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Teenagers - who can drive tractors and with what weight?

Published: 13 May 2010 09:450 comments

Teenagers who can get their provisional driving licence for example, allowing them to drive tractors at 16, should know the law as to what restrictions apply.

Work lamps must only be used during field operations and not while driving on the public road.

Generally 16-year-olds are allowed to drive tractors on rural roads between farms but not allowed to drive tractors in restricted areas where 30mph and 40mph speed limits apply, in other words, through towns. Sixteen-year-olds can obtain Driving Licence Category F which means they can drive agricultural tractors less than 2.45metres wide towing a trailer less than 2.45 metres wide with two wheels or four close coupled, The unladen weight of the tractor must not exceed 2,550kgs. and the combined total maximum weight of both the towed item and the towing vehicle is 3.5 tonnes. Furthermore, new legislation came into force on October 31, 2006 which requires anyone between the ages of 13-18 to have attended and passed a formal driving assessment to be allowed to drive tractors anywhere in Northern Ireland.

"Therefore if you are under 18 years old and drivng a tractor without the LANTRA certificate in tractor driving you are currently breaking the law.Groups of teenage tractor drivers have been spoken to after they were warned by police that using tractors for non-agricultural use was illegal. In such circumstances they could be threatened with prosecution.

As a 17-year-old, the total maximum laden weight of both the towing vehicle and the trailer is 24.39 tonnes when it is for agricultural use only.

However individuals who use their agricultural tractor and trailer for haulage purposes, not related to agriculture such as construction may require a haulier's licence, possibly an increased braking system and a heavy goods licence. Failure to do this would result in insurance being void.

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