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Large MPVs -- Ford Galaxy / VW Sharan / SEAT Alhambra: => Ford Galaxy / VW Sharan / SEAT Alhambra => Topic started by: SilverBeast on July 20, 2012, 10:21:36 PM

Title: Trailer towing rules and regulations
Post by: SilverBeast on July 20, 2012, 10:21:36 PM
I'm off camping next week and using my dad's trailer.  Are there any particular rules and regulations that I need to be aware of.
I remember my dad was stopped on the motorway when I was younger for going over 50 and also not having car and trailer weights displayed.
As an unbraked trailer:-
(i)It appears the max laden weight should be <750Kg
(ii) Max speed should be 60mph on dual carriageways and motorways.
(iii) Max speed on other single carriageways 50mph (or speed limit obviously)
(iv) Not allowed in Right Hand Lane of roads with 3 or lanes.
Is the above correct?
Do I have to display any weight "labels" on the Galaxy or trailer?

Thanks
Richard
Title: Re: Trailer towing rules and regulations
Post by: Madbaz on July 22, 2012, 12:55:34 PM
(i) Max unbraked towing weight for a MK2 is 700 KG (all trailers > 750kg have to be braked)
(iv) As the highway code put it, "you are not allowed to use the extreme right hand lane of a 3 or more lane motorway, except in prescribed circumstances"  which means on a 4 lane motorway you CAN use lane 3.
(v) You don't have to display weight labels, for the trailer where there is no 'plate' the tyre load ratings are used to determine it's MAM. 
Title: Re: Trailer towing rules and regulations
Post by: SilverBeast on July 22, 2012, 03:45:45 PM
Thanks for that.  I've just discovered one of the tyres has a puncture - it goes down overnight so I will be taking that to have the inner tube repaired/replaced tomorrow.
I presume you don't need a 60 sticker on the back any more?
Title: Re: Trailer towing rules and regulations
Post by: Madbaz on July 23, 2012, 08:40:02 PM
I don't on mine, and that's 45 foot long ;D
Title: Re: Trailer towing rules and regulations
Post by: SPIKEY on July 29, 2012, 03:48:26 PM
Sorry to jump in on this one, have been looking into getting a trailer and tow bar for my galaxy however afer reading up the many explanations on the net im not entirely sure that my drivers license allows me to tow.
I have very few entitlements on my license but believe cat B would allow me to tow a small trailer, very confused and dont want any tickets. On the off chance do any of you know if im able to???

Many thanks
James
Title: Re: Trailer towing rules and regulations
Post by: Mirez on July 29, 2012, 06:12:47 PM
Hi James, you're in the same boat as me then! It's an interesting issue because there are a lot of people, police and "officials" who don't know the rules as its been weirdly phrased. To be 100% safe you should stay within these rules:

1) The maximum trailer weight may not exceed 750Kg
2) The maximum train weight (ie trailer + car) must not exceed 3500Kg
With a Galaxy weighing in at 1683Kg, a 750Kg trailer takes you to 2433Kg so under the limit.

However, the actual wording from the .gov site > Here (http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Motoring/DriverLicensing/CaravansTrailersCommercialVehicles/DG_10013073)

Category B vehicles may be coupled with a trailer up to 750kgs MAM (allowing a combined weight up to 4.25 tonnes MAM) or a trailer over 750kgs MAM provided the MAM of the trailer does not exceed the unladen weight of the towing vehicle, and the combination does not exceed 3.5 tonnes MAM.

Using that phrase:
Galaxy Kerb (Manual) @ 1683Kg
Galaxy Train Weight @ 4000Kg (Clipped back to 3500Kg)

Would allow you to tow a 1683Kg trailer as the weight will not exceed the kerb weight or the train weight... you might want to seek clarification on that though ;)
- See below
Title: Re: Trailer towing rules and regulations
Post by: Madbaz on July 29, 2012, 06:23:52 PM
If you passed your test before 1997 you can drive any combo up to 8.25 tonnes (subject to the limits for the vehicle).

If you passed after 1997 you can only tow a trailer with a MAM (gross/plated weight) that doesn't exceed the laden weight of the towing vehicle AND that the combo doesn't exceed 3500kg MAM.

The MAM for my gal is 2470kg, so the max that could be towed on a post 97 B license is 1030kg (2470+1030=3500kg MAM). for anything bigger you need the +E bit adding to your license. (The towing limits for the  gal are 700kg unbraked and 2000kg braked). The laden weight doesn't come into the equation as even 2x kerb weight exceed the 3500kg limit.

For a small hatch back with a laden weight of 1200kg and a MAM of 1500kg The biggest trailer you could tow is 1200kg MAM. (again subject to the vehicles limits). However if you load the car up to it's maximum MAM then the max towing weight goes up to 1500kg.

