Vehicle recovery equipment manufacturer Roger Dyson is leading the industry’s response to upcoming EU regulations that will require all new trucks to meet rigorously uniform build standards.
The new rules, which are being phased in between 2012 and 2015 according to the vehicle’s weight category and type, are designed to achieve conformity across the EU for truck-mounted equipment.
They lay down strict criteria as to what must be included on a vehicle. So, for example, UK recovery operators have previously been exempt from any requirement to fit sideguards and spray suppression equipment – but once the legislation comes into force these will be compulsory on all new vehicles.
Builders of ‘standard’ commercial vehicle bodies are also affected by the new regulations but can secure Whole Vehicle Type Approval certification for any number of identical units. This option will not be open to builders of recovery vehicles, however, because operators in this sector have widely differing requirements and no two vehicles are ever exactly the same. Manufacturers of recovery vehicles will therefore have to secure Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA) from the Government’s Vehicle & Operator Services Agency (VOSA) instead.
To save time and cut costs for its customers, Worcestershire-based Roger Dyson is now applying to become a registered VOSA-approved IVA Test Facility, so that vehicles it manufactures will not have to be taken for inspection to Avonmouth (the nearest of the five stations currently operated by the agency).
Roger Dyson was the first manufacturer to secure Individual Vehicle Approval for a recovery vehicle. To better understand the new requirements, and how they are likely to impact on its business and customers, it conducted a ‘dummy run’ using a Hydraloader 8000SLa (Super Low approach) slidebed with 10,000kg capacity sliding steel loading platform and PM crane, mounted on a 26-tonne MAN TGS chassis. The truck was sent from the Dyson factory in Droitwich to Avonmouth, where it was tested and approved by VOSA.
Roger Dyson’s Head of Engineering Mike Driver explained: "We wanted to get an early insight as to what the practical and commercial implications of getting an IVA certificate are going to be, so we built and presented this conversion very early for approval.
"There’s a fair amount of paperwork to contend with and there will inevitably be additional costs involved, but it proved a very useful exercise in lifting the veil that’s surrounded the whole issue. We’re now much better prepared than we would otherwise have been, and understand what’s required."
Roger Dyson has also played host to a meeting of REMSA – the Recovery Equipment Manufacturers & Suppliers Association – at which a VOSA official outlined details of the legislation and took questions from members.
Commenting on the meeting, REMSA’s Jim Bird said: "It was a very useful session that gave members an opportunity to ‘hear it from the horse’s mouth’. VOSA’s representative delivered a clear presentation that covered the entire process before taking questions from members. Roger’s hospitality was much appreciated by all."
Early warning… REMSA members were briefed by VOSA on the implications of the upcoming regulations, at a meeting held at Roger Dyson’s headquarters