Practice and Procedure


PUBLISHED August 7, 2003

A hoist that was being towed behind a motor vehicle constituted a "trailer" for the purposes of s.97 Transport Act 1968 within the definition of Art.3 EEC Regulation 3821/85.Appeal by way of case stated from a magistrates' decision that the appellants were guilty of using a motor pickup vehicle without a tachograph, contrary to s.97 Transport Act 1968. The agreed facts were that: (i) the vehicle when stopped was towing a single-axle Bocker H16 hoist; (ii) the vehicle had a plated weight of 3,400 kg and a train weight of 5,100 kg, and the hoist had an unladen weight of 950 kg; and (iii) there was no tachograph fitted to the vehicle. The only issue for the magistrates was whether the hoist constituted a "trailer" for the purposes of s.97 of the Act within the definition of Art.3 EEC Regulation 3821/85. They held that it was, with the consequence that the combined weight of the vehicle and the hoist exceeded the maximum permissible weight of 3,500 kg. By their case stated they asked if that decision was correct.HELD: (1) The applicable legislation was complex. It was appropriate for all relevant material to be consolidated into one enactment. (2) There was no definition of "trailer" in the legislation. However, adopting a purposive approach, this court was satisfied that the legislation was directed at the driving of heavy vehicles and their attachments on the road. For this purpose, a "trailer" was anything that was being "trailed" behind another relevant vehicle. (3) The hoist was thus a trailer.Appeal dismissed.

[2003] EWHC 1851 (Admin)