Is it time to close volumetric drivers’ hours loophole?
The Mineral Products Association (MPA) has called for action to regulate volumetric concrete mixers – some of the largest vehicles on the roads.
Volumetric concrete mixers operate with no effective weight limits, no safety limits on drivers’ hours and no requirement for the operators of these vehicles to hold an Operator’s Licence regulated by the Traffic Commissioners. According to the MPA this represents up to 1,000 40-tonne-plus construction vehicles.
In contrast, truckmixers with rotating drums are fully regulated as HGVs and if an operator is not compliant with regulations such as drivers’ hours, they are subject to penalties that can put them out of business.
The MPA believes recent growth in the number of volumetric vehicles is due to their use by operators not wanting to be restricted by HGV weight limits, drivers’ hours or working-time limits, or regulation by the Traffic Commissioners.
The MPA says it has made representations to every Transport Minister since 2010 calling for volumetric concrete mixers to be subject to the same level of regulation as HGVs. The Department for Transport (DfT) has acknowledged that further regulation is required and are proposing that operators of volumetric concrete mixers should be required to hold Operator Licences in the future but has not yet made any commitments on timing or drivers’ hours or working-time limits. The Government has also proposed that volumetric concrete mixers should be allowed to operate at weights 20% higher than HGV limits until 2032.
There is no logical reason why volumetric concrete mixers should not be regulated as any other HGV to promote safety on the road and ensure fair competition. The DfT has now recognised that change is needed, lets hope Brexit does not slow the wheels of change on this matter.
Source – www.agg-net.com
Posted on: 19.12.2017