Do you need a new driver's licence to pull a heavy trailer?
Q I am a farmer in my early thirties and have always used my car and farm jeep to pull trailers. I read recently that there are new laws which affect the pulling of trailers without a special licence. I have been driving for more than 10 years, what should I do?
Answer: You are correct as there are new regulations in place that all farmers should be aware of which centre around the type of licence you require in order to pull a trailer.
Most people who hold a driving licence for a car or jeep have a category B driving licence, which allows you to tow a small trailer.
Under this you can drive a vehicle towing a trailer, firstly, where the maximum authorised mass (MAM) of the trailer is not greater than 750kg.
Secondly, in instances where the MAM of the trailer exceeds 750kg, but the combined MAM of the towing vehicle and the trailer is not greater than 3,500kg.
The weight limits apply to the weight of the trailer and contents combined when fully loaded. The minimum age to apply for this type of licence is 17.
As a general rule, a category B licence does not entitle the holder to tow a horsebox or a livestock trailer for bringing animals to the local mart because the combined maximum mass would exceed 3,500kg.
If you hold a category B driving licence and wish to pull a larger trailer, whose combined weight of vehicle, trailer and trailer contents exceeds 3,500kg, you will need to apply for a category BE driving.