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Old 26 September 2021, 05:58   #1
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Illegal road trailer...thoughts

I have an excellent Ali road trailer to American spec i.e. 2.3m wide. Ive removed the brakes due to salt water . The bearings are new and the tyres are in good condition. It has a new hitch and the number plate is fully working. Im bringing home my 1000kg boat behind my 4x4. If the worst happened( ranging from a puncture and pc plod becoming interested as he passes, to having an accident) what could the consequences be? Ta Nik
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Old 26 September 2021, 06:43   #2
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You will be about twice the legal limit for towing without brakes.
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Old 26 September 2021, 07:49   #3
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You'll just have 1 ton x the G loading onto the ball and into the chassis everytime you decelerate until that time you have a brake more than anticipate and something breaks.
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Old 26 September 2021, 10:20   #4
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I've towed various trailers without brakes loaded well over what your towing & never given it a thought over many thousands miles. In the usual scheme of things if it looks right then you probably wont have any bother & the normal plod probably wouldnt give it a second glance. The problem will come if you get an eagle eyed trafic cop who knows his stuff, it could range from a ticking off & being on your way after you promise to be a good boy to the trailer getting a prohibition notice & you needing to get a crane wagon to remove it & several charges. Have an accident & someone gets hurt then you could be looking at life changing charges.
Whether your up for the risk is your call. I'd probably take the chance as I've got away with it plenty of times but I wouldn't encourage someone else to do the same.

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Old 26 September 2021, 11:58   #5
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Quote:
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If the worst happened( ranging from a puncture and pc plod becoming interested as he passes, to having an accident) what could the consequences be? Ta Nik

A puncture is not the worst that could happen - and is no different to traffic cops stopping you for routine checks - so your best case if caught and prosecuted is you’ll be looking at potentially driving other than in accordance with your license (3-6pts + fine) or driving an overloaded vehicles (IIRC no points, but targeted at commercial users to fines are usually significant). However, if they realise you’ve intentionally taken the brakes off and driven it on the public road in full knowledge of that, then expect to be answering a dangerous driving charge, which has a minimum 1yr ban + retest (plus fine and an insurance premium to remind you for the next few years!).

However, if you should find yourself in an accident where someone was killed… expect them to really throw the book at you. Prison sentences are quite common for death by dangerous driving. In those circumstances looking at your internet history and the fact you started this thread are the sort of thing the prosecutor would be delighted to have…
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Old 26 September 2021, 14:33   #6
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In the accident scenario you may find that your insurance company pays out to the third party and then comes after you for the amount they've paid out.

Or they don't pay out and the third party(-ies) come after you through the civil courts.
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Old 27 September 2021, 00:44   #7
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Be it at your own risk. You may get away with until you don't! Be prepared for the latter which may result in a fine, penalties or both.
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Old 27 September 2021, 02:13   #8
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Nik,
Sorry to be all "Nanny state" here.....

Your question was "what could the consequences be?".

The previous respondents have made that very clear (and IMO their answers are spot on).

Hopefully their responses above have you re-thinking your plans.....
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Old 27 September 2021, 02:31   #9
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Obvious issue - do you need the trailer brakes on the slip, in the drive at home or are you relying on chocks? On the PC front - Ken is right "by the grace of god" but that wouldn't be wiry first thought when you see a Blue Flashing Light appear: a few quid and couple of hour will do a lot for you health and married life. Plus sorting out a debacle will aka far longer and cost far more....? Best wishes.
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Old 27 September 2021, 04:19   #10
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Bear in mind that whilst you might be the most careful driver on the planet there is no guarantee that someone else won't run into you.
And if that happens and the Police are called then your problems may start.

Happened to a friend of mine many years ago. (No, not me!)
Had taken a client out for lunch and on the way back to the office afterwards was rear ended whilst stationary at a set of traffic lights.
Police attended and both drivers breathalised.
Over the limit.
Disqualified.
As he needed his licence for his job he lost his job and consequently his very nice house as he couldn't meet the large mortgage payments.
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Old 27 September 2021, 04:28   #11
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... what could the consequences be? Ta Nik
Imagine some tw@t in front of you suddenly brakes - you brake too - the road is a bit wet, the rig jackknifes - takes out an oncoming car or three, maiming or killing a few passengers.

I'd say the consequences would be that you were fairly f#cked, especially if you own your house?
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Old 27 September 2021, 09:11   #12
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This sort of question always reminds me of the guy towing an overloaded trailer with a Land Rover on a few years ago that ended up on a train track causing a huge accident that killed a few people.

Is he out of Jail yet?
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Old 27 September 2021, 09:36   #13
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Imagine some tw@t in front of you suddenly brakes - you brake too - the road is a bit wet, the rig jackknifes - takes out an oncoming car or three, maiming or killing a few passengers.

I'd say the consequences would be that you were fairly f#cked, especially if you own your house?


That actually happened to me. I rear ended an Astra about 20 years ago. I was in a Discovery towing a 6.4m Osprey with a V6 inboard. Heavy rig but all legal. It was a wet night & the traffic was stop start. We’d just set off again & I was just changing into 3rd when the traffic stopped, I put the brakes on, the trailer brakes came on, the ABS kicked in on the Disco & we gracefully slid into the back of the Astra in front. The Astra was a write off & luckily no-one was in the rear, otherwise they would have lost their legs. The Police attended & went over the car & trailer and found all in order. A couple of weeks later I received a letter saying that no further action would be taken against me. It had never occurred to me that it would, but Plod certainly gave it their consideration.
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Old 27 September 2021, 12:26   #14
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If it’s US spec what sort of brakes did it have? 1000kg boat on Ali trailer 500kg max? Hire a flat bed or car transporter for the day and save all the legal aggro? Reverse boat onto the trailer…….
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Old 27 September 2021, 13:24   #15
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Hypothetically if you have a total weight below 750kg could you legally disconnect the brakes and use the trailer?

Asking for a friend
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Old 27 September 2021, 13:50   #16
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Hypothetically if you have a total weight below 750kg could you legally disconnect the brakes and use the trailer?

Asking for a friend
If plated as such no issues I can see
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Old 27 September 2021, 13:53   #17
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Let’s get this in perspective here if he’s asking these stupid questions he shouldn’t be on the road with said trailer this is why the government and police forces throughout the uk want people to sit trailer test.
I drive HGV for a living and you would be surprised how many people can’t drive cars yet alone trailers then you watch them trying to reverse well that’s another sequel 🤣🤣.
Sir I think you need to do a trailer test and read up on the Highway Code for towing you can find this on the DVLA website there is video available to for your entertainment better to watch it at home than at her majesty’s pleasure happy boating
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Old 27 September 2021, 16:42   #18
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DVSA recently announced they are giving all car licence holders the trailer entitlement (B+E) for free
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Old 27 September 2021, 16:51   #19
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DVSA recently announced they are giving all car licence holders the trailer entitlement (B+E) for free
Well only those who didn’t already have it……. Which is probably far less than half the driving population
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Old 27 September 2021, 17:11   #20
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Hypothetically if you have a total weight below 750kg could you legally disconnect the brakes and use the trailer?



Asking for a friend
No , if it has brakes fitted they must work IE if it has a braked hitch & drums etc they have to work just removing cables and shoes doesnt get you an unbraked trailer.

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