Road tests for tractors mooted

A working party has been set up to look at the introduction of road worthiness testing for tractors - to be implemented throughout the Eurozone.

According to Tom Murphy from the Professional Agricultural Contractors of Ireland (PAC), the move comes on foot of concerns in Brussels that many farming fatalities are as a result of poor maintenance of tractors and other self-propelled machinery.

National governments have so far shied away from introducing compulsory tractor testing due to stern opposition from the farming groups.

Mr Murphy said this wasn't the first time an NCT type tractor test has been mooted. He explained: "During the consultation process for the recently introduced Revised Standards for Agricultural Vehicles the implications of a roadworthiness test for tractors was discussed, but the idea was eventually shelved.

"Most professional contractors should have no major concerns if compulsory testing were to be introduced as the vehicles and machinery of contractors are maintained to high standards.

"Indeed, at some PAC meetings a few of our members expressed a desire for testing to be introduced in order to weed [out] unsafe tractors that give the contracting profession a bad name. Having said that, we will be keeping close contact with the relevant EU committees to ensure contractors' businesses are not compromised."

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