A US M109 tank in Poland. Photo: DPA
A shipment of six US army tanks was on its way from Poland to Germany when police in Saxony ordered it to pull over. Upon inspecting the cargo, they noticed more than just one violation of the rules of the road.
On the Autobahn 4 near Bautzen a police control asked the convoy to pull into the Oberlausitz-Nord rest area on Tuesday evening, the Sächsische Zeitung reports.
The first thing that occurred to the officers inspecting the cargo was that the trailers were completely unsuited to the task. The tanks were far too wide and too heavy for the trailers. After weighing all six of the loads, police found that they were up to 16 tonnes over the limit for the type of trailer being used.
The Polish company which was transporting the M109 tanks also didn’t have any of the relevant documentation for the cargo. Both the transportation papers and the authorization for transporting military vehicles were not present at the scene of the search.
The convoy was also supposed to be accompanied by other vehicles – these were not present.
Lastly, police found that several of the drivers had been at the wheel for far too long, exceeding the legal limit that they are allowed to stay at the wheel.
The result was that the convoy had to stay where it was until suitable vehicles had been brought in and all the required documentation was available.