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Old 07 October 2013, 16:14   #51
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I have been a transport manager for over 15 years, plated weight is all that matters, if the plate says 3500 kg then the vehicles towing capacity must be 3500 kg or higher, regardless of wether it is loaded or not. I was told by a Vosa inspector years ago that we couldn't tow our 3.5t ifor trailer with an L200 as it's towing capacity was 2.7 ton. The pickup and empty trailer were parked in our yard at the time and he said ' I better not see that rig on the road or I'll have your operators licence' .
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Old 07 October 2013, 16:23   #52
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So VOSA will have your licence, coz chances are there are some people in VOSA think they understand the rules. If you're a normal member of the public, then you are less likely to be visited by VOSA so may be less likely to hit a problem, but you'd still be breaking the law. If the fuzz is looking for something to do you for they may well try hard to find something...

While people saying if it looks right you will be alright sounds a good idea, and your average bobby isn't gonna pull you over. BUT if something goes wrong and you end up with your trailer being examined by someone who knows the rules you may be finding yourself infront of a judge trying to explain to them that the law is an arse and it looks right so should be fine ;-)
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Old 07 October 2013, 16:26   #53
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that all contradicts everything ive read and been told - by people whos job it is to know. me and a friend tried to hire a car trailer once to move a mini bodyshell - no weight at all, but because of the plated max weight of the trailer they refused to let us hire it as we didnt have b+e on our licences. also im pretty sure b+e states a 3500kg limit.
Yes like I said if you don't have BE on your licence then the rules are different and the gross weights DO matter, regardless of the laden weights. It's crazy, but it works to a point.

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I have been a transport manager for over 15 years, plated weight is all that matters, if the plate says 3500 kg then the vehicles towing capacity must be 3500 kg or higher, regardless of wether it is loaded or not. I was told by a Vosa inspector years ago that we couldn't tow our 3.5t ifor trailer with an L200 as it's towing capacity was 2.7 ton. The pickup and empty trailer were parked in our yard at the time and he said ' I better not see that rig on the road or I'll have your operators licence' .
I'm sorry but that's plain wrong and I think the VOSA inspector must have had it in for you. There are only about 20 category B vehicles which have a towing capacity of 3500kg or more yet there are thousands of trailers on the road which are plated at 3500kg. If I were in your position, I would have taken it out on the road and let him pull me, he could not just 'have your O licence', and a court would laugh it out because he's making the rules up himself. As long as you have the suitable entitlements on your licence, and the trailers actual weight does not exceed the vehicles towing capacity, the trailers plated weight does not matter whatsoever.

The rules are different for HGV where it's all based around gross weights, but as far as towing within category BE matters it's only the actual weights which are relevant.

Also, you only need an O licence if your trailer is over 1020kg unladen and you are carrying someone else's goods.
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Old 07 October 2013, 16:37   #54
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we seem to have a problem, everyone has heard / read / been told different things, often by 'official' sources. does nobody have a government published source of info that easily, clearly and definitively put this one to bed, allowing us to all tow within the law?
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Old 07 October 2013, 16:50   #55
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I have been a transport manager for over 15 years, plated weight is all that matters, if the plate says 3500 kg then the vehicles towing capacity must be 3500 kg or higher, regardless of wether it is loaded or not. I was told by a Vosa inspector years ago that we couldn't tow our 3.5t ifor trailer with an L200 as it's towing capacity was 2.7 ton. The pickup and empty trailer were parked in our yard at the time and he said ' I better not see that rig on the road or I'll have your operators licence' .
When I did my O licence c p c 15 years ago this is the way I read it, we had a lot of problems matching up vans to trailers as some drivers would jump into different vans but towing the same trailer, transits being a big one, different sizes, weights and engines etc but look the same to some drivers !!
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Old 07 October 2013, 17:10   #56
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Well, on the basis that ignorance is no defence in the eyes of the law (and total confusion even less likely to impress m'lud) I guess I'm going to have to visit an 'official' government Agency website and then hire an interpreter to explain the nuances.

I 'think' I'm ok.

Old enough to have automatic entitlement to B&C
GVW 2000Kg
Plated trailer 1400Kg
Working brakes
Rig, inc trailer, engine, fuel, battery, anchor, etc, etc (probably) 900Kg


....but it's only an educated guess so I'm off to my mates yard to get on his weighbridge v. soon.
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Old 07 October 2013, 17:44   #57
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There are a lot of experienced users here though.

The fact is .. everytime euro regs change we are all in abayance, and no one is sure what is correct and what is not. This cannot go on .. and I am not prepared to lose my licence because of all this confusion, some plod says this and another says that ..
You cant stand and waive bits of paper at these people for what you believe at the roadside ,, it must be set down clearly for all of us .. I'm soo fe d up of all the confusion ... hehe maybe thats why I'm a RIBnet member and going dooooooooolaly
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Old 07 October 2013, 18:01   #58
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GVW 2000Kg
Plated trailer 1400Kg
Working brakes
Rig, inc trailer, engine, fuel, battery, anchor, etc, etc (probably) 900Kg
So provided (1) You are right on the 900kg (or at least right on the <1400kg) and (2) The car is plated to tow 1400kg. even I am OK with my simple cat B 1998 licence.

Unless I'm mistaken the people who need to worry are:

  • If your car and trailer MAM combined > 3500kg
  • If your trailer MAM > Car plated towing weight
  • If you passed your test in 2013 or later as the rules changed again
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Old 07 October 2013, 18:11   #59
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Cos its a French van I stick to the above with the 130
I'd go with that too Mick
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Old 07 October 2013, 18:22   #60
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There are a lot of experienced users here though.

Muz, you're absolutely right and personally I've benefited hugely from a bundle of knowledge freely shared across a whole range of subject matter on RIBnet but the confusion surrounding this subject is seriously concerning when you consider that all of us should 'know' the rules and regs.

Many people have posted on this thread who clearly have a great deal more experience than I do in this specific area, dealing on a daily basis with these issues in their day-to-day, professional life. What seriously bothers me is that many of these people are quoting first-hand contact with a variety of law-enforcement personnel; police, VOSA, etc. who themselves seem to be offering conflicting advice!

As I say, I believe I'm ok but am thankful that I have a robust car, a trailer plated well below the GVW of the car and a small boat!






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