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Towing Licenses And Weights

Tow Itch
Tow Itch
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Join date : 2011-06-20
Location : Leigh Gtr Manchester

Towing Licenses And Weights Empty Towing Licenses And Weights

Post by Tow Itch on Tue 24 Jul 2012, 3:01 pm

I Added A Comment (Yesterday) 3rd Feb 2013 About A New Govt Website That Was In Error Insofar As It Mixed Up Unladen And Kerbweight. I didn't realise that the "You Gov" Webpages Had Been Removed. Therefore If You Go To Links From This Page You May Not Find The Originally Quoted Site.
Upon re reading this guide I also found one line in error this I have removed.


After hitting problems answering a question this is everything I (think I) Know about towing licences and weights.
Only thing is it hardly simplifies anything.
After a suitable time for comment and fault finding I'll see if I can get someone to edit and tidy it up.
One of the nice things about this forum is that people tend to get personal answers, but this was a right pain in the nether regions to tie together and I don't want to be writing similar again.
If there is a point you don't understand ask I'm more than willing to go over points.
Think I'm plain wrong about something, then get me told. I get to learn something and hopefully we set the record straight.

This is a long one even for me. Grab a cup of tea and a biscuit. Second thoughts make it a pint mug and a packet of biscuits.

Tow Itch wrote: Dear Julie

I'm really sorry your confused. The point of answering a question is to add clarity not add confusion. That should only occur if the answer isn't clear and the best that can be achieved is to draw your attention to the issues and possible conflicts.
I'm known for writing tomes. I initially tried to avoid that last night because I was knackered. I then went to send and saw bgarston's post and realised I'd missed out something obvious. Instead of re writing I did a piss poor re hash and fired it off.

I'll try to refine into a more user friendly form, hopefully with some non confrontational conclusions.
I'll then argue my corner against bgarston hopefully us both enlightening each other.

Sorting supper out is required first.

If any of you saw I was logged on for a couple of days at a time I tried to write this up and needed other tabs open to add links. Such was the number of tabs that in jumping from one to the other I deleted the part written piece 3 times.

mike wrote:Don't forget the pale blue and white sixes they are sold under the destiny name but the spec matches the six including weight,not going to add to the towing confusion just to say its easy to come up with different answers in the beginning even the government sites got it wrong.
Ever site I have read on the subject of towing law is in error. How do I know that and who am I to judge? Good question if 4 sites say X and 1 says Y it does not necessarily mean Y is wrong as best as I can I have tried to take things to a source.
There is every chance that there is an error here please read and add any comment hopefully we can refine this and make it a sticky.

Glossary of Mass (weight) Related Terms Any hope of a sensible law on towing is lost when those framing it mix up the terms weight and mass but here is a glossary of terms from the NTTA (National Trailer And Towing Association) Any Italics mine.

Unladen Weight (UW)
The weight of the trailer (or towing vehicle) less removable optional equipment and load but what is quoted may or may not include aircon, other options and tow bar. If it suits your purpose weigh your car empty and deduct the fuel load
Gross Weight
The total weight of the trailer (or towing vehicle) and load Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) or Gross Weight Mass (GWM) The total weight of the towing vehicle and its load Never heard of GWM but is also the same as Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM)
Maximum Gross Weight (MGW)
The maximum figure set by the manufacturer for the gross weight. This will normally be the technically permissible maximum based on the carrying capacity of the tyres, axles, coupling, suspension and chassis but may have been adjusted downwards for commercial reasons
Technically Permissible Maximum Weight MTPM is usually applied to to caravans where the notional maximum for the chassis is varied on different models.
The technically permissible maximum based on the capacity of the tyres, axles, coupling, suspension and chassis
Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM)
As maximum gross weight above. The latest EC term as used in the Driver Licensing Regulations
Gross Train Weight (GTW )
The maximum allowable combined weight (combined MAM) of the towing vehicle and trailer as set by the towing vehicle manufacturer
Payload:
The difference between the gross weight of the trailer and its unladen weight, i.e. The load carrying capacity
Kerb Weight/Kerbside Weight
The weight of the towing vehicle (without payload), including all fluids required for operation (95/48/EEC: Vehicle, 90% full tank, 68kg driver and 7kg luggage.) not always been defined and you may find your handbook lists a figure derived differently see also unladen weight wrt accessories

