Transporting Staff on the Back of your Bakkie

 Bruce McFadzean   2022-03-14  Comments Contractors
Back Of Bakkie

May I legally carry my staff on the back of my bakkie?


This question is asked by many contractors. Hopefully we can shed some light on the subject.


As an ex-contractor myself, I was confounded by conflicting rules from different corporate clients. One client says “no persons on the back whatsoever”, another says “only if the bakkie is fitted with a canopy”, and yet another says “provided there are bolted seats in the back, with seatbelts”. So, what gives rise to these different scenarios?
Lets start with the law. Regulation 247 is clear:
247. Circumstances under which persons may be carried on goods vehicle
No person shall operate on a public road a goods vehicle conveying persons unless that portion of the vehicle in which such persons are being conveyed is enclosed to a height of—
(a) at least 350 millimetres above the surface upon which such person is seated; or
(b) at least 900 millimetres above the surface on which such person is standing,
in a manner and with a material of sufficient strength to prevent such person from falling from such vehicle when it is in motion.
Provided that no person shall be conveyed in the goods compartment together with any tools or goods, except their personal effects, unless that portion in which such persons are being conveyed is separated by means of a partition, from the portion in which such goods are being conveyed.


Specifically, there is no limitation on the number of persons that may be transported on the back; provided the above and that the gross vehicle mass of the vehicle is not exceeded (overloaded). Nor is there any requirement for a canopy to be fitted.
It should be noted that this is not the case when transporting persons for reward (making them pay) – Regulation 250 provides that
No person shall convey any other person in the goods compartment of a motor vehicle for reward
 
Before challenging your client on this, ensure that you have thoroughly read and understood his Health and Safety specification. It is your client’s prerogative to specify whether or not you may carry staff on the back, as long as his specification does not detract from the safety of your staff.
Be sure to read your Health and Safety specification before submitting your tender – having to hire crew buses, or use double cabs for transport to and on site, can wipe out your hard-earned profit.


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