For truck drivers, long distance haulage can be a highly lucrative aspect of the business – especially if you can pick up some return loads on the homeward leg of the journey.
The Road to Norway (and Back) is Paved with Profit
While Norway is not part of the EU, it is part of the EEA (European Economic Area) and, as an extremely resource-rich country, the constant movement of goods in and out creates myriad opportunities for those in the transport industry. If you're not already a member of the Haulage Exchange (the UK's leading independent freight exchange), this should be your first port of call if you're hoping to win jobs to and from Norway. Not only can you search and bid for available loads in the UK, but you'll also be able to get those all-important return loads in place for the homeward journey. And, because you can search for jobs in real time, you may even be able to secure multiple return loads.
Before you even consider driving in Norway, however, you'll need to familiarise yourself with the rules and regulations to make sure that you remain safe and above the law.
When you enter Norway, you must be carrying a full and valid passport and an international driver's license. You'll also need to have the vehicle registration, certificate of roadworthiness, proof of ownership or, if you're driving for someone else, a letter of authority. Furthermore, you should ensure that you have a nationality plate attached to the rear of the truck and it is a requirement that lorries are fitted with visually aided reversing equipment.
While you'll need to clear customs, no permit is required as long as you're in possession of transit documentation. You should be aware that, in addition to various road tolls, you'll be subject to a diesel tax, although you're permitted to bring in 600 litres without paying any duty.
Other regulations that you need to adhere to include driving with dipped headlights during both the day and night, and carrying a reflective jacket and warning triangle.
Restrictions and Speed Limits
Speed limits are determined by the type of road and are a standard 50 km/h in urban areas and 80 km/h elsewhere. Unlike some other countries, there are no restrictions on HGV vehicles on the weekends, but there are restrictions imposed in times of inclement weather. Depending on the time of the year (winter can last anywhere from mid-October all the way through to the end of April), you may also be required to carry snow chains (vehicles over 3.5t) or have winter tyres fitted.
There are restrictions on the dimensions of HGVs, with articulated lorries limited to 17m, road trains to 18.5m and rigid lorries to 12.4m in length and 2.55m in width. With regard to weight, it depends on the number of axles, with two axle vehicles restricted to 19.5t and six axles up to 46t.
While there are no height restrictions, there are numerous low bridges and tunnels throughout the country, so the best idea is to obtain a map from the Norwegian Public Roads Administration (NPRA).
Recommended Ferry Crossings
There's only one direct ferry crossing to Norway from the UK, which runs between Immingham and Brevik. Although the ferry’s facilities are excellent, it’s the most expensive transportation method, and only runs twice a week, taking 36 hours for one trip.
Alternatively, you can take the ferry from Dover to Calais and then travel overland through Germany and Denmark. The last leg of this route is a ferry crossing from Hirtshals in Denmark to Kristiansand in Norway.
The above information provides a brief overview of what to expect when driving in Norway. However, it's imperative that you do your own research before you leave in order to ensure that you always have the most updated facts at hand.
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 loads and return loads with available drivers. Over 4,500 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.