Oversized Loads And Similiar Situations

We see them on the road a lot and that may be the reason some drivers get complacent. I’m talking about OVERSIZE LOADS. The legal maximum width of a vehicle is two and a half metre. Anything over this must operate under a permit.

The purpose of pilot vehicles in front and at the rear of these loads is to warn other drivers about the approaching oversize load. Pilot vehicles and the oversize loads will have orange beacon lights flashing at all times.

When you see a pilot vehicle with purple and orange beacon lights flashing, this means that there is a VERY BIG load coming your way and you would be directed to pull over and wait for it to pass. These loads will usually take up the whole road width and when the operators notice a backup of traffic behind the load they may stop on the centre of a passing lane to allow traffic to clear.

Bear in mind that due to the dimensions, weight and balance of these loads, they are limited to where they can stop or operate. It is also a challenge to get these large units to stop in a hurry so please do not put the driver in that position.

In many cases these loads are transported at night when it have less impact on traffic flow.

Approaching drivers should take extra care and be prepared to give the load space by moving as far left as possible. If you are unsure what to do, just pull over safely and wait for the load to pass.

I have done many oversize load escorts in my life and after being on the road away from your family for days, it gets on your nerves when drivers do not follow directions.

The drivers of these oversize units are in radio contact with the drivers of the pilot vehicles. So when the driver of the pilot - or oversize vehicle waves you to pass, you can rest assure it will be safe to do so with care not to drive too close to the unit.

Safer Journeys

Daniel Naudé

Road Safety Coordinator