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Tachographs And Trailers In Your Agricultural Business

View profile for JCP Solicitors
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If you tow trailers as part of your business then you may be breaking the law unless your vehicle has a fitted tachograph in use and you obey the driver’s hours regulations.
Due to changes in legislation “goods vehicles” were redefined as “vehicles used for the carriage of goods” so any vehicle used in your business to carry goods can now be caught.
If the combined weight of the vehicle, trailer and load is over 3,500kg then the regulations apply.
Many small businesses may be operating in breach of the law and may be open to prosecution.
For example a Landrover Discovery towing on business, would be limited to a trailer and load of approx 780kg only under the regulations.  The Police are well aware of the issue and do regularly check such vehicles and prosecute.  
There are exceptions, the most obvious of which is personal use.  Certain uses, such as agriculture benefit from a 50km rule, that is if the vehicle is operated within 50km radius of where the vehicle is usually kept, it is exempt.  A farmer traveling to and from the mart is also exempt.
However, a farmer or contractor transporting goods/machinery outside such radius would be in breach if the vehicle and trailer and load exceed 3,500kg.
It is advisable to check carefully your business use of such vehicles and trailers.