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Old 08 September 2014, 20:51   #1
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towing weights for import vehicles

Have just had a very interesting exchange of emails with the Dep't of Transport International Vehicle Standards section, regarding towing weights for import vehicles (or any vehicles not displaying standard EU GVM / GCM info).

I've always been under the impression (incorrectly as it turns out), that in the absence of this info a vehicle is legally limited to towing it's own kerbweight (although I often tow significantly more than that).

The DoT have dispelled a few myths and added a few interesting points:-
  • Whilst they agree it's a sensible recommendation, there's no basis in law for limiting a (unplated) vehicle to towing it's own kerbweight
  • Without manufacturer info (I.E. the usual data plate) DoT / VOSA are not in a position to determine the towing weight limit of a vehicle.
  • However, an engineer with knowledge of the vehicle construction may be in a position to do so.

this would make a very interesting conversation with the VOSA inspectors when stopped and potentially challenged for 'overloading'. Vs what? exactly...

I'd be pleased to copy the mail trail to anyone wanting a copy to keep in their glovebox (PM me)

As a Chartered Mechanical Engineer, with knowledge of the vehicle construction I will be attaching a Data Plate to my Hilux Surf, lifting the data from a US spec 4-runner, as Toyota don't declare towing weights for the jap models. That'll fox 'em. I'll also be informing my insurer.
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Old 09 September 2014, 03:01   #2
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Have always been aware of this grey area,


At the roadside VOSA can only go by the tyre loadings or individual components that are stamped eg wheels etc on an unplated unit. The original old handbooks for a Landruiser 80 series 4.2 says it can tow 8 tons in 4x4 low range so that can flummox them too.

Plus many vehicles can also tow way above their kerbweight, eg a UK Landcruiser that itselfs weighs 2.3t is plated to tow 3.5t like many big 4x4's so plating to tow only kerbweight might not be your best option.

I would'nt mind a copy as I run an imported Landcruiser with no weight plate
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Old 09 September 2014, 03:42   #3
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Interesting post. Toyota sold a vehicle in the UK for a limited period called a Forunner that is basically the same as the Surf. I imagine that you could probably get a good idea of the rating from the figures for that in the UK. It might also be worth checking to see if your model was imported into Germany as they have often had models we don't see here?
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Old 09 September 2014, 05:35   #4
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Or the Aussie specs they are right hand drive and get most 4x4 vehicles. There are also the upgraded models such as those fitted with air brakes for heavy towing loads. Made even more interesting with a post 97 liscence and no additional categories...
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Old 09 September 2014, 06:49   #5
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I'll be interested in the email. I have a ford 250 super duty. It weighs over 3 ton but I have the stateside info for the truck quoting 6 tons Click image for larger version

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Old 09 September 2014, 06:52   #6
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Email would help. Customribs@me.com
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Old 09 September 2014, 08:11   #7
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I think the max you can tow is 3.5 tonnes as over this you are in to air brakes as in HGV irrespective of the cars ability!
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Old 09 September 2014, 11:37   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Tallis View Post
I will be attaching a Data Plate to my Hilux Surf, lifting the data from a US spec 4-runner,
I asked a traffic officer. Reply was 'We won't touch it unless it looks dangerous or the trailer is over 3500kg'.

Mine happily tows 2.6 tonnes regularly and doesn't look dangerous at all.
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Old 09 September 2014, 17:32   #9
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[QUOTE=Nos4r2;645020].....I asked a traffic officer. Reply was 'We won't touch it unless it looks dangerous or the trailer is over 3500kg'.......
QUOTE]

The fuzz might not, but VOSA (with their aparrent new brief as a money making arm of DoT) sure as hell will. Look on here and other forums for all the bizarre and baseless things they've fined people and impounded trailers / vehicles for.
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Old 09 September 2014, 17:38   #10
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Originally Posted by Nick Hearne View Post
I think the max you can tow is 3.5 tonnes as over this you are in to air brakes as in HGV irrespective of the cars ability!

These rules don't apply to USA trucks as they have electric braking systems. My truck was supplied with a 44 ft camper body which was over 4 .5 ton the tax class is goods vehicle. Not PLG like my nissan. It's a grey area for sure. The sunny is 5 ton and the trailer has got to be over a ton
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