confirmation of law regarding weights when towing

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BlueWicked

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Jan 13, 2008
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http://www.vosa.gov.uk/vosacorp/repository/Vehicle Safety - The Dangers of Overloading (Photocopying Sheet).pdf#xml=http://www.vosa.gov.uk/SCRIPTS/texis.exe/webinator/search/xml.txt?query=towing+weights&pr=CORP&order=r&cq=&id=486b0ff012


* Trailer gross weight MUST be equal to or below the tow cars maximum towing capacity.

* Then trailers unladen weight + contents must be equal to or below the trailers maximum capacity.

Basically, that is the law as enforced by VOSA. If you dont heed this, and you get stopped or are in an accident you will be liable for a fine and invalidating your insurance. Your vehicle's max towing capacity will be in the manufacturers handbook on or a plate , often inside your door. Trailer weights can be found on the plate near the towhitch.

Dont bother asking the DVLA for clarification, they deal with licensing... they are also giving a lot of people the wrong info, as are some local police! Some people are gretting it wrong as they are going by the unladen weights of their trailers - you must go by the gross weight, even if its empty.

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You can have your trailer plate sent away by for eg, an ifor dealer and have it derated to a lower maximum weight, for a very small cost.

EG. 4x4 max towing capacity 2 tonnes
Double ifor HB505 max weight 2340kg, unladen weight 905kg.


As it is this it not a legal combo to tow. However, have the plate on the trailer derated to 2tonnes and you are now legal.... and you still have just over a tonne of load capacity... fine if you are towing say one horse (500kg) and hay/water etc. The only problem with doing this is if you intend to use the box for say 2x 16.2hh each 550-600kg as you would end up over weight.

You must also make sure you have category E on your license, and will need to sit a test if you passed since 1997. This is where the DVLA CAN advise you http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Motoring/DriverLicensing/CaravansTrailersCommercialVehicles/DG_4022564
 
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Nookster

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Oct 21, 2002
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Fab BW explains everything and the a fine up to £5000 if caught - thats if you have a tow licence without god help you if my attitude as police reat it as driving without a licence and that can carry hefty fines and sentences.

Police are taking this more seriously now as well. Bit by bit people will get cut down.
 
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Black Beastie

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Right so lets see if I have this correct then. No arguments i just want to make sure that I have this correct as Scott is sitting his test in a few weeks.:)

So basically our car has a weight of 2400kg. it can pull a braked weight of 2500kgs. the max laden weight of my trailer is 2380kgs and Scott will have a B+E licence soon and my dad is pre 1997 as is my mum who can be with Scott towing with L plates on until then.

So were are legal under what is stated because the care weighs more than the max laden weight of the trailer. Max laden weight of the car is 500ks added on to base if that makes a difference. And unbraked capability is 2250kgs

Nikki xxxx:)
 

BlueWicked

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Right so lets see if I have this correct then. No arguments i just want to make sure that I have this correct as Scott is sitting his test in a few weeks.:)

So basically our car has a weight of 2400kg. it can pull a braked weight of 2500kgs. the max laden weight of my trailer is 2380kgs and Scott will have a B+E licence soon and my dad is pre 1997 as is my mum who can be with Scott towing with L plates on until then.

So were are legal under what is stated because the care weighs more than the max laden weight of the trailer. Max laden weight of the car is 500ks added on to base if that makes a difference. And unbraked capability is 2250kgs

Nikki xxxx:)

sounds fine nikki, as long as you are sure about the towing weight capabilities of your vehicle as that sounds high for a car... my van can only tow up to 2000kg
 

keep the faith

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Bluewicked i remember (if im correct) you posting about getting a trailer downgraded? Do you know how i would go about that? egi have an ifor williams 505 with no partition (lady won't travel with it in) and a 550kg horse. I know the MAM weight is over what my car can legally tow but can i get the plates on the trailer changed to reflect all that i am actually towing. Car 85% braked weight is 1850kgs.
 

BlueWicked

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Bluewicked i remember (if im correct) you posting about getting a trailer downgraded? Do you know how i would go about that? egi have an ifor williams 505 with no partition (lady won't travel with it in) and a 550kg horse. I know the MAM weight is over what my car can legally tow but can i get the plates on the trailer changed to reflect all that i am actually towing. Car 85% braked weight is 1850kgs.
your nearest ifor williams trailer centre will do it for you. What does the plate on your car - or the handbook actually say you can tow? As that is the weight you can put on the trailer plate.... the 85% is a recommendation, not the law.
 

Skint

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Hi BW, glad you managed to get to the bottom of it, I appreciate the effort because there's so much conflicting info out there!

I can't open the attachment,( my OH likes Linux as our OS and it can be a bit funny and i dont have the first clue)

So, my Trooper weighs 2600 kgs, my Rice max laden weight, also 2600kg am i ok?
My Rice is very old, it doesn't have a plate on it, so i looked on a Rice Dealers' website and it gives the max laden weight of a Rice Beaufort (carries 2x 16hh +) as 2600kg

Am I right in thinking that we should still heed the old kerbweight guidance though for reasons of safety? I mean you wouldnt really WANT to be towing an equal weight to your vehicle?
 

