Hi Jono, (I know you love this stuff)
and anyone else interested.
I have a number of issues with VOSA and wrote to them asking for a clarification on various points. I wrote to the local Traffic Commisioners office which for us is in Bristol. I got an acknowledgement after 2 weeks and an email after 6 (good job I wasn't in a hurry then). Here is part of it from t' 'orses mahf.
"You have mentioned trailers in your query. For a motor vehicle and drawbar trailer, if the total of the gross plated weights does not exceed 3.5 tonnes, (or if either the vehicle or trailer is not plated, an unladen
weight of 1525 kgs) an operators' licence will not be required. (In each
case, a trailer with an unladen weight of less than 1025 kg need not be
taken in to account. If the weights outlined above are likely to be
exceeded, in our view, an operator's licence will be required.
You have mentioned the need for a tachograph in your query. Under EC
3820/85 "Vehicles used for the carriage of goods where the maximum permissable weight of the vehicle, including any trailer or semi- trailer, does not exceed 3.5 tonnes." are exempt from the requirement for a tachograph to be fitted.
Under UK domestic rules any vehicle being used (and specially fitted for that use... for cultural events and exhibitions" are also exempt. If you are content that either one or both of the above will apply to the use(s) of the vehicle(s) you have described in your letter, a tachograph may not be required."
Please note the bits about tacho's and an operators licence which not many people realise at this time )except Jono who, I understand, is going into business installing tacho's
and if he isn't he should be). EEC harmonisation! Don't you just love it! I believe the UK VOSA is delightfully vague and confusing because they are caught between UK and EEC law here. That's why they are saying it is up to the courts to interpret these laws, and all VOSA can do is offer "guidelines" which can be "tested". Even if you follow VOSA guidelines to the letter - you could be in trouble. The weird thing is though, it will probably be a VOSA officer that reports you (and they're everywhere in their new 4X4's), so, follow the guidlelines!
Hope this has been useful to members.