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Information sheet GOODS VEHICLES: Weights and Dimensions The maximum dimensions for Goods Vehicles are set out in Regulations 7, 8 and 9 of the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 (C&U), as amended. The maximum weights for goods vehicles are set out in Regulations 75 to 80 of C&U and The Road Vehicles (Authorised Weight) Regulations 1998 (AW), as amended.

1. The Road Vehicle (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986. These Regulations are not available on the internet and have been amended many times which makes it difficult to piece together the latest form of the Regulations. However these Regulations are available in a consolidated format in most city reference libraries, or from legal publishers. One example is 'Sweet and Maxwell' who publish the “The Encyclopaedia of Road Traffic Law and Practice”. This publication is continually updated and Volume 4 contains a full version of the above-mentioned regulations in consolidated format. Other possible suppliers include InterRegs, who charge around £160 for a fully consolidated version of the Construction and Use Regulations. This can be obtained at: Alternatively, it is possible to purchase printed copies of the Statutory Instruments that comprise the Regulations from the TSO at the following address: The Stationery Office TSO Orders/Post Cash Dept PO Box 29 Norwich NR3 1GN Tel: 0870 600 5522 Fax: 0870 600 5533 e-mail: Online ordering: Customer service:

2. The Road Vehicles (Authorised Weight) Regulations 1998. These regulations are available from the sources listed above for the Construction and Use Regulations and, additionally, the Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI) website at: These regulations have been amended by: a) The Road Vehicles (Authorised weight) (Amendment) Regulations 2000 Statutory Instrument 2000 No. 3224 b) The Road Vehicles (Authorised weight) (Amendment) Regulations 2001 Statutory Instrument 2001 No. 1125

3. Additional information Alternatively, an overview of GB maximum weights and dimensions can be found in appendix 4 of the Transport Energy Best Practice publication ‘Truck specification for best operational efficiency’ which has been produced for the Department for Transport. This can be found at:

4. Oversized vehicles / loads In addition to the regulations above, oversize vehicles may be permitted for certain restricted operations by Orders made under section 44 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 – for example, special oversize vehicles used for the movement of certain abnormal indivisible loads. Information on Section 44 Orders can be found at: ion44658

5. Plating and Testing A ‘Ministry Plate’ and ‘Plating certificate’ is issued by VOSA to goods vehicles above 3500kg Gross Weight and denotes the potential maximum legal weight of that vehicle in GB. It is normally carried in the cab of heavy goods vehicles or attached to the trailer chassis in the case of heavy trailers. Goods vehicles are also subject to annual roadworthiness Testing. Please contact the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) for further information on either ‘plating’ or ‘testing’ or alternatively, refer to the VOSA website at:

6. Overloading Vehicles that are overloaded can pose a danger to the driver, passengers or other road users and cause excessive road wear. If a vehicles’ gross or axle weight limits are found to have been exceeded when weighed by either VOSA, the police or trading standards officers, the company and/or driver risk prosecution. In addition to this, an overloading conviction is one of the factors that could lead to a Traffic Commissioner taking disciplinary action against the operator’s licence. For further information on overloading please refer to the VOSA website at:

7. Important information about this Information Sheet The views expressed in this Information Sheet are based on the Department’s current understanding of what the law means and are not definitive. If you are in any doubt about your legal obligations, you should take independent legal advice as this Information Sheet is not a substitute for such independent legal advice.

8. Further Information This information sheet was last updated in April 2009. If you have any enquiries regarding the contents, please contact the DfT at the address below: Commercial Vehicles and Regulation Transport Technology and Standards Division Department for Transport Zone 2/01 Great Minster House 76 Marsham Street London SW1P 4DR Email:


Alternatively, it is possible to purchase printed copies of the Statutory Instruments that comprise the Regulations from the TSO at the foll...

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