Dealers Using Low Loaders Trailers Face Fines Warns RMIF

Vehicle dealers risk being stung by an on-the-spot 200 fine if they are caught using a low-loader trailer behind their tow vehicle if is not fitted with a tachograph, warns the Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMIF). The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) has recently introduced a £200 fixed penalty fine for the use of low-loader trailers behind tow vehicles without a tachograph. This is being implemented by traffic enforcement officers at the roadside. Dealers could be caught out if they believe that their tow vehicle is too light to require a tachograph. The law states that a tow vehicle can have a gross vehicle weight (GVW) up to 3500kgs without a tachograph being required. However these vehicles will have a gross combination weight (GCW) in excess of 3500kg when towing a trailer. Therefore the tow vehicle has to be fitted and operated with a tachograph. This regulation also covers heavy 4×4 cars as well as commercial vehicles that are towing trailers. The law on the use of tachographs for vehicles with a GVW/GCW over 3500 kgs in weight has been operational for many years but it is only recently been enforced since the implementation of VOSA’s fixed-penalty regime in May this year. RMIF Director Sue Robinson commented: ‘A number of dealers have already been fined for operating their low-loader trailers without a tachograph fitted or used in the tow vehicle. To avoid incurring a fine, dealers should consider the fitting of a tachograph on any tow vehicle that is likely to be used in combination with a low-loader.’ RMIF members wanting more information on this issue should contact the RMIF.