Driving specialist vehicles on the road

Driving specialist vehicles on the road

Many specialist vehicles are large and/or slow, so you’ll need to plan your route and prepare carefully before you drive on the road.

It’s important to plan your route so you can avoid

  • busy roads
  • known roadworks
  • travelling at busy times of the day
  • narrow roads with no passing places.

Don’t allow a large queue of traffic to build up behind you: find somewhere safe to pull over and let the traffic behind you go past.

If your vehicle is large, make sure you know its

  • height
  • width
  • weight
  • length
  • ground clearance.

You can then check that there are no size restrictions on your route: ask the local authority for advice if you don’t know the area and look out for signs relating to vehicle size when you’re driving.

You must make sure any load on your vehicle or trailer is secure before you begin your journey. Check that the vehicle or trailer can safely carry the load and use suitable equipment to prevent the load from moving or falling off the vehicle.

  • Only use ropes that are dry and in good condition.
  • Use a sheet or tarpaulin to cover the load if you’re using an open-backed vehicle or towing a trailer.
  • Make sure all anchorage points are secure and free of rust.

Check there aren’t any sharp edges that could injure other road users. You must protect and mark sharp edges, and mowing machines must have the blades stowed in the travelling position.

It’s important to keep your skills up to date. Traffic rules, regulations and signs change from time to time and you’ll need to know how these affect you.

You can find out about changes

  • in Highway Code updates on Twitter or on Facebook
  • on GOV.UK
  • in government publications
  • on motoring organisation websites
  • on this website.