Commercial 7.5 Tonne LGV Rigid Vehicles
For new operators and companies whose core business is not road transport but who operate Large Goods Vehicle (LGV) vehicles up to 7.5 tonnes, the regulations outlined within this section is applicable. The guidance given within this section will be useful to those manufacturing companies who operate a small number of LGV's vehicles of this size to service their clients.
Safe Loading Practice
Certainly, over the last decade, the introduction of lightweight materials used in the construction of small rigid bodied vehicles has gone a long way to improving the payload potential of the same. However, in saying this, the risk to operators of axle overloading for vehicles from 3,500kg to 7,500kg remains. Due diligence on the part of the driver is paramount to ensuring that axle overloads do not compromise safety and in the case of vehicles over 3.5 tonne (or operators running mixed fleets) their operator license.
Companies that may potentially be at risk of overloading their vehicles are:
- Commercial Printers
- Commercial Launderers
- Multi-drop Operators
- Engineering Companies
- Scaffolding Companies
Although vehicles within these weight categories have enhanced carrying capacities, progress in construction by the manufacturers to achieve this has resulted in vehicle bodies being larger, certainly at the 3.5-tonne level. A good example of this being the long-wheelbase high roof vans in operation today.
One particular vehicle type in the 3.5-tonne range that is more at risk to overloading is the Luton bodied vans, especially if a tail-lift is a part of the vehicles construction.
It is not always the case that vehicles within this category have the added advantage of restraining equipment built into the floor such as restraint rings. In this case, measures should be taken to ensure that the vehicle load doesn't move, something that can be particularly difficult in 3.5-tonne vans, where invariable there are no securing lathes or load-lock facility built into the vehicles sidewalls either.
It is an offence under the Road Traffic Act 1988 to use a vehicle, or cause or permit it to be used when the position or distribution of its load or the manner in which it is secured means there is a danger of injury to any person. This carries a maximum £5,000 fine together with obligatory licence endorsement and discretionary disqualification. Case law has clearly established that a load does not actually have to be shed for an offence to be committed
It is alternatively possible to be prosecuted under the construction and use regulations where the nuisance is caused or likely to be caused by a load falling or being blown from a vehicle or moving on a vehicle. This is however not an endorsable offence.
Under the 1988 Act, the offence of dangerous driving encompasses circumstances where it would be obvious to a competent and careful driver that driving a vehicle in its present condition would be dangerous. An account can be taken from anything carried on the vehicle and the way in which it is carried. 'Dangerous' is defined as likely to cause injury to any person or serious damage to property. It is, therefore, possible for the most serious offences of insecure loading (and even overloading) to be prosecuted under this provision - for example, where the vehicle was so unsafe that it should not have been driven. A dangerous driving conviction can result in imprisonment and a substantial fine as well as obligatory disqualification and licence endorsement.
Authorisations issued under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 for quarrying and related operations incorporate requirements for loads to be sheeted while on-site if likely to generate dust, etc.
From 1 January 1993 the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 have been in force. The code of practice accompanying the regulations requires that 'as far as is reasonably practicable, suitable and effective measures should be taken to prevent any person falling a distance likely to cause personal injury'. The code advises that, where possible, arrangements such as the provision of gantries or automatic sheeting equipment should be provided to allow for the sheeting of vehicles. If it is not reasonably practicable to remove the need for vehicle top access in this way, a safe system of work should be developed. The elements might include the use of safety lines, harnesses, collapsible handrails, staff training and emergency procedures.
There are many considerations and areas of Best Practice associated with Load Safety and Security. For further information to assist you in preventing damage to products, vehicles, staff and other road users, best practice guides are available for download at the links below. There is also additional information available, which can be found within the Road Legal (Inc C&U) section of this website concerning vehicle loading, overloading, load security and skip loaders.
The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER)
PUWER replaces the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1992 and carries forward these existing requirements with a few changes and additions, for example, the inspection of work equipment and specific new requirements for mobile work equipment. Many aspects of PUWER may therefore be familiar to you.
