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Regulation of volumetrics long overdue, says MPA

Volumetric concrete mixer

Association urges government to end loopholes that allow volumetrics to sidestep HGV regulations

THE Mineral Products Association (MPA) has urged government to end the loopholes which allow volumetric concrete mixers to sidestep HGV regulations. The Department for Transport (DfT) has issued two consultations proposing that volumetrics are brought within the scope of operator (O) licences and are required to undertake regular roadworthiness testing.

The DfT also proposes to end the distortion whereby volumetrics currently operate to weight limits significantly higher than HGVs (a four-axle HGV, such as a ready-mixed concrete truckmixer, has a maximum gross weight of 32 tonnes, whereas volumetrics often operate at 40–45 tonnes).


The MPA is supporting these proposals and has urged Government to implement them as soon as possible. Nigel Jackson, chief executive of the Association, said: ‘The MPA has been calling for legislation to level the regulatory playing field between volumetrics and HGVs, such as truckmixers, for several years and we are very pleased that government is now moving on this issue.’

Historically, volumetrics have been able to operate as ‘engineering plant’ and have, therefore, been able to avoid significant regulations required of HGVs for safety and related purposes.

The regulatory requirements for engineering plant are much lighter than for HGVs, for example: drivers of engineering plant do not have to adhere to European drivers’ hours rules or use tachographs; there is no requirement for operators of engineering plant to have operators (O) licences; and engineering plant are, in general, exempt from HGV roadworthiness testing and plating requirements.

Mr Jackson continued: ‘The MPA is not against volumetrics, which supply 10% of ready-mixed concrete and make an important contribution to the market. However, it is unacceptable that for years they have been able to take advantage of loopholes in the law and operate as engineering plant, thereby being able to ignore the maximum weight, drivers’ hours and operator licensing requirements which apply to HGVs.

‘At a time when there is an increasing safety focus on HGVs and MPA members are implementing significant steps to help improve the safety of vulnerable road users, such as cyclists, it is long overdue that all vehicles on our roads are subject to reasonable and consistent regulation and the free ride for volumetrics is ended.’


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