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The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986

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ADIMENSIONS AND MANOEUVRABILITY

Length

7.  (1)  Subject to paragraphs (2) to (6), the overall length of a vehicle or combination of vehicles of a class specified in an item in column 2 of the Table shall not exceed the maximum length specified in that item in column 3 of the Table, the overall length in the case of a combination of vehicles being calculated in accordance with regulation 81(g) and (h).

TABLE

(regulation 7(1))

1 23
ItemClass of vehicleMaximum length (metres)
Vehicle Combinations
1 A motor vehicle drawing one trailer not being a semi-trailer.18
2An articulated bus. 18
3An articulated vehicle. 15.5
Motor vehicles
4A wheeled motor vehicle.12
5A track-laying motor vehicle.9.2
Trailers
6 An agricultural trailed appliance manufactured on or after 1st December 1985. 15
7A semi-trailer manufactured on or after 1st May 1983.12.2
8

A trailer with at least 4 wheels which is—

(a) drawn by a goods vehicle being a motor vehicle having a maximum gross weight exceeding 3500 kg; or

(b) an agricultural trailer.

12
9 Any other trailer not being an agricultural trailed appliance or a semi-trailer. 7

(2) In the case of a motor vehicle drawing one trailer where—

(a)the motor vehicle is a showman's vehicle as defined in paragraph 7 of Schedule 3 to the 1971 Act; and

(b)the trailer is used primarily as living accommodation by one or more persons and is not also used for the carriage of goods or burden which are not needed for the purpose of such residence in the vehicle,

item 1 in the Table applies with the substitution of 22 m for 18 m.

(3) The provisions of paragraph (1) do not apply to—

(a)a vehicle combination or trailer which is constructed and normally used for the conveyance of indivisible loads of exceptional length;

(b)a wheeled semi-trailer which is constructed and normally used for the purpose of carrying at least two other wheeled vehicles;

(c)a broken down vehicle which is being drawn by a motor vehicle in consequence of a breakdown; or

(d)a trailer being drying or mixing plant designed for the production of asphalt or of bituminous or tar macadam and used mainly for the construction, repair or maintenance of roads, or a road planing machine so used.

(4) Where a motor vehicle is drawing—

(a)two trailers, then only one of those trailers may exceed an overall length of 7 m;

(b)three trailers, then none of those trailers shall exceed an overall length of 7 m.

(5) Where a motor vehicle is drawing—

(a)two or more trailers; or

(b)one trailer constructed and normally used for the conveyance of indivisible loads of exceptional length—

then—

(i)the overall length of that motor vehicle shall not exceed 9.2 m; and

(ii) the overall length of the combination of vehicles, calculated in accordance with regulation 81(g) and (h), shall not exceed 25.9 m, unless the conditions specified in paragraphs 1 and 2 of Schedule 12 have been complied with.

(6) Item 7 in the Table does not apply to a semi-trailer which is normally used on international journeys any part of which takes place outside the United Kingdom.

Width

8.  (1)  Save as provided in paragraph (2), the overall width of a vehicle of a class specified in an item in column 2 of the Table shall not exceed the maximum width specified in column 3 in that item.

TABLE

(regulation 8(1))

1 23
ItemClass of vehicleMaximum width (metres)
1A locomotive, other than an agricultural motor vehicle. 2.75
2A refrigerated vehicle2.58
3Any other motor vehicle.2.5
4A trailer drawn by a motor vehicle having a maximum gross weight (determined as provided in Part I of Schedule 8 to these Regulations) exceeding 3500 kg.2.5
5An agricultural trailer.2.5
6An agricultural trailed appliance.2.5
7Any other trailer drawn by a vehicle other than a motor cycle.2.3
8 A trailer drawn by a motor cycle.1.5

(2) Paragraph (1) does not apply to a broken down vehicle which is being drawn in consequence of the breakdown.

