Tractor speed limit and trailer weight increased

ChrisButch
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Tractor speed limit and trailer weight increased

Postby ChrisButch » 14 Mar 2015, 7:38pm

http://www.fwi.co.uk/news/tractor-speed-increase-will-make-roads-safer.htm
This was announced a month ago, but as far as I know hasn't been picked up in the cycling media. Fills me with dread, given that the current 20mph limit is routinely interpreted as 40+, and current trailer sizes are already lethal on narrow lanes (especially as driven by contract operators rather than local farm staff). Also appears to be no concomitant tightening of training and licensing requirements, so these things will still be driven on the open road by young teenagers.

Rob Archer
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Re: Tractor speed limit and trailer weight increased

Postby Rob Archer » 14 Mar 2015, 8:01pm

My ride home yesterday brought this into sharp focus. I was riding along a medium width country lane at about 20mph (Fenland tail wind) when a large tractor overtook me at speed. The tractor itself gave me plenty of room but it had a large harrow attached which took up almost the whole width of the road. Some sixth sense made me move over almost onto the verge and the harrow passed about 6 inches from my right ear! If I hadn't moved over it would have hit me and I suspect I wouldn't have come out of it too well. I would have reported it but I couldn't see a reg on the tractor. I wss too shaken up yo note any other details.

Psamathe
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Re: Tractor speed limit and trailer weight increased

Postby Psamathe » 14 Mar 2015, 8:14pm

I'm unsure about this. I remember years ago there was a speed problem along Stratford High St (as it was in those days). It was a 30 limit. So they increased the speed limit to 40 and found the average speed of vehicles dropped. I think the logic and explanation was that at 30, drivers would just completely ignore it and once well over the limit then astonishing ... But increase the speed limit and being more "reasonable", drivers who might have done 45 now think that sticking to 40 and they are legal ...

Not saying I agree with the solution (it was years and years ago anyway), but things can work in strange ways.

And I agree that some farmers in tractors are a real danger (to cars as well as cyclists).

Ian

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Heltor Chasca
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Re: Tractor speed limit and trailer weight increased

Postby Heltor Chasca » 14 Mar 2015, 8:41pm

Stratford High Street in London? That takes me back to my commuting days more than 10 years ago. Then it was ME who was quickest!

(Not any more sadly)

snibgo
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Re: Tractor speed limit and trailer weight increased

Postby snibgo » 14 Mar 2015, 8:50pm

Psamathe wrote:It was a 30 limit. So they increased the speed limit to 40 and found the average speed of vehicles dropped.

Speed limits (if they are the maximums) and average speeds are inversely correlated when the road is busy. Congested motorways are given temporary speed limits, which raises the average speed.

Unless the roads are full of tractors with trailers, raising their speed limits won't decrease the average.

Valbrona
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Re: Tractor speed limit and trailer weight increased

Postby Valbrona » 14 Mar 2015, 9:43pm

ChrisButch wrote: Fills me with dread, given that the current 20mph limit is routinely interpreted as 40+ ....


Not going to make that much difference then ...

I think tractors are routinely driven as fast as possible on public highways and the people driving them would not be able to tell you that there does exist a special speed limit for such vehicles.

Police Officers only bother enforcing laws relating to vehicle speed where speeds are highest and the perceived risk of serious/multiple injuries is highest, ie. motorways/A roads.
I should coco.

Flinders
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Re: Tractor speed limit and trailer weight increased

Postby Flinders » 15 Mar 2015, 9:29am

Many trailers and implements don't carry reg numbers, but are big enough to obscure the tractor's number. It isn't easy to trace offending drivers.

pwa
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Re: Tractor speed limit and trailer weight increased

Postby pwa » 16 Mar 2015, 12:28pm

On a positive note, the tractors I meet round here are no problem. I pull over to give them room when it's really tight, but very often they pull over instead.

Vorpal
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Re: Tractor speed limit and trailer weight increased

Postby Vorpal » 16 Mar 2015, 12:38pm

I think it is unlikely to make much difference.

Tractors are speed limited to either 40 kph, or 50 kph, depending upon the model.

IMO, they have been driven mainly at their capability, rather than the speed limit, anyway.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

thirdcrank
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Re: Tractor speed limit and trailer weight increased

Postby thirdcrank » 16 Mar 2015, 12:46pm

The provision is coming into force anyway, so any opportunity to object is long gone. Having read who was lobbying for this change, I doubt whether lobbying by cyclists would have made any difference. My reading of the link suggests there's more of the same on the way. In the absence of any sort of enforcement, speed limits for tractors are quite academic.

(Once again, Vorpal posted quicker than me.)

Flinders
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Re: Tractor speed limit and trailer weight increased

Postby Flinders » 16 Mar 2015, 3:33pm

I find most farmers round here are fine, in fact, they're very considerate, and appreciative if I pull over for them.
The ones that cause me problems tend to be young contractors driving very large machinery. Mostly the problems relate to them simply being too big for the narrow roads, but sometimes excessive speed is added to that.

John Stewart
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Re: Tractor speed limit and trailer weight increased

Postby John Stewart » 17 Mar 2015, 7:58pm

About time too. I am fed up with being held up whilst time trialling by tractors.

Vorpal
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Re: Tractor speed limit and trailer weight increased

Postby Vorpal » 17 Mar 2015, 8:10pm

John Stewart wrote:About time too. I am fed up with being held up whilst time trialling by tractors.

:mrgreen: :mrgreen:
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

pete75
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Re: Tractor speed limit and trailer weight increased

Postby pete75 » 25 Mar 2015, 9:49pm

A JCB Fastrac can do 50 mph. Operators who do a lot of road work buy them because they want to make use of the top speed.
A 17 year old can drive any tractor on the road with L plates. They don't have to be accompanied.
A 16 year old needs to pass a test which lasts about 20 minutes.
My father told me that just after the war they had an American tractor called a Minneapolis Moline that would do about 40 mph so these high speeds are nothing new - because of the work they do tractors tend to have powerful engines so to go fast all they need is a high top gear for road use.

Bmblbzzz
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Re: Tractor speed limit and trailer weight increased

Postby Bmblbzzz » 20 Apr 2015, 12:41pm

On the positive side, that article says
The Department for Transport is considering further increases to speed and tractor weight limits, including to the 18.29t trailer weight limit alongside a roadworthiness test for harvest 2016.

which implies that there isn't a roadworthiness test for tractors and agricultural trailers at the moment, so introducing one is probably a good move.