Be prepared for stricter sideguards checks 06 April 2010

From next month (May), vehicle sideguards will be subject to stricter compliance checks during VOSA (Vehicle and Operator Services Agency) annual testing.

The warning comes from the Freight Transport Association (FTA), which has issued a new compliance guide to help ensure compliance with VOSA's amended requirements.

Following intervention by FTA, the introduction of stricter sideguards checks, originally announced in 2007, was deferred, due to the difficulties some vehicle operators would have had in complying.

Andy Mair, FTA's head of engineering policy, says: "We now have a sensible, workable set of requirements that will enable every operator to comply, regardless of their vehicle's configuration, whilst keeping safety considerations paramount."

The main technical changes agreed include:
A concession for vehicles with cranes which have access and operating platforms
A concession for vehicles where it is technically not possible to fully comply with dimensional requirements (such as folding cranes stowed behind cabs in the sideguard area)
Acceptance of sideguards constructed to the technical requirements of EC Directive 89/297/EEC (EC Directive standards require a lower top rail height than Construction & Use, which is beneficial to crane and tanker operators).

The FTA guide gives details of the existing legislation and the changes to the annual test requirements to be implemented from 1 May, plus details of general sideguard construction requirements.

Brian Tinham

Related Companies
Freight Transport Association Ltd

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