You are viewing 1 of your 2 free articles

You’ll need to join us by becoming a member to gain more access.
Already a Member?

Login Join us now

Wide vehicle rules, speed limits and police notification - what you need to know...

NFU transport expert Tom Price provides reminders on wide vehicle rules, the speed limits for agricultural vehicles and when you might need to notify the police before going out on the road.

Twitter Facebook

In general terms, vehicles more than three metres in width are classed as wide vehicles.


There are rules on the movement of wide vehicles on the road that farmers should know and follow.

The legal speed limit for agricultural vehicles varies according to vehicle type and width:


  • Only tractors measuring no more than 2.55m in width can travel up to 40kmh (approx. 25 mph), this also applies when towing a trailer no more than 2.55m wide
  • Tractors over 2.55m but less than 3.5m in width have a maximum legal speed of 20 mph
  • Tractors towing a trailed implement, such as a cultivator, rake, baler, slurry tanker, sprayer or basically anything other than a trailer, are also restricted to a maximum speed of 20mph
  • All other agricultural machines less than 3.5 m in width have a maximum legal speed limit of 20 mph (e.g. sprayers, telehandlers etc.).
  • All agricultural vehicles 3.5 m to 4.3m in width have a maximum legal speed limit of 12 mph.


Police notification
The general rule is that the police should be notified of vehicle movements when vehicles are:


  • Over 3 m in width
  • Travelling on roads with a speed limit of 40 mph or less
  • Traveling distances over 5 miles


Attendants are needed when vehicles over 3.5 m in width are travelling on the road.


How to notify the police?


According to the legislation, police forces should be given at least 24 hours’ notice of wide vehicle movements. Most police forces operate an annual dispensation scheme for the movement of wide agricultural vehicles on road otherwise they would soon be overwhelmed by calls.


This means that a farmer applies once a year with details of all their wide vehicles and the areas in which they intend to travel.


The police usually issue a dispensation covering all an applicant’s wide vehicles.


Members should contact the Abnormal Loads officer of their local constabulary for details on how to apply for a dispensation for their area.


When a dispensation is issued it is essential to keep a copy of the dispensation in every vehicle covered in case of any query by enforcement officers.


Check the dispensation to make sure there are no onerous and unnecessary conditions attached to it.


Farmers who fail to notify the police of the movement of wide vehicles and obtain a dispensation leave themselves open to possible enforcement action such as being over-width and fines up to £220.


NFU Members can obtain further advice from CallFirst on 0370 845 8458.

Are you driving your big kit legally? We take a look...

Are you driving your big kit legally? We take a look...

NFU transport adviser, Thomas Price, looks at the driving licence entitlements you need to drive different types of agricultural vehicles on the road.



Twitter Facebook
Rating (0 vote/s)
Post a Comment
To see comments and join in the conversation please log in.

More News

Seasonal agricultural workers to be exempt from Government’s migration target

Defra Secretary Michael Gove has suggested seasonal agricultural workers could be exempt from the Government’s target to reduce net migration to the tens of thousands.

Farmers warned after 70 sheep stolen in series of thefts

Police are urging farmers to be vigilant after dozens of lambs were stolen in a theft near Harrogate.

UTV stolen from world champion's farm in broad daylight

A multi-world and European clay pigeon shooting champion has issued a plea for help after a UTV was stolen from his farm in broad daylight.

Farm Safety Week: Boy, 11, seriously injured after incident involving tractor

An 11-year-old boy has been seriously injured in an incident involving a tractor.

Farm Safety Week: Dairy farmer speaks out after losing fingers in bottling machine

It’s farm safety week - and dairy farmer Helen Banham has spoken out after losing two fingers in a bottling machine incident.
FG Insight and FGInsight.com are trademarks of Briefing Media Ltd.
Farmers Guardian and FarmersGuardian.com are trademarks of Farmers Guardian Ltd, a subsidiary of Briefing Media Ltd.
All material published on FGInsight.com and FarmersGuardian.com is copyrighted © 2016 by Briefing Media Limited. All rights reserved.
RSS news feeds