During the course of your working week as a UK haulier you may travel the length and breadth of the country delivering and picking up goods. But if you take on haulage jobs abroad, there are extra challenges to face in terms of foreign road rules, regulations and by-laws. It's vitally important you stay abreast of these to ensure you don't risk running foul of the law or compromise your own safety and that of others.
But aside from the rest of Europe, there are places closer to home that may have some unfamiliar rules. Even though the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man are British Crown Dependencies, they have their own independent governance and laws. For those drivers who plan on taking on haulage jobs to Jersey, Guernsey or the Isle of Man, there are numerous things to be aware of.
The clue is in the name - they're islands, so the only way to gain access is by ferry (unless you can fit your lorry in an aircraft!).
The Isle of Man: Ferries to the island's capital, Douglas, depart regularly from Liverpool and Heysham in England and from Dublin and Belfast in Ireland. However, the faster vessels from Liverpool, Dublin and Belfast are for passengers only and freight drivers must use the Heysham Ro-Pax (passengers and freight) service.
The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company operates twice-daily services from Heysham. The crossing takes four hours and 15 minutes and prices start at £568.37. The price includes one driver (extra drivers pay a surcharge), a cabin berth and meal vouchers. Drivers are required to check in two hours before departure time.
The Channel Islands: Ferries depart for St.Helier (Jersey) and St. Peter Port (Guernsey) from St. Malo, in France, and Portsmouth and Poole in the UK. Again there are restrictions, so depending on the size of your vehicle you may not have the option of travelling on all services. The Poole service is a catamaran vessel and is only suitable for cars and vans up to 3.5 tonnes, 6.5m long and 3.1m high. Trucks and lorries are not accepted.
Condor Ferries operate freight-only ferries as well as Ro-Pax ones, with regular crossings from Poole-Jersey, Portsmouth-Guernsey and Guernsey-Weymouth. As an example, prices from Poole to Jersey start at £441.07 for the five-hour journey, and Portsmouth to Guernsey start at £439.90 for the eight-hour crossing.
Other Things to Know Before You Go
Currency: While GBP is used and accepted in Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man, they each also have their own currency. However, this local currency is not legal tender in the UK so it's advisable to spend it all before leaving.
Consignment tax: All drivers must produce a completed consignment note on arrival in Jersey and pay the local general sales tax (around £8.60 per tonne).
Weight and dimension limits: The weight and dimension limits are stricter than in the UK so it's important to be aware of them before you enter. They differ from Jersey to Guernsey and again on the Isle of Man. (For example, on Guernsey the width restriction is 2.31m, in Jersey it is 2.3m and the IOM 2.55m.) Restrictions also apply to the weight of vehicles, based on the number of axles.
Speed limits: Again, these vary depending on the size of the vehicle you're using for your haulage jobs. But, for example, on Jersey trucks over 3.5 tonnes are restricted to 30mph even in a 40mph zone, while on Guernsey vehicles over 2 tonnes are restricted to 25mph in towns.
Don't Get Caught Out
While this article covers the basics, it's very important to make yourself aware of the finer details of the road rules, regulations and permissible dimensions of HGVs before you take on any haulage jobs to the islands. This information can be found at the appropriate government websites below.
Isle of Man: https://www.gov.im/
Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting logistics professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Haulage Exchange provides services for matching drivers with haulage jobs. Over 4,500 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.