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Old 25 April 2003, 07:51   #21
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Think you may find there is a difference in law between the trailer width and the load width which allows you to tow a rib. I agree it is a minefield. Indespension the trailer people do quite a good book which covers the facts.
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Old 25 April 2003, 08:59   #22
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I don't think the ball hitch is an issue.

Remember, the trailer is the trailer, the boat is the load. The boat can be up to 2.9mtrs wide but, the side overhang of the boat over the trailer is a maximum of 305mm (1ft). Widen the mudguard brackets or add a side guard rail if you need to comply.
However, the maximum width of the trailer is 2.3mtrs unless the plated wt. of the tow vehicle is more that 3500kg. Then it is 2.5mtrs.
There is a slight mismatch here. Max trailer =2300 + 305 + 305 = 2.910mtrs, but max load width is 2.9mtrs
Also, some rules which apply to normal trailers do not apply to boat trailers. Mainly to do with lighting I think. I'll check it out when I get home.

I've spoken to some traffic police and also the local transport department and everything trailer is a mine field. The traffic police are happy with these long trailers which are used to transport gliders. The traffic guys I spoke to reckoned all that was needed was the correct trailer board. Not according to the other info I've managed to come by. Also, the transport folk gave me informaton about the safety braking system. EITHER a method of braking the trailer if it becomes free of the tow hitch OR a restraint which will ensure the trailer remains attached to the tow vehicle but it must not allow the trailer front (the tow hitch usually) to contact the ground. It, thereby, allows a degree of steerage by the tow vehicle. I have the relevant sections of the law which relate to this. However, the traffic police were not aware of the second one and said that they wouldn't accept it. I've since come across the same restraint system but it was said only to apply to unbraked trailers. This was advice given in the Indespension catalogue. There are lots of other anomalies. It's all a mess.
I am going to make sure I adhere to as many of the rules as possible, ensure everything is safe and hope I never have to test it in court.


JW.
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Old 25 April 2003, 10:54   #23
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I have a new driving licence this means that I am allowed to tow 750 kg behind any standard vehicle.

After that it then gets complex. ok get this!

I can tow up to X if the maximum curb weight of the towing vehicle and the trailer = no more than 3500kg and the trailer is not more in weight than the towing vehicle.

In practice what this means is that behind a land rover or any other heavy safe towing vehicle I am only allowed to tow 750kg but being a small car I can tow up to 1750kg.

Behind my Volvo I can tow 1500kg but behind a pick up or a 4*4 only 750kg. How stupid is that.

Getting sceptical before my time I contacted the dvla when this new licence came in to be told that I needed to do a heavy trailer test. This involves towing a braked trailer through a slaloms forwards and backwards and then taking a driving test with it. This is stupid as again the trailer can be empty for the test. Surly towing an empty 7.8m trailer empty in a test is the same as towing an empty 7.8 m trailer normally which I am allowed to do. They did not like to comment. I enquired where I could take the test and It appears that you have to take it at a HGV centre which is interesting as all the HGV centres I phoned did not know what I was talking about.

I then started to look into the law in more detail and it appears that I am allowed to tow a heavy trailer if it is for unpaid charity work. Let me get this straight. This means that I can drive a minibus full of students and tow a large rib for a charity such as a students union, but I cant tow the same rib Behind a Land rover for my self. Despite not having 14 drunk rowdy students behind me. Hum I wonder which is safer 14 students or on my own. O well Have to follow the law.

If anyone thinks any of this is wrong please correct me I would love to think that the EU and the Government are not quite this silly.
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Old 25 April 2003, 13:39   #24
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Yeah, I agree there are some 'hard to explain' things about this. At the end of the day it's all down to safety in some manner or form, and I guess they have to come up with some text which covers as many people as possible.
The one thing I don't see on many sites is about rear visibility when towing boats. Reading through all these caravan guides etc... they all talk about using wing mirror extenders to enable you to see behind, but I haven't seen anything like this for boats.
Watching people tow their boats around here quite a bit, there are many people who cannot see anything what's going on behind them, there are also quite a few people who don't even bother with tail boards with lights etc... too
Just to be on the safe side when we got my boat back from Hull, I borrowed one of the 3.5 ton flatbed trucks from work, which had plenty of power, was nice and wide, and seemed to tow the boat very well, although the overall length of truck and boat together was pretty large which made general handling a pretty good challenge.
I see what you mean about the width of the 'load' and the 'trailer', there is a significant difference between the two. I wonder how many people just throw any trailer on the back of their cars and just drive off without even thinking about the laws - probably not even worth thinking about

-Alex
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Old 25 April 2003, 13:52   #25
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dpgw, it doesn't surprise me a bit.

Something to watch, which has been mentioned before on the forum, is the maximum weight for a trailer braked by the overrun principle is 3500kg. If the trailer is old, pre 1977, the max weight is 3560kg.

JW.
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Old 25 April 2003, 15:04   #26
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I just wanted people to be aware because if you are towing over the limit (weight or size) then there is a possibility your insurance will not be valid!
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Old 25 April 2003, 16:36   #27
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Quote:
Originally posted by dgpw
I then started to look into the law in more detail and it appears that I am allowed to tow a heavy trailer if it is for unpaid charity work. Let me get this straight. This means that I can drive a minibus full of students and tow a large rib for a charity such as a students union, but I cant tow the same rib Behind a Land rover for my self.

look on the bright side at least you can get a lotterry grant for charity work.

I guess I was a top lawbreaker when towing a Pacific on a really sturdy trailer behind a DISCO, although I felt it was fine, handled really well and stopped nicely
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Old 25 April 2003, 17:06   #28
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wouldn't mind some money, then I could get the boat I want.

Mike
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Old 05 May 2003, 12:02   #29
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There is a 2001 Humber Destroyer 7m RIB with Merc 175EFI for sale on e-bay at the moment

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...&category=1296

I e-mailed the seller to ask if the trailer was braked and he replied that it was not but that the o/a weight of the package was about 1000kg A little heavy for an unbraked trailer I think Also the trailer has bunks rather than rollers

Pity 'cause the price appears good - 12,500 at the moment.
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Old 05 May 2003, 15:22   #30
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Yep, way over the limit. Wonder if its one of those american trailers that come with a US speedboat type thingy when they import them, which is why it doesn't have any brakes.

4 x 20 L fuel tanks are going to be a pain as well. My 150 V6 Mariner will do about 40 LPH cruising so you have only about an hour and a half before you are heading back in

Pete
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