How Do Transport Companies Plan Routes For Abnormal Loads?

How Do Transport Companies Plan Routes For Abnormal Loads?

Every day, transport and logistics companies are seeking ways to improve the efficiency of their routes and schedules, especially with the rising fuel costs.

Whilst it’s crucial that hauliers have a fleet of specialist vehicles at their disposal – ready to be dispatched at a moment’s notice – they also need to determine a suitable hauling method for oversized (abnormal) loads.

Taking the time to plan and execute the logistics for abnormal load transport will ensure goods reach their end destination safely and on time. However, there are a few factors that need to be considered when it comes to route planning.

Let’s take a closer look at these.


What type of load needs moving?

To identify the best truck for the job, haulage companies need to assess the shape, size and weight of the load that needs moving.

Armed with the basics, they can then decide on a suitable route to take – making sure there are no obstructions (i.e. low bridges, narrow streets, parked cars, etc.) along the way. This will ultimately ensure the safety of your cargo, the driver, other road users and pedestrians.


When does the load need to be moved?

Whether you need to transport goods within the UK or to destinations overseas, it’s a sensible idea to consider the time of year.

For example, if you need to move machinery in December – ready for the new year – bear in mind that the roads will be much busier as people travel home to spend the festivities with their loved ones.

Similarly, when transporting an abnormal load in adverse weather conditions, hauliers are likely to drive slower and take more frequent breaks, especially when making long journeys. Taking additional precautions, as such, is likely to increase the time it takes for goods to arrive, but the risk of accidents and injuries will be significantly less.


Is a vehicle escort required?

Depending on the type of load you need to move, you may need to notify the police, highway authorities and bridge and structure owners.

Although a vehicle escort is not compulsory for abnormal load transport, when planning the route and executing the logistics, your chosen haulage company may recommend using an escort service.

Escort vehicles can either ride ahead to ensure the route is safe for the long or wide vehicle, or behind to help control passing traffic. Either way, they will alert other road users to the presence of an abnormally large load.


Make JB Rawcliffe your first choice today

Whether you need to move heavy, industrial machinery or portacabins that are too wide to fit on a conventional lorry, JB Rawcliffe can handle it all!

We have specialised in abnormal load transport for many years and guarantee a professional solution for all clients. We use only the most reliable vehicles to transport unusually large loads across the country and beyond.

Our team will always conduct a route survey to ensure it’s safe for your goods to be transported. And when planning the route for abnormal loads, we can arrange a private escort service, if necessary.

To find out more about the services we provide and what’s involved in route planning, give us a call on 01695 737 880.

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The Benefits Of Using A Vehicle Escort Service For Abnormal Load Transport

The Benefits Of Using A Vehicle Escort Service For Abnormal Load Transport

Do you need to transport an abnormal load?

Whether it be a train carriage to a railway station, a new aircraft to the airport or an industrial machine to a factory, the team at JB Rawcliffe & Sons can help.

As a leading transport company in the UK, we will make sure that your load reaches its end destination safely and on time.

But the question is, do you need to take advantage of a vehicle escort service?

Let’s take a closer look at the importance of escort vehicles for abnormal load transport and their benefits.


What is an escort vehicle?

An escort vehicle often rides ahead of the vehicle transporting the load to check the route is suitable. However, in some cases, it may drive behind to control passing traffic – ensuring they give a wide berth when overtaking.

The purpose of a vehicle escort is twofold. It alerts road users to the presence of an abnormally large load so they can adjust their speed accordingly – reducing the risk of accidents – and allows the driver to navigate the route in the safest way possible.

Most escort vehicles are equipped with flashing beacons and they can drive for help or raise the alarm in an emergency.


Is a vehicle escort strictly necessary?

Abnormal loads don’t always need to be escorted. However, depending on the load you’re transporting and the route it will take, the police force and local authorities may suggest otherwise.

Arranging a private escort for your abnormal load will help to keep your goods that little bit safer, which is especially ideal if they need to be transported on busy motorways or areas with restrictions such as overhead cables, low bridges, narrow streets or parked cars.


3 reasons to use an escort for abnormal load transport


  1. Alert other road users – sometimes, it’s not always obvious that a vehicle is carrying an abnormal load. For example, it may hang slightly over into the second lane on the motorway or be slow-moving.


