English - Nooteboom Giants on the Road Magazine English - Nr. 5 - 2018 - Page 15

REGULATIONS AN OUTLINE When the 6th State reform was introduced in 2015 the Abnormal Transport Agency was divided into three regional agencies. Applications for exemption are submitted digitally via WebTeuv and the document issued is valid throughout the Belgian territory. Based on weight and dimensions, transports are divided into Category 1 t/m 4. Exceeding one of the maximum values is conclusive. A combination length of 40 metres will end up in Category 4 - even if it weighs far less than 120 tonnes. The classification in these four categories is clear. The validity of the exemption goes down from 5 years in Cat. 1 to 2 months in Cat. 4. For escorting the system is clear too: from one escorting vehicle for a relatively simple transport to three escorts when the length exceeds 40 metres or the load is wider than 5 metres. Transports wider than four metres or longer than thirty metres are allowed on the road between 21.00 hrs and 06.00 hrs only. There are four road networks for abnormal transports: Network class 90, class 120, Network motorways and Network crane. A map of these roads is available and a 5 km de- viation from the route indicated is allowed subject to strict conditions. In some cases a police escort is mandatory. All transports with escorts must be registered digitally beforehand. Finally: the escort must check before the transport starts out whether the permit is in order, inspect the technical condition of the vehicle and he is responsible for the route that is to be followed. This is an outline of the regulations, but in day-to-day practice an abnormal transport has to observe much more detailed regulations. ■  T  he regulations for high loads are more relaxed than in the Netherlands, but anything higher than 8 metres is always a CAT 4 transport INTERVIEW WITH GERT BERVOETS Monitoring the compliance with exemptions for abnormal transport is in Belgium carried out, among others, by the Federal traffic police. Within the organisation of the police, regional experts carry out checks. Together they constitute a ‘network of experts’, who share information. The chairman of this network is Gert Bervoets, who from the Federal Traffic Police Limburg, traffic control centre Hasselt, has discussions every day with police officers who have put an abnormal transport at ■  Gert Bervoets CLASSIFICATION OF THE CATEGORIES In Belgium an exemption is needed for a transport with a tractor-trailer that is bigger than 16.5 x 2.55 x 4 metres or heavier than 44 tonnes. Category Validity Type network Max dimensions (lxbxh) Max. mass CAT 1 5 year All roads in Belgium 27 x 3.50 x 4.00 metres 44 tonnes CAT 2 1 year Network motorways 30 x 4.25 x 4.30 metres 44 tonnes Network cranes 30 x 4.25 x 4.50 metres 90 tonnes Network class 90 30 x 4.25 x 4.50 metres 90 tonnes Travel route 30 x 4.25 x 4.50 metres 90 tonnes CAT 3 4 mnths Network class 20 35 x 5.00 x 4.80 metres 120 tonnes Travel route 35 x 5.00 x 4.80 metres 120 tonnes CAT 4 2 mnths Travel route > 35 of > 5 of > 4.8 metres > 120 tonnes In each Category it concerns the exceeding of one of the maximum values. So a transport with a length of 32 metres, width of 2.50 metres and height of 4 metres falls in Cat 3 as long as the total weight does not exceed 120 tonnes. ESCORTS All transports larger than 30 x 3.50 x 4.80 metres and heavier than 90 tonnes must be escorted. 1 escort for transports with a length of 30 to 35 metres or a width of 3.5 to 4.5 metres 2 escorts for transports with a length of 35 to 40 metres or a width of 4.5 to 5 metres 3 escorts for transports with a length of more than 40 metres or wider than 5 metres 15