Steve Rounds & Associates Limited

Transport Management Consultants & Compliance Specialists

New Rules for Volumetrics

Unless you have been holidaying on the moon recently, you probably are aware of the new rules relating to the operation of volumetric concrete mixers, otherwise know as mobile concrete batching plant.  But what do these new rules mean for the industry and especially, your business?

The Rules Explained

The new rules work on three critical dates, which are set out below along with what is required to comply with each critical date.

Annual Test Exemption Removed

Basically, the vehicle you were told for years was a piece of plant, is now a lorry and the exemption from annual testing for volumetric concrete mixers has been removed.  This change came into force on 20th May 2018 and all volumetric vehicles that previously haven't been MOT's, must now have an MOT to be legal.  If you have a vehicle that has been SORN'd during the law change, then you must ensure that your vehicle is in DVSA's system i.e. it has a technical file, before you attempt to book your first MOT.  Your vehicle will have a technical file if you have a plate (VTG6), or it has previously been MOT'd at any time in it's life.  

Vehicle Special Order

The window for VSO applications closed on 31st December 2018.  Vehicles that were registered prior to the end of 2018 can still be added to current VSO's, however vehicles registered from 1st January 2019 cannot be added to a VSO and therefore must operate at UK axle and gross vehicle weights.  VSO's will remain in force until 31st March 2028, or until a vehicle reaches it's 12 anniversary of first registration, whichever comes first.

The weight that you can operate at with a VSO depends on the number of axles your vehicle has:


  • Two axles  21,600 kgs
  • Four axles  38,400 kgs

  • Three axles  31,000 kgs
  • Five axles  44,000 kgs

There is also an uplift of not more than 20% per axle, so your volume will probably be determined by your rear axle weights and not the increased gross vehicle weight i.e. you are likely to exceed your rear axle weights before you reach you maximum gross limit, depending on how much plant over hangs the rear and your general configuration.

Operator Licensing

The final piece of the puzzle is the inclusion of volumetric concrete mixers into Operator Licensing from 1st September 2018.  To operate volumetric concrete mixers, you must have an operators licence in place, not just applied for.  The application process typically takes nine weeks under normal circumstances, but can be shortened by applying for an interim licence at the same time as you make the full application.

So there you have it!.  If you feel bewildered, give us a call on 01543 54 50 50 and we will take the worry out of the process with our fixed fee application service - click here