What Is Special Transport?

Special transportation plays an important role in the logistics industry and even in the development of the entire economy. Because without this service, large equipment and supplies cannot be transported safely or legally.

Before transporting oversized cargo, it is important to understand the transportation of the heavy hauls carry, the type of heavy haulers, and your local regulations.

What is special transport?

Each country has legal regulations regarding the size of cargo, and when cargos exceeding this limit are transported, it will be referred to as a special shipment, and sometimes referred to as heavy and oversized transportation. In North America, special shipments are also referred to as overweight loads, and cargos are referred to as abnormal loads.

Abnormal loads are usually: construction machines, pre-built homes, generators, windmill propellers, etc.

special transport

Regulations for abnormal loads in different countries:


  • Weight: more than 44 tons; or more than 11.5 tons for a single drive shaft and more than 10 tons for a single non-drive shaft
  • Width: more than 2.9M
  • Rigid length: more than 18.65M

And the UK requires that special transports must notify the police, road authorities, and owners of any bridges and structures on-route.


  • Width: Over 8 feet 6 inches
  • Height: Over 13 feet 6 inches
  • Length: Over 53 feet
  • Weight: Over 80,000 lbs.

In the US, a driver with an oversized load must purchase a license for each state he/she will pass through. And in most states, only goods that are considered “indivisible” are eligible for licensing (such as windmill spirals).

New Zealand:

  • Width: Over 2.55M (8ft 4in)
  • Height: Over 4.3M (14ft 1in)

New Zealand also requires the load to be inseparable. When the length of the cargo is under 25M, the height is less than 5M, and the width is suitable, no permit is required. But the driver must follow certain rules about driving, travel time, and obstacles.

Types of heavy trailers

  • Extendable flatbed trailer: transporting long loads such as pipes, wood, etc.
  • Extendable double drop deck trailers: extra-tall cargo beyond the legal height
  • Removable gooseneck (RGN) Trailer: Provides easier loading and unloading, and can be used for cranes and other driven cargos
  • Step deck trailer: also used to transport cargo exceeding the legal height, but only one deck
  • Axle configuration: some semi-trailers have 13 axles, which can bear heavier weight.

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