The Department of Transport’s plans to NCT some tractors has been criticised by many farmers.
Many farmers are up in arms over the new law changes, which will see tractors which travel distances over 25kms classified as commercial vehicles. This means that they will require regular NCT testing, like other vehicles on the road.
The tests will check the roadworthiness of the tractors and will come into place by May 2018. The compulsory testing will only be required for tractors, traveling over 25kms, that can exceed speeds of 40km per/hr.
Liam Dunne, National Grain Committee Chairman of the IFA, has objected to the proposals and says farmers are already required to ensure the safety of their tractors.
“The Department of Transport’s proposals ignore the reality that farmers are already legally required under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 to ensure that brakes, handbrake, mirrors, lights, indicators, wipers and hitches are all in working order. This is needless duplication which is being imposed on farmers, without any consultation”, said Dunne after a meeting with the Department of Transport.
He said the Department obviously don’t understand that some farmers may have to travel long distances from one field to another. He said this does not mean they are involved in commercial haulage and should not be classed as such.
“Many farms in this country are divided into several parcels, with out farms some distance away commonplace,” he said.
He continued by saying farmers, even when transporting animals to livestock mart, are not getting paid to move them, meaning they are not commercial.
“The simple fact is that the majority of farmers are not involved in commercial haulage and are not getting paid for transporting their livestock to marts and factories. The number of factories processing sheep, for example, continues to fall.”, said Mr. Dunne.
"Once farmers are compliant with the 2005 Act, this should not be duplicated by the Department of Transport.”, Dunne Concluded.