60 second law update: weights and dimensions and container weights


An update to EU weights and dimensions rules next month will mean trucks that run on alternative fuels or carry equipment designed to cut emissions will be allowed to run up to 45-tonne GVW.

When EU directive 2015/719 comes into force on 7 May, vehicles will be able to run at up to an additional tonne to accommodate the weight of the equipment. They will be able to operate at an increased length to compensate for fuel-saving equipment such as aerodynamic flaps, although devices exceeding 500mm in length will need to be type-approved.

Payload, however, will stay the same and the extra tonne will apply only to the weight of the emissions-reducing equipment.

Container weights

The directive will also introduce the requirement for shippers that provide hauliers with goods loaded in containers and swap bodies to declare that their cargo complies with weight restrictions. They will need to provide a statement that confirms the weight of the loaded container or swap body unit, together with the weight of the truck and chassis, will not exceed legal limits.

DP World Southampton’s head of commercial, Aart Hille Ris Lambers, said the regulation will place some of the onus of compliance on shippers that use trucks to deliver their freight to ports.

He said: “The regulation will stop hauliers being put in a position that sees them break legal road limits, often without being aware of it.

“This can be serious for hauliers – they can have their O-licences taken away, and although it is not a major problem in the UK, there are some unscrupulous firms.”

The change follows amendments to the Safety of Life at Sea (Solas) Convention last year, which introduced the requirement for export containers to have a verified gross mass before they are loaded onto ships.