Something that also confuses the issue is the RECOMMENDATION that you don't tow more than 85% of the vehicles weight.

The 4.25t bit is only relevant if your towing a trailer of 750kg or less, and pulling it using a transit or 4x4.

As a general rule, if the trailer doesn't have brakes (<750kg MAM) you'll be okay.
Title: Re: Trailer towing rules and regulations
Post by: gregers on July 29, 2012, 09:14:17 PM
glad I've just read this thread.
as I'm currently on my hols in my trailer tent.
in chamber sands.not to far away from you Chris.lol.

just checked my licence .I passed my test in 1987.
I have BE,C1E and D1E amongst others on mine  ;) :D  8)
Title: Re: Trailer towing rules and regulations
Post by: SPIKEY on July 29, 2012, 09:19:27 PM
Cheers for the speedy responses guys, trailer i want to pull will probably be no bigger than 5x3 and no where near the 750kgs weight limit so guessing I should be fine.
Just been on our first camping trip and even with the two rear seats removed and the roof box on we were very snug 2x adults and 2x children, as were expecting number 3 in jan and our middle seat in row 2 is a lap belt that seat will come out and a rear one put back in so the extra space will be needed.
Now to find a tow bar and get it fitted

Many thanks again its much appreciated

James
Title: Re: Trailer towing rules and regulations
Post by: Madbaz on July 29, 2012, 10:50:23 PM
EDIT FOR MY POST ABOVE, some slight but significant differences

If you passed your test before 1997 you can drive any combo up to 8.25 tonnes (subject to the limits for the vehicle).

If you passed after 1997 you can only tow a trailer with a MAM (gross/plated weight) that doesn't exceed the unladen weight of the towing vehicle AND that the combo doesn't exceed 3500kg MAM.

The MAM for my gal is 2470kg, so the max that could be towed on a post 97 B license is 1030kg (2470+1030=3500kg MAM). for anything bigger you need the +E bit adding to your license. (The towing limits for the  gal are 700kg unbraked and 2000kg braked). The unladen weight doesn't come into the equation as even 2x kerb weight exceed the 3500kg limit.

For a small hatch back with a unladen weight of 1200kg and a MAM of 1500kg The biggest trailer you could tow is 1200kg MAM. (again subject to the vehicles limits). However if you load the car up to it's maximum MAM then the max towing weight goes up to 1500kg.

Something that also confuses the issue is the RECOMMENDATION that you don't tow more than 85% of the vehicles weight.

The 4.25t bit is only relevant if your towing a trailer of 750kg or less, and pulling it using a transit or 4x4.

As a general rule, if the trailer doesn't have brakes (<750kg MAM) you'll be okay.
Title: Re: Trailer towing rules and regulations
Post by: Mirez on July 30, 2012, 06:52:52 PM
There see... confusing ;)

Right lets use the DoT's info and Ford's sale's brochure's info to see what that gives and if matches MadBaz's info!

Quote
Category B vehicles may be coupled with a trailer up to 750kgs MAM (allowing a combined weight up to 4.25 tonnes MAM) or a trailer over 750kgs MAM provided the MAM of the trailer does not exceed the unladen weight of the towing vehicle, and the combination does not exceed 3.5 tonnes MAM.
For example:
a vehicle with an unladen weight of 1.25 tonnes and a MAM of 2 tonnes coupled with a trailer with a MAM of 1.25 tonnes could be driven by the holder of a category B entitlement. This is because the MAM of the combination does not exceed 3.5 tonnes and also the MAM of the trailer does not exceed the unladen weight of the drawing vehicle
Whereas the same vehicle with an unladen weight of 1.25 tonnes and a MAM of 2 tonnes when coupled with a trailer with a MAM of 1.5 tonnes would fall within category B+E. This is because although the combined weight of the vehicle and trailer is within the 3.5 tonnes MAM limit, the MAM of the trailer is more than the unladen weight of the drawing vehicle

So, Ford list the unladen/kerb weights as:

1.9TDI Auto and Manual:
Kerb: 1724Kg and MAM: 2510Kg
2.3 Auto and Manual:
Kerb: 1669Kg and MAM: 2470Kg
2.8 Manual:
Kerb: 1694Kg and MAM: 2470Kg
2.8 Auto:
Kerb: 1727Kg and MAM: 2470Kg

So in conclusion:

All petrol galaxy's can tow a trailer up to 1030Kg and all diesel galaxy's can tow a trailer up to 990Kg

I'll email this over to the DoT and see if they concur with it ;)
Title: Re: Trailer towing rules and regulations
Post by: blue metal on July 30, 2012, 07:21:13 PM
Query on last post.

