Larger capacity agricultural trailers might be permitted on UK roads under new proposals
TheAgricultural Engineers Association (AEA) welcomes the publication today (7November), of the Department for Transports consultation on proposals toincrease the permitted speed and weight at which agricultural tractors andtheir trailers can be used on roads. UK legislation has for many years laggedbehind technological advance.
TheAEA has for several years been working with the British Agricultural and GardenMachinery Association (Bagma), the National Association of AgriculturalContractors (NAAC) and the National Farmers Unions (NFU and NFUS) to call for a change in the legislation to allow tractors and trailers thathad undertaken a proprietary roadworthiness type test (undertaken by accreditedindustry inspectors) to travel at speeds up to 25mph and weights of up to37,000 kg (for tri-axle trailers with road-friendly suspension).
UK legislation hasfailed to keep up with technological developments since 1986 when the weightand speed limitations were enshrined in the Construction and Use regulations;i.e. a maximum weight of 24,390 kg for a tractor/trailer combination and amaximum speed for a majority of combinations of 20mph. Today tractors are type approved to European harmonised legislation 40 km/h (30 mph).
The partner associationshave proposed a scheme the Agricultural Tractor Trailer Scheme (ATTS) whichwould require an annual roadworthiness type test designed to ensure thestandard of machinery at test and so promote road safety.
The AEA wasalso pleased to today attend a factory visit by the Parliamentary UnderSecretary of State for Transport, Robert Goodwill MP,where he was able to view example tractor and trailer combinations and hearmore about the industry views.