Farmers advised to apply early for wide-vehicle dispensation

Farmers have been advised to apply now for an agricultural dispensation for wide-vehicle movements, well before the harvest period begins.

The call was made by NFU Scotland (NFUS), which warned that the application process could face delays due to the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on staffing levels.

The union said farmers should apply to Police Scotland’s Abnormal Loads team for dispensation or a renewal at least six weeks before the paperwork was needed.

See also: Farm vehicle use – are you insured?

Abnormal load dispensations are required if a vehicle or implement are more than 3m wide and/or any part projects more than 4m.

Any equipment that exceeds these dimensions or may exceed them with an implement attached should be included on the dispensation.

NFUS transport adviser Jamie Smart said: “There have been no derogations during the pandemic for moving agricultural wide vehicles on the roads, so it is important to obtain a dispensation from Police Scotland.

“Like all businesses, the abnormal loads office at Police Scotland are having to practise social distancing, which may slow down applications.”

Mr Smart advised farmers that they must carry a copy of the dispensation document in the relevant vehicle in case they are stopped by Police Scotland.

In England, farmers are also advised to contact police well in advance of needing to transport wide vehicles.

Vehicles affected include those more than 3m wide, travelling on roads with a speed limit of 40mph or less, or those travelling distances of five miles.

Alternatively, annual dispensation can be granted by most police forces, particularly at harvest time. The document must be kept in the vehicle at all times.

Farmers should contact their local force and notify them of the vehicle details and areas it will travel within.

Further information

Dispensation forms are available via:
• The NFUS website
• Phone 0131 472 4000
• Email:

Completed forms should be emailed to:

Advice on moving abnormal vehicles is available on the government’s website