Mother Regulation at the starting line
Framework Regulation 167/2013, also known as the Mother Regulation, for agricultural vehicles has been published in the European Union Official Journal covering new type-approval for tractors, trailers and interchangeable towed equipment to apply as of 1st January 2016. What will change for the sector of agricultural machinery?
After two years of handling in European Union quarters, the process of drafting new regulations for the type-approval of agricultural machinery has been concluded. Framework Regulation 167/213, published two years ago and renamed “Mother Regulation” by personnel in the field, delegated the task of defining the requisites for new EU type-approval to the European Commission. These regulations have been published in the EU Official Journal between the end of 2014 and the beginning of 2015. They are listed as follows:
Reg. N° 1322/2014, regards vehicle construction including the structure of ROPS protection, PTOs, seats and seatbelts, driving positions and controls, batteries, instruction manuals and the like. The 1322 is absolutely the most lengthy, running to more than 300 pages.
Reg. N° 68/2015, defines new vehicle braking approval requirements, which are finally harmonized at the European level not only for tractors but also towed vehicles, for levels of safety comparable to other road vehicles.
Reg. N° 96/2015, covers environmental and propulsion unit performance requirements of agricultural and forestry vehicles regarding emissions and noise pollution. This is the Regulation which incorporates EU emission requirements resulting from the installation of particulate filters and/or various types of devices for exhaust after-treatment.
Reg. N° 208/2015, describes all the prescribed type-approvals, especially requirements for steering, glass, visibility, lights, ballast, fuel tanks, tow hooks, tires and track, loading beds, mass, size and the like. Reg. N° 504/2015, covers the administrative requirements for the approval and market surveillance of agricultural and forestry vehicles and related documentation (certificates, forms, reports and license plates). This is the bureaucratic side intended only for experts in the field but necessary for completing type-approval and registration of the vehicle. These regulations will be applied 1st January 2016 for all new type-approvals whereas they will become binding as of 1st January 2018 for marketing and registering agricultural tractors. Thus the Mother Regulation is coming along as a decisive shift, a considerable leap involving an enormous work load for the experts responsible for type-approval. The burden will fall especially on the manufacturers who, in a span of two years, will be required to update and again win type-approval for their production. The commitment is not to be underestimated in light of the complicated management of the entire process in addition to the technical modifications of machines required for the purpose of conformity with the newly prescribed regulations. This means the impact of this new made in the EU legislation on agricultural machinery will be considerable. All components and key systems – from brakes and steering to lights, tow hooks, engines and cabs – will have to be designed and built not only to meet the requirements of farmers but also to conform to the bulky body of type-approvals dictated by the EU. With the purchase or use of a tractor, one almost never gives thought to the mountain of regulations, so particular and complicated, behind the vehicle. Yet the nearly one thousand pages of these anonymous regulations born in Brussels will have very real repercussions on the tractors of tomorrow.