Why the Government may now have to bring in roadworthiness testing of all agricultural tractors

Louise Hogan

Louise Hogan

THE Government will find it difficult to implement a roadworthiness certificate for tractors capable of reaching speeds of more than 40kph by May 2018, according to contractors.

Under an EU directive, all tractors classed as T5, or ‘fast’ vehicles, being used for commercial road haulage should be tested regularly.

Michael Sheehan and Tom Murphy of the Professional Agricultural Contractors of Ireland said they believed it will be difficult to implement as it would require test centres capable of dealing with the machines.

Following a meeting with the Road Safety Authority (RSA), Mr Sheehan questioned the viability of creating test centres because of the small number of T5 tractors that fall into the category of commercial use.

Mr Murphy claimed it may mean the Government could bring forward the testing of all agricultural tractors to make the test centres more financially viable.

He said it was accepted there were fewer than 1,500 in the T5 category out of the 63,000 tractors taxed in 2012.

Mr Murphy said fewer than 1,000 would fall under the EU 2014/45 Directive which comes into force next May for commercial use.

Mr Murphy (pictured) said it was unlikely testing will be outsourced to private companies as it would not be “viable” as a business model.

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He said at a likely estimated cost per test of under €200, this would make it unfeasible for the Government to make such provisions.

Mr Murphy said the ownership was spread throughout the 26 counties and travelling distances for testing would cause logistical issues.

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