What changes does the Mother Regulation entail?

mother regulation

The approval of EU Regulation 167 of 2013, commonly referred to as the Mother Regulation, has given rise to much debate. Let us try to shed light on the new European regulation for the type-approval of tractors, trailers and towed equipment.

This measure was adopted with the aim of simplifying and homogenising at European level the type-approval procedures for agricultural and forestry tractors, while guaranteeing safety at work and environmental protection.

The Mother Regulation introduces some important innovations, especially with regard to the manufacturers of agricultural machinery, but its consequences involve even end users.

The main innovations concern the following features of tractors, trailers and equipment:

  • sizes
  • maximum speeds
  • vehicle braking systems
  • trailer braking systems
  • maximum fully laden mass
  • towable weight
  • steering system
  • tow hooks
  • engines

The Regulation is accompanied by specific technical legal acts (the Delegated Acts), which complete the legislation by specifying the details of the requirements to be met.

In recent years there has been much discussion on these topics (we point out among others an article by Federunacoma and an article by Unacma), which still continue to remain current. Let us try to clarify the main points.

When did the Mother Regulation come into force?

As from 2018, the Mother Regulation’s application has become compulsory for new agricultural tractors. Towed vehicles, instead, shall still be type-approved according to individual country regulations until 2020 + end-of-series / prebuilt, but in such a case their validity will be limited to the country itself. If, on the other hand, type-approval according to the European Regulation is chosen, it will be valid in all EU countries.

The Mother Regulation became law in 2014, with the publication in the European Official Journal, but it actually came into force on the 1st of January 2016 for the type-approval of new vehicles on the manufacturers’ side. Furthermore, a transition period of 2 years has been foreseen to allow manufacturers to adapt to the new regulations with the offer of products designed before the 1st of January 2016.

All tractors placed on the market as from the 1st of January 2018 must therefore comply with the Regulation, with the exception of a limited number of machines called “end-of-series”, which can be type-approved according to the old Directive (2003/37/EC).

To which categories does the Mother Regulation apply?

The Mother Regulation specifically concerns:

  • Wheeled tractors (T), which are divided based on the maximum speed they can reach into a) tractors with a maximum design speed below or equal to 40 km/h and b) tractors with a maximum design speed above 40 km/h
  • Track-laying tractors (C)
  • Trailers (R), also divided into a) and b) depending on whether they can exceed 40 km/h or not
  • Interchangeable towed equipment (S), divided in turn into a) and b) categories according to their allowed maximum design speed

Some of the main innovations of the Mother Regulation

  1. Speed

The European regulation introduces new speed limits, being sometimes higher than those provided for in the laws of individual states.

Let us be clear on this point: if the regulation is valid for all EU member states, its application must take local legislation into account. In fact, if the Mother Regulation provides for the type-approval of tractors with a maximum design speed greater than 40 km/h, the speed limit at which you can circulate is in any case regulated at national level and under the full responsibility of the driver like for any other road vehicles suitable for transporting people.

      2. Sizes and weights

The Mother Regulation is also clear in terms of sizes: for all vehicles the maximum limits are 12 metres in length, 4 metres in height and 3 metres in width.

The maximum weight (including ballasts and towed/carried equipment) is: for wheeled tractors (T) 18 tonnes, while for track-laying tractors (C) 32 tonnes. The maximum weight for trailers (R) is 10 or 11.5 tonnes, depending on whether they are equipped with non-motor driven or motor driven axle. The Mother Regulation introduces further distinctions regarding the maximum laden mass, depending on the axles of trailers and equipment, up to a maximum of 400 quintals for 4-axle vehicles.

      3. Braking devices

Some important innovations concern the braking devices of trailers and equipment: the Mother Regulation establishes in detail all the cases in which it is necessary to use inertia, mechanical, hydraulic or pneumatic brakes, depending on the weight.

      4. Coupling devices

To ensure the correct coupling of tractor and trailer, the Mother Regulation provides for the type-approval of the different kinds of hooks that can be installed on tractors (fixed pin, pivot pin, hook, piton, ball and drawbar) and their respective eyes for trailers and towed equipment: swivel, fixed, toric and ball types.

      5. Engines

As far as tractor engines are concerned, it is established that they will have to comply with Stage V, so as to reduce emissions. Stage V is in force since the 1st of January 2019 and covers all tractors except those with engines having a power between 56 kW and 130 kW, which will have time to comply until the 1st of January 2020.

McCormick produces tractors that are always on the cutting edge, to give you all the power and performance you need, in compliance with the latest regulations.


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