FAQ’s

We answer your most important questions

  1. Do the Driving Hour’s Regulations affect me?
  2. Can I drive a 7.5 tonne vehicle?
  3. What am I allowed to tow?
  4. Do I need an Operators Licence?
  5. What weight can I carry on my vehicle?
  6. How do I know if my vehicle is Roadworthy?

Question: Do the Driving Hour’s Regulations affect me?

Answer:

All vehicles over 3.5t must be by law fitted with a tachograph and the drivers must work within the driver’s hours regulation However there are exceptions to this law. All horseboxes 7.5t MAM (Maximum Authorised Weight) registered before 2006 do not need a tachograph fitted. All vehicles registered after this date must have a tachograph fitted. If you drive a horsebox between 3.5t and 7.5t for personal use and for no financial gain you do not have to abide by the Driving Hours Regulations. However if you drive a vehicle over 7.5t a tachograph must be fitted and you must comply with the Driving Hours regulations. Alternatively if you drive and horsebox between 3.5t and 7.5t for hire and reward you must have a tachograph fitted and must comply with the Driving Hours Regulations. This category of vehicle will also full under the Operators Licence Regulations. The working time directive also applies to professional drivers, which will affect people driving for hire and reward. More information can be found here on the VOSA website or here on the DFT website..

Question: Can I drive a 7.5 tonne vehicle?

Answer:

If you passed your licence before January 1 1997 you are entitled to drive a vehicle up to 7500kg MAM. This will be marked on your licence as category C1. If you passed your licence after 01/01/97 you are only entitled to drive a vehicle up to 3500kg MAM. This will be marked on your licence as category B. If you have a category B on your licence you will have to sit and pass a test for a category C1 in order to drive a 7500kg horsebox. This will involve sitting and passing a provisional licence (Theory) and then passing a practical driving test. Regardless of when you passed your test if you want to drive a vehicle over 7500kg MAM you must hold a category C licence. Again this will involve sitting and passing a provisional licence for this category and then sitting and passing a practical driving test. More information can be found here on the DVLA website

Question: What am I allowed to tow?

Answer:

As a general rule towing is classified into the following categories. Category B vehicles: Vehicles up to 3.5t MAM (Maximum Authorised Weight) Category C1 Vehicles: Vehicles between 3.5t & 7.5t MAM If you passed your test before 01/01/97 you are entitled to drive a vehicle and trailer combination not exceeding 8.25 t MAM (Conditions apply). If you passed your test after 01/01/97 you are limited to vehicles up to 3.5t MAM, towing a trailer up to 750kg, or a total combined weight of up to 3.5t MAM as long as the MAM of the trailer does not exceed the unladen mass of the towing vehicle. Using an example of a Landrover Discovery has an unladen mass of approximately 2200kg. If you hold a Cat B licence you could tow a trailer up to 1300kg. But you must also calculate the weight of people in the vehicle and general load, which will reduce the towing weight, as you cannot exceed 3.5t combination weight. Using the same example for a Cat C1 licence holder the same vehicle is permitted to tow a braked trailer to MAM of 3.5t. However you must not exceed the kerb weight of the towing vehicle, which in this example is 2.2t. Therefore the total combination weight would be 4.4t. A double horsebox trailer generally weights unladen approximately 900 kg. If you then add 2 horse at 600kg each and food and tack at 100kg you will have a gross weight of 2.2t. This would be the maximum weight permissible towing behind a Discovery with a C1 licence but would not be permissible with a Cat. B licence. More Information is available here on the DVLA website

Question: Do I need an Operators Licence?

Answer:

In general if you operate a vehicle or vehicle trailer combination over 3.5t MAM for hire & reward you need an Operators Licence. Hire & Reward means expecting any payment for the transportation of goods (Including horses). An Operators Licence is obtained via VOSA and you must meet certain criteria. This includes: Proof of financial standing. Proof of a six weekly matainence schedule. Complying with the driving hours rules & regulations. The holding of a Certificate of Professional Competency or appointing someone with a CPC. A defect procedure. A system for filing and managing all records. A person with a 7.5t horsebox who transports their own horse to amateur shows and it is not their main occupation does not need to hold an Operators Licence and does not fall within the driving hours regulations. However as soon as you except payment for transporting someone else’s horse to the same show you would fall under the Operators Licence regulations. If a person\’s main business (income) relies on transporting horses to shows etc, you will then come under the regulations. All operators of vehicles over 7.5 MAM regardless of operating for hire & reward or not must abide by the driving hours regulations. More information can be found here on the VOSA website

Question: What weight can I carry on my vehicle?

Answer:

This is a simple calculation but one you have to be very aware of.All vehicles over 3.5t should have a VOSA plate located in the vehicle stating the unladen weight and the gross permissible weight MAM (Maximum Authorised Weight). You simply take the unladen weight and add the load being carried and this should not exceed the MAM. A typical 7.5t horsebox will have an unladen weight of anything between 4t and 6t and the load carried cannot exceed 7.5t. If you horsebox has an unladen weight of 5t you cannot exceed a 2.5t load. If you are carrying 2 horses at 700 kg each and feed and tack of 500kg this would add up to 1.9t which would give you a total weight of 6.9t. To be sure of what your vehicle weight is, it is advisable to weight your vehicle at a public weight bridge both empty with fuel and passengers and loaded with horses and equipment. Some horseboxes are surprising heavy with a large body and ancillary equipment and this will vastly reduce your carrying capacity. Unfortunately the law is very strict with overloading and ignorance is no defence. The same will apply for vehicles under 3.5t MAM and a vehicle and trailer combination. Further information can be obtained here on the DVLA website

Question: How do I know if my vehicle is Roadworthy?

Answer:

Beware VOSA have said they will be targeting Horseboxes this year.Apart from your yearly MOT it is crucial your vehicle is roadworthy It is common for an amateur rider not to use their vehicle for a long period of time between seasons. This is when the vehicle is most vulnerable. Tyres can perish or develop flat spots. Brakes can cease due to rust or air and water can leak in the system. Rubber bushes can perish and springs can rust. This is what will be examined at a roadside check. Your vehicle will be weighed as well to ensure it is operating within its weight limits and the general condition of the body will also be checked. If you are not sure of the condition of your vehicle make sure you get an independent inspection before the start of the season. VOSA are very concerned about road safety and if your vehicle is checked and proved not to be roadworthy it will be removed from the road immediately and then it will be up to you to arrange recovery of the vehicle and the horse/s. You always make sure your horse is in excellent condition, make sure your vehicle is too..

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