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Old 17 December 2015, 13:44   #21
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there sure is a lot of info about on that subject.

i called the road police for advice years ago for towing as i was only 5kg under the limit at one point with my car. i wanted to clarify the rules, to say they were non committal is an understatement.

however, fact is a friend of mine WAS fined for towing an empty trailer, they went on the plated weight versus the car VIN. i don't know the full ins and outs but he was fined for it. not sure if he challenged it or whatever though.
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Old 17 December 2015, 14:13   #22
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from the Gov site....in theory the one that should matter i guess

=======================================

Licences issued from 19 January 2013
From 19 January 2013, drivers passing a category B (car and small vehicle) test can tow:

small trailers weighing no more than 750kg
a trailer over 750kg as long as the combined weight of the trailer and towing vehicle is no more than 3,500kg (3.5 tonnes) Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM)
If you want to tow a trailer weighing more than 750kg, when the combined weight of the towing vehicle and trailer is more than 3,500kg, you’ll have to pass a further test and get B+E entitlement on your licence.

You’ll then be able to tow trailers up to 3,500kg.

Licences held from 1 January 1997
If you passed your driving test after 1 January 1997 and have an ordinary category B (car) licence, you can:

drive a vehicle up to 3,500kg MAM towing a trailer of up to 750kg MAM
tow a trailer over 750kg MAM as long as the combined MAM of the trailer and towing vehicle is no more than 3,500kg
For anything heavier you need to take a category B+E driving test.

Licences held before 1 January 1997
If you passed your car test before 1 January 1997 you’re generally entitled to drive a vehicle and trailer combination up to 8,250kg MAM.

This is the weight of a vehicle or trailer including the maximum load that can be carried safely when it’s being used on the road.

You also have entitlement to drive a minibus with a trailer over 750kg MAM.

====================================

Maximum authorised mass
Maximum authorised mass (MAM) means the weight of a vehicle or trailer including the maximum load that can be carried safely when it’s being used on the road.

This is also known as gross vehicle weight (GVW) or permissible maximum weight.

It will be listed in the owner’s manual and is normally shown on a plate or sticker fitted to the vehicle.

The plate or sticker may also show a gross train weight (GTW), also sometimes called gross combination weight (GCW). This is the total weight of the tractor unit plus trailer plus load.

===========================================

reading that, it suggests/says that MAM/GVW is based on the plated weight and therefor you don't need a load to be in bother.

important parts BOLD that lead me to this-

Maximum authorised mass (MAM) means the weight of a vehicle or trailer INCLUDING the maximum load that CAN be carried safely when it’s being used on the road.

i fully admit you could read this either way relatively easily, hence why you got let off and a friend of mine got a fine for same thing.

some more here, can't comment on how official this is as it isn't a .gov site- http://www.towingtrailers.co.uk/rules.php

=========================
The "true" weight of the trailer is irrespective, so even if the HB505 is empty, it may not be towed by the Land Rover Freelander 2 TD4 as this would be an offence. Furthermore, it may adversely affect the handle characteristics of the steering, braking and cornering of the towing vehicle and, if a collision occurred, the driver may be liable for prosecution under the law of Construction and Use, as well as possible not being correctly insured by ignoring the maximum towing weight of the vehicle.
==========================
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Old 17 December 2015, 14:14   #23
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<<Wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey flashback>>

I wonder how Jeepster got on with his trailer?
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Old 17 December 2015, 14:19   #24
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It's even more complex. Read page 2: https://www.gov.uk/towing-with-car/c...d-width-limits

The rule may differ for car & trailer combo and car & licence combo.

But... If you don't need the higher spec and you don't want to get grief at the roadside which needs argued with and worst case a trip to court to defend... Down plate it
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Old 17 December 2015, 14:22   #25
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Trailer law and ratings

My understanding is that there are two separate but related ways you can get into bother with trailer weights. Confusingly they work differently.

The first is driver licence requirements. For this the important figure is the MAM. If you don't have trailer entitlement on your licence then you may not tow a trailer with a MAM over 750Kg even if it is unladen and only weighs 200Kg.

The other bit is the Gross Train Weight of the vehicle. This is the actual weight, not the maximum possible. Hence, provided you have the appropriate licence, you can tow a trailer with any MAM provided the total actual weight does not exceed the towing vehicle's GTW.
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Old 17 December 2015, 14:35   #26
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Although GTW talks about fully laden weight on gov.UK?

Oh and yer licence description becomes a simplification because there are three generations of licence and all allow trailer > 750kg but with dwindling tow vehicle weight over the years.
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Old 17 December 2015, 17:16   #27
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There are 5 ways to be overweight.

Option 1: 3000kg on a 2000kg MAM trailer. Trailer is over its MAM.

Option 2: 2500kg on a 3000kg MAM twin axle trailer. Axle 1 weight 500kgs, axle 2 weight 2000kgs. Trailer is overloaded on a axle.

Option 3: GTW. A common Japanese pickup is rated at 3500kg MAM for the vehicle and 3500kg MAM for the trailer but only has a GTW of 6000kg. This means if the vehicle is fully laden and towing a 3500kg trailer then you are 1000kg overweight.

Option 4: A vehicle with a towing limit of 2000kg towing a trailer with a MAM of 3500kg. This is more a DVSA matter than the Police. The police either dont know the regulations or will use discretion. They are supposed to check with the duty DVSA TE to check the regulations but most of the time they don't. If they do check there is a good chance the TE is busy with something bigger and will say to the officer to use his discretion. If it looks right and everything works then you stand a chance.

Option 5: The whole can of worms that is driver licences.....
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Old 17 December 2015, 17:38   #28
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Trailer law and ratings

Option 4 is OK as far as I can see, provided the actual loaded weight of the trailer at the time does not exceed 2000Kg.

The towing limit for a vehicle is dictated by the manufacturer's specified Gross Train Weight.

"The combined actual laden weight of the car and caravan must not exceed the Gross Train Weight (GTW) the maximum permitted weight of car and caravan together specified by the car maker." http://www.theaa.com/motoring_advice...d-to-know.html

Not a definitive reference but emails from VOSA quoted on another forum support this: http://www.hpoc.co.uk/community/inde...g-and-the-law/
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Old 17 December 2015, 17:58   #29
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I have had 3 successful prosecution's this year with option 4. The Police might not prosecute on it but DVSA generally will. There are a few exceptions and discretion gets used with it a lot.

I was called to a car with a 1500kg limit towing a 3500kg twin axle sbs trailer with no boat on it. Police asked for us to attend to clarify any offences. When we arrived and checked the trailer and spoke to the owner it turned out that the trailer was brand new and didn't have any bunks or swing arms fitted. He had just collected it and was taking it to the marina and was using his wifes car. As the trailer wasn't capable at that point of carrying any load he was just given some advice and sent on his way. If it had had bunks or rollers fitted then we would have taken it further.

One of the prosecutions was a farmer using his Defender to tow an empty farm trailer. Unladen it weighed close to 3000kg but had a MAM of 10000kg. The prosecution resulted in a fine and points.
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Old 17 December 2015, 18:09   #30
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So do you work for DVSA? In that case can you tell me what the actual offence is under option 4? Were any of these prosecutions competently defended?

Ifor Williams are very clear that it is OK. Are they giving inaccurate advice? http://www.iwt.co.uk/customer-care/f...w-this-trailer
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