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The government’s willingness to raise speed limits for the nation’s commercial vehicles will also benefit HGV horseboxes come April 6. Those who operate horseboxes in excess of 7.5 tonnes will see their dual-carriage way speed limit increase from 50 mph to 60 mph beginning in April. Standard HGVs will see a speed limit increase from 40 mph to 50 mph.

 

Changes to speed limits are the direct result of the haulage industry and its drivers lobbying the government last year after speed cameras were introduced on a section of the A9 in Scotland. It is ironic that the new round of increases scheduled to take effect in April only affect England and Wales. It’s likely that Scotland will follow suit later on.

The haulage industry lobbied for higher speed limits by making the case that forcing heavy commercial vehicles to drive more slowly caused unnecessary traffic congestion which, when combined with agitated car drivers, increases the likelihood of accidents on the UK’s dual-carriageways. MPs agreed with that assessment, eventually moving to raise the limits on a trial basis. A successful trial resulted in the permanent changes set to take effect next month.

Having said all of that, higher speed limits for HGV horseboxes don’t necessarily mean that drivers should go that fast. As we demonstrated in a previous blog post, horses need a smooth and steady ride in order to avoid fatigue during transport. Keep in mind that a horse expends a lot of energy remaining upright and well-balanced during transport. Higher speeds could cause greater fatigue if a horse has to work harder to stay upright.

Drivers should also remember that HGV horseboxes in excess of 7.5 tonnes require extra stopping distance and lower speeds for cornering. Extra caution is always recommended should drivers decide to maintain the new 60 mph speed limit on dual carriageways. This includes keeping safe distances and scanning the roadway ahead in order to anticipate potential dangers.

Trained to Drive Safely

We are happy to report that the HGV Training Centre does not focus all of our energies solely on lorry and bus drivers. We offer all kinds of driver training including classes for HGV horseboxes and horsebox trailers. Whether you are operating a 3.5 tonne trailer or a 7.5 tonne vehicle, our training can mean the difference between a safe ride for your horses and a dangerous one.

The HGV Training Centre reminds drivers that they will need a special licence to operate a horsebox if they are doing so for professional reasons. You can get more information about horsebox licences by visiting the GOV.UK website or contacting us here at the HGV Training Centre. Our classes are incredibly valuable whether or not you need a particular licence.

The HGV Training Centre operates more than 45 facilities throughout the UK. Our classes are convenient, affordable and effective. We invite you to contact us for more information about training for HGV horseboxes or horsebox trailers.

Sources:

  1. Horse & Hound – https://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/new-speed-limits-introduced-hgv-drivers-472386

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