Relief as Minister ‘parks’ tests on tractors

Anne Mitchell: Increase Ewe Premium to cover extra cost.
Anne Mitchell: Increase Ewe Premium to cover extra cost.

THE decision by Transport Minister, Shane Ross, to confine the roadworthiness test for tractors to machines capable of doing more than 40km/h involved in non-agricultural work, has been welcomed by Galway IFA Chairperson Anne Mitchell.

She said that after months of protracted negotiations involving the IFA, Dept. of Transport officials and Minister Ross, what had emerged now was a satisfactory resolution to a situation that could have needlessly cost farmers a lot of money for no good reason.

Anne Mitchell said that as things currently stood, farmers were legally required under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 to ensure that brakes, handbrake, mirrors, lights, indicators, wipers and hitches are all in working order.

“We understand and support safety. However, we oppose excessive and wasteful duplication, whether that’s in transport or other inspections.

“We are now calling on Minister Ross to immediately publish the clear definitions and regulations which give effect to this decision. There can be no room for confusion,” she said.

Under the new regulations, ‘fast tractors’ are defined as tractors that can reach speeds ‘in excess’ of 40km/h and the test will only apply if they are being used for non-agricultural purposes.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.