On the way on highways or country roads at night. Already from far away you can see the bustling flickering yellow beacon lights. An oversized transport drags itself along the road slowly.

In our blog today, you can learn which regulations have to be fulfilled and which struggles have to be dealt with when it comes to oversized transports.

What is an oversized transport?

It’s called large or heavy load when the transport deviates from the road traffic regulations, the so-called “Straßenverkehrsordnung (StVO)”. Herein four kinds of special transports are distinct:

  • large loads: oversized goods with a regular weight
  • heavy loads: goods with regular size but overweight
  • large and heavy loads: combination of oversized and overweight transport
  • long transport: goods with a length of more than 20 meters and regular weight

Since these kinds of transports put a strain on public roads more than the common use, the carrier needs a special permission on basis of the “StVO”. It can be valid both for one-time transports as well as regular oversized or overweight transports. In the latter case a permanent permission can be requested at the authority in charge. This permission is truck-dependent and valid for one year.

The issued permission specifies when and where the transport must be executed. The amount and kind of escort cars is instructed, too. Permanent permissions are only valid up to defined measurements and weights. All transports that are wider than 300 centimetres, higher than 400 centimetres, longer than 23 metres and heavier than 41,80 tons are considered as oversized and overweight loads. Therefor special permissions must be obtained.

Before it starts a lot of work and organization have to be done!

Obtaining official transport permits is only the first step. There are only few companies in Germany (such as Pfaff Logistik) that are specialized on the escort of oversized transports.

The carrier has to organize the required escort cars in time. The police as well as the expert team must be at the disposal of the operation centre in charge.

When it comes to special transports with exceptional oversize, road signs, bridges or even the railway’s overhead power cables have to be dismounted. In case of tight curves, the escort cares for a stable cover of the road surface to avoid damages due to strong gravitational forces.

As soon as the crew has passed through, all constructions have to be mounted back to their original state, of course.

Carriers that execute oversized transports on a regular basis often hold an own service with accordingly trained drivers and escort vehicles available.

Consequently, newly built roads that are regularly used by resident industry companies (aircraft industry, manufacturers of wind energy plants or current generators) are laid out spaciously.

How to react properly when encountering an oversized transports

On highways with three tracks in each direction you can mostly overtake oversized transports on the left side despite their excess width. An exception are extremely wide transports that engross almost the whole highway. In this case the following escort car is equipped with a no-passing sign.

On two-lane highways and country roads it’s not possible to overtake safely. If other road users pass anyway, it can lead to a penalty according to “StVO”.


Put your oversized transport in the hands of Pfaff Logistik. We are real professionals in this field!

On our website you can find more information!

Visit us on Instagram, too!