Have your say on tractor and trailer consultations

A government consultation examining trailer weights and speeds is to be carried out following years of NFU lobbying.

tractor and trailer_275_183The consultations will seek opinion on increasing the weight and speed limits for agricultural vehicles which will enable farmers to transport produce more efficiently.

Views will be sought on whether to increase the speed limit to 25mph. And also whether the weight limit for tractors and trailers should be increased to 31tonnes, 33tonnes or 37tonnes (for a tri-axle trailer with road friendly suspension). In order to qualify for the increased weights a voluntary industry- led test is proposed. We would urge members to respond as individuals to the consultations whether you are a farmer or a contractor. It is important to let the government know in particular if the weight of 31t is too low. We have produced a briefing on the proposals which can be found here (login to access).

The consultations also seek views on other policy options which could be considered.

NFU Vice President Adam Quinney said: “We welcome this consultation as part of the Government’s commitment to cut red tape and bureaucracy. But it also recognises the hard work that our farmers carry out every day of the year to put food on the table.

“The NFU has been campaigning for the weight and speed limits for agricultural tractor and trailers to be examined for many years. The current regulations, which were set decades ago, do not reflect the technological capabilities and carrying capacity of modern tractors and trailers.

Give your view by 30 January 2014 by



Respond online

Write to:

Vehicle Speed Limits
3/28, 33 Horseferry Road

If you would like to send your views for consideration in the NFU response please send them to YW15LmdyYXlAbmZ1Lm9yZy51aw==

“While other farm equipment has got larger over time the restrictions on 21st century tractors and trailers has prevented the efficient transport of crops from the field. This inefficiency not only leaves us at a competitive disadvantage compared to other Member States with higher limits, but also, we believe has a corresponding negative impact on the environment and road safety.

“We note the proposal for a voluntary industry-led test for those wishing to make use of the proposed higher weight limits. The NFU along with other stakeholders submitted a proposal to the Department for Transport in January last year with an outline scheme and proposed weights. Any test carried out needs to be proportionate to both the risk and the benefit in terms of the weight to be gained. It should also be at a cost that is not prohibitive.

“We will be responding in due course, but would encourage farmers to make their own response to the consultation.”



Read the weight limit consultation here

Read the speed consultation here

Read the member briefing on tractor trailer weights speed consultation here

Last edited on: 17:01:2014

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NFU members: Have your say

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  • Posted by: Thomas Love (Walcott Farms) AV98OPosted on: 16/12/2013 14:31:45

    Comment: The 31 ton limit
    I ask you to rethink this limit and to put in place a limit for the traile and its load, but not to include the tractor.
    Your present suggestion will encourage smaller tractors to pull bigger loads, big loads are much safer when pulled by bigger tractors.
    May i suggest 8 ton trailers should be allowed to carry 24 tons, 7 ton trailers 21 tons,6 ton trailers 18 tons, 5 ton trailers 18 tons and 4 ton trailers 12 tons.
    Everything above 15 tons carrying weight should be MOT'd and have air brakes, and eveything 21 tons or above possibly should have air suspension.
    The bigger the load, the less loads, the faster the travel the less holdups other road users suffer.
    It is essential in my view that farmers cause as few accidents as possible through bad tempered car drivers.
  • Posted by: Tom CopasPosted on: 05/12/2013 12:22:28

    Comment: In response to your text; I definitely know that we need higher weights 40 tons should the limit modern tractors and trailers are just as we'll equipped as Hgv lorries and much slower t a Copas class1 Hgv licence holder
  • Posted by: John MccarthyPosted on: 05/12/2013 12:33:27

    Comment: I believe a 32t limit with abs brakes behind a tractor with road suspension is more than capable of running at 65kph.
  • Posted by: Denis FullerPosted on: 05/12/2013 12:55:01

    Comment: An increase in weight will be fine as long as the vehicles are subject to the same rules as HGVs, ie Annual testing,O licences, class C+E drivers licences, etc
  • Posted by: Mark WalkerPosted on: 09/12/2013 21:12:09

    Comment: 5 axles-40 tonnes is fine but test the tractor and trailer and driver and min of 8hp per tonne to cope with hills.
  • Posted by: Glyn WatkinsPosted on: 18/12/2013 18:47:13

    Comment: GB should be in line with the EU regulations for weight (average of 40-45 tonnes). Most modern tractors in this country are 50k with airbrakes, average tractor size of 200hp. Tractor & Trailer GVW is around 16 tonne. The manufacturers are building large tractors and modern machine to accommodate the ever growing demands.
  • Posted by: Peter NewhousePosted on: 20/12/2013 17:18:27

    Comment: I think the machinery can easily take the 37 ton weight at 25 mph, BUT I think the driving test should be made to suite. The current test is far too basic for the weight and speed of modern machinery. The test should be closer to that of a class 2.
  • Posted by: William WookeyPosted on: 31/12/2013 13:39:41

    Comment: Tractors are nowhere near as well equipped as Lorry's, air brakes are only fitted on the trailers if fitted at all most still run on hydraulics brakes, and are not subjected to the regular maintenance and checks that lorries are . If you want to be running these weights then a higher license category than a car is needed to prove that especially young people are capable of operating these safely.
  • Posted by: Oliver HarrisonPosted on: 21/01/2014 09:30:38

    Comment: The law is massively out of date and i would like to see us lead europe in this not just follow and make changes that are future proof with maybe things stay the same but if you want to go at a higher weight i don't see a problem with having an MOT on tractor and trailers and go to 44t as for the speed 50kph or 65kph is far safer on most roads as we are moving at a speed more matched to the traffic around us. Just going to 40kph is short sighted thinking and only half what the German law is

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