Without an escort, passing motorists can easily misjudge the space available and collide with it, causing damage to the load itself and/or the vehicle transporting it – not to mention damage to their own vehicle.


  1. An extra pair of eyes and hands – whether it be to identify potential challenges along the way, seek help in an emergency or stay with the load until assistance arrives, having a trained and experienced person close behind or just ahead can be a real boon.


When the load arrives at its destination, it’s also helpful to have an extra pair of hands to help with loading and unloading the goods – especially if they’re fragile or difficult to handle.


  1. Seek approval faster – often, the police and authorities will look favourably on your route if you take advantage of a vehicle escort service. This is because you reduce the risk of accidents and injuries by making sure the route is carefully planned out – factoring in any potential challenges or obstacles on the way.


Arranging for your abnormal load to be escorted will give you the peace of mind that it will reach its destination safely and efficiently too.


Contact JB Rawcliffe & Sons to find out more about abnormal loads

Here at JB Rawcliffe, our team are experts in abnormal load transport and will ensure that every aspect is taken care of properly.

We will work closely with you to establish the most suitable haulage solution for your needs – taking into account the goods you need to transport and your timescale.

To discuss your requirements in more detail with the team, and reap the benefit of a private vehicle escort service for abnormal load transport, give us a call on 01695 737 880 or email

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What Is The Difference Between Haulage And Freight?

What Is The Difference Between Haulage And Freight?

‘Haulage’ and ‘freight’ are often used interchangeably in the transport industry.

Whilst they both have something to do with transporting goods from one area to another – and are essential to the economy and society – they are not the same.

Here the heavy haulage experts at JB Rawcliffe & Sons take a closer look at the meaning of the two terms and outline the key differences between them.


What is haulage?

Haulage in the UK is the process of transporting items via road and rail, using trucks, vans, lorries, buses and trains.

Haulage services are typically employed by businesses to transfer goods from the production centre to a consumer or distributor. It could be anything from industrial machines and equipment to furniture, food, oil, and other supplies.

There are nine common types of haulage in the industry that are vital for keeping things moving. These include:

  • Abnormal load haulage – used to transport unusually long, wide or high loads, such as wind turbines, bridge sections and cranes.


  • Fragile load haulage – used to transport delicate and perishable items, such as glass and screens.


  • General haulage – used to transport various goods for retail, healthcare, agriculture, construction and more.


  • Hazardous haulage – used to move hazardous substances such as gas, chemicals and explosives.


  • Heavy haulage – used to transport large or heavy loads safely without the expense of using multiple smaller vehicles.


  • Plant haulage – used to transport plant machinery and vehicles, such as cranes, trucks and diggers.


  • Parcel delivery haulage – used to move parcels and packages in bulk for major retailers, including (but not limited to) Amazon.


  • Vehicle haulage – used to carry vehicles from one place to another (i.e. from a manufacturer to the showroom).


  • Waste disposal haulage – used to dispose of waste and recyclable materials, including solid and liquid waste items.


What is freight?

Freight is where cargo and commodities are transported by land, sea and air, using trucks, trains, aircraft and boats. It’s usually associated with the bulk transportation of goods overseas.

Large companies use freight transport to forward goods over long distances – either to be processed, sorted or consumed.

There are three main types of freight transport, including:

  • Air freight
  • Sea freight
  • Inland freight

Air freight delivery is the transfer and shipment of goods via an air carrier, travelling out of aviation gateways to virtually anywhere planes can fly or land.

The process of transporting large quantities of products via cargo ships is known as sea freight. Goods are loaded onto the vessel and sailed to their destination country.

Inland freight (or road freight) refers to the transportation of goods over land using motor vehicles. In some cases, road freight is the only way of transport in/to rural areas where other modes of transport are unavailable.


How do haulage and freight differ?

As we’ve already discovered, freight and haulage are very similar – but there are a few subtle differences between them.

Haulage uses roads and railways to deliver consignments, whilst freight uses road, rail, ships and aircraft.

Unlike freight where goods are transported over greater distances, across country borders and overseas, haulage generally refers to the national movement of cargo (in other words, it doesn’t leave the UK).


Want to know more?

If you have any questions about haulage and freight, or you’d like to take advantage of our professional haulage services, don’t hesitate to get in touch with JB Rawcliffe today.

