The law currently exempts volumetric operators from the requirement to hold an Operator Licence. The exemption saw these vehicles being defined as “engineering plant” rather than goods vehicles and have therefore been able to operate outside of the operator licensing regime. However, as of 1 September 2018, any operator using volumetric mixers will need to:
- Apply for an Operator Licence through the Office of the Traffic Commissioner;
- Ensure that their drivers follow EU drivers’ hours, tachograph and working time rules; and
- Comply with HGV testing requirements.
Transport Minster, Jesse Norman, made the announcement earlier this year, outlining the changes that would be coming into force and those new requirements will be in force as of tomorrow. It has been a long standing view of many that these types of vehicle (also known as mobile concrete batching plant vehicles) should be maintained as any other HGV to ensure safety which is the overarching principle of the operator licensing regime, particularly given the fact that these vehicles are often loaded well in excess of 40 tonnes.
Back in 2014, the government launched a consultation regarding the removal of a number of exemptions from the operator licensing regime on the basis that some of them could no longer be justified. The removal of the exemption will affect the approximate 700 volumetric operators that there are in the UK.
In addition, the weight of the vehicles in operation was identified as an issue and the government has therefore introduced a temporary arrangement of Vehicle Special Orders (VSOs) which will limit the weights of the vehicles. An application for a VSO will need to be made to the Vehicle Certification Agency. For more information please consult the https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/goods-vehicle-operator-licensing-exemptions.
Should you require any assistance, such as submitting an application for an Operators Licence to the Office of the Traffic Commissioner, be it in relation to volumetric mixers or any other transport vehicle, please feel free to contact a member of our Transport Team at our Milton Keynes office on 01908 202150 or our Cambridge office on 01223 411421.