HL Deb 01 November 1995 vol 566 cc164-5WA
Lord Torphichen

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether regulations relating to farmers' tractors require:

  1. (a) the driver to be over 21 years of age and to possess an HGV Licence;
  2. (b) brakes to be fitted to all wheels (as opposed to rear wheel brakes, sometimes acting on other wheels, through the transmission);
  3. (c) gross train to be restricted to less than 38 tonnes;
  4. WA 165
  5. (d) the tractor, trailer or load to be limited in dimensions;
  6. (e) other road users to be protected from sharp projections;


What overall speed limit applies to vehicles registered as farmers' tractors when used on public roads.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Transport (Viscount Goschen)

Regulations made under the Road Traffic Regulation Act and the Road Traffic Act cover driver licensing, speed limits and construction of farmers' tractors.

The Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 stipulates that agricultural motor vehicles may travel at up to 40 mph on all public roads.

The Motor Vehicles (Driving Licences) Regulations 1987 require that 16 years is the minimum age at which an individual may drive a tractor, but at this age there are restrictions on the size of the vehicles that may be driven. A driver does not require an HGV Driver Licence when the vehicle is being used solely for agricultural type operations.

The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations and the Motor Vehicles (Authorisation of Special Types) General Order specifies standards for the construction of all types of vehicles, including the braking performance of farmers tractors. Agricultural motor vehicles are required to meet a minimum braking performance which may be achieved without necessarily braking all the vehicle's wheels.

The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations restricts the gross train weight of wheeled agricultural motor vehicles to 24.390 tonnes.

As with other vehicles, the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations apply general limits for the dimensions of tractor, trailer and load. In certain circumstances larger vehicles are permitted, but they have to comply with the more restrictive conditions of the Special Types General Order.

Section 40A of the Road Traffic Act and Regulation 100 of the Construction and Use Regulations require all road vehicles to be constructed, maintained and used in such a condition that no danger is presented to other road users. These provisions would prohibit sharp projections from farmers' vehicles.