Why should heavier diesels
tow less than lighter petrol models?
Title: Re: Trailer towing rules and regulations
Post by: Mirez on July 30, 2012, 07:39:29 PM
Because a post 1997 licence has a car and trailer combination limit of 3500Kg Maximum, the heavier diesel eats in to this more then the petrol so the trailer weight has to be less to compensate:

Diesel: Kerb @ 2510Kg + Trailer @ 990Kg = 3500Kg Total
Petrol: Kerb @ 2470Kg + Trailer @ 1030Kg = 3500Kg Total
Title: Re: Trailer towing rules and regulations
Post by: blue metal on July 30, 2012, 07:49:40 PM
Thanks for explanation.
I should have paid more attention at school!
Title: Re: Trailer towing rules and regulations
Post by: Mirez on July 30, 2012, 07:52:00 PM
lol no worries, it may all be B/S anyway! I've asked VOSA to clarify ;)
Title: Re: Trailer towing rules and regulations
Post by: Madbaz on July 30, 2012, 09:00:19 PM
This is something I've noticed plod and VOSA seem very keen on atm, at various checkpoints up/down the country they always seem to have trailers pulled in. If you fall foul of the rules being a post 97 license holder (I think a Gal pulling a twin axle caravan/trailer would do it), then I recommend getting in touch with a local hgv/pcv training school, who will usually have facilities to train you up to B+E. If you drive such a combo commercially you may also fall foul of tacho regs. The other thing is you also may find yourself uninsured, this will undoubtedly be discovered just after a mishap when plod turn up (mandatory 6 points and probable seizure). One more point the AA won't recover a vehicle if the combo is over 3.5t, I don't know how well they enforce this, but it's in their t&c's.

The rules on towing atm are as clear as mud, muddied even further with several differing ways of using weight terminology, GVW,MAM,Kerb, Laden, Unladen & Max permissable weight, then there's the Construction and Use regs to comply with. Just to add to the fun from 2013 new drivers will be limited to 750kg without exception.
Title: Re: Trailer towing rules and regulations
Post by: Mirez on August 08, 2012, 04:36:04 PM
Well there you go, just to prove how much confusion there is over towing even within government departments!!

I emailed VOSA who said they couldn't answer as it was a DVLA enquiry. I emailed DVLA who said it wasn't something they could answer either and should be addressed to the Department for Transport who promptly told me it wasn't something they handled and directed me back to VOSA... genius!
 
Title: Re: Trailer towing rules and regulations
Post by: gregers on August 08, 2012, 11:17:07 PM
so i wonder if you would be in your right,if you were unlucky and got a tug by the old bill then you could turn round and say YOU AINT GOT A SCOOBY.
wonder what there response would be  ;)
Title: Re: Trailer towing rules and regulations
Post by: blue metal on August 09, 2012, 08:04:51 AM
ignorance of the law is no defence

even if the lawmakers do not know either
 it comes down to local interpretation !  :'(
Title: Re: Trailer towing rules and regulations
Post by: Mirez on August 09, 2012, 09:26:45 AM
wonder what there response would be  ;)

Probably not the one you want ;)
Title: Re: Trailer towing rules and regulations
Post by: gregers on August 09, 2012, 09:54:53 PM
ignorance of the law is no defence

even if the lawmakers do not know either
 it comes down to local interpretation !  :'(

cant see that myself,law has to be in black and white.
so surely doesnt matter what 1 officer thinks,he/she is govened by the writen law.
and as i see it,mirez has found/pointed out THERE ISNT 1 lol.

think if someone was nicked on an infrigement they would have a frield day on appealing.
Title: Re: Trailer towing rules and regulations
Post by: Mirez on August 09, 2012, 09:59:31 PM
Humm, it is in black and white though - its just very few people know/can understand it. I've still got a final email awaiting a reply so I'll keep you posted ;)
Title: Re: Trailer towing rules and regulations
Post by: gregers on August 09, 2012, 10:42:21 PM
Humm, it is in black and white though - its just very few people know/can understand it. I've still got a final email awaiting a reply so I'll keep you posted ;)

ok mark,but if there is only a few peeps who understand the rules/regs,then it doesnt boad well with any others in authority who do not.
Title: Re: Trailer towing rules and regulations
Post by: Mirez on August 11, 2012, 12:21:33 AM
Absolutely! Well my final enquiry came back much the same although at least they attached a PDF of the current trailer requirements. So basically nobody within the Governments own organisations can give us a definitive answer which is quite shocking... I may do a final email to a couple of police forces as a general enquiry to see what there stance is on it?

Disappointing though :(

Attached is the PDF from the DFT: Useful info even though it doesn't answer the question! :)