Welcome to the Heavy Transport Association

The Heavy Transport Association (HTA) is the only specialist Trade Association for the heavy/abnormal load industry. Members include abnormal load hauliers, truck/trailer manufacturers, route surveyors, permit agents, consultants, abnormal load escorters, ferry owners, infrastructure owners/managers, equipment manufacturers and abnormal load officers.  HTA members are consequently a highly specialist group of operators  with very different needs over other sectors of the transportation industry. New members are  always welcome.  For more information on membership, please visit our join page.

The Association was originally formed in 1983 and its operator members specialise in the movement of abnormal loads.  HTA Members meet at quarterly General Meetings.  Due to geographic spread of membership, meeting venues generally alternate between the North of England and the South Midlands.  The HTA is a member of ESTA (The European Association of Abnormal Road Transport and Mobile Cranes) and has held the Presidency for 3 years.

The Heavy Transport Association website provides news and information that affect the sector as well as 24hr online access to current and archived information.  Much of the HTA site content is private to Members of the HTA and require a member login in order to access. The HTA welcomes eligible new members; to apply to become a member of the HTA, please visit our join page.

The HTA was initiated by a group of heavy haulage operators struggling to cope with less than clear regulations regarding the movement of abnormal loads.  It seemed apparent that enforcement authorities/police officers were not happy to have abnormal loads on the roads, and so the operators decided that something had to be done.  Initial meetings were informal and then as news of the meetings spread, more and more operators wanted to attend.  This was back in 1983.

The objectives of the HTA initially focused heavily on issues relating to STGO and Special Order movements.  Recently the focus is on promoting the professional and trade interests of escort drivers.  Members of the HTA actively participate in meetings and workshops organised by Highways England and the HTA is regularly consulted by HE when guidance is formulated on abnormal load movements and self-escorting.

The objectives of the Association were, and remain to date, to promote the professional and trade interests of all its members.  

Feel free to  browse our 30 year anniversary  Yearbook.


New Chairman for the HTA

David Purslow, a long-standing committee member of the HTA for over 10 years, has taken on the role as the new HTA Chairman.  David, who has previously been on the RHA Heavy Transport committee and represented the industry in a number of liaison groups, will be bringing over 30 years’ experience in the heavy transport industry with him.

“I’m delighted to be appointed as the HTA’s new Chairman and I hope that the association can continue what we're doing well, as well as focus on what our members want and how we can improve our services for the industry,” he said. 

Outside of the HTA, David works as the General Manager – Group Operations for ALE, a leading global heavy transportation and lifting contractor.

HTA Vision
HTA, the association of choice for professional Heavy Haulage Operators and Escort/Pilot car Operators and Managers.
HTA Core Values

Advise: We advise our members to ensure they operate safely and within legislation.

Represent: We are committed and work hard to represent our members at a national and local level. We lobby Ministers and Members of Parliament, we attend liaison meetings, respond to consultations and write and publish articles in a wide range of trade publications.

Develop: We develop and introduce new National training standards, we develop industry best practice and we develop relationships with other like minded trade associations and bodies.

What HTA Membership Delivers
  • Lobbies and campaigns on behalf of members about the things that matter to them 
  • Keeps abreast of UK Legislation – the HTA has access to legal advice via the Secretariat so that any issues arising are dealt with in a timely manner
  • Keeps abreast of EU legislation.  The HTA is the UK Member of ESTA, the leading European association for the abnormal load transport and mobile crane rental industry so can have insight into Operations and the possibility of networking with large European haulage companies.
  • Provides e-news: Regular updates on what’s happening and members e-news on the website
  • Produces quarterly issues of Heavy Talk – the HTA journal to keep members up to date
  • HTA approved centres provide Training services for Escort Drivers and Escort Managers leading to certificates of competence awarded by City & Guilds
  • Produces official HTA Yearbook in collaboration with Media Partners, Nimble Media Limited
  • Holds quarterly member meetings – get the information you need to help you deal with the things affecting you
  • Provides Representation at Industry Liaison Meetings
  • Members receive a free subscription to HeavyTorque, a dedicated quarterly magazine providing news and technical articles on a wide range of key topics in the heavy haulage industry
  • Provides legal advice and guidance
HTA Launch City & Guilds Assured Abnormal Load Training Programmes - 27 January 2020
Developed and improved from their previous Escort Training courses, the Abnormal Load Escort Driver Stage 2 and the Abnormal Load Escort Manager Stage 3 Programmes champion safety standards for the benefit of the industry and HTA members. 

