Over-loaded trailers a danger to all on roads
Farmers grossly over-loading trailers when towing with cars and 4x4 vehicles is creating "a safety hazard" on public roads, the gardaí warned.
Garda Brendan Condon, Garda Traffic Corp, stressed serious excess loads have been detected as he demonstrated the hi-tech mobile vehicle weighing unit used by the gardaí.
"A jeep and trailer in North Tipperary last week weighed 7.6 tonnes and the farmer did not appear to be aware it was grossly over-loaded," he told those gathered for the Family Farm Safety Day at Gurteen Agricultural College in Co Tipperary on Saturday.
He said that the typical farm saloon car towing a one or two-axle cattle box is designed to carry one cow or two small animals.
"We are also noticing an increase in the number of farmers using tractors and trailers for mart transport because they don't have a licence to tow - they're afraid of having to do the driving test," he added.
Farmers were urged to check the Design Gross Vehicle Weight or Maximised Authorised Mass, which is the maximum load a vehicle or trailer can carry in the owner's manual or statutory plate.
The event was organised by IFA, Teagasc, Gurteen College, Agri Aware, Embrace, FRS, ICMSA, An Garda Síochána, and Agri Kids as a family day out with the emphasis on creating awareness in all aspects of farm activity.