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“Does my Tractor Need an Operator’s Licence? How About a Tachograph?” – Your Questions Answered

Does your tractor need an Operator’s Licence? How about a tachograph? How about safety inspections? These are simple questions, but not always easy to answer. Getting it wrong can be expensive for your business and in some cases, can even leave you with a criminal record.

The answers will usually depend on the type of tractor you have, and the type of haulage operation you are carrying out.

We shall take each question in turn:

 

1) Do You Need an Operator’s Licence for your Tractor?

Generally speaking, you are likely to need an O licence for your tractor if:
• Your tractor and trailer has a maximum authorised mass over 3.5 tonnes and
• is used for hauling farm produce over 15 miles from your farm
There are a number of exemptions which can apply however, depending on the type of work you undertake. If you fit within an exemption, you will not need an O licence. For more information, speak to a transport lawyer today for a free initial consultation.

 

2) Do you Fall under EU Tachograph Rules?

Generally speaking, you will need to use a tachograph if:
• your tractor and trailer has a maximum authorised mass over 3.5 tonnes and
• the tractor is capable of exceeding 25mph
Again, there are a number of exemptions which, if they apply to your case, will exempt your tractor from needing a tachograph. These are dependent upon the type of work you undertake. Again, it is best to take advice.

 

3) Does Your Tractor Require a Roadworthiness Test?

Your tractor is likely to require a roadworthiness test if:
• The tractor is capable of exceeding 25mph, or
• The tractor is used to haul goods (of any description) more than 15 miles from its operating base.
Again, there are a number of exemptions from this requirement. For more information, speak to an expert.

 

4) What Type of Operator Licence will I Require?

If you decide that you need an operator’s licence (see above) you must then decide what type of licence to apply for. There are 3 types of operator licence: Restricted, Standard and Standard International.

Restricted
If you need an operator’s licence and only intend to move your own goods then you can apply for a restricted licence.

Standard National
If you need an operator’s licence and intend to move other people’s goods in the UK in return for payment of some form, you will need a standard national operator’s licence. A standard International licence is the same as standard licence, but allows the vehicles to travel abroad – not normally a concern for a tractor!

Whichever licence you apply for, you will need to be able to show to the Office of the Traffic Commissioner that you have the proper facilities (operating centre, maintenance arrangements etc) and knowledge to be able to operate lawfully. If you have any doubts about what is expected of you, speak to one of our specialist transport lawyers. For a single fixed fee we can discuss your business needs, advise on the appropriate licensing arrangements for your business and apply for a licence on your behalf.

For more information about applying for, or varying an operator’s licence, click here.
At Smith Bowyer Clarke our transport lawyers are experts in the field of operator licensing, vehicle overloading, and road transport offences. Call us today for a free initial consultation.

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