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 2.90 metres
  • a rigid length of more than 18.65 metres

You can check the weight of your vehicle at one of the public weighbridges in East Sussex.

Transporting an abnormal load

Hauliers must inform East Sussex when they want to transport an abnormal load across the County. Hauliers can notify multiple authorities via the web based abnormal load mapping system, ESDAL (Electronic Service Delivery for Abnormal Loads).

Hauliers can plot the route they need to take, get full details of all the organisations they will need to notify before making the movement and also deliver fully compliant notifications.

Hauliers can also perform an appraisal of the route for an indication of the suitability of their vehicle. ESDAL does not require any specialist software; it only requires a PC with Internet access. You can sign up and register at ESDAL.

Alternatively, notifications may be emailed directly to East Sussex at customer@eastsussexhighways.com

The minimum notification period is 2 clear working days (not including the date of notification or the proposed movement date).

Hauliers must insure East Sussex against any damage their vehicle may cause to any road, bridge or other structure. A valid indemnity covering the movement period should accompany the notification. Sussex Police must also be notified where appropriate.

There is no charge for processing the notifications or indemnities. However, charges may be made for other services including:

  • If calculations are required to determine if the bridge (or other structure) is suitable to carry the abnormal load (Special Orders only).
  • If any street furniture, e.g. bollards, signs, lighting is required to be removed (and replaced) in order for the movement to take place.

Police escorts

For information about police escorts for abnormal loads, contact the Surrey & Sussex Police Abnormal Load Office on 01273 404187 or visit Sussex Police’s Website.

Further information

The Road Vehicles (Authorisations of Special Types) (General) Order 2003 – Government Statutory Instrument 2003 No 1998 sets out the regulations for abnormal loads.

If you require more information about abnormal loads, please contact our Highways Customer Team.