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Ask the MAC – April 2022


Discover the answers to questions frequently put to the Member Advice Centre.

SPARE WHEEL

We have just taken delivery of some new vans and have noticed they do not have any spare wheels. Our drivers are concerned this may be illegal. Are spare wheels a legal requirement?

There is no legal requirement for vehicles to carry spare wheels. Furthermore, if a spare wheel is carried, the MOT test or any roadside check would only deal with the manner in which the wheel is secured.

Tyre tread depth and condition, along with any other defects, will be advisory and will not result in a test failure or a vehicle prohibition being issued.

From an operational point of view, you would need to put provisions in place in the event of a tyre failing during a journey. 

A wheel fitted with a defective tyre ceases to function as a spare.  

ASSESSING THE ASSESSOR

We have an in-house driving assessor who has been told they cannot complete any assessments and give instruction in Category B vehicles, as they are not a qualified Advance Driving Instructor (ADI). What is the reason behind this?

It is a legal requirement to be an ADI to train drivers of vehicles covered by the Category B licence code. This is in relation to Section 123 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 which states:

“123 - Driving instruction for payment to be given only by registered or licensed persons.

(1) No paid instruction in the driving of a motor car shall be given unless—

(a) the name of the person giving the instruction is in the register of approved instructors established in pursuance of section 23 of the Road Traffic Act 1962."

In this instance, the instructor is being paid by the operator to complete the assessments and give instruction to a category B driver, which would be interpreted as “instruction for payment”, so the relevant qualification would be required.

FIVE TONNE QUESTION

We operate a small fleet of 3.5 tonne gross vehicle weight dropside trucks. Due to a new contract some of the vehicles are now towing trailers. The drivers use their B+E licence, none of them are HGV licence holders. As the combination weight is five tonnes, should these drivers also hold a driver qualification card (DQC)? We are aware of the tachograph rules, but there is some confusion regarding Driver CPC (Certificate of Professional Competence) requirements.

The requirement for a driver qualification card (DQC) relates to the category of licence the driver requires to drive the towing vehicle. As your vehicles do not exceed 3.5 tonnes Gross Vehicle Weight and can be driven by a driver with a category B entitlement this does not come into scope of Driver CPC, even though the combination weight exceeds 3.5 tonnes.

IT’S A WRAP!

When replacing our van fleet, we buy the vehicles in standard factory white. Rather than a re-paint, we have the vehicles professionally wrapped in our own livery. Should we notify DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) of this colour change even though they are only wrapped? When sold, the vehicles are returned to white.

For enforcement and vehicle identity purposes, you will need to inform DVLA if the primary colour of the vehicle has changed. Once you have removed your livery/wrapping, you will need to notify DVLA of the changes again, prior to disposal of the vehicle.

PUTTING THEORY INTO PRACTICE

I have passed a theory test for my Category B entitlement – will I need to take it again as part of a Category C test?

You will need to take a theory test if you want a licence for a new category of vehicle, for example, if you have a car licence and you want a bus or lorry licence you will need to take a theory test.
To upgrade within a vehicle category you will not normally have to sit the test, for example, if you have a Category C and you want a C+E licence you will not have to take a theory test. You will, however, have to take the relevant practical test.
Anyone with sub-categories C1 and D1 entitlement who obtained those categories when they passed their car test and wants to upgrade to a C or D licence will have to obtain the correct provisional entitlement and pass a theory test.

TACHO TALK

Are drivers subject to EU rules required to record daily and weekly rest, annual and sick leave on the tachograph?

The regulation makes law previous guidance from the European Commission regarding recording other work. This stated that a driver is obliged to produce and present the full set of tachograph records for the current day and the previous 28 days at the roadside. These records should cover all periods of activity (driving, availability, out of scope driving, other work, etc) and inactivity (breaks, rest periods, annual leave, sick leave, etc) for each and every day. When, as a result of being away from the vehicle, it is not possible to use the tachograph on each and every day to record a driver’s activities and inactivity periods, these should be recorded retroactively by using manual entries on the day when a driver activates the tachograph following the period of being away from the vehicle.

GRANDFATHER RIGHTS

We have a driver with a pre-1997 driving licence, who has a C1 category expiry date which aligns with his category B. His LGV categories have expired, will he have to do a medical if we want him to drive 7.5t vehicles only?

A driver with a pre-1997 driving licence will automatically be entitled to drive a goods vehicle up to 7.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight under their group 1 licence (evidenced by an in date C1 category). Group 1 licences are normally valid until 70 years of age, unless restricted to a shorter duration for medical reasons.

LGVs are covered by a group 2 licence and as this has expired, if the driver wishes to reinstate their LGV licence then the driver would have to undertake a medical beforehand.

FOREIGN FUEL

With the new rebated fuel legislation coming into force on 1 April, what happens if our trailers run out of fuel whilst in the EU – can we fill up with rebated fuel?

If a vehicle or equipment is legally refilled with rebated fuel in another country or the Channel Islands, for use which is permitted in that country or jurisdiction, then the remaining fuel may be used up in the UK. However, operators will need to provide evidence to demonstrate that the vehicle or equipment was filled outside the UK, it is not necessary to flush the vehicles tanks when returning to the UK.

Published On: 07/04/2022 16:00:36

 


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