Farmers nudged to get wide load dispensation ahead of harvest

Farmers across the UK operating ‘abnormal’ loads at harvest time are being nudged to remember to notify police to avoid being fined.

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.

See also: Legal, tax and management tips for a smooth harvest

Police must be notified at least 24 hours in advance of a journey to avoid a penalty of up to £220.

However, annual dispensation can be granted by most police forces, particularly at harvest time, but this 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.

When granted, dispensations should be read thoroughly to ensure there are no onerous or unnecessary conditions attached.

Scottish regulations

The situation in Scotland is similar to that of England and Wales, with dispensation required for the same sized vehicles and types of journey.

Farmers and farmworkers applying for dispensation should contact Police Scotland, or NFU Scotland members can contact the union on 0131 4724000 to obtain an application form.

Complete forms should be sent to OSDAbnormalloadsScotland@scotland.pnn.police.uk. Successful applications will receive a letter from Police Scotland providing a full year’s dispensation.

One-off movements require 48-hours notice, unlike the 24 hours required in England and Wales.

Bank holidays and weekends can delay applications.