46 tonne weight limit for rigid and drawbar trailer combinations

46 Tonne National Weight Limit for Six Axle Rigid Truck & Drawbar Trailer Combinations.

 

The Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport has signed new Regulations allowing a national weight limit increase for 6 (or more) axle rigid truck and drawbar trailer combinations. The new provisions are contained in the Road Traffic (Construction and Use of Vehicles) (Amendment) Regulations 2015 (S.I. No. 136 of 2015).

From 1st June 2015 six (or more) axle rigid truck and drawbar trailer combinations will be allowed operate at a gross combination weight of 46 tonnes. This represents up to a 4 tonne increase over the pre-existing national weight limit and aligns with the limit applicable to six axle articulated vehicle combinations which was introduced on 1st April 2013. However it is subject to vehicles meeting certain qualifying criteria. These are as follows:

Six axle Rigid Truck & Drawbar Trailer Combinations What is Required on or after 1st June 2015?
3 or more axle rigid trucks already in service prior to 1st June 2015 Road friendly or equivalent suspension system, Electronic Braking System (EBS) & plated at 46 tonne
New 3 axle rigid trucks first registered on or after 1st June 2015 Road friendly or equivalent suspension system, Electronic Braking System (EBS), Electronic Stability Control (ESC) & plated at 46 tonne
New 4 (or more) axle rigid trucks first registered on or after 1st June 2015 Road friendly or equivalent suspension system, Electronic Braking system (EBS) & plated at 46 tonne
2 (or more) axle drawbar trailers first licensed prior to 1st June 2015 Road friendly or equivalent suspension system & Electronic Braking System (EBS)
2 (or more) axle drawbar trailers first licensed on or after 1st June 2015 Road friendly or equivalent suspension system, Electronic Braking System (EBS) & Roll Stability Control (RSC)

 

Operational Arrangements for 46 Tonne Operation

Before owners / operators can operate at 46 tonnes, they must complete a 46 tonne Declaration of Conformity (PDF) form for their rigid truck. This declaration is not required for trailers operating as part of a 46 tonne combination and furthermore it is not necessary to have trailers re-plated by National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) appointed plating centres.

In the case of rigid trucks, the Declaration of Conformity (DOC) form must be stamped and signed by the original vehicle manufacturer or their authorised Irish distributor. This will confirm that the vehicle is technically capable and is fitted with the necessary safety features to operate at 46 tonnes. Vehicle owners/operators should contact the Irish distributor for their particular brand of rigid truck(s) to obtain completed 46 tonne DOC’s for them.

Contact details for the Irish distributors of the main rigid truck brands can be found here (PDF).

Only after this certification has been received can a vehicle be plated for operation at 46 tonnes. These plates are fitted by National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) appointed plating centres. A list of authorised vehicle plating centres can be obtained from the NSAI website (www.nsai.ie  ) or by contacting them on 01 807 3800.

Note that goods and passenger vehicles (and their trailers) with a DGVW exceeding 3,500 kilograms must be fitted with an authorisation plate (i.e. a national weights and dimensions plate), if not already fitted with an equivalent manufacturer’s plate. This plate must be displayed at all times when the vehicle is used in a public place. Vehicles are prohibited from being used in a public place if they have been modified or altered in any way which would cause any of the information on the plate to be incorrect. However an exception is made for modified vehicles which are being taken to a place where an authorisation plate is to be fitted or changed.

Since 8th December 2014 the penalty if detected using a vehicle in a public place without an authorisation plate fitted, or a vehicle that has been modified or altered such that the information contained on the authorisation plate is inaccurate results in 3 penalty points and a €60 fine if paid with 28 days, rising to €90 if paid within the subsequent 28 days, or 5 penalty points and a fine not exceeding €2,500 if convicted in court.

A list of frequently asked questions with practical advice on achieving compliance with the revised standards for operating at 46 tonnes in respect of six (or more) axle rigid truck and drawbar trailer combinations is available here.

Finally, further information on the penalties applicable for breach of the national Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) weight limits are outlined in detail on our dedicated weights and dimensions webpage.