New tractor speed and weight limits come into force

12.00 | 9 March 2015 | | 3 comments

New tractor speed and weight limits come into force today (9 Mar) in a move which will be welcomed by the farming community.

Under the changes, the maximum combination weight limit for tractors and trailers has increased from 24.39 tonnes to 31 tonnes, while the speed limit for tractors has increased to 40km/h (approximately 25mph), up from 20mph.

The Government says the changes “will allow farmers to more appropriately size their tractor to their trailer and maximise the amount of produce transported in each journey”.

Claire Perry, transport minister, said: “These changes will allow tractors to carry more produce per journey, meaning less traffic on our roads and almost £60m savings for the hard-working farming community each year.

“Farms are the life-blood of rural communities and helping them is part of the Government’s long-term economic plan to improve the lives of people up and down the country.”

A second phase of changes will see consideration given to further increases in weight and speed limits and a roadworthiness test for some agricultural tractors and trailers, in time for the 2016 harvest period.


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    It should be understood that allowing a greater load on agricultural trailers does not, insofar as I understand matters, necessarily relate to increase of damage to road surfaces as some believe – what is more to the point is the number of axles the trailer has which distributes the load over a greater area and lessens damage to road surfaces, particularly on single track and secondary roads.

    Richard Holladay, Devon
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    I am fairly convinced that the increase in speeds of tractors had already taken place prior to this law change. Most JCB Fastracs have a top speed of 40mph, and some will do 50mph, so the question arises as to how much over the 25mph limit they will now travel? I suspect that the same is true with weight limits.

    David, Suffolk
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    Bigger and bigger juggernauts on our roads carrying greater heavier loads. Many tractors I have seen are capable at speeds in excess of 30 mph and no doubt they will be using these on our rural and arterial roads.

    bob Craven Lancs….Space is Safe camapigner
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