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Old 07 April 2005, 15:02   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by codprawn
For an unbraked trailer the secondary coupling must keep the nose of the trailer off the ground and still attached to the vehicle - fair enough!!! What seems truly bizarre is that a braked trailer must be allowed to detach itself and apply the brakes!!!
I don't see this as it's written:

Quote:
For trailers up to 1500kg laden weight it is permitted to use a secondary coupling, which in the event of separation (NOT failure) of the main coupling will retain the trailer attached to the towing vehicle, prevent the nose of the trailer from touching the ground and provide some residual steering of the trailer.
Key word there is "permitted", rather than "required".


Quote:
Above 1500 kg laden weight the trailer must be fitted with a device to stop the trailer automatically in the event of separation (NOT failure) of the main coupling and this is normally achieved by a breakaway cable attached to the parking brake mechanism - the trailer becomes detached from the towing vehicle.
Doesn't say you *can't* use a secondary coupling, just states how it is normally done.

Personally, I'd use safety chains, and a slightly longer breakaway cable in case the chains fail.

OTOH, my trailer doesn't have brakes, and I am required to have the chains anyway.


jky



It would seem to me far more sensible to use a secondary coupling on ANY trailer - in fact I always do so but I wonder if I were to do so on a braked trailer and had an accident if I would be punished as that is not what the law requires?

Also didn't realise there was no legal requirement for the weight of the vehicle/trailer to be matched. [/QUOTE]
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Old 07 April 2005, 16:57   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by codprawn
It seems rather stupid to me that unbraked trailers must have a secondary coupling but braked trailers must have a cable to apply the brakes.

For an unbraked trailer the secondary coupling must keep the nose of the trailer off the ground and still attached to the vehicle -
You can use a secondary coupling on a braked trailer and it must keep the nose of the trailer off the ground. However, not all policemen know that. But, it seems that you then can't use the break away cable also. It's one or the other. I've lost track of the relevent acts etc. but it was discussed a long time ago on Ribnet.
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Old 07 April 2005, 17:25   #33
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There have been a few nasties around here with couplings failing. Usually old cast couplings rather than newer pressed ones. These old cast ones normally have a hole thru which you can put a padlock or a retaining bolt to stop the handle being lifted and the coupling releasing. One or two have come off on a steep ramp round here as the boat went from the flat to the slope and weight went off the coupling . Saw one run down the whole length of a normally very busy slip which luckily was empty of people and kit at that moment. Had there been anyone behind it it would have killed them for sure. One of our club members wrote off a parked mini when his car went round the bend but his trailer did not, and a 6.3m rib wrote of a black taxi when it parted company with the towing vehicle and crossed the main road after the outfit hit a well known bump on a fast main road around here. Its been on our course notes here for years to use a reliable secondary coupling on unbraked trailers and to put a pin thru that hole in cast couplings.
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