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VMMTC discusses MOT exemptions and EU truck cartel

2017/06/12

IPAF’s Vehicle Mounted Manufacturers Technical Committee (VMMTC) met last month at APEX at the RAI conference and exhibition centre in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Among the items under discussion by the group was the Department for Transport’s proposal in the UK to remove the exemption from EU Regulation 45/2014 on periodic roadworthiness tests for motor vehicles and trailers – with the MOT exemption retained only for mobile cranes on a lorry-based chassis. This is mainly as they spend a limited time on public roads, restrictions as to the size of the cranes that can realistically fit inside a typical MOT testing station as well as function, though it was pointed out many vehicle-mounted MEWPs face the same issues. It was also pointed out that a machine could be on a long-term hire at one site for months or even years, or that a short-term hire that might initially be agreed between owner and contractor of a day could be extended to many weeks – meeting MOT renewal/expiry dates could therefore be an issue.

The group agreed that in many cases there is already a robust regime in place for ensuring the safety of vehicle-mounted MEWPs. Proposals have been put forward for a voluntary scheme developed by industry, and IPAF and the Construction Plant-Hire Association are considering a voluntary MOT; depending upon the outcome of the implementation of the UK legislation, which is anticipated that the legislation will come into force in May 2018. It was pointed out that in Italy there is a compulsory annual inspection for both vehicle mounts as well as the MEWP mounted on the back, either by a state institution or a private body who then report to the state intuition, while Germany has a different regime again.

The committee also raised the potential requirement for a seven or ten-year inspection industry standard or guidance, though the group felt that IPAF’s Guidance for Major Inspections of Mobile Elevating Work Platforms would probably provide sufficient guidance. Also discussed was the European Truck Manufacturers Cartel, and the likelihood of member firms receiving compensation following the recent action brought by the European Commission (EC) against European truck manufacturers was raised. The total fines imposed to date equate to €2.9 billion and are by far the largest amounts ever imposed by the European Union for any case of this nature.

Following the EC’s findings there appears to be the potential for a damages claim against truck manufacturers, though it was remarked that this is likely to be a long drawn-out process and there is no guarantee of any pay-out at the end. IPAF is monitoring the situation.

The next meeting of the VMMTC was announced for 8th September 2017 to coincide with Platformers’ Days in Hohenroda, Germany.

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