November 8, 2021 Tim Koenders

What is the maximum width of a truck?

There are different rules before you can drive a truck on the road. So there are also rules concerning the dimensions of a truck. What is the maximum width of a truck? But of course there is also a maximum length and height. The width must also be easy for other road users to estimate. Lighting can contribute enormously to this, for example LED side marker lights and LED marker lights. TRALERT® has been a specialist in LED vehicle lighting for years and is happy to explain the rules for your truck.

maximum truck width

What is the maximum width of a truck?

Every vehicle has maximum dimensions for use on public roads. This is no different for a truck. The maximum width of a lorry also includes the load and the trailer. The load or trailer of a lorry is part of the general width and therefore counts as part of the maximum width. You should therefore also pay attention to this. Including the load, a truck may have a maximum width of 2 metres and 55 centimetres.

So the load counts for the width of your truck but not every part counts. Think about the mirrors of the truck. These do not count when looking at the maximum width of a truck of 2 metres and 55 centimetres. Besides the mirrors, there are more parts that are not taken into consideration. These parts are:

  • Tyre pressure gauges, any snow chains or tyre bulges.
  • Mudflaps
  • Retractable steps
  • Direction indicators, sidelights, reflectors and end-outline marker lamps
  • Components used for the fixing of tarpaulins

What is the maximum length of a truck?

In addition to the width of a truck, rules also apply to the length of the vehicle. These are somewhat more complicated because different rules apply to the various semi-trailers / trailers. When a lorry is driving without a trailer, the maximum length is 12 metres. When a lorry is driving with a semi-trailer, the maximum length is 16 metres and fifty centimetres. When it comes to a combination of a truck and a trailer, the maximum length is 18 metres and 75 centimetres. Important here is that the distance from behind the cabin to the end of the vehicle may never exceed 16 metres and 40 centimetres and that the distance between the end of the towing vehicle and the trailer must be at least 3 metres.

What is the maximum height of a truck?

The height of the lorry is a lot simpler. As with the width of the lorry, the height is also determined by the load. A truck including the load may not be higher than 4 metres. If a lorry is higher, this can cause problems with tunnels or bridges.

What should I do if I do not meet the dimensions?

If your truck is wider than 2.55 metres, higher than 4 metres or longer than 16.5 metres (with a trailer), you cannot simply drive on the road. If you still want to drive on the road with such a large vehicle, you will first have to apply for a special permit. Without this permit you are not allowed to take the vehicle on the public roads. These permits relate to exceptional transport.

Maximum truck width 1Indicate truck width

For traffic safety, it is of great importance that other road users can easily estimate the width of your vehicle. To make this easier, various lights are available. Think, for example, of width lights. As the name suggests, width lights are intended to clearly indicate the width of the vehicle. This is important when a fellow road user approaches your vehicle in the dark. They are also crucial when approaching or overtaking. Serious accidents can happen if a road user cannot properly estimate the width of a large vehicle.

LED side marker lightsSide marker lights for indicating width of truck

TRALERT® has a wide range of LED side marker lamps. One of the bestsellers is the LED wide-angle lamp with angled handle. In addition to safety, the lamp also contributes enormously to the appearance of your vehicle.

Featured product

M10BV-701RWA LED side marker light

This wide-angle lamp in multivoltage is very suitable for your truck. The rubber housing contributes enormously to its service life. The wide-angle lamp comes with the necessary certificates.

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LED side marker lights

Truck marker lights

In addition to the front position lamps, marking lights also contribute to safety. Just like the front position lights, the marking lights are intended to give you a better idea of the size of your vehicle. The difference with the front position lights is that the marking lights are available for all sides of the vehicle. End-outline marker lights come in different sizes and colours. Some marker lights are equipped with a reflector as standard. Please bear in mind that every marker light is intended for a different side of the vehicle. You cannot simply choose your favourite colour and install it.

led marking lights truck marking lightsRed marker lights

The first colour of the end-outline marker lights is red. The red marking lights are intended for the rear of the vehicle. Red marking lights may only be fitted to the rear of the vehicle. This is because otherwise it can lead to dangerous situations. Red lights always indicate the rear of a vehicle. When you, as a road user, see red lights, you must be able to assume that the vehicle is driving away from you. When these lights are mounted on a different side of the vehicle, this can lead to dangerous situations.

White marking lights

In addition to the red marking lights, there are also white marking lights. White marking lights are intended for the front of a vehicle. It also applies to the white marking lights that they may not be fitted on any other side. The reasons for this are actually exactly the same as for the red marking lights. When, as a road user, you see white lights, you must be able to assume that the vehicle is approaching. If the vehicle suddenly appears to be driving in a different direction, this can lead to dangerous situations.

Orange marker lights

The last colour is orange. Orange is also known as amber. Amber is technical language for the colour orange and is therefore exactly the same. When you see amber, you know that you are referring to the well-known orange colour that you often see in traffic. Orange marking lights can only be mounted on the sides of your vehicle. When you see amber marker lights in traffic, you are 100% certain that you are looking at the side of a vehicle. As mentioned earlier, the different colours are intended to provide structure for safety in traffic.

