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Nigel is a small business owner who earned his trailer license in 2009 so he could tow a work trailer behind his vehicle. In an attempt to be financially and environmentally responsible, Nigel also purchased a smaller pickup truck to use as his main work transportation. Unfortunately, changes in the rules from 2010 forced him back to a larger vehicle.

According to an analysis from Business Car Magazine, the regulatory changes meant big headaches for Nigel and his fellow small business owners. The changes stipulate that any vehicle in excess of 3500 kg (GVM) be required to follow EU laws pertaining to driver hours and tachographs, as long as said vehicle is used for hire.

In a practical sense, this means nearly every small business vehicle towing a trailer behind it now needs to have a tachograph installed. The tachograph is a small piece of electronic recording equipment that provides the data necessary to prove a commercial driver is obeying the law. Operating a trailer and tow vehicle for business purposes, without a working tachograph installed, is grounds for prosecution.

What is causing the major headache is the fact that it’s difficult to install a tachograph securely on a small vehicle. Manufacturers will not do it by default, and dealers and garages tend to avoid such installations if they can. The lack of secure data exposes anyone who would install such device to some measure of liability. That’s forcing small business owners to go back to larger vehicles that allow for easier and more secure tachograph installations.

Business Car Magazine implied in their 2010 analysis that some small business owners would simply disregard the law and take their chances. For many of them it is a cheaper alternative than investing in new vehicles and tachograph equipment.

Your Responsibility to Know the Law

When individuals sit in our classrooms for their trailer licence training, we make a point of fully informing them about the law regarding their vehicles. At the same time, we know that there are plenty of drivers living in ignorance. It is the responsibility of each individual driver, whether he or she is towing a work trailer or driving an HGV, to know the law as it applies to his or her circumstances.

We take the law very seriously in all of our training programs. Although regulations can be frustrating and sometimes difficult to follow, they are in place for the benefit and safety of everyone on the road. Moreover, when you are driving commercially, safety ought to always be the number one priority. If that means having to install a tachograph on a tow vehicle, drivers will just have to make do.

If you are considering getting a trailer licence in order to tow a vehicle for your business, we encourage you to get in touch with the nearest HGV Training Centre location. We provide you with classroom instruction, practical training, and preparation to pass your test. When you sign on with the HGV Training Centre, you are receiving your training from the best in the business.

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