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What is Mud on the Road?
Mud on the road from farm fields is hazardous for other road users, it increases the stopping distance and vehicles skid easily. Farmers are legally responsible for cleaning it up so it makes sense to try to minimise mud on the road – and this can be quite a problem especially in wet weather when the fields are sticky with mud that clings to your tractor and trailer.
It is useful to know exactly what your responsibilities are – and it’s also useful to know the simplest ways to prevent mud on the road and the easiest ways to clean your tractors and other vehicles before they become a liability.
The Highways Act 1980, section 149 states: “If anything is deposited on the highway so as to constitute a nuisance/danger the Highway Authority can require the person who put it there to remove it forthwith”.
There is a range of offences with which the police and highways department can sue farmers who leave our highways muddy. It means you cannot legally deposit mud on the road such that it interrupts another road user on the highway.
The Highways Act 1980, Section 161 states: “If a person, without lawful authority or excuse, deposits anything whatsoever on a highway in consequence of which a user of the highway is injured or endangered, that person is guilty of an offence”.
The Highways Authority can clean up the road and charge the farmer for the expense. And if anyone is injured because of the mud then the farmer may be hauled before the magistrate and be liable for a fine of £1000. The farmer is also liable for any damages – and this would be settled in the criminal court.
The Traffic Signs Regulation of 2016 makes it a legal requirement to place compliant signs in places where there is sufficient warning to other road users.
The tips you could bear in mind
Remember that while cleaning mud off tractors may seem like a waste of valuable time, failure to do so will not be a viable excuse in the eyes of the law.
- Stay off main roads if possible – use minor roads and farm tracks where you can
- Drive slowly to stop the mud from being shaken off. If you have to travel a long way this might not be possible but for a short distance, you are not inconveniencing other road users for long.
- Clean up your vehicle before venturing out on the roads. This is less inconvenient than facing legal action.
- Hand-painted signs are not to be recommended. Use authorised signs. Appropriate signs are:
- “Slippery Road” triangle with
- “Mud on the Road” subplate and
- “Men at work” if this is so.
- The signs should be 750mm or larger. You need to place the signs where they can be clearly seen!
- It is wise to keep a written record as to your decision to deploy signs or not. A handwritten note written at the time is satisfactory and much better than retrospective writing.
- If necessary, clean up the road as you work and when you have finished
The right equipment can save you hours
Enduramaxx have a range of washers to suit different locations. And if you want to move them around they have been designed to make this easy for you.
Pressure water bowser
A pressure water bowser is an extremely versatile piece of equipment. You may know it as a power washer or jet washer. They make cleaning the mud off our tractor relatively easy and is a real aid to fulfilling your legal obligations. They come in various guises:
Site tow pressure washer
Enduramaxx produces a very tough and durable site tow pressure washer. It is made with a heavy-duty galvanised steel frame and comes fitted with heavy-duty site tow axles, tyres and running gear. View our site tow units here
Skid-mounted pressure washer
These are a popular option to the site tow pressure washer. You can move these around with ease since they come with fork pockets for lifting when empty. We have a wide range of accessories and if you choose you can have a pump mounting plate that means you can fit different pumps according to need. View our skid mount pressure washer here
Heavy-duty diesel pressure washers
Portable and designed with farmers and industrial workers in mind.
Highway pressure washer bowser
This pressure washer is mounted on a purpose-built trailer that complies with your legal obligations. Tanks carry between 200 – 4000 litres of water and the tough, moulded tanks give years of service. Our highway tow bowsers are online here
Mud sticks! When you need to travel on the highway, you need to ensure that your vehicle is reasonably clean, and drive in such a way as to minimise mud shake off.
Failure to comply with the legal obligation not only puts other road users at risk but the farmer risks financial penalties as well as the hassle and time-wasting procedures. But once you are aware of your legal position you can make the right choices regarding the best way to protect yourself and others from mud on the road.
If you would like to discuss your needs just give us a call on 01778 562810 and we shall be happy to help.
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