Multiple axle vehicles need further details regarding their maximum mass in function of wheelbase

With the much bigger tyres of agricultural towed vehicles from tractors to slurry tankers there are specifications gaps related to the maximum masses of axle in function of wheelbase. More precisely if affects 3-4 axle vehicles.

CEMA has presented a proposal for harmonisation of these rules and is actively looking for support of decision makers and concerned stakeholders.

EU type approval for Towed Agricultural Vehicles: gaps & next steps

EU type approval of towed agricultural vehicles only became a reality because technical specifications were drafted in less than two years. Obviously, a number of gaps remain and need to be filled with further specifications at EU level. Until then, it is up for interpretation of the Member States and their technical services.

One of these gaps regards the maximum permissible mass per axle for 3-4 axle vehicles (such as unbalanced trailers, tanker trailers, transport wagons) in function of the wheelbase. For latter there is reference to the on-road vehicle directive 96/53/EC. But because the wheel diameter of heavy-duty vehicles is much smaller than agricultural vehicles, for 3-4 axle vehicles above a wheelbase of 1.3 m there were no further mass values given.

CEMA’s proposal to bring clarity

CEMA had prepared a proposal following the logic of 96/53/EC which can be found below. It was discussed for a first time at the Working group of agricultural tractors on 27 November 2018. Industry was happily surprised with the Dutch counterproposal that simplified the specifications but fundamentally agree with the CEMA proposal. Unfortunately no other Member State had a clear vision on this harmonisation exercise. There were only expressions of concern on the maximum allowed weight over all axles, which is a whole different topic all together.

Industry keeps pursuing harmonised specifications for all requirements under the Mother Regulation 167/2013. It also remains available to discuss possible restrictions on maximum weight of vehicles but only if the discussion on how to get extra wide, extra heavy… vehicles in scope of this technical product regulation is started up. And 96/53/EC as amended by 2015/719 could be a good example, leaving Member States the freedom to restrict, for reasons related to road safety or infrastructure characteristics, the circulation of certain vehicles in specific parts of their road network. Many of such specialised vehicles are produced in very small volumes and often by SMEs. If EU product legislation is truly fit for purpose, it cannot ignore the market reality and should adapt the legislation to the market, rather than the other way around.

This legitimate request is also supported by CEETTAR in their recent position paper CLICK HERE.