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Old 03 April 2005, 12:46   #1
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Double check that Trailer??

I have just been to a nasty accident
Chap towing his Rib for a day out at Weymouth.
He got about a mile from home when the trailer uncoupled from his towbar
he had a "safety rope" which snapped.
Trailer and Boat collided head on with a car coming in the oppposite direction.
Fuel in boat ignited and when I got there the whole lot was a fireball in the middle of the road.
Luckily the driver managed to get out with no more that singed hair and shock but, believe me, it could have been a lot worse.
There was nothing left of the Rib except a charred outboard.
Moral of the story is check and double check that coupling and use a wire strop for safety - make sure its in good condition and up to its job!
Martyn
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Old 03 April 2005, 15:55   #2
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Poor sod

However was the 'Safety rope' a proper keep it attached to the car job, or just a breakaway cable that activates the handbrake and then snaps as its supposed to?

Do agree that you can never check too many times that the hitch has located over the ball properly.

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Old 03 April 2005, 16:09   #3
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It was a 4 metre rib on a a small trailer - not braked.
He had attached a looped rope over the tow ball obvioulsy intended to keep the trailer and car together. It snapped when the trailer came off!!
I did feel sorry for him but not half as sorry as I felt for the innocent party?
Martyn
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Old 03 April 2005, 16:17   #4
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Thanks for that reminder noddy I,m sure we are all guilty of it at some time .I have but been lucy enough to find out after only after yards and boys have laughed at my expense dad dont forget the boat.Your warning i think should be posted by john kennet for several weeks especialy as its the beginning of the season for most.Well done
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Old 03 April 2005, 16:20   #5
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Point taken.

Last thing you want when out for a quiet Sunday drive minding your own business is a burnt out RIB for a bonnet mascot.

Doesn't give 'Us' in general good publicity with Joe public, before we know it our insurance policies will go up and then private drivers will be banned from towing.

I know its not the case here, but I'm amazed we still don't need a MOT style test for our trailers and Mr Cardigans caravan.

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Old 03 April 2005, 18:57   #6
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Is it a legal requirement to have a safety wire attached that is supossed to stop the trailer from breaking away from the rear of the car if it become detatched?
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Old 04 April 2005, 04:31   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noddy
He had attached a looped rope over the tow ball obvioulsy intended to keep the trailer and car together....
What failed Was it the ball or the hitch Des
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Old 04 April 2005, 06:05   #8
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A breakaway cable is only intended to apply the handbrake if the trailer comes loose - as it was an unbraked trailer this would not apply - there doesn't seem to be any requirement to fit a stronger cable to stop the trailer detaching.

Seems to me the pin type commercial/military couplings are much safer.
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Old 04 April 2005, 06:07   #9
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the legal term is secondery coupling

and yes it is legal or 4 points wichever you choose
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Old 04 April 2005, 06:36   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RIVA
the legal term is secondery coupling

and yes it is legal or 4 points wichever you choose
Excuse my ignorance but what is four point?
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Old 04 April 2005, 06:39   #11
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It is a legal requirement now, although the trailer manufacturers don't really seem to have taken heed of this; I have two trailers which were built in the last few years (RIB trailer included). Both of these have 5/6mm stainless steel rope loops which pretrude from under the hitch. Now, the law says this must NOT be placed around the tow ball. Niether of my loops are long enough to go anywhere else.

IF they were longer, what am I supposed to attach them to; the little "pig tail" on the towbar is only designed to take a breakaway cable and hence snap when it becomes effective.

What is the solution??
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Old 04 April 2005, 06:44   #12
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Excuse my ignorance but what is four point?
Four points on your licence
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Old 04 April 2005, 06:54   #13
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Old 04 April 2005, 06:58   #14
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Quote:
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............the law says this must NOT be placed around the tow ball. .............
That not really right Tim, this is from Natta. Attach safety breakaway cable(s) to the rear of vehicle. This cable will apply the hand brake if for any reason the trailer becomes detached whilst towing. (Clip the breakaway cable onto the special rings some towbars have or loop it around the bar, making sure it cannot foul the coupling head. Do not loop it round the towball neck unless you can find no alternative.) Check that the breakaway and lighting cables have enough slack for cornering but will not touch the ground.
And you will see that with a lot of Detachable tow bars you have no alternative but to use the ball neck . Incidentally it is rear for the ball to fall off, it is usually the hitch being miss attached or failing. Des
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Old 04 April 2005, 07:05   #15
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Whilst one might have no option other than to loop it round the ball (which I do; of course this has to be better than not bothering) it is still against the law (according to Towsure)

In my opinion it isn't very safe at all; if I'm driving along a bumpy road when the hitch comes undone for what ever reason, I very much doubt that the loop will stay looped around the tow ball.
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Old 04 April 2005, 07:22   #16
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Whilst one might have no option other than to loop it round the ball (which I do; of course this has to be better than not bothering) it is still against the law (according to Towsure)
Tim, Towsure are wrong, EC 94/20 is the legislative standard and to be fair is misinterpreted by many go to http://www.ntta.co.uk/law/preparing/hitching.htm for a users guide Natta is the representative body for people like Witter and Brink who are the two main towbar manufactures in the UK and do know what they are saying. Des
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Old 04 April 2005, 07:54   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RIVA
the legal term is secondery coupling

and yes it is legal or 4 points wichever you choose
Again it seems to me the only purpose of a secondery coupling is to apply the brakes - what happens with an unbraked trailer???
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Old 04 April 2005, 08:58   #18
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There seems to be some confusion here... a secondary coupling is NOT used to activate the brakes on a trailer. It is required for un-braked trailers to give some measure of control in the failure of a hitch. A braked trailer requires a means of activating the trailer brakes in the event of separation. This is "the breakaway" cable that people refer to...
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Old 04 April 2005, 09:57   #19
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Indeed, but it is true that by law trailers now MUST have one or the other (isn't it??)
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Old 04 April 2005, 10:11   #20
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Indeed, but it is true that by law trailers now MUST have one or the other (isn't it??)
Yep, on new trailers you should have a loop However it is not retrospectively applicable so older trailers might be exempt, having said that given the cost and peace of mind Id fit one Des
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