Know your limits

Speed limits pickups

Professional Pickup & 4×4 can officially reveal that not all pickup trucks now have the same speed limits. After long discussions with manufacturers and the authorities, we now understand that a number of pickups are too heavy to be classified as ‘dual-purpose’, and therefore must obey the lower LCV speed limits.

It has long been believed that all pickup trucks were classed as dual-purpose vehicles which, along with car-derived vans, are subject to passenger car speed limits. However, the Department for Transport’s (DfT) terminology reveals that not all modern pickups qualify for dual purpose status.

The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations, published by the DfT, defines a dual purpose vehicle as “a vehicle constructed or adapted for the carriage both of passengers and of goods or burden of any description, being a vehicle of which the unladen weight does not exceed 2040kg”.

This means that pickups with an unladen weight of over 2,040kg must abide by standard LCV speed limits. This is 30mph in built-up areas and 70mph on the motorway like passenger cars, but 50mph on single-carriageways and 60mph on dual-carriageways – 10mph less than cars.

Many of the manufacturers that we spoke to were completely unaware of this anomaly in the law.

“We are currently researching the extent to which the responsibility lies with the customer to know the law or whether it should be our dealer network advising customers”, explained Laura Parker, the commercial vehicle press officer for Ford.

The DfT was also unaware of this legislation and, despite conceding that the legislation was outdated, said there are no current plans to change the limit.

“The 2,040kg limit is derived from two imperial tons and its news to us that some pickups have gone over this”, a spokesperson for the DfT told us. “We don’t intend to change them for the time being but if, hypothetically, someone is caught out and they challenge it – we would inevitably have to redefine the classification”.

Follow the link to read the Department for Transport (DfT) classifications.

Affected pickups*

Ford Ranger

Toyota Hilux review

Volkswagen Amarok

*Not all derivatives are affected; usually only the high-spec models.

Unaffected pickups

Mitsubishi L200

Nissan NP300 Navara

Isuzu D-Max

Great Wall Steed

SsangYong Korando Sports

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