Heavy Haulage

Heavy Haulage Contracting

(Movement of Abnormal, Indivisible Loads)

Identifying efficiencies

However, this approach also presents significant logistical challenges. Once prefabricated components are ready, they must be lifted, transported and installed in the correct sequence. This requires a partner with the combination of heavy transport equipment and expertise to overcome logistical obstacles and bottlenecks. A streamlined heavy transport plan is of vital importance to the successful construction of any facility as the delivery of oversize and heavy components is key to a project’s critical path.

Ritchie Services provides a cost-effective and safe heavy lifting service to our clients. To harness the greatest opportunities to make efficiency gains it is advisable to consult our professionals early in the planning stage of a new facility. Collaborating with our engineers at the FEED stage of a project assists in optimizing its design by providing insight into the methods of transport that may be used and the forces components will face on their journey. This input not only contributes to efficient transport of the objects, but it can help save money and time in the transport schedule, bringing the facility online sooner.

Streamlining the critical path

From civil infrastructure through to power plants and petrochemical facilities, clients aim to benefit from economies of scale. Structures, and the components used in the construction of new facilities, are continually increasing in size. Larger and heavier objects – such as columns, turbine blades, prefabricated modules and infrastructural elements like bridges – require transport and installation.  Often to remote locations lacking  infrastructure, or within the constrained environments of congested sites or urban areas.

Moreover, approaches to construction are changing. The conventional method of stick building is giving way to modular construction – from refineries to bridges, and mines to power plants. There are a number of advantages in building a facility as a series of components and then transporting them to the foundations at the construction site. Off-site construction increases safety as the work occurs in a controlled environment. It can give access to larger or cheaper labor pools and skillsets, and avoids potentially poor climatic conditions at the actual site.


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Ritchie Services are abnormal load specialists.

When it comes to moving abnormal loads, no two jobs are identical. Handling and efficiently moving loads that are high, wide, long or heavy requires specialist equipment, knowledge of the rules and regulations, superior driving and lashing skills, and exceptional project management.

We have handled thousands of difficult and abnormal loads throughout the UK and Europe. Our clients come from a wide range of industries including construction, civil engineering, oil & gas, renewable energy, defence and the marine sector.

We have access to an extensive fleet of trucks and trailers to allow us the flexibility to handle a wide range of oversized loads, and a team of highly trained and experienced drivers.


A significant part of abnormal load haulage is proper preparation. We will conduct route surveys to ensure that the route is feasible and to map out which permits are needed. We will organise all the permits and permissions required, including organising private escorts and police escorts where necessary. We are experienced with end-to-end project management so we can also organise any other related services that you might need.


Abnormal loads which require additional permits or planning are those in which:

The length exceeds 18.75m or

The width exceeds 2.90m or

The weight exceeds 44tonne

There is no hard and fast rule regarding height, but as the minimum height of an unmarked bridge is 5.0m, a good rule of thumb is that loads should not exceed an all up height of 4.9m.

Depending on what the load is and how much it exceeds these guides, your abnormal load movement may require some or all of the following:

Specialist trailer / truck

Highways England permits such as VR1 or BE16

Notification of local authorities and/or bridge authorities

2ndman or private escort

Police escort

The Ritchie Services transport team assesses each project individually to evaluate its requirements as well as organising all required permits and escorts for each load.

Contact the transport team now on  0330 111 0028 or email: iain.ritchie@ritchie-services.co.uk

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If you would like to receive more information about our services and capabilities and/or have a Ritchie Services representative contact you, please get in touch today.

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