(3) No person shall use or cause or permit to be used on a road a wheeled agricultural motor vehicle drawing a wheeled trailer if, when the longitudinal axes of the vehicles are parallel but in different vertical planes, the overall width of the two vehicles, measured as if they were one vehicle, exceeds 2.5 metres.

(4) In this regulation “refrigerated vehicle” means any vehicle which is specially designed for the carriage of goods at low temperature and of which the thickness of each of the side walls, inclusive of insulation, is at least 45 mm.

Height

9.  (1)  The overall height of a bus shall not exceed 4.57 m.

(2) Save as provided in paragraph (3), no person shall use or cause or permit to be used on a road any semi-trailer if—

(a)any part of the structure of the vehicle is more than 4.2 m from the ground when the vehicle is on level ground; and

(b)the total laden weight of the semi-trailer and the vehicle by which it is drawn exceeds 32,520 kg.

(3) For the purpose of paragraph (2) the structure of a vehicle includes any detachable structure attached to the vehicle for the purpose of containing any load, but does not include any load which is not a detachable structure or any sheeting or other readily flexible means of covering or securing a load.

The provisions of paragraph (2) do not apply in respect of any vehicle while it is being loaded or unloaded.

Indication of overall travelling height

10.  (1)  This regulation applies to every motor vehicle which is—

(a)constructed or adapted so as to be capable of hoisting and carrying a skip;

(b)carrying a container;

(c)drawing a trailer or semi-trailer carrying a container;

(d)engineering plant;

(e)carrying engineering equipment; or

(f)drawing a trailer or semi-trailer carrying engineering equipment.

(2) No person shall use or cause or permit to be used on a road a vehicle to which this regulation applies if the overall travelling height exceeds 3.66 m unless there is carried in the vehicle in the manner specified in paragraph (3) a notice clearly indicating in feet and inches and in figures not less than 40 mm tall, the overall travelling height.

(3) The notice referred to in paragraph (2) shall be attached to the vehicle in such a manner that it can be read by the driver when in the driving position.

(4) In this regulation—

engineering equipment” means engineering plant and any other plant or equipment designed and constructed for the purpose of engineering operations;

overall travelling height” means not less than and not above 25 mm more than the distance between the ground and the point on the motor vehicle, or on any trailer drawn by it, or on any load which is being carried by or any equipment which is fitted to the said motor vehicle or trailer, which is farthest from the ground, and for the purpose of determining the overall travelling height—

(a)

the tyres of the motor vehicle and of any trailer which it is drawing shall be suitably inflated for the use to which the vehicle or combination of vehicles is being put; and

(b)

the surface under the motor vehicle and any trailer which it is drawing and any load which is being carried on and any equipment which is fitted to any part of the said vehicle or combination of vehicles and which projects beyond any part of the said vehicle or combination of vehicles shall be reasonably flat; and

(c)

any equipment which is fitted to the motor vehicle or any trailer which it is drawing shall be stowed in the position in which it is to proceed on the road;

skip” means an article of equipment designed and constructed to be carried on a road vehicle and to be placed on a road or other land for the storage of materials, or for the removal and disposal of rubble, waste, household or other rubbish or earth.

Overhang

11.  (1)  The overhang of a wheeled vehicle of a class specified in an item in column 2 of the Table shall not, subject to any exemption specified in that item in column 4, exceed the distance specified in that item in column 3.

TABLE

(regulation 11(1))

1 234
Item Class of vehicleMaximum overhangExemptions
1 Motor tractor1.83 m.

(a) a track-laying vehicle

(b) an agricultural motor vehicle

2Heavy motor car and motor car60% of the distance between the transverse plane which passes through the centre or centres of the foremost wheel or wheels and the transverse plane which passes through the foremost point from which the overhang is to be measured as provided in regulation 3(2).
(a)

a bus

(b)

a refuse vehicle

(c)

a works truck

(d)

a track-laying vehicle

(e)

an agricultural motor vehicle

(f)

a motor car which is an ambulance

(g)

a vehicle designed to dispose of its load to the rear, if the overhang does not exceed 1.15 m

(h)

a vehicle first used before 2nd January 1933

(i)

a vehicle first used before 1st January 1966 if—

(i)

the distance between the centres of the rearmost and foremost axles does not exceed 2.29 m, and

(ii)

the distance specified in column 3 is not exceeded by more than 76 mm

(j)

heating plant on a vehicle designed and mainly used to heat the surface of a road or other similar surface in the process of construction, repair or maintenance shall be disregarded.

