New Regulations on Rigid Truck & Drawbar Trailer Combination Weight Limits

30/04/2015

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From 1st June 2015 the owners / operators of six (or more) axle rigid truck and drawbar trailer combinations will have the option of operating at 46 tonnes.
This represents up to a 4 tonne increase over the pre-existing national weight limit, and aligns with the limit applicable to six axle articulated vehicle combinations since April 2013.

By allowing individual vehicles to carry extra payload, fewer journeys overall are needed to transport a given quantity of goods, with added benefits for road safety, the environment and business.

From an individual vehicle perspective, however, at any given speed, a 46 tonne vehicle will have proportionately more momentum and kinetic energy than one operating at either 42/44 tonnes, and thus have greater propensity for casualty causation and damage in the event of a collision. The RSA has alleviated this safety risk by requiring such vehicles to be fitted with various advanced safety features. A summary is as follows.

Rigid trucks and drawbar trailers already in service will require air/equivalent suspension systems and Electronic Braking Systems (EBS) in order to be allowed to operate as part of a 46tonne combination. New 3 axle rigid trucks first registered on or after 1st June 2015 (in addition to requiring air/equivalent suspension systems and EBS) will also need Electronic Stability Control (ESC); however new rigid trucks registered from this date having more than 3 axles are exempt from requiring ESC. New drawbar trailers first licensed on or after 1stJune 2015 (in addition to requiring air/equivalent suspension systems and EBS) will also require Roll Stability Control (RSC). These requirements are summarised in tabular format below.

Six (or more) axle Rigid Truck and Drawbar Trailer Combinations

What is Required on or after 1st June 2015?

Rigid trucks (with 3 or more axles) already in serviceprior to 1st June 2015

Air/Equivalent Suspension1 & Electronic Braking System (EBS)

New rigid trucks (with 3 axles) first registered on or after 1st June 2015

Air/Equivalent Suspension, Electronic Braking System (EBS) & Electronic Stability Control (ESC)

New rigid Trucks (with more than 3 axles) first registered on or after 1st June 2015

Air/Equivalent Suspension & Electronic Braking System (EBS)

Drawbar trailers (with 2 or more axles) already in service prior to 1st June 2015

Air/Equivalent Suspension & Electronic Braking System (EBS)

New drawbar trailers (with 2 or more axles) first licensed on or after 1st June 2015

Air/Equivalent Suspension, Electronic Braking System (EBS) & Roll Stability Control (RSC)

 

The National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) are working to have a system in place to plate both new and existing vehicles for 46 tonne operation. However before proceeding to an NSAI appointed plating centre to have a vehicle re-plated, vehicle owners/operators must obtain a stamped and signed “46 tonne Declaration of Conformity Form” (DOC) from the original vehicle manufacturer (or his authorised Irish distributor).

This declaration will confirm that the vehicle is technically capable and is fitted with the necessary safety features for operation as part of a 46 tonne combination. Only then can a vehicle be plated by an NSAI appointed plating centre for operation at 46 tonnes.

Further information on this weight limit increase, including a list of frequently asked questions, is available in the ‘Your Vehicle’ section of the RSA website at the following link:

http://www.rsa.ie/en/RSA/Your-Vehicle/Vehicle-Standards/Weights--Dimensions-/46-tonne-weight-limit-rigid-and-drawbar-trailer/



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