Trailer tests overturned

EU proposals on tractor and trailer testing look to have been defeated in the European Union after intensive lobbying from the NFU.

The proposals, which formed part of the EU’s wide ranging ‘Roadworthiness Package’, would have introduced new MOT-style testing for some large tractors and all livestock trailers.

The original plans meant all ‘O2’ graded trailers, such as a normal livestock trailer towed behind a four wheel drive vehicle, would have been subject to MOT-style testing. The UK farming unions argued that testing of tractors and livestock trailers would be costly and bureaucratic. After intense lobbying, this MOT style testing will now not be needed.

On tractor testing, the NFU argued that requiring the same level of testing as is required for HGVs is unreasonable due to the multitasking nature of agricultural machinery.

Legal restrictions on issues such as red diesel use and operator licensing mean that tractors are used on the road for more limited time than in other countries and as such farmers in the UK should not be penalised.

The final agreement is likely to come early this year when the European Parliament and member state ministers are expected to formally adopt the package.

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