[Tagging] maxweight=* specified for different axle counts

David Wang ezemdw at gmail.com
Wed Jun 13 21:40:42 UTC 2018

What is the best way to specify the maximum weight when a sign specifies different weights for different axle counts?

The situation in question is here:


For those who cannot see the image, the sign says


: 2 axle - 10 tons

: 3 axle - 16 tons

: 4 axle + - 17 tons

(“tons” in this case means “short tons”, as it is in the US)

I went through the Tagging list archives and found a thread from Dec 2015/Jan 2016, with the subject “Specifying maxweight, when different weight limits are signed” (starting here: https://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/tagging/2015-December/027931.html and here: https://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/tagging/2016-January/027975.html)

My problem is that placing “maxweight=10 st” and “maxweight=17 st” are both not true to the information on the ground, plus info is lost. 

One solution proposed in the above thread is to find the weight borne per axle and then use the most restrictive weight, as in (17 st)/(4 axles)=4.25 st/axle, tagged as “maxaxleload=4.25 st”. Unfortunately, the last is 4+ axles, meaning that with multiple axles, the maximum load per axle goes to zero, so this does not work. 

Another solution was to use the access keys as suffixes on the maxweight key, as in “maxweight:hgv” and “maxweight:bus”, to specify the maximum weight. However, I find this solution clunky. It also doesn’t address the fact that some vehicles can have different axle counts, for example an HGV can have anywhere from two to five axles. 

I feel this situation might need a new suffix at the very least (“maxweight:axles:#=*” ?), but it’s definitely up to comment.


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