What Can I Tow Unbraked Trailers Applies To All B Licenses (Cars less than 3,500Kg less than 8 seats)

The maximum weight is 750Kg this is further limited by you cars maximum listed unbraked towing weight and it can be no more than half of the kerbweight of the car. All sites found state kerbweight not unladen weight. see [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

What can I Tow Braked Trailer Pre 1997 License.
Often quoted as up to a maximum train weight of 8,250 Kg with a trailer weighing no more than 750Kg or a maximum train weight of 7,500Kg. With the trailer of over 750Kg. See [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] C1+E and D1+E. The total weight is not 12,00Kg as you have restriction 107 on your license.
This isn't the full story If the vehicle is under 3,500Kg and has less than 8 seats you can drive on your B+E entitlement. In that case the only limit is the maximum train weight of the towing vehicle. Many users of large motorhomes are being steered towards fifth wheel trailer caravans. A vehicle say a crew cab transit can have a maximum train weight of something like 9,500Kg with a kerbweight of 2,800Kg. If downplated to 3,500Kg from 5,000Kg the MTPM or even the gross weight of the trailer can weigh more than the Gross weight of the towing vehicle. This would also be legal with a conventional trailer but fifth wheel arangements are far more stable than conventional trailers. See [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Relevant paragraph Category B+E: Vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes MAM towing trailers over 750kgs MAM
Category B+E allows vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes MAM to be combined with trailers in excess of 750kgs MAM. In order to gain this entitlement new category B licence holders have to pass a further practical test for category B+E. There is no category B+E theory test. For driver licensing purposes there are no vehicle/trailer weight ratio limits for category B+E.

I was made aware of this by vwalan on UK Campsites [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] If you search out his posts they often read awkwardly but he does know his stuff on B+E weights. The largest vehicle I have heard of is an Iveco flatbed that has a maximum train weight in the region of 11,500Kg. N.B. The maximum weight of a trailer on overrun brakes is 3,500Kg, these trailers need other braking.If you think you may want this option and have a post 1997 license you MUST gain a B+E license before 19th January 2013. See: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] Relevant paragraph Category BE
If your trailer weighs over 750 kg and the combined trailer and towing vehicle weight is more than 3,500 kg, you’ll need to pass a further test. The trailer you tow must not be heavier than 3,500 kg. This test will be shown on your driving licence as category BE.


What Can I Tow Post 1997 License
You only get a category B and B1 License so see: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
Three, or four-wheeled
light vehicles
Motor tricycles, quadricycles and three or four wheeled vehicles with an unladen weight no more than 550kg.
B
Cars
Motor vehicle with a MAM of up to 3,500kg, no more than eight passenger seats with or without a trailer – weighing no more than 750kg.
As category B but with a trailer weighing more than 750kg. The total weight of
the vehicle and trailer together can’t weigh more than 3500kg. The weight of the trailer, when fully loaded, can’t weigh more than the unladen weight of the vehicle.
A description from the camping and caravanning club see [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] A more wordy version from Directgov [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
Relevant passage Car driving licence first obtained since 1 January 1997
Drivers who passed a car test on or after 1 January 1997 are required to pass an additional driving test in order to gain entitlement to category B+E and all larger vehicles. In addition to the new driving tests, drivers of vehicles which fall within subcategories C1, C1+E, D1 and D1+E also have to meet higher medical standards.


Ben's and My Previous Statements


It's interesting to note that both Ben and I stated that the MPTM of the trailer (caravan) needed to be less than the kerbside weight of the towing vehicle. This is in error it needs to be less than the unladen weight of the towing vehicle. I have quoted Kerbweight previously and criticised those who stated that the figure was unladen weight. I would not have done that flippantly. I and presumably Ben picked up the statement from a reliable source. I believe that the Direct Gov website quoted kerbweight previously but have no proof of this.

