Use of Engineering Plant

Engineering plant can only be used under the Special Types (General Order 2003) STGO Regulations if those operations cannot safely be achieved using a vehicle that complies with Construction & Use (C&U) regulations and vehicle approval. 

The below inspection manual (N2 / N3) explains how lorries are inspected when they are being approved under the Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA) scheme, this ensures these LGV's are safe to be used on British roads.

Engineering plant must not carry any load, lift, transport goods or burden, except for its own essential equipment, while it is being used in the construction, maintenance or repair of materials that:

  • Have been excavated and lifted by the apparatus on the plant 
  • The plant is specifically designed to treat 

Categories 

Cat 1 (exceeds 44,000 kg): 

  • up to 46,000 kg with a minimum of 5 axles 
  • up to 50,000 kg with a minimum of 6 axles 
  • Construction and Use maximum weights apply to vehicle axle and gross weights 
  • 2 working days notice required to be given to highway and bridge authorities

     Speed limits:  

  • Motorway - 60 mph 
  • Dual carriageway - 50 mph 
  • Other roads - 40 mph 

Cat 2 (not exceeding 80,000 kg): 

  • minimum of 6 axles 
  • maximum axle weight of 12,500 Kg 
  • 2 working days notice required to be given to highway and bridge authorities

     Speed limits:  

  • Motorway - 40 mph 
  • Dual carriageway - 35 mph 
  • Other roads - 30 mph 

Cat 3 (not exceeding 150,000 kg): 

  • minimum of 6 axles 
  • maximum axle weight of 16,500 Kg 
  • 5 working days notice required to be given to highway and bridge authorities

     Speed limits:  

  • Motorway - 40 mph 
  • Dual carriageway - 35 mph 
  • Other roads - 30 mph 

You do not have to carry movement order notices in the vehicle. 

Slow plant:

  • axle weight exceeding 16,500 kg

     Speed limits:  

  • Motorway - 20 mph 
  • Other roads - 12 mph 

Vehicle Special Order Movements 

A Vehicle Special Order is issued by the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA) and is used for:

  • vehicles with weights in excess of 150,000 kg or 16,500 kg per axle:  
  • 5 working days notice is required to be given to highway and bridge authorities 
  • 2 working days notice is required to be given to the police authority

Authorisation for the vehicle movement must be carried in the vehicle. If the authorisation is not carried, the vehicle will be considered as operating under C&U and AW Regs. 

Vehicle Excise Duty 

Engineering plant is taxable under the ‘special vehicle’ class (at the same rate as a basic goods vehicle) if it meets the definition of mobile pumping vehicle, digging machine, or road roller. Other types of engineering plant are taxed under the heavy goods vehicle (HGV) rate, as if the machinery were a load carried on a goods vehicle, rather than being built into it. 

Plating and Testing 

Engineering plant and non-engineering plant are no longer exempt from the plating and testing regulations. 

Drivers’ Hours and Tachograph Regulations 

Drivers of engineering plant do not have to follow EU drivers’ hours and tachograph regulations or GB domestic drivers’ hour’s rules. This is because they are not carrying goods or passengers by road. If goods were carried then the normal rules would apply.  

You can find out more in the guide to Drivers’ hours and tachographs rules: goods vehicles (GV262)

Driving Licence 

Drivers of engineering plant (as defined under the STGO regulations) do not have to hold a vocational licence, and this class of vehicle can, therefore, be driven by the holder of a car driving licence (category B).