Agricultural tractors have been granted exemption from road worthiness testing by the Department for Transport.
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 road use is limited compared to other vehicles.
Jesse Norman MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Roads, Local Transport and Devolution says; “Roadworthiness testing will not be required for tractors used exclusively for agriculture, as their use on the road is limited compared with other vehicles.”
Commenting on operator responsibility, Jill Hewitt, NAAC technical consultant says; “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.”
Although tractors licenced for agriculture are exempt from testing, new legislation has been put to parliament regarding tractors licenced for commercial use.
This proposes roadworthiness testing become mandatory for any tractor which is licenced for commercial haulage. The NAAC says this will only apply to vehicles travelling further than 15 miles from their base, allowing any tractor to be used for commercial work, i.e. using an agricultural licenced tractor to carry produce from the farm to a processor, for example.
Tractors which are used for commercial haulage will be required to be tested four years from new, and every two years thereafter.
Tractors classified as ‘agricultural machines’ for tax purposes will be exempt from testing.