Road Surveying

The Question

My Name is **********, I have been tasked with taking over management of a fleet of vehicles, some of which are currently on a Standard Operators Licence. I feel certain that we do not need a licence but would be grateful if you could advise me.

The vehicles are not used for burden, and indeed are not built with any capacity to carry any. They are used exclusively for road surveying, and testing, and the only equipment carried is that which is required to carry out the work.

I have attached some pictures of three of the vehicles in question, and can supply others if required.

The DVSA's Answer

I refer to our recent conversation, as discussed most goods vehicles with a gross plated weight of over 3.5 tonnes or, if there is no plated weight, an unladen weight of over 1525 kg require a goods vehicle operator’s licence, if they are used to carry goods or burden of any description in connection with a trade or business, or for hire or reward. The requirement also applies to vehicles used for infrequent periods - such as one day.

As discussed, Schedule 3 (15) (a) Goods Vehicles (Licensing of Operators) Regulations 1995 prescribes that the following type of vehicle is exempt:

“A vehicle fitted with a machine, appliance, apparatus or other contrivance which is a permanent or essentially permanent fixture, provided that the only goods carried on the vehicle are -

(a) required for use in connection with the machine, appliance, apparatus or contrivance or the running of the vehicle;”

As also discussed, this exemption usually applies in cases where a machine, appliance or apparatus (e.g a crane, compressor or generator) has been fixed or bolted on to the vehicle. Any goods carried on such a vehicle must be strictly in connection with the use of such equipment, (i.e. the vehicle should effectively form a moving platform for these permanent or essentially permanent fixtures, and absolutely no goods that are not essential for the equipment to function (e.g. loose tools or other articles) should be carried on the vehicle.

You asked about tachographs. Our booklet "Rules on Drivers Hours and Tachographs" (GV 262) which you will find useful, and the most recent guide on goods vehicle operator licensing (GV74) are available on our website.

I should point out that this is in VOSA’s view and does not constitute legal opinion.

I hope that the information given above has been of some help. If you have any further queries, do not hesitate to contact me.

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