The Freight Transport Association of Ireland (FTAI), Ireland’s most active membership association in the logistics sector, last month welcomed the news that regulations on the maximum weight laden limit for large non-articulated vehicles have been signed into law since 1 February 2018 by the Minister for Transport Tourism and Sport, Mr Shane Ross. But the legislation does not provide guidance for the use of vehicles registered before this date, which will cause uncertainty within the market.
“These regulations are long overdue,” says Aidan Flynn, General Manager of FTAI, “and provide much needed clarity for logistics operators on the operation of new vehicles, as well as a reassurance of safety for other road users. However, for operators of vehicles registered prior to this date, which are not covered by the scope of the new regulations, there is still uncertainty, and we would urge the government to make a swift ruling on loading levels, for the good of all road users.
“It is encouraging that the government has recognised the importance of enshrining safe operating practices for hauliers into law, and this decision is one that will make it easier for the authorities to clamp down on unscrupulous operators which put other road users at risk, and ultimately cause damage the road network, by overloading their vehicles. However, FTAI believes this new ruling should apply to all similarly sized vehicles, and is recommending to its members that they abide by the new legislated limits, as these are good for the driver, the operator and all road users.”
With no regulation of the size of loads that could be carried by this specification of vehicle up to now, FTA Ireland has been concerned that the lack of control left operators free to load five axle rigid trucks to unsafe limits.
“The safety of all road users is of paramount importance to the whole of the freight sector,” he continues, “not least because overloading freight vehicles poses a real danger to everyone, as well as leaving the operator and driver open to potential prosecution in the case of an accident. The new regulations are well within the recommendations made by manufacturers and will ensure that Ireland’s freight trade can continue to travel safely across the country’s road network.”
More information about the regulations can be found here: www.rsa.ie/en/RSA/Your-Vehicle/Vehicle-Standards/Weights-Dimensions-/5-or-more-axle-rigid-vehicles. The new regulations apply to all new rigid five axle vehicles registered on or after 1 February 2018, and will also apply to vehicles modified on or after this date. For more information, and to check the compliance of specific vehicles please contact FTA Ireland on 01844 7516 or visit www.ftai.ie