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HomeFarming NewsGardaí seize tractor driven by unaccompanied learner on motorway
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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Gardaí seize tractor driven by unaccompanied learner on motorway

A tractor was impounded by members on Garda Síochána on the M7 in recent days.

Naas Road Policing Unit discovered that an unaccompanied learner driver was behind the wheel of the agricultural vehicle, which was travelling at 41km/hr.

In a tweet, on February 26th, a spokesperson for An Garda Síochána, said: “Naas RPU stopped this tractor towing a trailer on the M7 last night. It was being driven at 41 KM/H by an unaccompanied learner driver.”

“The tractor was only taxed for agricultural use and the trailer was not licensed or tested. The vehicle was impounded, and an FCPN was issued.”


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The RSA (Road Safety Authority) outlined that you must not enter a motorway in the Republic of Ireland if you drive a tractor that cannot travel at or maintain a speed of at least 50km/hr.

according to the RSA, the maximum legal speed limit for a vehicle towing a trailer is 80km/hour,

Advice from the RSA:

  • Depending on the width of your trailer, you may need to fit extension mirrors to your car to make sure you can see the road behind you when your trailer is attached;
  • Ensure your load is evenly distributed to reduce the chance of the trailer swaying, especially in high winds or when large vehicles overtake you.
Safe tractor driving tips from FRS:
  • Daily checks:It is always important to carry out daily checks on your tractor before you drive it. Make sure the tractor is in safe operating condition. Check the lights are working, keep steps clean at all times for access and check the PTO and lift arm controls.
  • Safe stop procedure: Always practice the Safe Stop procedure.  Cut back the throttle in good time, wait until the tractor has slowed down sufficiently, press clutch pedal, apply brakes gradually, always park in a suitable location, stop the engine and apply the handbrake, lower all hydraulically mounted equipment and finally remove the key.
  • Safe tractor position method: Carry out the Safe Tractor Position Method.  When getting in and out of the tractor, always use access steps and hand supports, adjust seat position to operate controls comfortably and adjust the mirror for a clear view.
  • Keep tractor clear of hazards:Always keep floors, doors, pedals clear and keep your boots clean.  Do not keep items like tools, drawbar pins, ropes etc on the cab floor as these cause easy distraction when driving and can cause accidents.
  • Be aware of all blind spots: When driving, ensure that there is nobody near you before starting the engine; always watch out for people, obstacles and blind spots. Clean windows and mirrors for visibility and always check that the brakes are locked together.
Other safety points
  • Take your time and be aware: When driving never move the tractor off until you are fully aware of how all controls operate and where they are. Never rush when operating the tractor.  Use the throttle-correct procedure for slowing down, when reversing use mirrors and use the horn to warn bystanders. Lower your gears gradually when preparing to stop.
  • Use the correct hitch system: When hitching, always make sure you use the right hitch system. Only use the controls from tractor seat and never stand between the tractor and other machines or behind them.  Never stand with your feet under or near drawbars and ensure that jacks, skids and other supports are used and maintained.
  • Experience is necessary when handling the tractor: It is advisable to have inexperienced people supervised when hitching and unhitching trailers and implements.
  • Always check the terrain: When in the tractor and carrying out work always make sure the terrain over which the tractor is driven is free from hazards such as steep slopes or excavations.
  • Beware of danger from overhead lines: Tractors or machinery should never be operated if a danger from overhead electricity lines exists.
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