Changes In Towing Regulations January 2013 Mentioned earlier is a change to the B+E license or BE (I think(?)B+E is staying as is and there will be this new category of BE) as it is referred to there to limit the trailers weight to 3,500Kg. B licenses are not changing in January in this country. Strangely considering the purpose of changes is supposed to be license harmonisation. Many European countries licenses will allow their nationals to tow a trailer above 750Kg and for the maximum train weight to be 4,250Kg as per under 750Kg trailers. See: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] Relevant Paragraphs For new limit on B+E (BE?)licenses Category BE
If your trailer weighs over 750 kg and the combined trailer and towing vehicle weight is more than 3,500 kg, you’ll need to pass a further test. The trailer you tow must not be heavier than 3,500 kg. This test will be shown on your driving licence as category BE.

For the news on the new 4,250Kg limit for B licenses that will NOT apply in this country. This is not placed in the piece on new rules for January 2013 but in a piece entitled New Rules For Vehicles You Can Drive And Minimum Ages See: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] Relevant section Category Description Minimum age
B Motor vehicles with a MAM not exceeding 3500kg and designed and constructed for the carriage of no more than eight passengers in addition to the driver, with a trailer up to 750kg 17*
B Motor vehicles with a MAM not exceeding 3500kg and designed and constructed for the carriage of no more than eight passengers in addition to the driver, with a trailer over 750kg, where the combination MAM is not exceeding 4250kg 17**
B+E Combinations of vehicles consisting of a vehicle in category B and a trailer, where the combination does not come within category B and the MAM of the trailer or semi-trailer does not exceed 3500kg 17*
*Age 16 if you are getting Disability Living Allowance (mobility allowance) at the higher rate.
**New element of category B (UK will not be taking this up. To drive vehicles within this definition, entitlement B+E will be needed).


Why I Think There Is No Problem If The MTPM Of A Destiny And The MAM Of The Car was 50Kg or 100Kg Above 3,500Kg
If the added Maximum Gross Weight of the vehicle and the Maximum Theoretical Permitted Mass of the Destiny 1,000Kg exceed 3,500Kg then you can be prosecuted regardless of the actual mass of the two.
Well sort of! I have found a site where a VOSA officer stated that they are only prosecuting weight offences on the weight actually carried. He produced a link or copy of VOSA officers instructions. This also stated that offences where the excess weight was 5% or under it was to be dealt with by a verbal warning (Alas I can't now find this) A friend of mine is also in liaison with VOSA he is told he needs a tachograph if his (commercial) flatbed and trailer have a joint "theoretical" train weight of over 3,500Kg. He is in liaison with VOSA as he believes that VOSA have only ever been able to prosecute actual overweight incidents and not theoretical ones. It is possible that some theoretical offences may be being re assessed. This first part is only a belief and I'm not aware of facts on this yet.
Who says what the MTPM of a Destiny is? Having spoken to Ian I know that he is happy for a Designer to have up rated suspension to 750Kg. If I'm "pulled" with an up rated Designer how will VOSA asses that I'm OK with a plus 500Kg trailer weight? They will look at the load index on the tyres then look at the suspension and then the coupling. All components may be in excess of a quoted MTPM though.
See : [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] So all trailers post 1982 are to be clearly marked with a maximum gross weight. Is your Dandy I've seen some with and some without. I have an ERDE trailer that is not 10 years old does not have a marked maximum weight. It certainly does not have the code of practice plate and I've never found a year marked on the trailer. I know that Dandys have the year in code form but do any of them have the D.O.T. recommended plate? So there is no authorised weight stamp on most Dandys. If some do have one of the recommended plates, Riva as manufacturer can re plate it. If no plate you can put any marked maximum weight on it as long as it's less than the minimum rated component part. i.e. you can put a lesser weight on it yourself.

Why I'm Dubious Of Sites That Advise You Of Vehicle Weights

I did some weight research previously. See: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
When fact finding I was disappointed in the sites I looked at and subsequently wrote: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Where is the Vin Plate With Towing Weights On?


It's on the passenger B pillar.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

The first line is the MAM the second line the Maximum train weight.
The maximum towing weight or MTPM of the trailer is NOT the difference there may well be a higher weight that may be towed with a lesser load on the car.

