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Licence to drive fire engine


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OK, not military but I'm sure the expertise exists on this forum.

 

I'm currently helping to maintain and troubleshoot some old Dennis fire engines (an F24, F27, F45 and a pair of F46's, for those who are familiar with these things).

Obviously, it would be advantageous for me to be able to carry out road tests from time to time. I don't know the Max Authorised Mass of any of these but they are pretty hefty machines so I am certain that they come in at over 7500kg.

 

I have the C1 entitlement on my licence.

 

As I understand it, I can drive the F24 & F27 under the "pre-1960 unladen" exemption, but not the others as they are all circa 1970. My main queries are:

 

What constitutes "unladen" with regard to a fire engine? I wouldn't be carrying water but would it be necessary to remove ladders, equipment etc. as well, in order to comply?

 

Would a class C licence be required regardless of the vehicle's age if it were being used for business? (these are often hired out for film & TV work).

 

Does any special exemption apply to fire appliances, or are the driver's licensing requirements the same as for any goods vehicle?

 

Thanks,

 

Andy

Edited by mtskull
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The issue might be that you could carry water. We used to use drilling water tankers on RL chassis, they were rated as HGVs because of the removable load. Our instrument RLs were not HGVs because they had a fixed load i.e the recording cabin.

 

Gordon

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According to the gov.uk (DVLA) website, unladen weight includes the body and any other parts usually fitted to the vehicle or trailer.

Could I suggest that you contact your local fire brigade with regard to which license you need, one of my nieces is a full time fire fighter in York and she had to take a class C test to drive the fire appliances.

With regard to hiring the vehicles out to film & tv companies I'm pretty sure that a full class C license would be required as you would be using them commercially, in other words, making money from them.

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Simply, pre 1960 no problem on CAT B licence

After 1960 if over 3500 kg laden CAT C1 over 7500kg laden CAT C

That's regardless whether they are carrying water or not

 

Pre 1960 CAT B, providing classed as a historic vehicle and not being used for hire or reward. If the vehicle is to remain classed as a fire engine, it must have a working pump, carry water and be capable of delivering it, so if it's being used for film work, then you will need a CAT C.

Well done Brooky for pointing that out.

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If the vehicle is to remain classed as a fire engine, it must have a working pump, carry water and be capable of delivering it...

 

Hi,

 

Out of interest do you have a source for that?

 

As far as I understand the law a fire engine or ambulance can only be registered as such if it is used exclusively for that role.

 

Similarly, a fully functioning classic fire engine carrying water is still just a laden lorry in private hands. As such it would require plating and testing, class C driving license, private HGV tax, and of course suitable insurance.

 

The moment any vehicle is laden any age-related exemptions evaporate.

 

Whether you believe water counts as 'load' is up to you :-)

 

- MG

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Hi,

 

Out of interest do you have a source for that?

 

As far as I understand the law a fire engine or ambulance can only be registered as such if it is used exclusively for that role.

 

Similarly, a fully functioning classic fire engine carrying water is still just a laden lorry in private hands. As such it would require plating and testing, class C driving license, private HGV tax, and of course suitable insurance.

 

The moment any vehicle is laden any age-related exemptions evaporate.

 

Whether you believe water counts as 'load' is up to you :-)

 

- MG

 

Interesting

The way I have always understood it is that if the vehicle was designed as a fire appliance and is still capable of fighting a fire the itvis exempt testing and plating (check vehicles exempt from test and plate)

It is also exempt road fund licence regardless of whether it is in private use or not

However if post 1960 with a mam over over 3.5 tonnes then a vocational licence ( either C1 or C) will be required to drive it.

Even though the vehicle is exempt from rfl it will love still need to be registered and back in the day would have to carry a tax disc

If the vehicle falls into historic class then of course it can be taxed as that.

Suggest for absolute clarification you have a look at the Fire Service Preservation Group Facebook page

Edited by Brooky
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Thanks again for all the input.

 

Re. Plating, tax and MOT exemptions, that is somebody else's business and, whilst I have done some research of my own and drawn my own conclusions, I don't think it appropriate to open that particular can of worms on this forum.

 

Suffice to say that, while there may be potential ways in which I might legally drive some of the later appliances on just my C1 licence, I won't be driving anything post 1960 unless I see a very official document stating that I am entitled to.

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Thanks again for all the input.

 

Re. Plating, tax and MOT exemptions, that is somebody else's business and, whilst I have done some research of my own and drawn my own conclusions, I don't think it appropriate to open that particular can of worms on this forum.

 

Suffice to say that, while there may be potential ways in which I might legally drive some of the later appliances on just my C1 licence, I won't be driving anything post 1960 unless I see a very official document stating that I am entitled to.

I think that's a wise approach icon14.png

 

- MG

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