Benefits Of Using Vehicle Escort Service For Abnormal Load Transport

Benefits Of Using 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


Benefits Of Using Vehicle Transfer For Abnormal Loads FAQs

Yes, a vehicle escort is provided if required as part of our heavy haulage service, meaning you won’t have to hire an escort vehicle separately.

Our private escorts ensure other road users are alerted to the presence of a slow-moving load, make sure the driver is aware of tight bends and is on hand to call for help in the unlikely case that an accident occurs.

Not all abnormal loads require a vehicle escort to get from A to B safely – we will use the size requirements outlined by National Highways to determine if your abnormal load requires a private escort.

Loads below 4.12m wide, 30m long and 100 tonnes don’t legally require an escort vehicle.

We have over 45 years of invaluable experience planning vehicle escort routes and executing safe heavy haulage transportation - so you can be sure your load is in safe and knowledgeable hands.

Over this time, we have planned vehicle escorts for loads of all shapes and sizes that have reached their destination safely and securely.

The safety of our drivers, other road users and your load is incredibly important to us - this is why we rigorously plan all our routes.

We perform load movements according to the official guidelines for escort vehicles set out by National Highways, the body responsible for maintaining our roads.

For example, all our vehicles meet the lighting and signage requirements outlined in the code of practice.

JB Rawcliffe will notify local authorities and police forces that an abnormal load is being transported, increasing the likelihood that the haul gets approved.

There are several compelling reasons why you need an escort vehicle whilst hauling heavy loads across public roads.

1. Escort vehicles alert road users to the presence of a slow-moving abnormal load, reducing the chances of accidents - motorists can adjust their speed in plenty of time and are less likely to overtake dangerously on tighter country roads.

2. If an accident occurs, the escort convoy can raise the alarm and call for help if the lorry driver is hurt.

Whilst waiting, they can stay with the vehicle protecting the load and alerting other road users to the upcoming obstacle by placing cones.

3. Escort vehicles alert the load driver to upcoming dangers that must be approached carefully, such as tight and sharp bends. The vehicle also alerts oncoming traffic to the upcoming lorry with a flashing amber light, meaning they can approach cautiously.

4. Using a vehicle escort demonstrates responsibility and commitment to the safety of other road users to police forces and local authorities that are more likely to approve the haul.

It’s a legal requirement to have an escort vehicle if abnormal loads exceed particular dimensions and weights.

National Highways code of practice states that if an abnormal load meets the following criteria, it will require a vehicle escort;

• If the vehicle or load width exceeds 4.1m for roads and 4.6m for motorways, it requires an escort vehicle.

• Loads reaching 30.5m long will need a vehicle escort, except on motorways.

• If vehicle gross weight exceeds 100 tonnes for roads and 130 tonnes for motorways.

Police forces have the right to vary these measurements and have the final say on whether a load requires an escort vehicle.

For further information regarding our abnormal load transport services, feel free to call us on 01695 737880 or email us at

JB Rawcliffe & Sons Ltd
Get In Touch