Travelling with trailers after Brexit: what hauliers need to know

At the time of writing, from 28 March 2019, UK hauliers will have to register their commercial trailers with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) before towing them into any European country that ratified the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic. Online applications opened at the start of this month; FTA, the business organisation representing the interests of the logistics sector, strongly advises anyone planning to tow a trailer abroad for commercial use from 28 March 2019 to complete their trailer registration as soon as possible or risk receiving either a fixed penalty in the UK or hefty fines in Europe.

While trailer registration in continental Europe is already commonplace, the UK has not required the registration of trailers in the past. This historically has been the cause of disruption to some freight routes, according to the Department for Transport (DfT). And while this new rule forms part of the UK’s preparation to leave the EU, it will come into force whether we leave with a withdrawal agreement or without.

The 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic was ratified by 42 countries in the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) and Europe, but several nations abstained, including Spain, Malta, Cyprus and the Republic of Ireland. Lichtenstein is another country that has not ratified the 1968 Convention however getting there requires that you travel through countries that have so trailer registration will be required.   Make sure to check the full list of applicable countries before registering.

Registrations can be completed online via the gov.uk website and applicants must submit information on their trailer’s manufacturer, chassis number, permissible maximum mass and unladen mass. Only those operating commercial trailers weighing over 750kg or non-commercial trailers over 3.5 tonnes need apply. Under the rules, drivers will also need to be able present the Trailer Registration Certificate they receive from DVLA, to a foreign authority on request, it needs to be the original Certificate, photocopies are not allowed. The trailer also needs to clearly display a trailer registration plate (separate from the vehicle towing them) which is consistent with the provisions of the 1968 convention, the registration number will be supplied by DVLA and should not be confused with either the C number or Certificate of keeper number which is supplied by DVSA. Failure to display plates could result in a fine in Europe or a fixed penalty in the UK.

Further information on how to register trailers can be found here www.gov.uk/guidance/trailer-registration 

By Ian Gallagher, Head of Compliance Information at FTA (Freight Transport Association)

Control your mobility with EuroPilot from AS 24

Users of the EuroPilot option within the PASSango toll box from AS 24 can drive significant operational efficiencies and make substantial financial savings, thanks to intelligent GPS tracking functionality.

As a trusted partner to the transport industry for many years, AS 24 has an in-depth understanding of the challenges faced by transport operators when travelling through Europe. Transiting through multiple countries within a single journey requires compliance with a variety of legislations as well as multiple toll payment systems, all of which can present a logistical nightmare for unprepared fleet operators. This is further complicated by a lack of alignment across Europe on the use of electronic systems of toll collection, despite European directive (EETS) voted in 2004. Although present and convenient in some nations, others are yet to integrate the technology. As a result, HGV drivers must have a variety of on-board equipment installed to their vehicles to travel through Europe.

As a solution to this organisational headache, AS 24 is offering since 2017 the PASSango toll box to their customers seeking swift and seamless transit across 5 countries for now, further to come. By incorporating a sensor which is detected when passing through any electronic toll booths or collecting and mapping GPS localization with taxable network maps (depending on the country), PASSango enables simple and convenient toll collection. Moreover, hardworking drivers can also pay for secure HGV parking using their PASSango system in some countries.

Four versions of PASSango are available to AS 24 customers; 

1) one covering only France; or

2) France Iberic covering France, Spain and Portugal; 

3) Europe an all-in-one box that covers with an OBU (on-board unit) covering France, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Austria, and soon Germany;

4) EuroPilot covering the same as Europe but with additional added-value services.  

A defining aspect of PASSango that is adored by transport managers across the industry is EuroPilot. Read on to learn how EuroPilot can make vast improvements to efficiency and save you money in the process.

Incorporating geolocation functionality, EuroPilot offers quasi-real-time monitoring of vehicles and a set of alerts to give significant cost savings for its users. Accessible from the Customer Portal or via the Fleet Manager mobile application, EuroPilot uses advanced GPS tracking technology to provide a variety of added-value services for its customers.

Firstly, through EuroPilot, fleet operators can accurately track their vehicles from the beginning to the end of their journeys. Data on individual vehicles, including their registration number, their precise GPS coordinates as well as regular updates on their progress, can be accessed via the app!

Furthermore, using PASSango’s EuroPilot combined with AS 24 fuel card, transport managers can identify potential misuses of fuel cards by their drivers. From wherever they may be, the transport manager will receive an alert any time if a vehicle is filled in another location that defined. By improving accountability in this way, operators can take control of their costs and make significant financial savings.

Moreover, users can access the most intelligent and efficient route simulator for HGV on the market, that takes vehicle constraints into account. After inputting the characteristics of your fleet, EuroPilot will work out the best route possible.  Various simulations can be compared before the desired route is selected. This allows operators to offer an improved service for their customers as more precise ETAs can be given and punctuality ensured. Once a journey is completed, operators can then compare the simulated versus actual route taken to check whether the driver followed their instructions. Driver delivery reports can also be downloaded and assessed, once again adding visibility and accountability. Optimising operational efficiencies in these ways all combine to make a major difference to the operator’s bottom line, as many current EuroPilot users can attest to.

All data can be extracted into an Excel spreadsheet for in-depth review. The team at AS 24 are on hand to help operators to comprehend and evaluate this data if needed. The multitude of benefits that integrating the EuroPilot option within PASSango into your operation are clear - but what about the price? Fortunately, the cost to your business will be minimised thanks to the unique price for each customer, depending on how many PASSango boxes are installed, how many countries are visited and the usage per month. For a truly intelligent transport partner that keeps you firmly in the driver’s seat, contact the expert team at AS 24 about PASSango EuroPilot today.