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3Checks for mobile Access Power Platforms

Three “must do” checks before taking MEWPS on the road

Be aware of these regulations for mobile powered access platforms

Vehicle and truck mounted access platforms are ideal for a wide range of jobs on and offsite and are able to move between jobs quickly and safely.

However, there are a few regulations to be aware of before they are taken out on the road. Make sure they are

First: road worthy,
Second: licensed and
Third: loaded safely to minimise the risk of over-tipping or subsidence.

There are two types of mobile access platforms

Vehicle mounted access equipment falls into two categories for vehicle excise duty and road regulations:
1. Up to 3500 kg Revenue Weight which are classed as light good vehicles
2. Over 3500 kg Revenue Weight which are classed as tower wagons

Light goods access platforms
They can be driven on a Category B licence which is a standard car licence
An annual MOT test is required once the powered access platform is over three years old and most vehicle mounted platforms may be too big for a standard testing centre but can be taken to an HGV vehicle testing centre instead
Vehicles weighing between 300kg and 3500kg need a special class VII MOT test which are only available at HGV test centres and a limited number of standard ones

Tower wagon access platforms
A category C1 drivers licence is required for platforms sized between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes. Drivers who passed their car test before 1 January 1997 automatically have this entitlement but anyone who passed after this date needs to take a separate test to drive a vehicle over 3.5 tonnes
Drivers of tower wagons over 7.5 tonnes must hold a large good vehicle licence
Truck mounted access platforms are exempt from the Goods Vehicles (Plating and Testing) Regulations 1988 and the Goods Vehicles (Licensing of Operators) Regulations 1995, provided they are only used to transport the access platform
Tower wagons must be roadworthy with a defect reporting system in place that includes records of all maintenance and servicing

SAFETY – Maintaining a safe weight

All mobile access platforms are subject to a Maximum Allowable Mass (MAM) which is the maximum weight that the vehicle that can be used on the road and includes the top weight that it can carry safely.

The MAM can usually be found on the vehicle, such as inside the driver’s door, or in the model operations manual. It is important that anyone using the access equipment is aware of the MAM as over loading the vehicle will have serious implications for stability and may lead to dangerous accidents. MAM is explained in more detail on the Government website.

Summary
It is always advisable to makes sure a powered access platform is safe to use and fit for purpose and for vehicle mounted access equipment, this also means making them road legal. Make sure you are aware what type of mobile access platform you are working with and the relevant road regulations and MAM limitations and, when used correctly, they can save time and money on a range of jobs at height by moving safely and swiftly between locations.

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