Why I Distrust Sites Even official Sites For Facts

Look at the site for the above VIN plate: They confuse kerbweight and unladen weight. They also say Ford quoted the maximum towing capacity as 1,200Kg but the difference between the MAM and Train Weight is 1,210Kg so the towing capacity must be at least that.
Additon upon editing Site address not given [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] Other key phrase. "a trailer over 750 kilograms maximum gross weight as long as it is no more than the unladen or ‘kerb’ weight of the towing vehicle (up to 3,500 kilograms in total)" So according to these people unladen and kerb weight are the same thing.

Direct Gov webpage [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] This recommends following the 85% rule. They say it is 85% of unladen weight it's not the the 85% rule (actually a guide) is based on kerbweight.

Direct Gov webpage [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] recommends reading The Highways Agency's "Fit To Tow" Admittedly the link leads to a 2009 copy so the maximum trailer width quoted is wrong but see also Page 7 states unladen and kerbweight as the same. Page 12 Lists the maximum MTPM of the trailer as needing to be less than the kerbweight. Page 14 the trailer MUST have a makers plate (regardless of weight or age) There are more errors but I lost the will to read any more.

Haynes Trailer manual: Page 42 [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] Mixes up unladen and kerbweight and suggests you link the secondary coupling of an unbraked trailer to the "pigtail" intended for breakaway cables, "Ouch".

My favoured Indespension's "the Trailer Manual" Pages 12 and 20 (no link) The maximum GVW of an unbraked trailer is 750Kg or 50% of the GVW of the towing vehicle which ever is the lower. No it's kerbweight.

The NTTA site has several errors but are item specific not within the remit of an item on weights. Still a good sit to read:http://www.ntta.co.uk/law/


Last edited by Tow Itch on Mon 04 Feb 2013, 9:53 am; edited 4 times in total (Reason for editing : [color=cyan] Re read and information missing[/color])
mike
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Towing Licenses And Weights Empty Re: Towing Licenses And Weights

Post by mike on Tue 24 Jul 2012, 3:48 pm

Its now a sticky Kevin
Tow Itch
Tow Itch
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Posts : 3184
Join date : 2011-06-20
Location : Leigh Gtr Manchester

Towing Licenses And Weights Empty Re: Towing Licenses And Weights

Post by Tow Itch on Tue 24 Jul 2012, 3:56 pm

Thanks Mike

I've got some input that will be coming in from the NTTA but it may be a while before I get to add. This was a pain to write but I do need people to fault find it as soon as possible, then we can see if someone can edit and make it more user friendly.
Caz1960
Caz1960

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Age : 60
Location : Cardigan west wales

Towing Licenses And Weights Empty Re: Towing Licenses And Weights

Post by Caz1960 on Tue 24 Jul 2012, 4:18 pm

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Tow Itch
Tow Itch
Dandy Expert

Posts : 3184
Join date : 2011-06-20
Location : Leigh Gtr Manchester

Towing Licenses And Weights Empty Re: Towing Licenses And Weights

Post by Tow Itch on Sun 03 Feb 2013, 3:31 pm

Above I state that every site I have read has an error this includes "Official" sites I've just had my attention drawn to this

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Licences held from 1 January 1997
If you passed your driving test after 1 January 1997 and have an ordinary category B (car) licence, you can drive either:

a vehicle up to 3.5 tonnes or 3,500 kilograms (kg) Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM) towing a trailer of up to 750kg MAM (with a combined weight of up to 4,250kg in total)
a trailer over 750kg MAM as long as it is no more than the unladen or ‘kerb’ weight of the towing vehicle (with a combined weight of up to 3,500kg in total)

a trailer over 750kg MAM as long as it is no more than the unladen or ‘kerb’ weight of the towing vehicle (with a combined weight of up to 3,500kg in total)

Not understanding that Kerb and unladen weight are different!


Licences held before 1 January 1997
If you passed your car test before 1 January 1997 you are generally entitled to drive a vehicle and trailer combination up to 8.25 tonnes MAM.

