High Loads: Every Millimetre Counts
Whilst there is always an element of flexibility with regard to length, width and weight – height is an absolute. If the combined height of the cargo and trailer is one centimetre below the lowest bridge on route, all is OK. If it is one centimetre above, its a non-starter.
High Loads Vary By Country
Some countries have “better” high load routes, some considerably worse – ranging anything from 4.45m to in excess of 5.00m. Just to further complicate matters, each bridge has its own characteristics – perhaps it is lower to one side than the other – with some, the entry to the bridge is higher than the exit. Curved/arched bridges present an additional challenge – higher down the centre line, progressively reducing on each side. In a hyper-critical situation, even the road camber has to be taken into account.
The highest, high load route into Italy is via the Mont Blanc tunnel – 4.74m along the centre line, reducing to 4.45m at the side – strictly enforced by the tunnel authority. If the vehicle is unable to meet their criteria, sea freight is the only option.
Route Surveys are Critical
With one particular project from the UK to Spain, lasting almost a year, there were five known, problematic bridges. After individual surveys, using specific trailer equipment and careful positioning, each low bridge was negotiated successfully.