Know the height of your HGV, warns FTA

The FTA has reminded hauliers that drivers must always know the height of their load after an HGV carrying a digger collided with a footbridge over the M20 at the weekend.

The motorway was closed for more than 24 hours after the digger hit a bridge on the London-bound carriageway between junctions 4 and 3 on Saturday. Part of the bridge fell on to a second truck and a motorcyclist was taken to hospital.

Es Shepherd, head of member advice at the FTA, said operators should ensure facilities to measure the height of their load are available to drivers and ensure the height notice in the cab is adjusted accordingly. Operators should also plan routes to avoid low bridges.

“Drivers must always know the height of their vehicle and load. The height could easily change depending on what load is being carried,” he said, adding that the height could change if the driver is picking up multiple loads over the course of their shift.

Although there is no height limit on UK roads, bridges should be marked if they are less than 5.06m in height. However, there are exceptions. “There is one on the M5 that is 5.06m-high across the carriageway, but is lower over the hard shoulder,” said Shepherd.

A spokeswoman for Kent Police, which is investigating the incident, declined to comment.

Officers from Kent Police’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit are appealing for witnesses to call 01622 798 538 quoting reference 27-0690, or email [email protected]

Image: Press Association

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