Construction and Use Regulations 1986 refer to Rear and Side Protection for Goods Vehicles under Regulations 49 and 51. Regarding the maintenance of sideguards, regulation 52 states that a sideguard must:
- be maintained free from any obvious defect which would be likely to affect adversely its effectiveness
Sideguards must be fitted to the following vehicles:
1. in the case of an articulated vehicle with plated train weight of more than 32,520 kgs, to the semi-trailer if its plated gross weight exceeds 26,000 kgs, it was manufactured before 1 May 1983 and the distance between the foremost axle and the centre of the kingpin (the rearmost kingpin if there is more than one) exceeds 4.5 metres;
2a. a motor vehicle exceeding 3,500 kgs maximum gross weight first used on or after 1 April 1984;
2b.a trailer (including a semi trailer) with unladen weight exceeding 1,020 kgs, manufactured on or after 1 May 1983
In the case of a motor vehicle covered by 2a, or a drawbar trailer covered by 2b, the requirement only applies if the distance between any two axles exceeds 3 metres. In the case of a semi-trailer covered by 2b, the requirement only applies where the distance from the foremost axle to the centre of the kingpin (as defined in 1), exceeds 4.5 metres. Semi-trailers with driven wheels must be fitted with sideguards.
Exempt from Fitment
The following vehicles are exempt from having sideguards fitted:
- a motor vehicle incapable because of its construction of exceeding 15 mph on the level under its own power when fully laden;
- engineering plant;
- a fire engine;
- an agricultural motor vehicle or agricultural trailer/trailed appliance;
- a vehicle so constructed that it can be unloaded by part being tipped sideways or rearwards;
- a vehicle owned by the Secretary of State for Defence and used for naval, military or air force purposes;
- a chassis without bodywork that is being driven or towed:
- for a quality or safety check by its manufacturer, dealer or distributor; or
- by previous arrangement to premises where bodywork is to be fitted or preparatory work done or to premises of a dealer or distributor;
- a vehicle being driven or towed to a place where by previous arrangement a sideguard is to be fitted so that it complies with this regulation;
- a vehicle designed solely for use and used solely in connection with street cleansing, collection or disposal of refuse or collection or disposal of the contents of gullies or cesspools;
- a trailer designed and constructed, and not merely adapted, to carry round timber, beams or girders of exceptional length;
- a motor car or heavy motor car constructed or adapted to form part of an articulated vehicle;
- a vehicle designed and constructed, and not merely adapted, to carry other vehicles loaded onto it from the front or rear;
- a vehicle specially designed, and not merely adapted, for the carriage and mixing of liquid concrete
- a temporarily imported foreign trailer.
- trailer with a load platform which is not more than 750 mm from the ground
The diagram below shows a a trailer with sideguards attached, the dimensions specific to the construction and fitment of the sideguards represented by the letters on the diagram can be found on the list below.
- 350mm (maximum) from the underside of the vehicle bed to the top of the side guard.
- 300mm (maximum) between the bottom of the top rail to the top of the lower rail.
- 550mm (maximum) from the underside of the lower part of the sideguard to the ground.
- 100mm (maximum) being the width of the side guard construction.
- 250mm (maximum) from the front of the sideguard to the center point of the landing legs.
- 300mm (maximum) from the end point of the side guard to the leading edge of the foremost tyre.
The top of the side guard must be a minimum of 1.5 metres from the ground. However, in the case of concrete mixers (Where this dimension is not achievable), the distance is 1 metre.
It should also be noted, that from the forward edge of the sideguard (nearest point to the landing legs), the distance to the kingpin should be a maximum distance of 3 metres.
It is also important to note, that the regulations say it is only necessary to satisfy the specification 'so far as is practicable' in the case of:
- a bulk liquid, poweder or gas tanker, where the tank is permanently fitted to the vehicle and is provided with valves and hose or pipe connection for loading and unloading; and
- a vehicle fitted on one or both sides with outriggers to provide the additional stability required during loading, unloading, or in use for operations for which it is designed.