How Far Can A Load Extend Backwards?

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Written By Nelson Kessi






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Objects such as lumber, poles, ladders, pipes, kayaks, canoes, surfboards, bicycles, etc can hang off the back of a vehicle. As a driver, you are required to have a fair knowledge on the maximum distance a load may overhang your vehicle. Explicitly in a real-life scenario to a driving license test question, a driver must be able to answer the question; How far can a load extend backwards?

How Far Can A Load Extend Backwards?

The vehicle together with its load should not be more than 2.55 m wide and 4 m high. Loads may only bulge out to the front if the car is higher than 2.50 m. A load can extend backwards as far as 1.50 m, but in some cases 3 m may be allowed if the distance is not more than 100 km.

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How Far Can A Load Extend Backwards? 2

Excess Load Regulations According To Road Traffic Regulations (StVO – Section 22)

A load should always be stowed and fastened in a manner such that it will not move or fall in the course of sudden braking or fugitive maneuvers. The vehicle together with the load must have a dimension of width and height as 2.55 m and 4 m respectively.

For agricultural or forestry vehicles, a larger width such as 3m or less applies. Also, they may be higher than 4 m when loaded with agricultural or forestry produce. For refrigerated vehicles, they must not be wider than 2.60 m.

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What Is The Maximum Distance A Load May Overhang Your Vehicle Behind The Rear Axle?

Answers such as 1m, 2m, 3m and 4m may come to mind, but what is the accurate answer?

Question: What is the maximum distance a load may overhang your vehicle behind the rear axle?

Answer: 4m


A load may project over to 4m behind the rear axle, but if it bulges outward more than 1m behind the car, you have to tie a white, red, yellow or orange fluorescent flag to it. The flag has to be at least 40cm by 30cm in size. In no instance should the load drag on the ground.

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How far can a load extend beyond the rear reflectors at most without marking being necessary?

Answer: 1 m


Loads may only bulge out up to 1m beyond the reflectors without marking. Should in case it extends beyond, it must be marked with respect to the weather, light and visibility conditions in order for other road users to recognize it at the appropriate time. 





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