Trade association MPA (Mineral Products Association), which represents the concrete and aggregate industries, among others, has welcomed the decision, calling it “a victory for road safety and for common sense”.
Currently, volumetric operators and drivers have no O licence requirement, no application of drivers’ hours or working time rules, and no effective weight limits – with four-axle rigid volumetrics often being loaded in excess of 40 tonnes compared with the equivalent 32-tonne limit for HGVs, according to MPA.
This is due to volumetrics being defined as engineering plant, rather than goods vehicles or HGVs.
The announcement by transport minister Jesse Norman means that operators will require O licences and drivers will have to adhere to EU drivers’ hours and working time rules from September this year, and volumetric concrete mixers will be subject to HGV testing requirements, although there will be a transition period for existing vehicles until March 2028.
“We would have preferred a shorter transition period for vehicle weights, but the policy direction is now clear and significant regulatory convergence will start in September this year. The decisions are a victory for road safety and common sense,” said Jerry McLaughlin, MPA executive director.
Click the link below to see the DfT announcement.