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Old 04 January 2011, 06:40   #1
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New trailer/towing legislation

I received an email this morning from Western Towing with some information which Iíve shortened below.
Trailer Type Approval

From October 2011, all trailers must be type approved and comply with EU standards.

Obviously not an issue for buyers of branded new trailers, except maybe some extra cost to cover the manufacturers approval expenses. But if you are building your own trailer from scratch, once itís finished youíll need to get it Type Approval tested before you can legally use it on the road.

This new regulation follows the 1997 Towbar approval where all Towbars have to meet EU and vehicle manufacturers specification.


Iím sure this must apply only to new trailers, which raises several questions for me.
Will trailer MOTs be introduced any time soon?
Will those of us with older trailers still be able to repair them with new axles etc?
Is it going to be enforceable?
Will it still be possible to purchase major components to self build?

VOSA and Tachographs

There are reports that VOSA are getting stricter with vehicles without tachographs.
If you are using your trailer for business, and the combined gross weight excesses 3500kg, your vehicle will need to be fitted with a tacho.

But there are a few exemptions:-

1) Vehicles used by agricultural, horticultural, forestry or fishery undertakings for carrying goods within 100 kilometres of the place where the vehicle is normally based.

2) Vehicles used in conjunction with the sewerage, flood protection, water, gas and electricity services, highway maintenance and control, refuse collection and disposal, telegraph and telephone services, carriage of postal articles, radio and television broadcasting and the detection of radio or television transmitters or receivers.

3) Vehicles not over 7500kg GVW or part of a combination of vehicles not over 7500 kg
combined GVW which is used to carry materials equipment or machinery for the driver's use in the course of his work within a 50 km radius of base and where driving is not the driver's main activity.

There are a few more exemptions, these can be found at on the Department Of Transport website on the following PDF file:-
Tachograph Exemption Declaration Form.pdf


Trailer Width

The Department of Transport have announced an increase in width limit for light trailers. This has been increased to 2.55 metres for light trailers (categories O1 and O2) up to 3500 kg gross weight is irrespective of the towing vehicle, be it car, 4x4 or qualifying commercial vehicle. This brings the UK into line with the rest of Europe.

Iím not sure from the mail if ĎGross Weightí is just the trailer and load, or includes the tow vehicle, but if it doesnít there will be a few that no longer need to (theoretically) deflate their tubes to tow legally, me included.


Nasher.
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Old 04 January 2011, 07:37   #2
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there will be a few that no longer need to (theoretically) deflate their tubes to tow legally, me included.
I thought the width limit related to the trailer not the load?
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Old 04 January 2011, 07:44   #3
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So, if I make a new trailer and stamp 2009 on it, it'll be ok?
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Old 04 January 2011, 08:57   #4
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So, if I make a new trailer and stamp 2009 on it, it'll be ok?
Any trailer manufactured after that date will need type approval. However there is nothing to stop a dodgy manufacturer back dating the manufaturing date. However if there is an accident and an investigation is started will Knot back them up when asked when the running gear was purchased?

One thing this will do stop is cowboys setting up business in their garages selling dangerous equipment to Joe Public.

I think it will be a good thing
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Old 04 January 2011, 08:59   #5
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I thought the width limit related to the trailer not the load?
It used to be both as you have always been allowed an overhang
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Old 04 January 2011, 09:06   #6
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Nasher

As far as I understand in answer to your questions:

Will trailer MOTs be introduced any time soon? I dont believe so in the near future however expect it in the next 3 years. But this is a good thing we should all have road worthy trailers

Will those of us with older trailers still be able to repair them with new axles etc? Yes this is not a problem

Is it going to be enforceable? Yup the police and DVLA are not stupid and im sure you will be OK unless you have a spot check/accident

Will it still be possible to purchase major components to self build? Yes but you wont be able to legally use it on the road without getting it certified
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Old 04 January 2011, 10:26   #7
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Thanks TB, I was hoping youíd see my post and be able to clarify what was going on.

Donít get me wrong, Iím all for trailers being safe and roadworthy, and probably go over the top with servicing etc with my own.

But Iíd still like to be able to build and use a trailer without the extra expense of having it certified. Although unfortunately that right is being taken away for all of us by the few who think itís OK to lash up a trailer in a dangerous condition and cause accidents when it falls to pieces.

Iím not sure it would even be possible to get a one off self build trailer certified.

Obviously the dangerous trailers are not limited to those knocked up at home, as weíve all seen some pretty dodgy examples thrown together by supposed experts who are not as professional as TB.

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Old 04 January 2011, 11:04   #8
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MOTs might be a good thing - might drive the UK/EU market to offer proper boat trailer brakes instead of that caravan sh*t that corrode up a couple of days after the first dunking or else need constant maintainance. e.g. proper stainless or galvanised gear with hydraulics like they have in the states. Even the disc calipers on mine need to be stripped each year to avoid seizing. What proportion of boat trailers out there would pass a proper brake test (present company's gear excepted of course!)?

Richard
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Old 04 January 2011, 12:37   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trailer Bloke View Post
One thing this will do stop is cowboys setting up business in their garages selling dangerous equipment to Joe Public.
Simeon, I know it is a serious subject but I have to say that if they sell to Joe Public some dangerous equipment then Joe wont go back to him again!
Happy new year
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Old 04 January 2011, 15:47   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nasher View Post

Trailer Width

The Department of Transport have announced an increase in width limit for light trailers. This has been increased to 2.55 metres for light trailers (categories O1 and O2) up to 3500 kg gross weight is irrespective of the towing vehicle, be it car, 4x4 or qualifying commercial vehicle. This brings the UK into line with the rest of Europe.

Iím not sure from the mail if ĎGross Weightí is just the trailer and load, or includes the tow vehicle, but if it doesnít there will be a few that no longer need to (theoretically) deflate their tubes to tow legally, me included.


Nasher.
I always thought the 2.3m rule was trailer, whereby the load was allowed to overhang by 30cms each side. this mwant my rib, at 2.75m width inflated, was just within allowable limits
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