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Trailers (well it's 'cars' sort of)

Discussion in 'General Cars' started by norseman, 8 Sep 2019.

  1. norseman

    norseman

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    Casually browsing the 'Bay I came across something that concerns me, relating to trailers. Whereas those not exceeding 750kg gross weight & not required to be braked used to be small in capacity there are now un-braked models available with tandem axles & internal dimensions up to ten feet in length. I would imagine that this market has been created by trailer manuf. specifically to cater for those intrepid gardeners & DIY enthusiasts who passed their driving test post 1997 & therefore cannot haul anything over 750kg without taking a trailer test. Who in their right mind has a use for such a large trailer with a payload of less than half a tonne? I can visualise owners, many of whom won't be experienced in towing, making full use of the large load area, overloading the trailer & then relying on the towing vehicle's brakes alone to stop the outfit, a recipe for disaster if ever there was one :eek:
     
  2. just pumps

    just pumps

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    GRP boats don`t weigh much.
     
  3. norseman

    norseman

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    Possibly not, but these trailers I'm referring to are the cargo/drop-side variety … just the type most likely to be loaded with building materials/waste etc.
     
  4. Avocet

    Avocet

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    It's a bit of a minefield. First of all, not all cars can tow a 750kg unbraked trailer anyway. Many smaller cars can only tow 500kg unbraked. So even if your licence covers you to pull a heavier trailer, you could still be breaking the law.
     
  5. norseman

    norseman

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    That's true of course, but I'm assuming that owners of such small cars would realise their steeds are not up to hauling a ten foot trailer, which will be around 14' with the A frame. It's those with capable tugs, such as full size SUV's, that are likely to be tempted to load such a trailer to the gunwales.
    I think a ruling should be made that ALL un-braked trailers display a symbol on the rear, that way a following police unit spotting what appears to be a heavily loaded trailer could pull the outfit into a weighbridge to check it's not over 750kg.
     
  6. Avocet

    Avocet

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    That's a good idea. Sadly, roads policing has been largely handed over to cameras these days, but if we ever get any proper traffic police back on the roads, I think it would help. My guess is that the trailer manufacturers will use all the same structure as they would in their braked ones of the same dimensions, to save holding two slightly different but similar looking sets of parts, and then they'll just down-spec the hitch, axles and tyres to save money. I have a big, old twin axle braked trailer and that weighs half a ton empty, but I'm sure I'd easily save 100kg just by using lighter axles, suspension and hitch. I'm sure a more modern design could get that down to 300kg, which would still give a "fairly useful" 450kg payload - probably fine for garden rubbish and moving furniture, but not so good if full of wet sand! Trouble is, if our council tip is anything to go by, they won't allow trailers with more than one axle anyway.
     
  7. jj4091

    jj4091

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    I'm not sure about the ones on e-bay, but those I saw at Halfords a while ago were very clearly marked with their weight limits. It would be impossible to prevent people using any thing outside it's designed limits, it has to be the users responsibility to use tools sensibly.
     
  8. norseman

    norseman

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    There you have it JJ, the key-word is 'responsible' something that is lacking these days. All new trailers must have a plate attached giving that info. but of course the larger the load-bed (50 sq. feet in the case of the 10ft model) the more likely it will be loaded beyond it's 455kg capacity should the cargo be items of a heavy nature.
     
  9. ericmark

    ericmark

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    Skip sites have different rules, in Powes it is how long, in Flintshire twin axle not permitted but to take garden rubbish the size is limited. One can always over load the trailer there is really no way to know how much is in it, and I know the more in my little one the better it tows, braked my limit is 3000 kg so reasonable sized car, and with a camping trailer you can forget it's there, the 50 MPH speed limit is a real pain for other road uses, as often no way they can over take.

    Towing a caravan I can see how you need some thought and skill, you learn very quickly to keep below 50 MPH on duel carriage ways as things over taking can cause a snake, even if limit is 60 MPH in fact on single carriage way 60 MPH does not cause a problem although against the law. But with small trailers there is not the same problem, at least with reasonable sized car.

    I do not understand why cars have the limits on weight clearly not construction as our Jag is rated 1800 kg but if it were manual it would be 1500 kg so assume must be hill climbing ability? But my Uncle towed a caravan with motor cycle and side car, on hills aunty got out and pushed, never really had a problem with it, OK today not allowed, but my point is not being allowed does not make it dangerous.
     
  10. Chunkytfg

    Chunkytfg

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    Firstly passing your test after 1997 doesn't restrict you to a 750kg unbaked trailer.

    Secondly, you're still allowed to pull a braked heavier trailer, but it is the combination of vehicle and trailer that makes it illegal/illegal.

    I took my B+E test using a Renault Clio and a braked 1ton curtain sided box trailer.

    Before I took my test is was perfectly legal to tow my small caravan with my Volvo estate but illegal to tow it using my GF's Toyota Hilux.
     
  11. Avocet

    Avocet

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    Fair point - although in reality, it's probably not a great idea to tow something nearly as heavy as the tow car, which is what you end up with if you have a 1 ton trailer behind a Clio. The Caravan Club have their "85% of kerb weight" rule of thumb, which although not "law", does at least make things a bit less hair-raising!
     
  12. Keithmac

    Keithmac

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    Post Jan 1997 you can have a Gross Train Weight up to 3500kg, our Kuga has unbraked limit of 750kg and this seems very common. Braked is 2100kg.

    I think the law changed again in 2013 regards towing on new license but would have to look it up.

    As you say such a massive trailer with 750 max weight doesn't make much sense..
     
  13. norseman

    norseman

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    The law is such a minefield that it's no wonder people get caught out. I passed my test decades before '97 & because I couldn't be bothered to pay a doctor's fee when renewing my driving licence at 70 years of age I'm now restricted to a max of 3500kg (a bit sad considering I held both a class 0ne HGV & full PSV up to '08, when I gave them up) BUT if I tow a trailer I can drive up to 8250 kg train weight :whistle:
     
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