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Saturday 17 November 2018

Minister confirms NCT test required for 'fast' tractors used for non-agricultural work

Tractors helped clear the snow from runways, taxiways and roadways at Cork Airport. Photo: Karol Kachmarsky
Tractors helped clear the snow from runways, taxiways and roadways at Cork Airport. Photo: Karol Kachmarsky
The New Holland tractors at Dublin Airport. Picture: Dublin Airport
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Louise Hogan

Louise Hogan

"Fast" tractors that are being used for agricultural activities will be excluded from new regulations, introducing an NCT for vehicles that can travel over 40kmh.

Transport Minister Shane Ross went back to the drawing board on the new regulations following intense lobbying from farm groups amid concerns over the initial measures.

In October Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) president Joe Healy said Mr Ross had reneged on a written commitment to the IFA that the Road Safety Authority would engage with key stakeholders before any regulations on an NCT-type test for tractors would be put in place.

Mr Ross later moved to annul the instrument he had signed in requiring the NCTs for tractors.

The minister yesterday said the regulations for tractor testing were now agreed.

Mr Ross signed off on the new regulations for the road-worthiness of commercial vehicles including tractors.

Transport Minister Shane Ross. Photo: Fergal Phillips
Transport Minister Shane Ross. Photo: Fergal Phillips

It followed the requirement of an EU directive that required road-worthiness testing for "fast tractors" that can exceed 40kmh.

A number of issues had concerned farmers, including a restriction that the vehicle would require testing if it travelled further than 25km from its base.

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The department said representative groups from the agriculture and forestry sectors had met officials on a number of occasions to discuss their concerns about how the regulations would impact on farmers and their businesses.

It stated that all the concerns had been taken on board and the new legislation had been signed off on following legal advice.

Mr Ross said that the positive and constructive input had ensured a satisfactory outcome.

It comes into effect from May 20 of this year.

The regulations will see the introduction of compulsory road-worthiness testing for tractors with a maximum design speed exceeding 40kmh which are being used for non-agricultural activities.

New vehicles will be required to be tested after four years and every second year after that.

They will be subject to the same test fees that apply to HGVs based on the gross vehicle weight for their design.

Testing rules for tractors being used for non-agricultural activities

  • The introduction of compulsory roadworthiness testing for tractors with a maximum design speed exceeding 40km/hr which are being used for non-agricultural activities. 
  • These vehicles will be required to be tested when four years old and every second year thereafter. 
  • They will be subject to the same test fees already applicable to Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGV) based on their Design Gross Vehicle Weight (DGVW).
  • The establishment of an exemption for commercial vehicles used exclusively on small islands.
  • Commercial vehicles between 30 and 40 years of age (that are used solely for non-commercial purposes) will be required to undergo compulsory roadworthiness testing  every second year (biennially), instead of annually.  Those vehicles registered prior to 1980 will be exempt from testing.

Irish Independent

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