What is Heavy Haulage? | Regulations, Benefits & Options


If you have ever looked at a construction site and wondered how such huge, specialist equipment and monolithic machinery gets from place to place, the answer is heavy haulage.

Heavy haulage is a crucial sector to the haulage and distributions industry, society relies on heavy haulage to keep the economy moving and enable innovation. Let’s explore this transport option in more detail below. 

Heavy Haulage – What Does it Involve?

Sizeably huge items and machinery – such as cranes and oil tankers – cannot safely reach their destination on their own; instead, such large pieces of machinery and other oversized equipment need to be relocated and transported by the heavy haulage industry.

Specialist heavy haulage service providers will accommodate such integral projects with expert knowledge, specialist equipment and professional care. Referring your work to a specialist in heavy haulage is highly recommended as the transport of such expensive, large equipment and materials require dedicated haulage equipment and staff that are knowledgeable and explain the movement of heavy equipment.

What Falls Under Heavy Haulage?

In short, heavy haulage refers to items and equipment that require specialist vehicles for transportation as they are too large for standard trucks. The terms heavy haulage includes, but is not limited to:

  • large machinery
  • diggers
  • cranes
  • bulldozers
  • farm machinery
  • trailers weighing over 40 tonnes
  • excavators

How Is Heavy Haulage Transported

Heavy haulage requires transportation via heavy haulage trucks that are equipped with low loaders and urban rear steer trailers. The heavy goods are set on the truck bed using cranes or lifts.

What Industries Typically Require Heavy Haulage?

Though any industry may require the services of a heavy haulier, some sectors typically require them more than others. Industries that commonly require the services of a heavy haulage service provider includes construction, agriculture and oil & gas.

Businesses who require a big relocation may, too, wish to use a heavy haulage service provider should they wish to complete the move quicker and at one cost, as opposed to using multiple different logistics companies and/or packages.

The Rules and Regulations for Heavy Haulage Transportation

Heavy haulage vehicles are under a number of rules and regulations. Though you would expect the term heavy haulage to be restricted to that of the physical size of an item, this is not the case. Instead, factors such as set speed limits and weight restrictions are also taken into account.

Most heavy haulage vehicles are classified as Category 2 or 3 and these vehicles have a speed limit of just 40mph on motorways and only 35mph on dual carriageways.

Special permission from the relevant authorities may be required depending on the total weight of the vehicle and items to be transported. 

  • For loads exceeding 78 tonnes, you will need to notify the Highway and Bridge Authorities at least 2 days before you need to transport for item/s. 
  • For those loads that exceed 147 tonnes, you will need to give notice to the Highway and Bridge Authorities at least five days prior to the move, whilst also informing the relevant police services.

Heavy haulage companies have experts who can advise you on such matters relating to the transportation of specialist equipment and machinery.

Heavy Haulage Transport Options

There are various choices available for the safe transport of heavy goods and specialist machinery including HIAB lorries, which feature a hydraulic loading crane. Each HIAB lorry is fully customisable to the task required and comes in a number of shapes and sizes. An industry standard, you will have undoubtedly seen a HIAB lorry, even if you are not familiar with the name.

Why You Need Heavy Haulage Transportation

If your business is within an industry that requires the movement or a large amount of stock or machinery, heavy haulage transportation will be essential to your commercial success and consistency: whether than be delivering perishable goods from your agriculture industry or transporting specialistic pipes to be installed on oiling rigs – heavy haulage will be essential.

It is always helpful to discover what types of goods each heavy haulage company will have the specialities to hand, as they all differ in the tools they use and their staff expertise: some will specialize in automotive and aerospace, whereas others will only assist within the nuclear and oil & gas sectors. It is integral to discover whether a company has the capacity and correct type of equipment to safely move the freight you intend to transport to another location.

Specialist Heavy Haulage With Breakwells

It can be difficult to find the right provider for your heavy haulage needs. Look no further: Breakwells are an industry leader in logistics and transport. Founded in the 1960s, we have developed an exclusive network of transport routes, including the Channel Islands and other hard-to-reach island destinations.

Respected in the haulage industry, we have the capacity to assist with heavy haulage and machinery which is subject to our strict no-transhipment policy: meaning that high-value items are never double-handled during transportation.

With a highly-experienced, professionally trained haulage team, as well as a dedicated account manager allocated to you, we have the tangible know-how to handle the complexities of long-haul logistics.
Contact Breakwells today for any heavy haulage advice and price quotations.

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