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With some exceptions, in the UK, the maximum vehicle weight is 44 tonnes gross (truck, fuel and cargo) and has up to six sets of axles. The majority of foreign vehicles entering the UK have two axles on the tractor and three on the trailer, which limits them to a weight of 40 tonnes both here and in their respective home state. The maximum individual trailer length is 12 metres, articulated truck and trailer length is 16.5 metres and road trains are allowed up to 18.75 metres. The maximum width for all is 2.55 metres. A notice is required that must be displayed in the cab if a vehicle has an overall height of 3 metres or above, showing its full height.
The common vehicles used to transport goods by road are Articulated Lorries (Artics). They consist of a tractor unit with a turn table device which can be linked to a trailer. An Artics type of trailer varies from:
|Flatbed Trailer - Used for a range of cargo
(goods have to be protected from
the weather elements and theft)
|Tilt Trailer – Similar to a flatbed trailer (with a removable PVC canopy)|
|Curtain-Sider - The common practice for road haulage,
this unit has a rigid roof and rear doors while the sides
are PVC curtains that can be drawn back for more
|Box Trailer – A completely rigid and inflexible unit, with loading through the back doors only. A safe alternative for valuable products|
|Road Train – A rigid vehicle at the front, which pulls a trailer behind it.|
|Swap Body System – Specialises in accommodating cargo containers. This allows the container to be swiftly transferred during intermodal transport|
|Low-Loaders - Mainly used for transporting heavy machinery and oversized (out of gauge) items. The unit is set low to the ground for more accessible loading|
Small vans are often used to transport smaller items of cargo over shorter distances and sometimes longer distances. The drivers are responsible for the security of goods and compliance with weight and similar restrictions while the goods are being transported.
The seller and/or load point are responsible for providing safe and suitable protective covering and strapping of the cargo within or on the unit. This protects and stabilises the goods and also prevents any damage caused to the unit while the cargo is being loaded and also while in transit.
Please note that it is the responsibility of the load point to load any items of cargo into or onto the designated unit of transportation. The driver is not insured or allowed to arrange or assist with any aspect of loading whatsoever. The same principal applies for the discharge of cargo at end destination.
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