(2) In the case of an agricultural motor vehicle the distance measured horizontally and parallel to the longitudinal axis of the rear portion of the vehicle between the transverse planes passing through the rearmost point of the vehicle and through the centre of the rear or the rearmost axle shall not exceed 3 m.

Minimum ground clearance

12.  (1)  Save as provided in paragraph (2), a wheeled trailer which is—

(a)a goods vehicle; and

(b)manufactured on or after 1st April 1984,

shall have a minimum ground clearance of not less than 160 mm if the trailer has an axle interspace of more than 6 m but less than 11.5 m, and a minimum ground clearance of not less than 190 mm if the trailer has an axle interspace of 11.5 m or more.

(2) Paragraph (1) shall not apply in the case of a trailer—

(a)which is fitted with a suspension system with which, by the operation of a control, the trailer may be lowered or raised, while that system is being operated to enable the trailer to pass under a bridge or other obstruction over a road provided that at such times the system is operated so that no part of the trailer (excluding any wheel) touches the ground or is likely to do so; or

(b)while it is being loaded or unloaded.

(3) In this regulation—

axle interspace” means

(a)

in the case of a semi-trailer, the distance between the point of support of the semi-trailer at its forward end and, if it has only one axle, the centre of that axle or, if it has more than one axle, the point halfway between the centres of the foremost and rearmost of those axles; and

(b)

in the case of any other trailer, the distance between the centre of its front axle or, if it has more than one axle at the front, the point halfway between the centres of the foremost and rearmost of those axles, and the centre of its rear axle or, if it has more than one axle at the rear, the point halfway between the centre of the foremost and rearmost of those axles; and

ground clearance” means the shortest distance between the ground and the lowest part of that portion of the trailer (excluding any part of a suspension, steering or braking system attached to any axle, any wheel and any air skirt) which lies within the area formed by the overall width of the trailer and the middle 70% of the axle interspace, such distance being ascertained when the trailer—

(a)

is fitted with suitable tyres which are inflated to a pressure recommended by the manufacturer, and

(b)

is reasonably horizontal and standing on ground which is reasonably flat.

Turning circle

13.  (1)  This regulation applies to a bus first used on or after 1st April 1982.

(2) Every vehicle to which this regulation applies shall be able to move on either lock so that no part of it projects outside the area contained between concentric circles with radii of 12 m and 5.3 m.

(3) When a vehicle to which this regulation applies moves forward from rest, on either lock, so that its outermost point describes a circle of 12 m radius, no part of the vehicle shall project beyond the longitudinal plane which, at the beginning of the manoeuvre, defines the overall width of the vehicle on the side opposite to the direction in which it is turning by more than—

(a)0.8 m if it is a rigid vehicle; or

(b)1.2 m if it is an articulated bus.

(4) For the purpose of paragraph (3) the two rigid portions of an articulated bus shall be in line at the beginning of the manoeuvre.

Connecting sections and direction-holding of articulated buses

14.  (1)  This regulation applies to every articulated bus first used on or after 1st April 1982.

(2) The connecting section of the two parts of every articulated bus to which this regulation applies shall be constructed so as to comply with the provisions relating to such a section specified in paragraph 5.9 in ECE Regulation 36 as regards vehicles within the scope of that Regulation.

(3) Every articulated bus to which this regulation applies shall be constructed so that when the vehicle is moving in a straight line the longitudinal median planes of its two parts coincide and form a continuous plane without any deflection.

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