Abnormal Loads and Agricultural Vehicles

Welcome to the Police Scotland Abnormal Loads page

Abnormal Loads

Police Scotland manages the movement of abnormal indivisible loads throughout Scotland. Anyone intending to move an abnormal load throughout Scotland has a legal obligation to notify the Chief Officer of Police Scotland.

What is an Abnormal Load

An abnormal load is any load that cannot be broken down into smaller loads for transport without undue expense or risk of damage.

Dimensions and Notifications

The Abnormal Loads Team, Detroit Road, Glenrothes KY6 2RJ, must be notified of all Abnormal Indivisible Loads travelling through the Force area that exceed the following dimensions:

  • Width: 2.9m
  • Weight: More than 44,000kgs
  • Length: 18.65m rigid length or 25.9m overall length

It is specified both within C & U 1986 and STGO 2003 that the haulier is to notify each Police Force through whose area they are proposing to travel. The legislation states; The notice shall be given so that it is received by the date after which where are at least two working days before the date on which the use of the vehicle or vehicles is to begin. When determining what constitutes two working days, the following applies:-

  • The date the notification is received is NOT counted.
  • The date of the movement is NOT counted.
  • Sunday and Public Holidays are NOT counted.

ESDAL is the Police Service of Scotland’s preferred type of notification of Abnormal Load movements in our Force area, however notifications will also be accepted by email or by post using the Police Scotland Notification Form. This should be emailed to OSDAbnormalLoadsScotland@scotland.pnn.police.uk or posted to the Abnormal Loads Team at Police Scotland, Detroit Road, Glenrothes, KY6 2RJ, Tel No. 01592 418859. All completed notification forms must be legible or they will be rejected and returned.

Charges for Police Escorts

If your load requires a police escort the following rules apply:

  • Hauliers will be charged for the movements if they exceed one hour. This time is calculated from the Officers base to the load destination. The base will be defined as ‘the nearest Road Policing Unit base’.
  • There may be a cost incurred by the Haulier if there is a requirement for Police involvement at the planning stage.
  • If the movement, for whatever reason, exceeds one hour the haulier will be charged for a minimum of 5.5 hours per officer.
  • Should a haulier cancel a planned cost recovery movement with less than eight days notice (not including date of movement), all planning time and a minimum of 5.5 hours for each officer originally assigned to undertake the escort will be charged in full.
  • If an escort is likely to take one hour or less to complete but the Haulier wishes to specify a time for the movement, they may opt to pay for the movement to ensure that there are officers available at the required time. The rate for this will be as above.
  • The sum payable by hauliers will be calculated in accordance with the appropriate hourly rates fixed by the SPA in respect of all officers (and members of police staff) engaged in the planning or escorting of an abnormal load movement. These rates are reviewed annually and any changes effective from 1 September. The rates applicable can be found in the Statement for Provision of Police Services.
    • Before any Police resources are committed to planning or undertaking the escort of an abnormal load, the haulier must first sign and return a Provision of Abnormal Loads - Minute of Agreement. This agreement will remain in force until such times as either the SPA or the haulier gives notice of the termination of the agreement. If a haulier refuses to sign or terminates the Minute of Agreement, police escorts may not be provided.
    • The haulier must settle invoices rendered by the SPA within 30 days. In the event that payment is not received on time interest may be charged. If a haulier regularly fails to settle invoices on time, hauliers may be asked to pay estimated costs in advance for future escorts.

    Haulier Dispensation

    The Abnormal Loads Team may issue a Quarterly Dispensation to Hauliers to move vehicles up to 4.1m wide without prior notification. The granting of a Dispensation has the potential to significantly reduce the number of notifications Hauliers will have to submit. Any Dispensation granted will not take account of any roadworks commencing during this quarter or ongoing at the point of issue and Hauliers will still be expected to check their route.

    • A Dispensation will only be granted for a specific vehicle(s), up to specific measurements, against a specific route
    • Quarterly Dispensations will not be registered on ESDAL.
    • Quarterly Dispensations will only be issued on a 3-month basis and must be requested on the appropriate Quarterly Dispensation Application.
    • Sub-contractors cannot use another Haulier’s Quarterly Dispensation; they must apply for their own.
    • The Haulier must continue to give the required notifications for any movement falling outside the terms of the Quarterly Dispensation.
    • Hauliers must re-apply for a continuation of Dispensation at least 2 weeks prior to the end date of the existing Dispensation.

    Agricultural Vehicles

    Dimensions and Notifications
    The Abnormal Loads Team, Detroit Road, Glenrothes KY6 2RJ, must be notified of all agricultural vehicles that exceed the following: 
    • Width: 3.0m and
    • Distance: travelling 5 miles or more and/or
    • Speed: there is a speed limit of 40 mph or less on any road on which the vehicle is to be used or, 
    • Projection: Exceeding 4.0m (front or rear). 
    The width to be taken into consideration is the overall width of the vehicle, including any lateral projection or projections of a load carried on it.
    It is specified within STGO 2003 that the movement of a special type agricultural vehicle within the above categories must notify each Police Force through whose area they are proposing to travel. Two working days is required to process such notifications. When determining what constitutes two working days, the following applies:-
    • The date the notification is received is NOT counted.
    • The date of the movement is NOT counted.
    • Sunday and Public Holidays are NOT counted.

    Agricultural Dispensation

    The Abnormal Loads Team may issue an Agricultural Dispensation to move Part 3 (agricultural) vehicles with dimensions up to 4.1m wide without prior notification.

    • An Agricultural Dispensation will only be valid for the use of vehicles within a 20 mile radius of the operating base and only for the Police Scotland area of responsibility.
    • An attendant must accompany all vehicles exceeding 3.5m wide.
    • Agricultural Dispensations will not be registered on ESDAL.
    • Agricultural Dispensations are issued on a 12-month basis must be requested on the appropriate Application for Agricultural Vehicles Dispensation.
    • A Dispensation can be revoked if it is not being used for the specified purpose, or if the operator fails to comply with the regulations.
    • Sub-contractors cannot use another operator’s Agricultural Dispensation; they must apply for their own.
    • The operator must continue to give the required notifications for any movement falling outside the terms of the Agricultural Dispensation.
    • The operator must re-apply for a continuation of the Agricultural Dispensation at least 2 weeks prior to the end date of the existing Dispensation.

    Attendants

    Schedule 6 (Attendants) of the STGO states “(1)(d) to give warning to the driver of the vehicle or vehicle-combination, and to any other person, of any danger likely to be caused to such other person by reason of the presence on the road of the vehicle or vehicle-combination.” Further “3(1) states “In a case where a journey is made by a vehicle ("vehicle A") and an attendant employed to accompany A travels in another vehicle ("vehicle B"), the attendant is to be treated as employed in accordance with this Schedule only if (a) arrangements are made with a view to ensuring that, as far as is reasonably practicable, the attendant can see vehicle A at all times during the journey; and (b) a direct radio voice link is in operation at all times between vehicle A and vehicle B.”

    The Attendants must be, a far as possible, able to see the escorted vehicle at all times.

    Helpful Links:

    http://www.transport.gov.scot/
    https://www.forthroadbridge.org/
    https://esdal.dft.gov.uk/

    Helpful Telephone Numbers: 

    Police Scotland Abnormal Loads Team - 01592 418859

    Esdal Helpdesk - 01642 049830

    Abnormal Loads Flowchart (below)

    Abnormal loads flowchart