A Weight Restriction Order is necessary to help protect roads from damage that can cause untimely and expensive delays for road users who rely on the road network. Weight restrictions also help to avoid higher road maintenance costs as well as vehicle wear and tear. In addition, the restriction also limits access of heavy vehicles from unsuitable areas for their size such as narrow village roads, bridges or the placesthat may pose danger to pedestrians.
In Malaysia, all vehicle design and construction must comply to the Malaysia Weight Restrictions (Federal Roads) (Amendment) Order 2018. The order was gazetted on 30 October 2018 and came into operation on 31 October 2018. The date of enforcement of this updated order has yet to be announced by the authorities, but a source revealed that the authorities are going to enforce the order soon.
The entire vehicle must comply the maximum axle rating stated in that order. However, the load is dependent on dimensions of the wheelbase and axle spread. The maximum load for each vehicle is different for Peninsular and East (Sabah and Sarawak) Malaysia. Generally, the maximum permissible load in Sabah and Sarawak is less due to condition of the road and road infrastructure. Weight Restriction Orders are enforced across the county by the Road Transport Department (JPJ) and the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM).
In addition, in Road Transport Act 1997, Section 86: Restriction of vehicles on the bridges stated that vehicle using bridges cannot exceed the permissible load specified in the regulation based on their construction. Furthermore, the need of a conspicuous notice at each end of the bridge is also stated in the act and the notice should reflect the allowable weight and the speed limit.