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Old 17 June 2014, 12:14   #1
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going over towing limit

G'day,

just a quick one... I know that what you are towing goes by the weight stamped on the trailer plate, but i know my trailer is far lighter than the 1500kg its rated to.

If i bought a car rated to tow 1200kg on a braked trailer, am I legally able to tow it?

I think it will be no!

Cheers,

Si
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Old 17 June 2014, 12:37   #2
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I think you are asking if you can tow a trailer rated to 1500kg behind a car that is only rated to tow 1200kg ?

The answer is yes in the following situation.

If the trailer and load weigh less than 1200kg and you have the correct licence, then yes you can tow the trailer and load. The stamped plate on the trailer does not come into the equation in this instance (despite an urban myth going around saying that the car must be capable of towing the plated weight of the trailer irrespective of the actual load )


But its likely that Plod may take an interest in the rig, I would check the actual weight of the rig and be very sure I was under the 1200kg.
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Old 17 June 2014, 12:38   #3
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yes, thats my question, as I was fairly sure its the rated load that is what counts rather than the actual load!

So if what you are saying is correct, i'll be finding myself a weigh bridge to be safe!

thanks
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Old 17 June 2014, 12:46   #4
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No, the rated load thing was a rumour that popped up across forums a couple of years ago. Someone over on YBW claimed to have been told by a Policeman that he couldnt tow his empty 3500kg trailer with a car rated to tow only 1500kg. It was a load of rubbish, its the actual weight you are towing that matters. Dont forget, the usual rubbish we all throw into our boats adds a huge amount to the total. Skis, wakeboards, kneeboard and Ringo's add over 200kg to my rig on their own !

Also this is purely for leisure purposes, if its a commercial tow, things can be different.

Just to add that I have been stopped in the past with a triple axle trailer rated to 4500kg, I was taken to a weigh bridge and topped out at 3400ish. No further action.
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Old 17 June 2014, 13:55   #5
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Vehicle limits are based on actual weights, driver licensing and tachograph limits are based on plated weights.
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Old 18 June 2014, 03:16   #6
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I know someone who was done for "Technical overloading" I think it was worded. His trailer exceeded the capacity of the tow vehicle so he was done (and it stuck) - the police aren't all up to date and I suspect Mr Pirate was lucky!
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Old 18 June 2014, 03:59   #7
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I know someone who was done for "Technical overloading" I think it was worded. His trailer exceeded the capacity of the tow vehicle so he was done (and it stuck) - the police aren't all up to date and I suspect Mr Pirate was lucky!

Was it some kind of commercial tow ? If not, I suspect their was more to it than your mate is telling you. I cant even find a reference to "Technical Overloading" anywhere on the net.

You are right about the Police not having a clue, in Lancashire only 3 members of the force have been trained in trailer law.

I challenge anyone to show me the regulations that state you cant tow a trailer as described above in a domestic situation. That doesnt mean a link to some random caravan hugger site or a one created on Wordpad that has copied and pasted some trucking regs from the DOT website
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Old 18 June 2014, 04:04   #8
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I know someone who was done for "Technical overloading" I think it was worded. His trailer exceeded the capacity of the tow vehicle so he was done (and it stuck) - the police aren't all up to date and I suspect Mr Pirate was lucky!
There is no offence of "technical overloading". If what you are saying was correct, virtually every artic on the road would be illegal, as the plated GVW of the cab + plated GVW of the trailer is almost always over the GTW.
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Old 19 June 2014, 03:08   #9
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Was it some kind of commercial tow ? If not, I suspect their was more to it than your mate is telling you. I cant even find a reference to "Technical Overloading" anywhere on the net.
In all fairness it was what he called it but it was a question of the trailer plate and vehicle capacity not matching up - the story sounded legit and it just shows how little is understood about the complicated regulations.
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Old 19 June 2014, 18:04   #10
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If your trailers actual weight exceeds the plated towing capacity of the vehicle then you are committing an offence under The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986. The only way to determine whether this has been done is to put the entire outfit on a weighbridge.

If you don't have the B+E category on your driving licence (any licences issued after 1997 don't have it unless you pass a separate test, or a higher +E category) then you're also restricted to 3500kg gross train weight, this is completely irrespective of any actual weights at the time. If your tow vehicles gross weight plus your trailers gross weighs exceeds 3500kg then you commit the offece of driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence. This doesn't need a weighbridge to determine, simply an officer (police or VOSA) using the mark 1 eyeball to look at the weight plates on the car and trailer and some simple addition.

Contrary to what many people may say or think, your tow vehicle does not have to be rated to tow a trailers gross weight, only its actual weight. If this were true, it would restrict towing of the biggest trailers to only a handful of vehicles which would be ridiculous. A car transporter trailer with a gross weight of 3500kg and unladen weight of 800kg can be towed empty by most hatchbacks - obviously if there's a car on it then that's a different story. The onus is on you not to load the trailer so much that it exceeds your vehicles towing limit.
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