Driving a Telehandler on the Road Safely

While most use of plant machinery happens on a construction site or in a fixed area, there are times where it’s quicker to transport a machine by road. For example, if hiring a truck incurs too high of a fee or if you don’t need to travel far. Machines, such as telehandlers, are designed to be used on public highways for fixed periods of time. But, in order to minimise the risk of accidents and injuries, it is important that you and the operator know how to drive them safely in these busy and bustling environments. In this blog, we’ll go through the things you need to consider before moving these plant machines to your next site via the road.

What Are the Requirements?

In order to drive your telehandler on UK roads, it must be fully registered, licensed for use and be accompanied by a relevant tax disc. Take note that if you’re using the vehicle for agricultural movements, such as transporting fertiliser or bales, you will need to register it as an agricultural vehicle. This will not allow you to transport it for construction projects – you will need a commercial license in order to do this. The individual driving will also need to be in possession of their own valid and in-date UK drivers license. Make sure you have the right insurance too, covering the driver, the telehandler and other road users.

Age Requirements

Depending on the size of your telehandler, you will also need to be aware of the age restrictions. If the machine is under 3.5 tonnes, the driver will need to be a minimum of 17 years old and in possession of their own driver’s license. If the machine weighs between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes, the driver will need to be 18 with their own driver’s license. And, if the telehandler weighs over 7.5 tonnes, the driver must be over 21 with their own driver’s licence.

Preparing the Telehandler

Once you have taken care of the relevant insurance and documentation, it’s time to prepare the telehandler for the road. Remove all forms and similar accessories from the machine. If this cannot be done, ensure they are folded back or covered in an effective way to prevent the risk of injury. During transit, the telehandler should not be carrying any loads and the loader should not be used while in transit.

Using the road to transport a telehandler can be a quick and efficient way to move forward with different jobs. However, it’s important you take the necessary precautions. If you have further questions, we recommend visiting the Gov.UK website or speaking to a member of the DVLA who will be able to advise. And, if you’re looking for the ideal telehandler to hire or buy, contact our team here at Jay Bee Plant Sales who will be more than happy to help.