English - Nooteboom Giants on the Road Magazine English - Nr. 6 - 2019 | Page 27

REGULATIONS judge the situation on the road in his own country. And of course he can communicate in his own language with the agencies who issue the exemptions. THREE TIMES THREE The Direccion General de Transportes, Permisos Especiales department, in Madrid, is responsible for issuing exemptions in Spain. The regulations – on the whole – are straightforward: three kinds of vehicles, three categories and three regions. It will come as no surprise that this classification has a number of exceptions. VEHICLES For exemption applications a distinction is made between four different groups of vehicles. The fourth group represents vehicles that don’t belong in the first three groups. For example: a small tourist train to transport people over the road. We will ignore this group. In the first group are vehicles for indivisible loads. In the second group are agricultural machinery and in the third group are the ‘exceptional’ vehicles for public works and public authorities. The vehicles of transport operators always fall within group 1 (indivisible loads). ■  Abnormal transport is allowed during the day as well as at night ■  Exemptions are issued for three different regions ■  A GCW exceeding 110 tonnes fall into the category ‘Especifica’ CATEGORIES Exemptions are granted in three categories: Genérica, Específica and Excepcional. The Category Genérica includes transports up to 20.55m long, 3m wide and 4.50m high. The total mass of the vehicle must not exceed 45 tonnes. These transports may be carried out during the day as well as at night and for a ‘Genérica’ transport no escort is needed. The category ‘Específica’ includes transports up to 40m long, 5m wide and higher than 4.7m. The maximum gross weight for the ‘Específica’ category is 110 tonnes. Exemptions for this category are issued for a specific route. The validity varies per region. The top class is ‘Excepcional’. These are all transports that exceed the permitted dimensions and weight in the ‘Específica’ category. In practice these are the really large and heavy transports for which the route has to be assessed on a case by case basis. NB: these dimensions and weights only apply to the vehicle groups 1 and 3. For group 2 (agricultural machinery) there is no ‘Excepcional’ category. Another important point: if the load protrudes more than 3 metres from the rear of the vehicle it has to be explained by means of drawings, photographs or calculations why this large overhang is necessary. REGIONS For the application of exemptions there are three different regions in Spain: the Basque country, Navarre and the rest of Spain including Catalonia. In principle it is one system but with considerable differences in the details, such as the period of validity, the number of trailers included in the exemption and deposits for heavy transports. Within the regional areas there are exceptions too. For instance, in the port of Barcelona they provide an admission pass only on presentation of an exemption. DRIVING BANS In Spain there are numerous driving bans on national and regional holidays. It is important to take note of the times because they vary. For abnormal transports there is a driving ban from Saturday or the day before a national holiday from 13.00 hrs to 02.00 hrs on Monday (or the day after the holiday). For a regional holiday the driving ban starts at 0.00 hrs and lasts until 02.00 hrs on the day after the holiday. In the 27