Less than 20 ‘fast’ tractors tested so far

Less than 20 ‘fast’ tractors have undergone a road-worthiness test since new regulations came into play earlier this year.

A ‘fast’ tractor is defined as a tractor that has a maximum design speed which exceeds 40kph. The requirement to test these tractors was brought in under an EU directive that came into effect on May 20.

The road-worthiness testing of ‘fast’ tractors will be carried out in a number of authorised heavy commercial vehicle (HCV) testing centres within the Commercial Vehicle Road-worthiness Testing (CVRT) network.

As it stands, a total of 15 centres are authorised to carry out the work.

The majority of centres told AgriLand that they have not yet tested a ‘fast’ tractor – approximately half of the certified centres have began testing, but only in small numbers.

However, centre operators believe that numbers will increase in time; a few centres reported that they had a couple of tractors booked in for testing in the coming weeks.

As well as this, some centres are only newly certified.

M & N Nolan Motors Ltd – located in Curryline, Newtownforbes, Co. Longford – tested its first tractor yesterday (Wednesday, August 1) for instance.

tractor
This tractor was tested by M & N Nolan Motors Ltd

Testers of ‘fast’ tractors have to complete a tractor testing course – described as the “first of its kind” – in the Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT); the course was launched in conjunction with the Road Safety Authority (RSA).

Owners of ‘fast’ tractors which need to be tested can locate their nearest test centre by visiting the CVRT website and then selecting the centres which cater for ‘fast’ tractors.

Test centres that are authorised include:
  • A.O.C. Services Ltd trading as A.O.C. Commercials – Springhill, Carrigtwohill, Co. Cork;
  • Banner Vehicle Centre (Ennis Vehicle Centre Ltd) – Lismulbreeda, Darragh, Ennis, Co. Clare;
  • Donegal Commercials – Ballybofey Road, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal;
  • D & M Truck Engineering Ltd – Kilcullen Industrial Estate, Kilcullen, Co. Kildare;
  • Duffy Commercials Ltd – Killycramph, Cootehill, Co. Cavan;
  • Eamonn O’Donnell Garages (Mitchelstown) Ltd – Fermoy Road, Mitchelstown, Co. Cork;
  • Garahys Garage Ltd – Fortal, Birr, Co. Offaly;
  • Kelly Trucks Ballaghaderreen Ltd – Lung Road, Ballaghaderreen, Co. Roscommon;
  • Master Metering Ltd trading as Midleton Commercial Vehicle Testing Centre – Carrigshane, Midleton, Co. Cork;
  • M & N Nolan Motor Company Ltd – Curryline, Newtownforbes, Co. Longford;
  • Martin Molloy Commercials Ltd – Ross West, Castlebar, Co. Mayo;
  • Paul Kavanagh Testing Centre Ltd – Platin Road, Drogheda, Co. Meath;
  • T Nolan & Sons Ltd – Droumtrasna, Castleisland, Co. Kerry;
  • Urlingford Testing Service Ltd – Church View, Urlingford, Co. Kilkenny;
  • Westward Garage Ltd – Farnbeg, Strokestown, Co. Roscommon.

Exemptions

However, some ‘fast’ tractors are exempted from testing.

It was confirmed that a ‘fast’ tractor will not have to undergo a commercial vehicle test if it is used for the purposes of agricultural, horticultural, forestry, farming or fishery activity solely within the state and mainly on the land where such activity takes place – including agricultural roads, forestry roads or agricultural fields.

As well as this, tractors used exclusively on a small island will be excluded.

Examples of fast tractors which will require testing include those used in or for:
  • Local authority work;
  • Construction industry;
  • Quarry industry;
  • Manufacturing industry;
  • Mining industry;
  • Road construction / road works.

Tractors required to be tested must be put under the spotlight once they are four years old. Following that, they will have to be tested every second year, the RSA explained.

‘Fast’ tractors which are currently four-year-old or more will need to be tested “as soon as possible,” the authority added.

Cost And Penalties

A test fee of €146.52 (excluding VAT), will be charged for a tractor which has a design gross vehicle weight (DGVW) in excess of 3,500kg – but not exceeding 7,500kg. A retest fee of €47.26 (excluding VAT) would also apply for this category.

Meanwhile, tractors with a DGVW above 7,500kg would be charged €171.16 (excluding VAT) – while a retest fee of €59.08 (excluding VAT) would apply for this category.

People who use a vehicle without a valid certificate of road-worthiness (CRW) could end up in court. On conviction, a fine not exceeding €5,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months – or both – may be imposed, the RSA explained.

Five penalty points would also apply on conviction, it added.

More details regarding the testing of ‘fast’ tractors – including what the test entails – are available online.

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