The National Association of Agricultural Contractor’s (NAAC) has welcomed an announcement from the Department for Transport (DfT) that agricultural tractors will not be required to undertake roadworthiness testing.
Announced as part of a Government response introducing roadworthiness testing for fast tractors used for commercial haulage, it is made clear that, despite some opposition, mandatory vehicle testing will not be introduced for agricultural tractors as it is considered that road use is limited compared to other vehicles.
Commenting Jill Hewitt, NAAC Technical Consultant said, ‘Agricultural tractors spend the majority of their time off road and the NAAC supports the decision not to introduce mandatory roadworthiness testing. However, it is important that contractors and farmers use the vehicles ‘solely’ for agricultural use and do not step into commercial haulage, without abiding by necessary transport regulations.’
‘It is also vital, to protect the safety of road users, that all tractors are safe on the roads and the industry must continue to be rigorous in daily maintenance checks and regular servicing.’
New legislation will be brought forward to introduce:
• Roadworthiness testing for tractors used for commercial haulage and capable of capable of more than 40km/h (approximately 25mph). It will apply only to vehicles used further than 15miles from their base of operation. These tractors should be tested after four years, and every two years thereafter.
• Tractors classified as ‘agricultural machines’ for tax purposes will be exempt from testing.