There has been much discussion both here on the blog and in the meetings I have had with business owners about the effects of the Road Transport Operator Licensing Regulations 2011 which covers the use of vehicles and operator licences to run those vehicles.
If you consider how many vehicles are towing trailers as part of their business, the impact of theis legislation could be huge, but there is some good news for those businesses who transport certain goods and the it could depend on the vehicle you choose to tow the trailer with!
First it might be useful to explain what an operators licence is and what it means to a business.
If you operate a vehicle which have a Gross Vehicle Mass in excess of 3,500kg or a combination of vehicle and trailer in excess of 3,500 you needed a licence issued by a Traffic Commissioner giving you permission to operate such vehicles. You have to agree to certain maintenance schedules (typically 6-8 weeks), have a set amount of available capital to maintain those vehicles and agree to a number of other requirements. Equally in some cases you must have a qualified person of good repute to manage those vehicles.
The process involved in obtaining an operators licence can take around 12-16 weeks to complete and can be refused for many reasons along the way. The reasons for refusal can be due to objections from local residents, the council, Police, poor maintenance history or the directors having a poor record.
If the trailer you used had an unladen weight of less than 1,020 kgs then you did not need to consider the trailer into the 3,500 kg calculation. So in reality you did not need to have the operators licence and all the associated regulations and paperwork. You did still need a tachograph in certain applications, but this is covered in a separate post HERE.
The changes in legislation are, as normal, not entirely clear but after much reading and consultation with other professionals we are happy we have interpreted the new regulations and we hope you understand how they affect you as businesses and individuals, but as always if you are unsure you can call us on 01623 675833.
The basic situation is this:
If you are using the trailer to transport goods you own or can be defined as yours (eg hired to you) then you will not need an Operator’s Licence.
If you transport goods for other people, like a delivery company then you will need and operators licence.
We are currently working on a Compliance guide to help businesses with this minefield, but in the interim please do not hesitate to call the team on 01623 675833 for specific advice.