Federated Farmers Review of the Vehicle Dimensions & Mass (VDAM) Rule- Discussion Document

Federated Farmers has a keen interest in the outcome of the review, firstly as producers of often bulky commodities that need to be moved around the country, largely by road freight, but also as operators of agricultural machinery which is often of a nature that contends with the VDAM rule.

General Comments

 Federated Farmers supports the general intent of the review. Whatever options are eventually chosen, with the exception of the ever-present status quo, the measures will contribute to an updating of the Rule and a general enhancement of the flexibility of the VDAM framework. This is an important process to ensure that efficiencies in the road transport sector provide ongoing improvements for industry and the economy more widely.

This submission focusses on the interaction of farmers with the VDAM Rule and therefore places its attention on the applicability of the VDAM Rule to agricultural vehicles and machinery like tractors, silage choppers and combine harvesters. However, Federated Farmers also supports the liberalisation of the Rule as it applies to road transport.

Farmers are also drivers, and as such we acknowledge that there must be balance in any proposal that increases or preserves efficiencies, cuts red tape but also maintains the highest level of road safety. We support this principle and agree that all of the options presented will ultimately have a net-benefit to road safety. In this submission we have asked for some measures that differ in their substance from the prepared options. Where that is the case, we consider that nothing we have proposed will have an adverse effect on road safety.