Tractor changes set to benefit Sussex farmers

Speed restrictions changed for tractors.

Speed restrictions changed for tractors.

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Sussex farmers will be able to benefit from new regulations that begin today (Monday March 9), increasing the weight and speed limits of tractors and trailers.

A tractor towing an agricultural trailer will be able to travel at a higher combined weight limit of 31 tonnes – up from 24.39t – although the existing trailer limit of 18.29t will remain in place.

Agricultural tractors and trailers, which are currently restricted to travelling at 20mph, will be able to travel at 40km an hour (approximately 25mph).

The increase in combined weight means bigger tractors can pull trailers without sacrificing cargo to meet the top weight limit of both tractor and trailer. This will maximise the amount of produce transported in each journey.

These changes will also result in farmers having to make fewer journeys on the roads and so reduce the risk of accidents.

The view is that the new regulations better reflected modern machinery and would bring British farmers more in line with their international counterparts.

When the decision was originally announced Henry Robinson, president of the Country Land and Business Association (CLA), said: “Tractors are safer and faster than they were when these speed limits were imposed 27 years ago. These changes will make our rural roads safer by reducing the amount of overtaking that takes place.

“We will press Ministers to consider further changes, especially related to the weight limit for heavier trailers. It is time to make sure the law reflects the major advance in technology that has taken place.”