The use of vehicles in agricultural businesses is very diverse – from abnormal loads to low-loaders to harvesters to cattle transporters and horseboxes, or from bulk haulage of crops to small tractors operating predominantly on private land.
The regulation of operators, drivers and vehicles in the agricultural sector is more complex than those in passenger or traditional transport businesses. Maintaining compliance is particularly challenging due to the many different types of vehicles and trailers operated by agricultural businesses and their specific uses. Whether a regulation does or does not apply in a certain set of circumstances can be very subtle or complex.
Factors to consider include:
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) carry out roadside enforcement to ensure businesses are operating safely and fairly. In this sector, this activity focusses on operator licencing, correct driver licensing, safe loads, excess weight, absence of or incorrect use of tachographs and roadworthiness standards resulting in vehicle prohibitions or prosecutions for poor standards.
Early advice is essential to be able to deal with investigations of any kind in the best way. These may start at the roadside and/or take place at your farm, office or operating centre. Often prosecutions occur where businesses believe they do not require a certain licence or think they are exempt from certain regulations. For example, there are a number of exemptions from the use of tachographs for certain agriculture activities but they are a very specific in scope so only apply if all criteria are met – otherwise the drivers’ hours rules must be fully complied with.
We can help advice with regard to:
Examples of the type of questions often posed, with which we can help you, are:
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