2014-01-03   facebook twitter rss

EU Sees Sense on MOTs for Tractors and Trailers

New burdensome EU proposals on tractor and trailer testing look to have been defeated in the European Union after intensive lobbying from the NFU.

The proposals, which formed part of the EU’s wide ranging ‘Roadworthiness Package’, would have introduced new MOT-style testing for some large tractors and all livestock trailers.

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The original plans meant that all ‘O2’ graded trailers, such as a normal livestock trailer towed behind a four wheel drive vehicle, would have been subject to MOT-style testing. The UK farming unions argued that prescriptive and onerous testing of tractors and livestock trailers would be costly and bureaucratic. After intense lobbying, and backed by the member state governments in the Council, the MOT style testing of all livestock trailers will now not be needed.

On tractor testing; the NFU argued that requiring the same level of testing as is required for HGVs is unreasonable due to the multitasking nature of agricultural machinery. Legal restrictions on issues such as red diesel use and operator licensing mean that tractors are used on the road for more limited time than in other countries and as such farmers in the UK should not be penalised.

NFU regulatory affairs adviser Ben Ellis said: “Thanks to the lobbying efforts of the NFU’s office in Brussels standard tractors used for farming would be exempt. For certain high speed “T5” tractors; while still included in the scope of the final agreement, will only include those that travel ‘mainly on public roads’. The NFU is committed to ensuring the safety of agricultural machines on the roads which is why we advocate the use of the Farm Vehicle Health Check Scheme.”

The final agreement is likely to come early in 2014 when the European Parliament and member state ministers are expected to formally adopt the package.

NFU

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