The UK's current exemption from an annual MOT - road safety inspection - for larger truck mounted lifts and mobile cranes mounted on regular truck-based commercial chassis is to end.
The UK government has published the results of its consultation into the subject and ruled that all truck mounted lifts and mobile cranes mounted on a Heavy Goods Vehicle based chassis with a Gross Vehicle Weight up to 44 tonnes will be required to be submitted for regular road worthiness inspections at an approved MOT inspection site. This will also affect the requirement for these vehicles to be submitted to Whole Vehicle Type Approval before being registered for the first time. The change is expected to apply to almost 30,000 vehicles.
The legal change will be made through an amendment to the Goods Vehicles (Plating and Testing) Regulations 1988 will come into force from the 20th May 2018. Larger cranes which come under STGO rules will continue to be exempt for practical reasons, although this is also in light of the industry’s adoption of a voluntary scheme currently in development through the UK’s crane rental industry association the CPA.
This is a sensible outcome and corrects something that needed sorting out. Sadly there have been a number of fatal road accidents in the UK in which poorly maintained cranes almost certainly played a major role, and in some cases were the sole cause of the incident.
Most responsible crane rental companies are fully behind mandatory road worthiness inspections for all cranes and several have invested in equipment which allows them to test braking and other safety systems on their heavier cranes which is an issue at the regular commercial vehicle testing stations.
The change may well have a future impact on the use of lower taxed red diesel, and the licencing requirements for drivers. But at this stage the changes simply concern the road safety aspect. It will also affect some of the larger truck mounted lifts that manufacturers have slipped through as cranes in order to avoid type approval requirements.