If you are towing with the b section of the license you can tow up to the limit of the vehicle plated at up to 3,500Kg. e.g. a downplated Transit retains it's maximum train weight and might have a maximum train weight of 9.500Kg and I think one of the Ivecos is in excess of 11,000Kg.
Tow Itch
Tow Itch
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Posts : 3184
Join date : 2011-06-20
Location : Leigh Gtr Manchester

Towing Licenses And Weights Empty Re: Towing Licenses And Weights

Post by Tow Itch on Mon 18 Nov 2013, 7:47 pm

Other Towing Weight Offences

For a period of time the idea that you cannot tow a trailer that has a Maximum Authorised Mass that is greater than the maximum towing weight of your car has been doing the rounds.
I am unsure if it was VOSA who then had to reconsider or just the general rumour and interweb forum misinformation guides.
I wanted to move some items from a house I've just sold and the hire trailers went from 500Kg to 1,500Kg with nothing in between. I asked for confirmation from the NTTA that any weight offence had to be an actual offence and that there was no problem towing a trailer no matter what it's MAM was as long as the actual weight was below the maximum towing weight of the vehicle you were using to tow. Larry Lambert at the NTTA confirmed this but I have somehow lost his email. I have asked him to resend his reply if he still has it. If he does I will add the email to this post.
The 11/2tonne trailer has a tare weight of about 350Kg and is about 8' X 4' X 4'6"  there is also a 21/2tonne twin axle version for you 4X4 owning types.
Conscious of the weight restriction I drew up a manifest as I loaded and balanced everything on a set of bathroom scales, I didn't even get to 700Kg in total. Quite cheap at £55 for the full weekend Fri afternoon till Monday morning.
A nice length to reverse too I even got the trailer into my drive at night with no backing in help and while only been able to see the nearest gate post.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]


Found the email from NTTA

Tow Itch wrote:Dear Mr Lambert I feel that I should know the answer to this question but wasn't certain when I thought about it and could not find any clarification. I wonder if you can help. If you have a pre 1997 licence and wish to tow a trailer that has a plated maximum weight above the maximum weight that a given vehicle may tow: Do you commit an offence immediately by towing a trailer that could theoretically be loaded above the maximum for the towing vehicle? Are you fine to tow as long as the actual weight of the trailer is below the towing limit for the towing vehicle? e.g. ferrying an unloaded car transporter from point to point or an unloaded caravan (I would be careful in the case of a caravan as I realise many have a greater mass than posted) I have tried to look for confirmation. It seems that it should be an actual offence but I seem to remember (possibly rumor) something about VOSA chasing theoretical possible offences. Thanks in anticipation Mr X. X. Xxxxx

NTTA wrote:Dear Mr. Xxxxx

This has long been a subject of confusion but fortunately VOSA helped in 2011 when we asked them to clarify the position.

Attached you will find an email from them to us on the subject.

Please note that for Operators’ License and Tachograph purposes it is the maximum permitted weight (the Gross Vehicle Weight of the trailer), not the actual in-use weight on the day, that is taken into consideration.

I hope this answers your question.

Kind regards,

Larry Lambert
Chief Executive Administrator
National Trailer and Towing Association Ltd

Carriage Court, Welbeck, Worksop, Nottinghamshire, S80 3LR

VOSA wrote:
Hi

In response  to your email I would like to confirm that when a vehicle is
towing a trailer,it is the actual weight of the vehicle, trailer and load
which is important in determining a vehicle’s compliance with legal weight
thresholds, not the potential carrying capacity. Therefore it would be
irrelevant whether the maximum permitted weight of the trailer was above
that which the car can tow, it is only the 'in use' weight which can be
considered.

Obviously this seeks to clarify weight thresholds only as other
considerations may preclude for example category of driving licence held.

I hope this answers your query. If not please get back to me with further
information.

Regards
Caroline (Hicks)

National Enforcement & Compliance Team
Operations Directorate

The surname in Italics was added by myself. This email has now been forwarded to the dandyman email address at live.com to help keep a permanent record of correspondence in the Dandycampers files.


Last edited by Tow Itch on Sat 11 Jan 2014, 8:39 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Details of email added.then I thought I'd better add my original email to the NTTA)

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