Guide to HGV Driving in The Netherlands
Handy advice for Truck drivers in Holland
HGV Driving Advice In The Netherlands
Much of the Netherlands is categorised as ‘lowland’, with 20% of its land below sea level, and 50% being less than one metre above sea level. The Netherlands is easily accessible by sea, and has four major seaports, the port of Amsterdam, the port of Rotterdam, Zeeland Seaports and Groningen. Rotterdam is one of the world’s busiest ports to this day.
Truck and lorry drivers should carry their full passports, and their national driving licence, along with written consent from the owner of the HGV that they can drive the vehicle. EU rules obviously apply, and although it is not mandatory, green card insurance is recommended.
You should also have:
- A GB sticker or Euro numberplate.
- Headlamp converters – your operator will hopefully have attended to this.
- A warning triangle must be carried.
- Vehicle registration documents.
The Netherlands does not have a system of toll roads, unlike most other European countries. Still, they do have a ‘Eurovignette’ scheme where commercial lorries carrying freight from other countries must pay a fee according to the length of time the vehicle is in the country. These can be bought here https://www.eurovignettes.eu/portal/ , but can also be purchased through fuel card outlets, or at particular cash and credit card machines located at various petrol stations.
Speed limits and road offences
The Netherlands has some of the highest traffic fines in Europe. Speed limits vary across the country, so always keep a check on signs. However, it is fairly standard that lorries are restricted to 30km/h in residential areas, 50km/h in built-up areas and 80km/h on open roads and motorways, although in some areas this can be as low as 70km/h.
Fines in the Netherlands are levied on the spot, and must be paid in cash. Some examples of fines include:
- Not wearing a seatbelt (including HGV drivers and drivers mates)
- Driving at 60km/h in a 50km/h zone – €46
- 81 – 83km/h in a 50km/h – up to €316
- Not being in possession of an insurance certificate – €288
- Failing to keep tachograph records – €4400
If you are caught breaking the speed limit by more than 50km/h, you will have your licence confiscated on the spot.
There are no Bank Holiday or Sunday restrictions in the Netherlands, but there are many low emissions zones, or ‘milieu zone’ – find out more at www.urbanaccessregulations.eu .
Vehicle Restrictions in the Netherlands
Vehicles in the Netherlands are restricted to a maximum height of 4 metres, and a width of 2.55 metres (or 2.6 metres for refrigerated units). Rigid lorries are restricted to 12 metres in length, and articulated lorries, 16.5 metres, although road trains can be 18.75 metres. Weight restrictions are as follows:
2 axles: 21.5t
3 axles: 33t
4 axles: 43t
2 axles: 20t
3 axles: 30t
3 axles: 31.5t
4 axles: 41.5t
5/6 axles: 50t
(the same limit applies to road trains for 4 and 5/6 axles.)
Holland is the only EU country where the 50t limit is permissible – anything outside of this requires permission from:
2700 AT Zoetermeer
Tel: 0031 79 345 8309/8314
Abnormal loads typically have to be moved outside of rush hour periods, restrictions usually apply at weekends and under certain weather conditions.
As is common in Europe, 112 is the emergency number for contacting the emergency services in Holland, including police, fire and ambulance.
The following other bodies may be useful for further advice:
Dutch Transport Authority https://www.government.nl/topics/freight-transportation/requiremenst-for-lorries
Dutch Hauliers Association – firstname.lastname@example.org
Dutch Association Logistics and Transport (EVO) – email@example.com