Know what to do when it's bigger than you

Whether you're driving on metro or regional roads, you may come across vehicles carrying extra weight and width.

Road transport makes a vital contribution to WA’s economy. With our remote and rugged landscape, there’s often no option other than to move very large items by road.

Oversize and overmass (OSOM) vehicles and road trains are built to transport very large loads on rural roads. It can be daunting sharing the road with them, but following the road rules will make your trip a safer one.

How to safely navigate a vehicle that's wider than you

Vehicles carrying oversize loads are typically much bigger, wider and slower than you.

If you come across one of these oversize vehicles travelling towards you, accompanied by a Heavy Vehicle Pilot or Traffic Escort Warden vehicle, please follow these simple steps:

  • Slow down - seeing a Heavy Vehicle Pilot or Traffic Escort Warden vehicle is a warning that there’s something big up ahead
  • Move left - oversize loads can take up more than half the road or may need to travel in the middle of the road to avoid power lines or other roadside items
  • Prepare to stop and follow directions - Heavy Vehicle Pilots and Traffic Escort Wardens are there to provide directions on how to safely navigate the oversize load

If the oversize vehicle is extra-wide, you may need to pull over completely for the vehicle to pass safely. Take care when re-entering the road – indicate and wait until the entire convoy has passed, including the last Pilot vehicle.

When following behind an oversize vehicle, be patient and keep a safe distance. Oversize vehicles will sometimes pull over when it is safe for you to pass.

If the rear pilot waves you past or calls you over the UHF radio (using UHF Channel 40) and advises that it’s safe to overtake, proceed with extreme caution. As the driver, you are still responsible for ensuring it is safe to cross the centreline and overtake.

How to safely overtake a vehicle that's longer than you

Road trains can be as long as 12 car lengths, measuring up to 53.5 metres long!

If you come across a road train on a single-lane road and need to overtake, please follow these simple steps: 

  • Be patient. If you can, wait for the next overtaking lane
  • Make sure you have a long, straight stretch of road ahead of you. Overtaking these trucks take a lot longer than a regular truck. If you can’t see what’s ahead, do not overtake and wait for a safer opportunity
  • NEVER overtake on a curve or hill where visibility is reduced
  • Stay out of the vehicles blind spot
  • After you’ve passed, wait until you can see the vehicle’s headlights in your rear-view mirror, and don’t forget to indicate when returning to the left lane.
  • If you’re towing a caravan or trailer, you will need to give yourself extra room.
  • NEVER cut-off an oversize vehicle as they can't stop quickly

Follow directions

Heavy Vehicle Pilots and Traffic Escort Wardens are there for your safety! They have the same powers as WA Police to direct you around the oversize load. It is important that you stay alert and follow their directions at all times.
Vehicles carrying oversize loads are typically much bigger, wider and slower than a car


Car driving on unsealed road in regional WA

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Know the road rules, prepare for the unexpected and plan ahead.

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The Government of Western Australia acknowledges the traditional custodians throughout Western Australia and their continuing connection to the land, waters and community. We pay our respects to all members of the Aboriginal communities and their cultures; and to Elders both past and present.

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