Available across selected HTA Approved regional training centres, both training Programmes are tailored to escort and pilot car Drivers across the heavy transport and mobile crane sector to prove competency, reduce risk, improve public safety and promote industry excellence.

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GMP Embargo - 14 May 2019

The HTA received an email on the 27 February 2019 which gave notification of a blanket movement embargo imposed by Greater Manchester Police (GMP) on all abnormal loads during peak periods. The embargo is for all categories of abnormal loads yet mobile cranes up to and including 5 axle are excluded. STGO CAT1s are embargoed even though they weigh significantly less than mobile cranes.

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Jeffries Bridge - 13 May 2019
On the 27 April 2018 the HTA received notification that with immediate effect there was a restriction on all abnormal loads over 40T travelling over M6 Jeffries Bridge which is located at marker post 430.3 South of junction 38. This caused a significant detour for loads travelling to and from the West of Scotland with costs borne by the industry. read more ...
Water Preferred Policy Update - 01 March 2019

A response to our letter of the 22 September was received on the 21 December 2018. As cautioned by the HTA, the DfT recognised that the appointing of a Transport Specialist to assess ad hoc and unpredictable moves was not required. However, the letter then went on to say that the current practice of applying the Reasonableness Test to both inland waterways and coastal shipping would continue.

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ESDAL Expansion - 02 October 2018
Recent Months have seen more and more Police Forces cutting back the responsibilities of their Abnormal Load Officers and insisting that all notifications are submitted by ESDLA. Merseyside Police have now been joined by Greater Manchester, Dorset and Devon and Cornwall in this requirement read more 
Water Preferred Policy - 20 September 2018
On the 4th of September 2018 the HTA received a letter from Duncan Price, Head of Freight, Operator Licencing and Roadworthiness for the Department for Transport (DfT). The letter’s stated purpose was to inform the industry that the DfT has been considering how the policy works in practice. There are two areas for consideration read more 
Welcome-Break Parking - 13 July 2018

It has been a long understood policy of Welcome Break to facilitate extended free parking over the standard 2 hours to Abload Hauliers in possession of an endorsed movement order due to the additional burdens experienced by the industry. The HTA has recently received several reports of members receiving parking tickets from Parking Eye whilst staying beyond 2 hours free parking read more

Hinkley Point C - 11 June 2018

The HTA has been made aware that Stop and Direct powers will be devolved by Avon & Somerset Constabulary (ASC) using Community Safety Accreditation Scheme (CSAS) powers to the Traffic Management Company (Somerset Infrastructure Alliance (SIA)) who are used by EDF Energy to manage their abnormal loads read more

Response received from Nick Hurd MP - 29 March 2018

The response to the Home Office letter sent on 24 January 2018  was received on the 29 March 2018 from Rt Hon Nick Hurd, Minister of State for Policing and the Fire Service. It was stated in the letter that the ‘enforcement of road traffic law is an operational matter for the local Chief Officer of Police’ read more

HTA petitions Home Office over Merseyside Police’s insistence on using ESDAL - 02 February 2018

On the 24th January 2018 a letter explaining the position of the industry was sent to the Rt Hon Nick Hurd MP, Minister of State for Policing and the Fire Service. The letter highlighted the procedure for notification proscribed by the STGO and in particular the fact that an agreement by both parties as to the form of notification is a requirement of the legislation. The letter can be found in the members only information section accessible through the following link.

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