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.