There will be changes to the type approval of tractors, when the old directive 2003/37/EC is replaced by the Regulation (EU) No 167/2013 of the approval and market surveillance of agricultural and forestry vehicles. The transition period for the old directive ends at the end of this year.
In practise, all tractors type approved in the EU area must have been approved in accordance with the new regulation from the start of 2018.
New speed categories bring stricter requirements for brakes and steering
The new regulation increases the number of speed categories for tractors. In the future, tractors are divided into three speed categories: maximum speed below or equal to 40 km/h, 40-60 km/h, and more than 60 km/h. Correspondingly, the requirements on the tractors are made stricter, for example with regard to the brakes and steering.
There are also numerous new technical requirements. It is no longer enough for the brakes to have the tractor stop within a certain distance. Requirements have now been set for how quickly the brakes react to pressing the brake pedal, and how well they operate when hot. The application of the secondary brake must be stepless, and the control pressure to the trailer brakes must have practically no delay from the press of the tractor's brake pedal.
The requirements on the steering of tractors have also become stricter, and their requirement levels also increase with the speed category.
Sharp edges under increased scrutiny
The rounding radius requirement has also caused much consternation to manufacturers. Previously, it was enough that there were no sharp edges inside the cabin, for example, to endanger the driver. Now a limit value has been defined for the sharp edge, i.e., its rounding radius must be at least 2.5 mm if it is in an area causing a danger to the driver.
Pedestrians and bicyclists are also protected from their clothes getting caught in external parts on the sides of the tractor. The same 2.5 mm rounding radius also applies to the side of the tractors, 80 mm inwards from the tractors outside tyre line.
Trailers and towed work machines can also be type approved in the future
With the regulation, tractor trailers (category R) and towed equipment (category S) are now subject to type approval as new vehicle categories. Type approval will be voluntary for these categories.
However, it can be assumed that in the future, trailers and towed equipment will be type approved, as type approval enables access to the EU market through a single approval. This allows the manufacturer to avoid handling the national requirements of different countries.
VTT Expert Services as a tractor and trailer inspector
VTT Expert Services operates in Vihti as a technical research institute notified by Trafi, and we are qualified to perform inspections under EU No 167/2013 on both tractors and trailers.
In Finland, type approvals are granted by Trafi.