Site navigation
Department of Transport and Main Roads

Livestock Loading Scheme

The Queensland Livestock Loading Scheme enhances the safe and efficient transportation of livestock throughout Queensland.

We manage the Livestock Loading Scheme in partnership with the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) under the Heavy Vehicle National Law. The scheme provides increased mass limits for livestock loads and includes measure to improve the safety for both the vehicle and livestock, reducing the incidence of vehicle rollovers. 

The Livestock Loading Scheme operates under the Queensland Class 3 Livestock Loading Exemption Notice 2019

Eligibility under the scheme

Livestock eligibility

Livestock are eligible under the scheme include the following:

  • cattle
  • goats
  • horses
  • pigs
  • sheep.

Vehicle eligibility

An eligible vehicle is a heavy vehicle that:

  • has a current and compliant Livestock Loading S10 plate attached
  • complies with all the requirements of the Queensland Livestock Loading Scheme 
  • is one of the following vehicle type:
    • rigid trucks
    • rigid trucks towing a 5 or 6 axle dog trailer
    • prime movers towing a semi-trailer
    • B-double combinations
    • B-triple combinations
    • road train combinations

Requirements under the scheme

Loading requirements

While the Livestock Loading Scheme allows for some increase to strict mass regulations, loaded mass is controlled by 3 key principles:

  1. Internal trailer dimensions (deck length) are specified and checked as part of the certification process.
  2. Trailer unladen mass is regulated and checked as part of the certification process.
  3. Manufacturers ratings for all components must not be exceeded.

Transport requirements

Livestock must be loaded in full on the lower deck before livestock are carried in the upper deck. 

When livestock does not completely fill a deck, the livestock must be securely restrained in position by full-width barriers to prevent instability of the vehicle when in motion. 

Under this scheme, no other freight can be carried at the same time as livestock is carried. The number of decks used to transport livestock can't exceed:

  • 2 decks for cattle
  • 3 decks for pigs
  • 4 decks for sheep.

Interstate mutual recognition requirements

Vehicles registered in another state or territory may operate under the Livestock Loading Scheme in Queensland provided the vehicle complies to all conditions of the Scheme. 

Mutual recognition will be applied to vehicles approved to operate as a Livestock Loading Vehicle in the state or territory of scheme registration, including: 

  • Northern Territory Livestock Loading Scheme 
  • NSW Livestock Loading Scheme 
  • South Australia Livestock Loading Scheme 
  • Tasmanian Livestock Loading Scheme
  • Victorian Livestock Loading Scheme 

All conditions of your relevant state's Livestock Loading Scheme will apply when operating in Queensland. This includes, but is not limited to, mass limits, certification and accreditation.

You will need to provide evidence of your relevant Livestock Loading Scheme approval if requested by a member of the Queensland Police Service or an authorised Transport Inspector from the department.

Certification and Livestock Loading Scheme participation

Vehicle certification

Under the Modification Code S10 Concessional Livestock Loading, all vehicles and trailers (excluding tri-axle converter dollies) must be certified. It is not a requirement of the scheme for you to register your vehicle as a participant. 

Read more about heavy vehicle modifications on the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator website.  


Scheme vehicles that operate with national based notices

Vehicles operating under the Scheme must also operate with their relevant national based notices, these vehicles include:

All nation notices and permit-based schemes are implemented and published by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator.

Access routes through Queensland Globe

Queensland Globe allows you to quickly identify up-to-date approved heavy vehicle routes and restrictions in an interactive way across various devices. You can create, download and print map specific to the routes and restrictions that apply to you.

View the routes and restrictions for heavy vehicles, or follow these steps:

  1. Visit Queensland Globe
  2. Once you are logged in, select Topics, which is located on the left-hand side
  3. When the new window opens, select Transport and motoring, click circle button with the right arrow
  4. The heavy vehicle routes and restrictions topic will appear, then click the Launch Topic button in the bottom right hand corner. 

To get the most out of Queensland Globe's features we recommended that you watch the Queensland Globe video tutorials.

Livestock Loading – B-Triple Loading Advice

The loading advice helps to understand how to load compliantly with tri-axle mass limits. This advice comes from the Queensland Class 3 Livestock Loading Exemption Notice. It does not provide immunity from mass offences related to this notice. 

Triple B truck

B-triple (20 – 30 – 40 foot configuration trailers)

Average best
weight per head
Indicative maximum number
of head for compliant loading
Deck Indicative loading configuration
Trailer 1 Trailer 2 Trailer 3
520kg 108 Top 13 16 13 11
Bottom 13 17 13 12
650kg 82 Top 10 7 Empty 20
Bottom  10 15 20
770kg 70 Top 9 11 6 8
Bottom 9 12 6 9

For more information about the Livestock Loading Scheme email

For more information

Learn more about the Modification Code S10 on the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator website.

Find out more about animal welfare during transport on the Business Queensland website.

Read more about Chain of Responsibility on the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator website.

Last updated 05 September 2023