A significant proportion of the cost of winning minerals or aggregates in an open cast mine is related to the mass haul. The quality of the haul roads is an important factor in the efficiency and length of turn-round time. The paper reports a study into the use of plate loadings tests as a quick and easy means of establishing a preliminary bearing capacity. Various relationships have been obtained between bearing capacity and the results of field and laboratory tests. Good performance indices (r, RMSE, VAF) indicate they can be used for an initial assessment of the bearing capacity of rock units ranging from weak to strong. In addition, classes for bearing capacity of rock units have been suggested based on field observations and measurements.