Project: In-Service Assessment of Agricultural Trailer & Trailed Appliance Braking System Condition and Performance

Reference: S0713/V6

Last update: 19/12/2008 14:42:54


The main purpose of this work is to produce information to raise user (& prospective purchaser) awareness of the inadequate performance of many in-service agricultural trailer braking systems, and provide guidance regarding the practical means & economic viability of addressing the situation.


The current EC braking Directive only contains provisions for agricultural tractors with no such requirements for agricultural trailers. However, our national legislation (Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986) imposes braking provisions for both agricultural vehicles and trailers - albeit with fairly low performance measures providing they are not driven at speeds in excess of 20mph.

We know in practise that many operatives do not keep below 20 mph and overload their vehicles. Whilst we recognise this is an enforcement issue VOSA do not have the resources to increase their presence in this area. Therefore, improved agricultural trailer braking performance is one of the few practical and cost-effective options available to address the increasingly apparent safety issues relating to overweight and/or over-speeding by modern, state-of-the-art agricultural machinery on the road.

This work will assess typical braking systems fitted to current agricultural trailers, their capability for use with modern tractors, their suitability to be upgraded to reduce incompatibility problems between tractor/trailer and dissemination of results to farmers and industry.


No contractors specified.

Contract details

Cost to the Department: £12,000.00

Actual start date: 30 July 2007

Actual completion date: 30 November 2008