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Jimmy Beam Down Light fitment to new-builds given the go-ahead

  • 04 August 2014
  • By Kevin Swallow

Two governmental bodies have dispelled operator’s fears by confirming that the Jimmy Beam Down Light (JBDL) can be fitted to new-build trailers under current legislation and do not require type approval.

Since 29 October 2012, trailer manufacturers have been required to produce trailers that adhere to whole vehicle type approval (ECWVTA). As a result several operators queried whether JBDL, a 1W light system that shines downwards, needed type approval in order to be fitted during production.

The ECE Regulation 48 (Para. 5.22) reads that “with the exception of retro-reflectors, a lamp even bearing an approval mark is deemed not to be present when it cannot be made to operate by the sole installation of a light source and/or a fuse”.

Now the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA), who oversee ECWVTA and Certificate of Conformity (CoC) issued by the manufacturer once a trailer is completed, and the DVSA, who police road-going commercial vehicles, both confirmed that the JBDL doesn’t need type approval under existing regulations.

However, during the Conformity of Production process manufacturers must include details of non-functional lights and indicate that they do not affect other areas of type approval.

Nick Sanderson, VCA’s principal engineer product certification, said: “If non-functioning lights, under the meaning of the (aforementioned) regulation, are fitted to a vehicle then this would not directly affect the vehicles status under type approval. If any passive interference with other requirements can also be discounted then there would be no effect on the ECWVTA.”

Kevin Gist, heavy vehicle technical officer, DVSA said subsequent communications involving the Department for Transport and VCA suggested that the fitment of supporting bracket’s, and unconnected lighting units could be acceptable, depending upon infringement of any other area of approval.

Jim Thomson, who created the JBDL, said the lights themselves are not type-approved but have been certificated to Regulation 10 and are marked with an ‘E’ number on the lens. “This means that operators can have the down lights fitted to new-builds in preparation for in-service use. To adhere to current legislation the fuse must be removed by the trailer manufacturer to prevent the down lights from working. Once the trailer has been received by the operator, the fuse can be inserted ready for on-the-road use,” he said.

  • This story first appeared in the 31 July edition of Commercial Motor. Why not subscribe?


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