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In the framework of both domestic and international transportation, various types of goods with distinctive characteristics are transported. Among them are both dimensional and non-standard-sized cargoes. In such a case, however, this does not mean that it is impossible to transport them. Then the so-called oversize transport is implemented. What is it and what regulations govern the transportation of cargo of this type?

What is oversize transport?

Oversize transport, or otherwise abnormal transport, is the carriage of goods carried out by vehicles or a combination of vehicles in the event that axle loads with or without cargo exceed the prescribed and permissible for a particular road standards included in the regulations of public roads. It is also a situation where the dimensions or the actual total weight of the vehicle with or without the load carried are greater than those permitted by current road regulations.

When realizing oversized transport, it is necessary to take into account not only the requirements imposed on carriers by legislators. In this case, it is also necessary to carefully plan the entire logistical process, so that the transport of cargo of non-standard weight or measurements is carried out safely, but also as economically as possible.

What dimensions does oversize transport involve?

Oversize transport refers to all vehicles that, together with the load being transported, exceed 42 tons in total weight, taking into account the weight of the fuel and driver, and dimensions such as 16.5 meters in overall length, 2.5 meters in width and 4 meters in height.

The most common oversize transports include various types of construction machinery, construction parts, finished architectural elements, tanks or equipment and machinery.

Regulations and permits vs. oversize transportation

Aspects related to the transportation of oversized cargo are regulated by the Law of June 20, 1997 – the Law on Road Traffic. There are seven types of permits for such transport issued depending on the degree to which the dimensions, weight and axle load of the vehicle are exceeded with respect to normative transport.

Permits I and II apply to divisible loads, while III through VII are permits dedicated to indivisible transport. Depending on the type of permit, the relevant document is issued by the road manager, the district governor, the Head of the Customs Office or the General Directorate for National Roads and Motorways. The permit must be held by the entity that performs oversize transport.

What does an oversize transport permit contain?

The oversize transport permit should obligatorily contain such data as the duration of the transport, the specified route and number of trips, as well as information about the vehicle used for the transport. A provision on the criteria for adjusting the road infrastructure is also necessary. If necessary, the permit must also include the method of pilotage.

It should be borne in mind that international oversize transport must take into account the regulations for this type of transport in force in the countries where it will be carried out.