Our transport adviser, Thomas Price, looks at the driving licence entitlements you need to drive different types of agricultural vehicles on the road.
Most people know that in order to drive a tractor on the road a driver needs a category F driving licence. There are two ways to get a category F licence:
- The F category is automatically acquired when a car driving test is passed - it is an entitlement that that is linked to the car category B. With a category B licence a driver gets the entitlement to drive a car and also gets the entitlement to drive a tractor.
- Take a stand-alone tractor test. If the test is passed the applicant is issued with a category F licence. This allows the holder to drive agricultural tractors and trailers only. It will not cover any other type of vehicle.
What about other agricultural machines such as telehandlers and sprayers?
A category B licence also allows the holder to drive on road other vehicles which are registered as agricultural machines. This includes vehicles such as sprayers and telehandlers. There are however age restrictions on the maximum vehicle weights that can be driven by younger drivers.
Agricultural vehicles up to 3.5 tonne
Agricultural vehicles 3.5 tonne to 7.5 tonne
Agricultural vehicles over 7.5 tonne
Tracked vehicles steered by their tracks are in a separate H category. There is no automatic entitlement to drive vehicles in category H linked to the B category. In order to get the driving licence to drive tacked vehicles steered by their tracks a driver must take an additional H category driving test.
This requirement is sometimes missed by drivers. If you have a category H vehicle which is steered by its tracks check your licence. If you do not have a category H entitlement then you should make arrangements to take the test as soon as possible.