Norms and safety rules for oversized transport

One of the most complex types of road freight transport, both from the perspective of the organization and of the transportation itself, is oversized transport. Because it is a special transport, in the following, we will discuss the conditions that an oversized transport must comply with, so that it can be carried out safely and by the legislation in force.

1. What you need to know about oversized transport

Oversized transportation is regulated by special rules that relate to the conditions of road operation, the maximum allowable dimensions and permitted weight, the maximum allowable axle load, and various characteristics that the vehicle must comply with when transporting.

1.1. Legal limits for oversized transport (width, height, length, weight)

What does oversize mean? Exceeding the dimensions of the car occurs in situations where the vehicle, due to the cargo carried or due to the features of its design, exceeds:

Total weight

What does it mean to be over the weight limit? When the weight limit has been exceeded, it means that the maximum allowed total weight limits have been exceeded or the weight on the axles has been exceeded, taking into account the category of the road on which it is intended to be driven and the configuration scheme of the axles.

Maximum allowed dimensions in length, width or height

Exceeding the maximum permitted dimensions refers to exceeding one of the maximum permitted limits for length, width, and height, taking into account the type of vehicle or combination of vehicles.

Before analyzing the types of oversized transport, it is necessary to understand what are the legal limits according to the regulations in force.

Thus, the normal size, depending on the type of truck, implies the following restrictions:

  • Road train (truck with trailer/tandem)
    • Maximum allowed weight – 40 tons; the total weight of transported cargo is 22,5 – 23,5 tons
    • Length – 18,75 m (maximum length of the cargo compartment 15,4 m)
    • Width – 2,55 m (tarpaulin truck body) – 2,6 m (isothermal truck body)
    • Height – 4 m; maximum height of transported cargo 2,65 – 3 m
  • Articulated vehicle (truck with semi-trailer 13,6)
    • Maximum allowed weight – 40 tons; the total weight of transported cargo is 24 tons
    • Length – 16,5 m (maximum trailer length 13,6)
    • Width – 2,55 m (tarpaulin truck body) – 2,6 m (isothermal truck body)
    • Height – 4 m; maximum height of transported cargo 2,65 – 3 m

If these dimensions are exceeded, the transport will fall into the category of oversized transport. Under current law, oversized shipments can only be carried out with a Special Transportation Permit (STP), a document that we will discuss below.

Depending on the excess weight and/or maximum permissible dimensions, the vehicle must be escorted:

1. An escort vehicle, if:

  • The width is greater than 3,2 m but less than or equal to 4,5 m;
  • The length is greater than 25 m but less than or equal to 30 m;
  • The height exceeds 4,5 m;
  • The total weight exceeds 80 tons.

2. Two escort vehicles (one in front and one behind), if:

  • The width exceeds 4,5 m;
  • The length exceeds 30,0 m.

3. A traffic police crew, if:

  • The width exceeds 5,0 m;
  • The length exceeds 40,0 m;
  • The height exceeds 5,0 m;
  • The total weight exceeds 80 tons.

1.2. Factors that may affect the transportation schedule

An oversized transport can only be carried out on weekdays, but not on weekends or holidays, from 06:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Some exceptions can be allowed only based on documents issued by special authorities (Ministry of Transport, Ministry of  Interior, or the administration of the road on which transportation is supposed to be carried out).

2. What conditions must be met to transport oversized cargo

2.1. Obtaining the authorization

An Oversized Cargo Certificate or Special Transport Permit (STP) is required for oversized shipments. With the help of this document, the road administration will establish the route and the fares charged for the passage of this route. This document will only be valid for registration numbers of vehicles that have the same technical specifications as indicated in the document, the same route, direction, and period and meet all the conditions set by the road administrator.

A Special Permit for Transportation is issued only in the case of transportation by vehicles:

  • Who carries an indivisible load, i.e. cargo that cannot be divided into several parts without additional unjustified costs or without the risk of damage;
  • Unloaded, but which are structurally more than the maximum allowable dimensions and/or weight.

Last but not least, a Special Transport Permit will not be issued in the absence of a transport project. This project will be developed by an authorized individual or legal entity under the conditions established by the general decree of the two aforementioned ministries.

Also, the administration of the road on which the transportation will be carried out may request the development of this transport project and in case of exceeding either the maximum permissible total weight/ maximum permitted dimensions or both, taking into account traffic restrictions, such as the geometric elements of the road.

2.2. Transport tariffs

You should also be aware that all oversized shipments will be subject to additional tolls based on gross weight, axle weights, distance traveled, and vehicle dimensions. This fee is collected by the road administration, which issues a special traffic permit, and will be used to manage, operate, maintain, repair, and upgrade the roads it manages.

Both the provided rates, as well as the exceptions to their payment, are established by public road administrators, but will be approved:

  • In the case of roads of national interest, by order of the Minister of Transport and Infrastructure;
  • In the case of roads of county interest, by decision of the county councils with the approval of the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure;
  • In the case of roads of local interest, by the decision of the local councils with the approval of the county councils;
  • In the case of roads of local interest in Bucharest, by a decision of the General Council of the Municipality of Bucharest.

2.3. Transport conditions

Some projects involve the modification of the road infrastructure for the development of oversized transports in which the maximum permitted weight and/or dimensions are exceeded. The holder of the Special Transport Authorization will be responsible for the consolidation/arrangement of the road infrastructure, the modification of underground/overhead installations, or any other necessary changes.

2.4. Technical conditions

In addition to the conditions and documents above, vehicles used for oversized transport must comply with other safety regulations, such as being equipped with appropriate signaling devices.

In case of movement of vehicles exceeding the maximum allowable dimensions, additional signaling devices must be installed, namely:

  • Warning signs affixed to the rear and cab of the vehicle, in as visible a position as possible, stating “CONVOI EXCEPTIONNEL” or “WARNING OVERSIZE LOAD”;
  • Two flashing beacons are mounted on the vehicle cab. The emitted light must be visible from a distance of at least 100 m from the front, rear and side;
  • Depending on the excess length/width/height, other special warning devices (reflectors, reflective strips, etc.) may be required;
  • Mobile/portable transceivers to maintain communication with certified personnel (if there is an escort vehicle);
  • Other warning signs for emergency parking on the road.

2.5. Professional training

Persons accompanying oversized transports and persons developing projects for oversized shipments must have special professional training and be authorized by the CNADNR.

Drivers who will carry out oversized transportation must also have a professional certificate issued by a vocational training center under the conditions provided for by law.

Compliance with all the safety rules and regulations mentioned above is a must, as non-compliance may affect the safety of road users and may result in various penalties: fines, compensation fees, removal of license plates, administrative sanctions, and/or suspension of the license on this vehicle.

We know that the organization and implementation of oversized transportation require the preparation of a large number of documents. Europa Expeditie offers you assistance and transparency throughout the entire transport. Leave the permits and the entire transport project to us. We will take care of obtaining all approvals for the transport project, and the price will include all services and taxes necessary for the implementation of this type of transport.

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