Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Monday 18 December 2017

Trailer height rule to cost farmers €10m

Caitriona Murphy

Caitriona Murphy

New transport rules restricting the maximum height of loaded trailers could add up to €10m to the cost of transporting fodder to the west of Ireland, farm organisations have claimed.

Pressure is mounting on Minister for Transport, Leo Varadkar, to rescind the new law that limits vehicle heights to 4.65m.

The rule, which came into effect last Friday, November 1, effectively means that a standard articulated lorry load has to be reduced by one whole row.

It could also mean that tractors and trailers carrying bales three-high are breaking the law.

ICSA president Gabriel Gilmartin said that the new rules meant that only two rows of 4x4 round bales would be legal on lorries, while large square bales, typically three feet high, would only be legal when loaded three-high on most trailers.

UNWORKABLE

He said the rule could add €5-10 per bale to the cost of hauling hay and straw from the midlands and east to western counties.

"It is a restriction that is unworkable in practice and must be reversed as soon as possible."

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His comments were echoed by IFA rural affairs chairman Harold Kingston, who claimed the height restriction could add as much as €10m in costs to the sector.

He maintained the rule would add €300-€400 to every load of fodder transported in the country and result in more loads of farm produce being transported on public roads.

ICMSA's Patrick Rohan said the law added costs to food production without benefiting anyone.

Meanwhile, most livestock exporters are not expected to be affected by the rule change as their purpose-built vehicles will come under the 4.65m limit.

Irish Independent