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Commercial vehicles

Do I need to book in advance for a commercial vehicle?

Yes, all commercial and haulage vehicles travelling on our services must reserve in advance through the port of departure. For more information phone 0800 066 5000 or +44 1475 650397 (for International customers). 

Does the driver need to travel with the vehicle?

Yes, on all services, the vehicle must be accompanied by a driver holding the appropriate licence, unless a prior arrangement has been made with the port manager.

What are the check-in times for commercial vehicles?

Check in times vary and are shown on your booking confirmation. It's important to check in no later than the times shown otherwise space could be reallocated and the vehicle refused shipment.

Where can I find the latest Commercial Vehicle Rates?

View our Commercial Vehicle Rates 2016/2017 [39kb]

Livestock vehicles. Do you allow four tier floats on your ships?

Yes, except for sailings between Ullapool and Stornoway, Oban and Craignure, and Ardrossan and Brodick. On applicable routes space may be limited to accommodate four tier floats, please contact the port of departure for more information. 

What regulations apply to livestock vehicles?

All livestock vehicles must comply fully with the EC Regulations 1/2005 and any guidance notes relating to it, and must be accompanied by an attendant except where permitted by derogation. All livestock vehicles over 3.5 tonnes GVM must be fitted with lashing points on all routes.

Can the ship's master refuse to carry a livestock vehicle?

Yes, this could happen if:

  • Your vehicle doesn't comply with the relevant regulations and the guidance notes relating to it

  • The Master believes hot or inclement weather, or adverse sea conditions, would cause suffering to animals on board.

Do you inspect commercial vehicles before they're allowed on board?

For safety and security reasons we carry out random inspections of commercial vehicles and their loads travelling on all our services. Drivers should be prepared to open their vehicle and produce their load documentation. The Department of Transport publication "Code of Practice, Safety of Loads on Vehicles", obtainable from any HMSO bookshop (ISBN 0 11 550667), provides guidance on how loads should be secured on vehicles.

Lashing points - does my commercial vehicle need to be lashed to the deck?

Commercial vehicles in excess of 3.5 tonnes Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) must be fitted with lashing points which can be used to secure the vehicle to the car deck in accordance with the Department of Transport booklet "Roll-on/Roll-off Ships - Stowage and Securing of Vehicles - Code of Practice". This is available from HMSO book shops (ISBN No. 0-11-5590995-X). Customers should satisfy themselves that they comply with the code of practice in all respects.

Vehicles travelling on services between Wemyss Bay/Rothesay, Largs/Cumbrae, Colintraive/Rhubodach and Tarbert/Portavadie are not required to comply with this Code of Practice (except when carrying dangerous goods or livestock - see relevant sections of the code). However, on these routes we strongly advise customers to comply with the Code of Practice, and reserve the right to decline shipment of such vehicles on these services in adverse weather.

Vehicles travelling on all other routes will be refused shipment if they do not comply with this Code of Practice.

Weight declarations - do I have to declare the weight of the goods I'm transporting by commercial vehicle?

On all services except Wemyss Bay - Rothesay, Largs - Cumbrae, Colintraive - Rhubodach and Tarbert - Portavadie, commercial vehicle drivers must produce a written declaration at the time of shipment that includes:

  • A general description of the cargo

  • The Gross Vehicle Mass

  • Details of any relevant special properties of the cargo

Vehicles travelling on services from Oban, Stornoway, Ullapool and Kennacraig don't need this declaration as they will be weighed at the port. However, a description of cargo and relevant special properties must be given at time of weighing. We reserve the right to weigh vehicles and trailers at any port. There is a weight limit of 38 tonnes at Craignure (Mull).

Download a weight declaration form [52kb] .

Commercial vehicle and light goods vehicle operators are reminded that it is the responsibility of the operator and the driver to ensure that the vehicle is not loaded over and above the plated weight.

Vehicles in excess of their plated weight will be refused shipment.

Any vehicle weighing over 3.5 tonnes will be charged as a commercial vehicle for the purpose of shipment.

Do you carry tracked vehicles?

We normally accept tracked vehicles exceeding 3.5 tonnes and road rollers when they're carried on a transporter. Rubber tracked or wheeled vehicles (including some road rollers) in a clean condition, may be accepted under certain circumstances at the discretion of the vessel's Master.

Dangerous goods - I have a cargo of dangerous goods. Can I use your service?

If you're carrying dangerous goods you must declare this to the port of departure at least 24 hours in advance.

All dangerous goods shipments must be accompanied by a Dangerous Goods Note (DGN). These notes are updated as regulations change. Currently the only form which complies with present legislation is the SITPRO '99 or later.

SITPRO DGNs may be available from the following suppliers:

  • Formecon Services -  01270 500800

  • Lonsdale Business Forms -  01933 228855

  • LT Printing - 0151 647 8006

  • Regent Print Group - 01484 530789

  • Stationery Office - 04603 530789

  • Tate Freight Forms - 01908 221162

Vehicles carrying dangerous goods should display placards on both sides and the rear of the vehicle corresponding to the label for the class of goods being carried.

Vehicles over 3.5 tonnes GVM carrying dangerous goods must be fitted with lashing points on all routes. CalMac cannot provide any legal coverage on the carriage of dangerous goods.

Dangerous goods include flammable substances such as petrol, LPG and compressed air cylinders, and must be carried in accordance with Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) regulations.  Small quantities (up to five litres) of petrol or diesel can be carried in private vehicles, which are not in commercial use.   We reserve the right to inspect any vehicle presented for shipment and can refuse to convey it if the regulations are being contravened.  

Diesel driven machinery - Do you carry vehicles fitted with diesel driven machinery?

Yes. Vehicles such as refrigerated vehicles, viviers, etc, travelling between Ullapool/Stornoway, Oban/Craignure, and Ardrossan/Brodick, or any route where closed car decks are in operation, should be capable of running from a 415v 3-phase supply while on board the vessel. Vehicles unable to run on such a supply must switch their machinery off for the duration of the voyage.

Can I change the water for my live shellfish cargo while on board?

This depends on a range of factors, such as weather conditions and capacity on board. We can't guarantee that this will be available for every journey - please speak to the relevant port of departure for more information.

Can I get a refund if I cancel a commercial reservation?

Yes, provided you cancel in writing and fax your cancellation notice to the port of departure at least 48 hours before scheduled departure.

If you don't meet these cancellation requirements, the customer's future bookings and/or block bookings will be reduced proportionally, according to the number of no-shows and cancellations the customer has made in the preceding 6 months.

I have a question that is not answered here. What should I do?

Call us on 0800 066 5000, +44 1475 650397 (for International customers), or email enquiries@calmac.co.uk. We'll get back to you as soon as we can. 


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