BlueWicked

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Jan 13, 2008
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Hi BW, glad you managed to get to the bottom of it, I appreciate the effort because there's so much conflicting info out there!

I can't open the attachment,( my OH likes Linux as our OS and it can be a bit funny and i dont have the first clue)

So, my Trooper weighs 2600 kgs, my Rice max laden weight, also 2600kg am i ok?
My Rice is very old, it doesn't have a plate on it, so i looked on a Rice Dealers' website and it gives the max laden weight of a Rice Beaufort (carries 2x 16hh +) as 2600kg

Am I right in thinking that we should still heed the old kerbweight guidance though for reasons of safety? I mean you wouldnt really WANT to be towing an equal weight to your vehicle?

hiya, sorry, its not to do with what your vehicle actually weighs - you need to look up the maximum allowed towing weight (capacity) of the vehicle. For eg my vehicle weighs 2700kg, its maximum towing capaicty is 2 tonnes - it tells me that on a plate on the inside of the drivers door, and also in the owners manual.
 

Skint

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hiya, sorry, its not to do with what your vehicle actually weighs - you need to look up the maximum allowed towing weight (capacity) of the vehicle. For eg my vehicle weighs 2700kg, its maximum towing capaicty is 2 tonnes - it tells me that on a plate on the inside of the drivers door, and also in the owners manual.
ah i see! i will check and see in the morning. thanks for finding out though!
 

Nookster

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Oct 21, 2002
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Right so lets see if I have this correct then. No arguments i just want to make sure that I have this correct as Scott is sitting his test in a few weeks.:)

So basically our car has a weight of 2400kg. it can pull a braked weight of 2500kgs. the max laden weight of my trailer is 2380kgs and Scott will have a B+E licence soon and my dad is pre 1997 as is my mum who can be with Scott towing with L plates on until then.

So were are legal under what is stated because the care weighs more than the max laden weight of the trailer. Max laden weight of the car is 500ks added on to base if that makes a difference. And unbraked capability is 2250kgs

Nikki xxxx:)

would check you max tow weight of your x trail again

http://www.cuddles.abelgratis.net/nissan.htm
 

eventerbabe

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Dec 16, 2004
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Hi BW, glad you managed to get to the bottom of it, I appreciate the effort because there's so much conflicting info out there!

I can't open the attachment,( my OH likes Linux as our OS and it can be a bit funny and i dont have the first clue)

So, my Trooper weighs 2600 kgs, my Rice max laden weight, also 2600kg am i ok?
My Rice is very old, it doesn't have a plate on it, so i looked on a Rice Dealers' website and it gives the max laden weight of a Rice Beaufort (carries 2x 16hh +) as 2600kg

Am I right in thinking that we should still heed the old kerbweight guidance though for reasons of safety? I mean you wouldnt really WANT to be towing an equal weight to your vehicle?
most (if not all) troopers have a tow capacity of 3300-3500kg depending on wheel base, so if the max laden weight of your rice is 2600kg you are perfectly legal with either SWB or LWB troopers. Troopers are on a par with discos and landys as the ultimate in powerful towing vehicles so you have absolutely no worries.

Nik, what x-trail do you have? none of the ones on the kerbweights site has a tow capacity of over 2000kg, hence (tow licence or not) if you tow even an empty trailer with a max laden weight of 2340kg, that would be illegal, unless you got your trailer downgraded to a lower weight.
 
B

Black Beastie

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sounds fine nikki, as long as you are sure about the towing weight capabilities of your vehicle as that sounds high for a car... my van can only tow up to 2000kg
Hey hun is a nissan xtrail 4x4 i just have a habit of calling it a car lol :eek:

Thanks!!! I got the details from the manufacturer and from the book scott got with the car!!!

Nikki xxxx:D

ETA braked weights are totally different from kerb weights as they take into account that the trailer brakes its own weight and the car doent brake the full weight of the trailer. Got that friom the vosa site.

ETAA (lol) Just checked with Nissan again and the total braked weight ability of the xtrial 2.2DCI Sport is 25ookgs so if pulled by police and vehicle docs checked we would be able to pull the required. Might go into ifor williams tho to see about replating trailer just incase. x
 
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Millymum

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my kia will tow a 3tonne braked trailer. kerb weight is less than the max tow weight usually.

if you look at the link posted, at the end is the max tow weight of the vehicle.
Most vehicles will have a higher 'braked trailer' tow weight than the actual kerb weight or weight of the car.

eta- you will find this in your manual and im sure its on the car somewhere
 

Nookster

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Oct 21, 2002
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That just to be safe to check with your insurance company!
Sorry she had said if insured why I never mentioned it.

But yes if all the legal items ticked and L plates on you can legally tow if the person sticking next to you has a trailer licence old or new. I checked with the DVLA a good time back now and have done this myself before getting my licence.
 

jo90

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Dec 29, 2007
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I have recently bought a very old rice trailer with no plate to indicate unladen weightor maximum carrying weight ( its a double ) wooden floor and sides.any ideas how i find out about this? my rav 4 diesel can pull 2000kg (braked weight) can i get a plate made up???:confused:
 
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