BAA: Keep volumetric mixers out of RTD

The British Aggregates Association (BAA) has warned that any move to bring volumetric mixers into the scope of working time rules could put many owner-drivers with such vehicles out of business.

Referring to deliberations by the DfT about the exemptions that apply to volumetric mixers and a range of vehicles from the operator licensing and annual roadworthiness test regimes, the BAA said it felt inclusion in the working time rules contained in the Road Transport Directive would be an inevitable consequence of inclusion in the O-licensing system. 

For many owner-drivers, it said: “It would be impossible to finance, operate and maintain their vehicles on a 48-hour week.”

Reclassifying such mixers as HGVs rather than engineering plant and forcing them to operate within regular GVW limits would make them uneconomic, said the BAA, as a result of their relatively heavy unladen weight.

The DfT has held two consultations that ended in March this year about the exemptions that apply to several vehicle types from annual test and O-licence requirements. No changes have been announced, however.

Meanwhile, the FTA reiterated its concerns that changes to the vehicles exempted from annual test – which include volumetric mixers, breakdown vehicles and electric vehicles – could lead to extra strain on the UK’s network of authorised testing facilities.

FTA head of road freight and enforcement policy James Firth told the association believed the move could lead to an additional 40,000 vehicles needing testing yearly – roughly 10% more than the currently tested vehicle parc.