Following successful industry lobbying, Government has announced agricultural vehicles more than three and a half tonnes will be exempt from Driver CPC rules later this year, reducing the regulatory burden for farmers.
Under current EU regulations, drivers of commercial good vehicles weighing more than three and a half tonnes must have a certificate of professional competence, consisting of an initial qualification and a 35-hour training programme every five years.
However, an agricultural tractor and trailer were exempt from the original rules.
After a consultation earlier this year, the Department for Transport (DfT) has agreed to ‘exempt drivers of vehicles used, or hired without a driver, by agricultural, horticultural, forestry and farming undertakings’ following successfully lobbying efforts from UK farming unions.
A DfT spokesperson said: “We hope this flexibility will encourage the agricultural sector to reconsider the use of large tractor and trailer combinations that are sometimes used in the farming industry rather than using a lorry.”
NFU farm safety and transport adviser Thomas Price said: “The decision by the Department for Transport to remove farming from the scope of the CPC rules is great news and will help to reduce the regulatory burden facing farm businesses.
"Due to the limited use of these vehicles, the NFU urged the Government to make this change and we are pleased they have taken our suggestions on board.”
The exemption applies when the transport of goods are ‘part of their own entrepreneurial activity’.
Driving must also not be the driver’s principle activity and should remain within the distance set by national law.
With no exact date for the rule change, drivers of goods vehicles more than three and a half tonnes within agricultural businesses have been reminded to follow the current regulations in place.