Requirements for lorries

Lorries have to comply with various rules. They must for example have mirrors which ensure the driver does not have a blind spot, and a tachograph to record driving times and rest periods.

Blind spot mirrors for lorries

Lorries have had larger mirrors since 2007, removing the need for an extra blind spot safety mirror. If an older vehicle still has smaller mirrors, it must still have a separate blind spot safety mirror, or the smaller mirrors can be replaced by larger modern side mirrors.

Front view mirror for lorries

Lorries must also have a front view mirror or camera which allows the driver to see just in front of the vehicle. Vehicles built before that date do not need to have such a mirror or camera, though they may of course be fitted with one.

Maximum length of lorries

A lorry with trailer may be no longer than 18.75 metres.

Maximum weight of lorries

A lorry may weigh no more than 50 tonnes, including its cargo. Exceeding the maximum weight is a criminal offence.

Guidelines for loading lorries

The European Union (EU) has rules for the loading of commercial vehicles.

Longer and heavier combination trucks

Longer and heavier combination trucks (LZVs) have been permitted on Dutch roads since late 2012. They are allowed to use all motorways and trunk roads, and all major routes. LZVs can carry up to twice the cargo of an ordinary lorry using the same amount of fuel and the same number of drivers.

To guarantee road safety, LZV drivers have to pass an additional test. An LZV may not be longer than 25.25 metres (not including the tail lift), and its weight must not exceed 60 tonnes.

Exemptions for abnormal loads

Sometimes a cargo is so large that it exceeds the statutory norms. This is known as an ‘abnormal load’. Examples include large concrete pillars, sheet pile walls, cranes and diggers. A special exemption must be obtained from the Road Transport Agency (RDW) for loads of this kind.

European licence for lorry drivers

Anyone who professionally drives a lorry or delivery van with a load capacity of more than 500 kilograms (kg) must have a special European licence. This licence is also required in other EU member states. The EU has a licensing requirement for lorries with a total weight of 3,500 kg or more. Applications for a European licence may be submitted to the National and International Road Transport Organisation (NIWO).

Driving times and rest periods

Drivers must comply with statutory driving times and rest periods. There is a ban on spending the weekly rest period in the truck. The Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate in the Netherlands maintains this prohibition.

Digital tachograph

Lorries must be fitted with a digital tachograph. A tachograph records driving times and rest periods, speed and distance travelled.