As a leading transport company in the UK, we have vast experience when it comes to heavy haulage, airport cargo handling and boat port cargo handling. We ensure that all consignments reach their end destination safely and efficiently, whether it be here in the UK or overseas.

To find out more, give us a call on 01695 737 880 or drop us an email at

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Why Are HIAB Cranes Used?

Why Are HIAB Cranes Used?

Need to lift heavy objects or large pieces of apparatus? Looking for a quick and efficient haulage solution?

When it comes to transporting items around a building site, propping up taller structures and moving materials long distances, you can’t go wrong with a HIAB crane.

Here we take a look at what HIAB cranes are, what they’re used for and the advantages of using these machines.


What is a HIAB crane?

HIABs, also known as lorry mounted cranes or lorry loaders in the haulage industry, are large trucks that are specifically designed to lift and transport goods.

‘HIAB’ is short for Hydrauliska Industri AB, a Swedish company that started manufacturing hydraulic cranes back in the mid-1940s. Today, the company still owns a wide range of loader cranes that are commonly used on construction sites and for various other projects.

A HIAB is made up of a truck and hydraulic crane combined, making the process of loading and unloading cargo more efficient than ever before. The truck’s engine powers the hydraulics of the crane, ensuring that materials are transferred smoothly without the need for additional equipment. And thanks to the lorry loader’s extendable arm, it can reach areas that would otherwise be inaccessible.


When are HIABs used?

Lorry mounted cranes are powerful yet versatile machines that can handle different sized loads. Anything from cargo shipping containers to cumbersome materials for projects (e.g. stacks of bricks, bags of sand and timber frames).

HIAB cranes are also useful for lifting and transporting freight, including abnormal loads such as heavy machinery, portacabins, boats, trains, aircraft, etc.

Thanks to their excellent adaptability, lorry loaders can benefit many different industries, including (but not limited to) construction, agriculture, infrastructure, energy and landscaping.


Benefits of hiring a HIAB crane


  • Ease of use

Whether you need to transport freight or load and unload cargo at ports, factories or warehouses, HIAB cranes are guaranteed to simplify the process for you.

They come with all the necessary equipment to lift and move goods – regardless of their size, shape and weight. Unlike conventional cranes, they can be easily moved and allow you to transport and deliver cargo quickly and safely without the need for a mobile crane, which also helps to save you money.


  • Manoeuvrability

A lorry mounted crane is extremely manoeuvrable. It can transfer large, bulky objects in small or tight spaces on your site, including those harder to reach areas.

HIABs are also more compact than other machines, which makes them perfect for urbanised locations (i.e. city centres with high-rise buildings, narrow streets and parking restrictions). Most can rotate 180°, but some are able to rotate fully, allowing you to load and unload both sides of the vehicle.


  • Versatility

What makes HIAB cranes stand out in the haulage industry is how versatile and hard-working they are.

These powerful machines can be used as a crane to move things from A to B and support larger structures, as well as transport items from one site to another and load and unload cargo. They’re multi-purpose.


  • Efficiency

One of the biggest benefits of hiring a lorry loader is that it’s more cost-effective than buying one outright and having to find somewhere to store it.

When compared to other types of cranes, the HIAB can save time and money, as the site doesn’t need to be prepared before its arrival. Plus, you needn’t coordinate with a crane firm, allowing for quick turnaround times and smoother deliveries.


Why use JB Rawcliffe’s HIAB crane hire service?

Here at JB Rawcliffe, we have more than 45 years’ experience when it comes to HIAB crane hire and operate an extensive fleet throughout the UK.

Confident that we can offer a suitable solution for your project, our team will draw on their knowledge and expertise to determine the best lorry mounted crane. We can also provide Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS) certified staff along with the machinery if required.

At JB Rawcliffe, we follow stringent safety measures and ensure that our systems are regularly inspected and serviced in-between rentals, giving you peace of mind that they are safe and reliable to use.


Get in touch

Want to know more about HIAB crane hire? Perhaps you’ve got a question about HIAB cranes in general? Or maybe you’d like to discuss your requirements with a member of the team?

Our specialists are always on hand to help and would love to hear from you.

Either give us a call on 01695 737 880 or drop us an email at, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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