The essentials of international road haulage

Vehicle weight limits when driving abroad

The maximum gross train weight (known as the maximum plated weight) for UK-registered articulated tractor/trailer or rigid vehicles is 44,000 kilograms. This covers three-axle articulated tractors and rigid vehicles with three or more axles. In both cases, the vehicles must be fitted with Euro 2 engines as a minimum standard. Vehicles registered before 1 October 1997 may have engines that can be upgraded to Euro 2 standard.

For information on specific maximum weights for different types of vehicles, see the page on maximum GB weights allowed for vehicle classes in our guide: replate your goods vehicle to change the weights it can carry - seeĀ vehicle emission levels and controls.

Gross plated weights

The gross plated weight is the total permitted weight of a loaded vehicle. When operating at this capacity, the drive-axle weight must be no more than 10,500 kilograms. Road-friendly suspension is required if the rear-axle weights exceed 8,500 kilograms. Trailers must have at least three axles and must be fitted with road-friendly suspension. This must have a distance of at least 8 metres between the coupling centre and the centre of the rearmost axle.

Green plate

Vehicles with Euro 2 (or better) engines (either as original equipment or upgraded and re-plated) have a 'green plate' which is usually found in the driver's cab or on the trailer headboard. The centre column on the green plate shows the weights that vehicles can operate at throughout the European Community (EC). For vehicles that are re-plated to the latest and amended regulations, the maximum EC train weight is 40,000 kilograms.

Vehicles without Euro 2 engines have earlier gross train limits - 40,000 kilograms for two-axle vehicles and 41,000 kilograms for three-axle vehicles.