The exceptional transport is a kind of transport for loads which exceed the dimension or the weight ruled by the Rules of the road.
Oversize loads regulation in Italy
The oversize loads regulation in Italy is ruled by article 10 of the Rules of the road and it distinguishes the “abnormal vehicles” from the “exceptional transports”.
- The “oversize vehicles” are the ones over the dimension and weight sizes, defined in the articles 61 and 62 of the code.
- The “exceptional transports” includes indivisible loads over the limits, which protrude out the transport vehicle at least for 3/10 (for single permits) or 4/10 (for periodical permits) of its length. It includes also the transport of agricultural products such as livestock, agriculture machinery or working machinery but the safety of the load has not to be compromised.
The most common types of exceptional transport include: silos, tanks, furnaces, metal sheets, stone blocks, industrial materials, turbines and windmill blades, boats, industrial machinery etc.
Oversize load maximum size in Italy
A load can be defined exceptional when it exceeds the shape sizes for:
16,5 meters for car or tractor with trailer of semi-trailer
18,75 meters for semi-trailer truck
2,60 meters for temperature-controlled transports
18 - 20 tons for isolated two-axle vehicle
24 - 44 tons for articulated trucks with 3 to 5 or more axles
If the exceeded parameter is the load, the exceptional vehicles are called work vehicles. These are vehicles or complex of vehicles employed on road or off road to transport building, forestry, mining, steel, or waste cycle material.
The working vehicles, together with the following permits, need for additional duties for the adaptation of the infrastructures and for an additional toll in case they circulate on the highway.
Oversize load permits
The vehicle or load which exceed the limits above requires:
- a careful planning of the route
- hourly traffic restrictions
- specific authorizations specifying the data of the trailer and the tractor
- a technical escort of qualified staff suitable to control and manage special transports.
In case of heights or widths exceeding the ones defined by the Rules of the road, the transport has to be carefully planned in order to avoid transit difficulties (low tunnels and bridges or narrow carriageways) and traffic limitations.
The movement of exceptional transports can be bound by hourly restrictions in order to avoid circulation inconveniences, especially in holidays and pre-holidays.
In many national or regional roads, the exceptional transports circulation is interrupted on Saturday from 12 p.m. or on any pre-holiday, until the next Sunday or day after the pre-holiday.
Hourly restrictions on motorways are usually applied on Sundays from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
In some cases, when the dimension of the load is significant, the circulation is admitted only at night, especially in the congested areas or in city centers.
In case of exceptional transport, traffic authorizations must be requested 15 days in advance to the vehicle owner company or to the concession bodies of provincial and national roads or highways. Structural conditions may considerably extend the wait, sometimes impeding the issue of the authorizations.
The permit must be kept inside the vehicle during the entire duration of the transport.
The authorization may impose a planned route or a list of accessible roads.
There are different kind of permits for special transports:
- single permits issued from time to time for a single trip, valid only for one month
- multiple permits refers to a limited and predetermined number of transportations, valid for less than three months
- periodic permits include an unlimited number of exceptional transportations and last up to six months (or one year in case of exceptional transports with load protruding the back of the vehicle for 4/10 or less of its length).
Some oversize load transports do not need an authorization, such as:
car carrier trailer under 4.20 m height which do not exceed the 12% of the length limits imposed by article 61 of the Rules of the road,
road container only if the container truck does not exceed the 4.30m height and 12% length and it respects the limits imposed by article 62,
vehicles with bodywork of variable height for the transport of livestock, hay bales, straw bales, working and agricultural machinery under 4.30 m height,
working machinery not exceeding the weight and dimensions set by art.61 in routes without roads with limitations, only if the route is on roads passable by such vehicles in compliance with the articles of the Rules of the road.
The technical escort for exceptional transports
Most of the special transports with exceptional load require a technical escort of expert and qualified staff.
Such a road safety service guarantees a proper circulation and avoids risks and dangers to the regular road users.
The escort for exceptional transports is mandatory in the following cases:
- lane less than 3m wide when the vehicle or the load is abnormal only for its length or only for its height
- lane less than 3.5m wide when the transport is abnormal only for its length (bulky vehicles)
- vehicle or transport more than 3m wide (3.2m for snowplow and railroad-cars)
- vehicle or transport longer than 25m
- transport incumbrance greater that the width of the lane reduced by 20 cm
- load protruding the front of the vehicle more than 2.50m or the back more than 4/10 of the vehicle length,
- speed of the vehicle lower than 30 km/h (40 km/h on motorways or main suburban roads).
The technical escort is required:
- on three-lane roads or roads sections of type A and type B (regional and national ones) for exceptional vehicles or transports up to 4.2m wide and 35m long;
- on two-lane roads of type A and type B, for exceptional vehicles or transports up to 3.8m wide and 30m long;
- on roads or roads sections of type C and type D (provincial or municipal ones), for exceptional vehicles or transports up to 3,6m wide and 28m long if the road has one or more lanes per direction, up to 3.3m wide and 27m long if the road has only one lane per direction.
For all the kinds of special transport which exceed the limits for the technical escort, a traffic police escort is required.
Your oversize load transport with Ansali
Contact the experts of Ansali to obtain information and support about special transports and exceptional loads.
Our experience will be at your disposal to protect you and ensure you the best service to handle your special transports totally safely and in compliance with the legislation.