The Regulations require risks to people's health and safety, from equipment that they use at work, to be prevented or controlled. In addition to the requirements of PUWER, lifting equipment is also subject to the requirements of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998.
These regulations apply to all work equipment, including mobile and lifting equipment. PUWER applies to all workplaces. They affect everyone with direct or indirect responsibility for work equipment and its use. Eg: employers, employees, the self-employed and those who hire out equipment.
'Work equipment' is everything from toolbox tools to a dumper truck, photocopier, laboratory apparatus, lifting equipment (eg crane, breakdown crane, forklift truck) or a pressure washer. With the exception of private cars, PUWER applies to all vehicles and the equipment mounted upon them, and it should be noted that:-
- On the public road - road traffic laws will take precedence
- Off-road - a road-going vehicle will be treated like any other piece of equipment
The following is a simplified summary of the key provisions. It is essential to obtain the combined regulations. Approved Code of Practice and Guidance from the HSE, which can be downloaded at the link below.
- Work equipment should be suitable for the purpose for which it is used or provided and used only for purposes for which it is suitable
- Work equipment should be in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair
- There are detailed requirements for inspection and testing of equipment, eg when the quality of installation or where wear and tear could affect its safety. Records should be kept
- Staff using work equipment must receive adequate instruction and supervision
- Work equipment must comply with relevant product safety laws
- There are specific requirements for guarding of dangerous parts and for protection against specific hazards such as the ejection of material from a machine
- Standards are set for the design and function of controls
- New requirements are set for rollover protection systems, eg on dumper trucks and forklift trucks and for the carriage of passengers on mobile work equipment
Tail Lifts (LOLER)
Tail lifts should be maintained, examined and tested in accordance with the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER) which came into force on 5 December 1998 and aim to reduce risks to people's health and safety from lifting equipment provided for use at work. The LOLER regulations affect all lifting equipment, new and old, from 5 December 1998. They apply in addition to PUWER (see below)
In the main, LOLER replaced existing legal requirements relating to the use of lifting equipment, for example, the Construction (Lifting Operations) Regulations 1961, the Docks Regulations 1988 and the Lifting Plant and Equipment (Records of Test and Examination etc.) Regulations of 1992.
From 1 January 1997, all goods carrying tail lifts on which a person is permitted to ride or on which the operator needs to stand on the platform in order to reach the controls were required to be CE marked. Tail lifts on which a person cannot ride should have been CE marked since 1 January 1995.
Examples of lifting equipment
Key requirements affect
Speed Limits & Speed Limiters
Although lower speed limits will apply in built-up areas and on many local roads, all regulated vehicles may be driven at up to 50 mph on single carriageways and up to 60 mph on dual carriageways. The speed limit for a 7.5-tonne vehicle on a motorway is 70 mph. It must also be noted, those 7.5-tonne vehicles are not permitted to use the outside lane where there are three or more lanes in use in the same direction.
There are many stretches of road where there are lower, locally set, speed limits in place, even on dual carriageways. It is vital to keep within local speed limits and also to reduce your vehicle speed according to the weather, road and traffic conditions during your journey.
UK National speed limits for LGV's of 7,500kg MAM
Remember that the speed limits quoted here are national limits, a lower speed limit will apply in built-up areas and on many local roads. Where a lower speed limit is signed you must comply with those lower limits.
It should also be noted that Speed Limiters were introduced covering all 7.5 tonnes (GVW), which restrict goods vehicles not exceeding 7.5 tonnes to 62 mph.
Road Speed Limiters
From 1 January 2007 additional vehicles came into scope under the speed limiter legislation introduced in January 2005. The changes affected all goods vehicles over 3.5 tonnes maximum gross weight and all passenger vehicles with 8 or more passenger seats, irrespective of weight. The relevant date for fitting speed limiters varied depending on the gross design weight of the vehicle, engine type (such as Euro III), international or national usage and the date of first registration.
For further information regarding road speed limiters, please visit the Road Legal (Inc C&U) section of this website.
The following should assist in giving guidance and further information, please use the links below.