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Old 19 November 2003, 06:56   #1
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Trailer law

Sorry if this is a "bone" question that has been answered before, but here goes anyway!
Can anyone give me the LEGAL maximum that I can tow in terms of dimmensions? I have had lots of opinions, including some from Police officers, but no written down fact yet! The best I have come across is "maximum trailer length of 7.0 metres excluding drawbar,width of 2.34, but I am allowed overhang" Don't want to buy a boat I can't tow legally...
Any takers? Cheers, in a confused sort of way, Jono
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Old 19 November 2003, 07:38   #2
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My advice to you would be to e-mail or PM Geoff Campbell, who post here, as he wrote a very comrehensive report on this very subject for PBO (I think). He did offer to send the article to anyone a short time ago.
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Old 19 November 2003, 09:53   #3
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Is it me ?

If a boat comes on a trailer then does it not equate that it must be legal otherwise the manufacturer wouldn't put it on one ! Now if you're talking about your licence then that's a different matter. Try www.dvla.gov.uk
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Old 19 November 2003, 10:40   #4
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Jono

As far as I know, you've got the right figures and there isn't much to add. It's a bit of a grey area as with boat trailers is isn't always clear where the trailer ends and the drawbar starts.

The National Trailer & Towing Association has a a good web site at www.ntta.co.uk with lots of useful information. I have emailed them to see if we can get any more specific information for boat trailers.

MeMe, you should be right but I wouldn't bank on it! Whilst the supplier certainly has a duty of care, it is ultimately your responsibility as driver to make sure you are road worthy and legal.

John
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Old 19 November 2003, 10:53   #5
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Thanks!

Thanks to all. I've had a conversation with a very nice lady at the "Vehicle Standard Agency" (former DOT) who has put me in the picture. Trailer up to 2.3 wide with permissible overhang of 305 on either side, but NOT greater overall than 2.9
Length of trailer as stated is 7.O excluding drawbar with permissible overhang in line with regulation 82 of the Road Vehicle(Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 as ammended (C&U)......Super!, Now where's my cheque book....Jono
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Old 19 November 2003, 11:49   #6
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One thing to be aware of: You keep to all the dimensions, then you fit the lighting board by pulling the support brackets out to a sensible position for the overhang.....you just lengthened the trailer. However, if the lighting board is mounted on the boat, it will be attached to the load.
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Old 19 November 2003, 12:16   #7
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Just out of interest, do you have to have extendible wing mirrors like for caravans with boats? - is this a legal requirement?

If you do that, the front load then becomes very wide indeed

-Alex
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Old 19 November 2003, 12:47   #8
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There was a big debate/argument about this about a month ago when another guy was lookign to buy a boat. but basically you can tow anything up to around 10m, but u will need warning flags and light if travalling at night.

see here:

So, size DOES matter, but what about experience?
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Old 19 November 2003, 13:03   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by John Kennett
Jono

.

The National Trailer & Towing Association has a a good web site at www.ntta.co.uk with lots of useful information. I have emailed them to see if we can get any more specific information for boat trailers.


John
Thank you John for inviting the NTTA to contribute. As a boat owner (yacht) and a trailer manufacturer, I know a little about the subject.

I have tabled the dimensions below but there is still a 'grey area' about the length of a boat trailer. Discussions with the Vehicle Inspectorate indicate that in the case of a boat trailer equipped with a winch, any part of the trailer in front of a vertical line dropped down from the front of the winch post, would constitute the drawbar. In other words, the 7 metre maximum length would be measured from this point. However, until an actual case has been before the courts, this is subject to interpretation.

With specific regard to boat trailers, note that they are exempt to some extent from complying fully with the Road Vehicles (Lighting Regulations) 1986. However, it is important that the rear overhang is clearly marked in accordance with the regulations and that there are also issues about the marking of 'dangerous projections' which could well include outboards.

Towing vehicle up to and including 3500kg GVW
Length (excluding the coupling and drawbar) 7.0 metres
Width Maximum 2.3 metres

Towing vehicle over 3500kg GVW
Length (excluding the coupling and drawbar) 12 metres if at least 4 wheels
Width Maximum 2.55 metres

Length of towing vehicle and trailer combined 18 metres
Maximum overhang of load from rear of trailer 3.05 metres

Marking of rear overhang
Between 1m and 2m, ensure the end is clearly visible by attaching a piece of cloth or similar.
Between 2m and 3.05m, a marker board as defined in the Regulations must be fitted and illuminated at night.
If the overhang is more than 3.05m, an attendant must be carried and the police must be notified 2 days before commencing the journey.


I hope this clears the issue up a little!

Please note, the usual NTTA disclaimer applies to this post! http://www.ntta.co.uk/law/disclaimer.htm

Regards
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Old 19 November 2003, 13:57   #10
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Re: Is it me ?

Quote:
Originally posted by MeMe
If a boat comes on a trailer then does it not equate that it must be legal otherwise the manufacturer wouldn't put it on one ! Now if you're talking about your licence then that's a different matter. Try www.dvla.gov.uk
Wrong Meme111 when i got my boat the gross weight was above 750kg and no brakes were fitted. i had to change the axle.
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