TRALERT® has various marker lights in its range. Of course you can find the three different colours, but there are also different models. A well-known model within the TRALERT® assortment is the MV-2200A.

Featured product

MV-2200A LED NEON marker light

The MV-2200 series marker lights are available in the colours white amber and red. You will receive 2 mounting brackets with the lights. In addition to the light function, the lamp is also equipped with a reflector.

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led markeerverlichting

Is the load allowed to protrude?

It is permitted for the load of a lorry to protrude a little. It is important, however, that this remains within the rules of maximum length, width and height. In order to determine how far the load may protrude, a distinction must first be made between two types of load. There are divisible and indivisible loads. Divisible cargo can be divided into different pieces. Think of packages or objects that still need to be put together. Indivisible cargo, as the name suggests, cannot be divided into different pieces. It is only possible to transport the cargo in one go.

Divisible load

Divisible cargo is therefore cargo that can be divided into several parts. It is not permitted for divisible cargo to protrude at the front of a lorry. However, partial loads may protrude to the rear. At the rear of your truck, divisible load may protrude by a maximum of 1 metre. When cargo protrudes at the rear, it is wise to mark it extra by means of marking signs or lighting.

Indivisible load

Indivisible load, the load that cannot be divided into several pieces, may protrude from the front of a lorry. The load that cannot be divided may project in total 4 metres and 30 centimetres calculated from the centre of the lorry's front axle. This is therefore not from the front of the vehicle. Indivisible loads may also protrude slightly at the rear. At the rear, the indivisible load is allowed to protrude half of the lorry's length, calculated from the centre of the rear axle. This is permitted to a maximum of 5 metres. It is also advisable to place additional marking signs or lighting on indivisible loads. In places where the load extends more than one metre, it is compulsory to place marking signs.

Maximum truck weight

The maximum weight for a truck is not easy to say. This is different in each case. It is also different in different countries. European legislation states that the maximum weight of a truck is 40,000 kilograms. In the Netherlands, this maximum is slightly higher. In the Netherlands, trucks are allowed to have a maximum weight of 50,000 kilograms. But the total weight is not the only thing that is checked. It also differs per truck.

In addition to the total weight, two other things are taken into account. The first is the licence plate weight. Each registration number has a separate maximum permitted weight. If this is lower than the 50,000 kilograms you are allowed in the Netherlands, the maximum weight linked to the registration number counts. Secondly, the maximum permitted axle pressure per axle is taken into account. This is also linked to the registration number. If this value does not reach the maximum of 50,000 kilograms, it also counts as the maximum permitted weight.

The licence plate data comes from the RDW licence plate register. To compensate for any inaccuracies, an error margin is taken into account. This error margin is 15%. So 15% of the weight is deducted.

maximum truck weightMirrors for blind spots

In addition to the maximum dimensions and the required lighting, there are other requirements before you can drive a truck on the road. One of these requirements is a blind spot mirror. Most people are probably familiar with the blind spot. It is the area around the lorry which the driver cannot see in the mirrors. Nowadays, the blind spot must always be visible. There are two possibilities for this. Firstly, there are simply larger mirrors. The larger mirrors ensure that the driver can now see the blind spot. If a truck does not have larger mirrors, it should be equipped with a special blind spot mirror. When one of these options is mounted on the truck, you comply with the rules.

Truck front-view mirror mandatory

Since 26 January 2007 it has been compulsory to be able to look directly in front of the lorry. Again, there are two possibilities. The first possibility is the front view mirror. The name may sound a little strange, but this mirror allows the driver to see what is happening right in front of the vehicle. A second possibility is to use a front view camera. This camera also shows what is happening right in front of the vehicle. It is therefore compulsory to have one of these two options on your truck.

Driving times and rest periods

Within the European Union, there are rules concerning driving times and rest periods. There are maximum total driving times and maximum uninterrupted driving times. Driving time means the rolling of the wheels.

Maximum total driving times

There is a maximum total driving time for different periods within the European Union. A driver may drive for a maximum of 10 hours on two days a week. The other days of the week the maximum is 9 hours. The total for one week is 56 hours. In a two-week period, a driver may never drive for more than 90 hours.

Maximum uninterrupted driving time

In addition to the maximum driving time per day, week or fortnight, there are also rules governing uninterrupted driving in a lorry. Uninterrupted driving time is the time driven between two breaks. The time between the start moment and the first break moment is also included in the uninterrupted driving time. A driver is allowed to drive for a maximum of 4.5 hours at a time. After a driving time of 4.5 hours, the driver must take a break of at least 45 minutes.

In addition to the maximum uninterrupted driving time, there is also a maximum uninterrupted working time. Loading and unloading also count here, as this is not considered a break. Loading and unloading do not count as driving time. The maximum uninterrupted working time is 6 hours. If you work more than six hours a day, you must take a break of at least 30 minutes. So that you are never working for more than six hours in a row.