Oversize loads of baled agricultural commodities

In NSW vehicles carrying loads of baled hay, straw, wool and cotton may exceed the statutory width limit of 2.5 metres to a maximum of 2.7 metres.

This initiative was introduced to facilitate the transportation of these loads by allowing for some irregularity in the size of the bales, which tend to expand once loaded onto a vehicle and also during travel. The exemption was developed in close consultation with the Australian fodder, wool, cotton and farming industries.

Types of Loads

The Class 3 Baled Agricultural Commodities Load Exemption Notice 2012 (‘the Notice’) applies to vehicles transporting baled wool, hay and straw. It also applies to rectangular bales of cotton that have been baled at a cotton gin. It does not apply to round cotton bales and modules.

Types of vehicles

The Notice only applies to vehicles with a gross vehicle mass that exceeds 4.5 tonnes.

Rigid vehicles, prime mover and semi-trailer and B-doubles combinations may have a load width up to 2.7 metres.

Truck and dog trailer, truck and pig trailer and road train combinations may have a load width up to 2.6 metres.

AB and B-triples can also operate up to 2.6 metres wide, however the vehicles can only operate in NSW under a valid permit.

Current permit holders need to obtain an updated permit in order to operate with a load width limit of 2.6 metres. For travel wholly within NSW you may apply for an access permit using one of two options:

  1. Apply to Roads and Maritime for an access permit for travel on Roads and Maritime managed roads and you must apply for an access permit from other relevant road managers for travel on roads that Roads and Maritime does not manage; or
  2. Apply to the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) for an access permit.

An access permit application for interstate travel must only be submitted to the NHVR.

Maximum dimensions

The constructed width of the vehicle must not exceed 2.5 metres.

The load may exceed 4.3 metres, but not more than 4.6 metres in height. The maximum load width is 2.7 metres wide.

The load on a truck and dog trailer, truck and pig, road train, B-triple or AB-triple must not exceed 2.6 metres in width.

The load on the vehicle must not project more than 100mm from the outermost part of either side of the vehicle.

The load on a vehicle or trailer must not be placed in a way that makes the vehicle unstable or unsafe. The load must be secured so that it is unlikely to fall or be dislodged from the vehicle, and an appropriate method to restrain the load to the vehicle must be used.

The recommended performance standards are set out in Load Restraint Guide: Guidelines and performance standards for the safe carriage of loads on road vehicles, Second Edition, as published by the National Transport Commission in April 2004.

Travel conditions

Vehicles with a load width up to 2.6 metres may continue to operate on the networks that they currently operate on.

A vehicle with a load exceeding 4.3 metres, but not more than 4.6 metres in height must only operate on an approved 4.6 metre high route as set out in the current 4.6 Metre High Vehicle Notice or the current National Class 3 Heavy Vehicle 4.6m High By Construction Semitrailer Dimension Exemption (Notice).

A B-double exceeding 19 metres in length may only operate on an approved route as set out in the current National Class 2 Heavy Vehicle B-Double Authoristation (Notice).

A road train may only operate on an approved route as set out in the current National Class 2 Heavy Vehicle Road Train Authorisation (Notice).

B-triples or AB-triples may only operate on an approved route as set out in their respective permit.

Truck and dog and truck and pig trailer combinations are only permitted to operate:

Loads exceeding 2.6 metres in width

A vehicle with a load that exceeds 2.6 metres up to 2.7 metres in width may only be operated on the roads and areas that have been approved.

Any applicable travel restriction that applies to a prescribed route, area or Limited Access Location must be observed.

These approved areas and roads, travel restrictions and Limited Access Locations are set out in Appendix 1 of each Notice.

Warning devices

Vehicles with loads exceeding 2.6 metres must observe the warning device requirements of the Heavy Vehicle (Mass, Dimension and Loading) National Regulation and in each of the Notices.

Documents

A copy of the Class 3 Baled Agricultural Commodities Load Exemption Notice 2012 (excluding the appendices) must be carried in the vehicle.

Where a vehicle is operating under a permit, a copy of the permit must be carried in the vehicle. The notice or applicable permit must be produced upon a request made by an authorised officer or police officer.

Failing to carry the relevant documentation is a breach of the exemption and fines will apply.

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