Professional Transport Services

Operators and ‘HIAB’-type cranes on lorries – know your responsibilities

23 Feb 2023

DVSA are encountering an increasing number of heavy goods vehicles with large HIAB-type loader cranes where vehicles have often been converted to accommodate cranes of 80 tonnes lifting capacity or more.  The additional weight caused by these conversions make the vehicles very close to their maximum carrying capacity meaning they are often unable to tow a standard semi-trailer without exceeding the permitted vehicle length.   

Some manufacturers have indicated to operators can run these “HIAB tractor units” under STGO (Special Type General Order) regulations.  This is not the case. Operators need to make sure loader crane vehicles are working according to the correct regulations.

A number of issues have been found at the roadside. These include:

  • tractor units with large cranes over the permitted length and weight allowable which then make them non-compliant from a safety point of view
  • some confusion regarding the amount of allowable front or rear projection

Operators are liable where vehicles do not meet the requirements.

DVSA have seen increasing non-compliance partly due to a lack of understanding or incorrect information being shared.

Operators, transport managers and drivers must take note of this when transporting a load on such a vehicle and look at the regulations. Operators need to make sure they are familiar with how they transport loads and understand whether they come under STGO (Special Type General Order) regulations or fall under Construction & Use (C&U) requirements.  

Further information is available to better understand the circumstances around transporting cargo on vehicles with HIAB cranes attached: