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Old 18-08-2010, 01:08 PM   #1
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Trailer License Query-Towing Important

I know this has been discussed on here before but a Girl at work taking a test to tow a horse box has just brought this to my attention,
I've just discovered that I had probaly been miss interpreting the License requirements,it does not affect me as I'm old but any younger drivers I think it will and its down to some iffy wording see below
Extract from Directgov site;
Car licences obtained on or after 1 January 1997
If you passed a car test on or after 1 January 1997 you're limited to vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes maximum authorised mass towing a trailer up to 750kgs, or a vehicle and trailer combination up to 3.5 tonnes MAM providing the MAM of the trailer doesn't exceed the unladen mass of the towing vehicle. You will need to pass an additional driving test in B+E if you wish to tow a caravan or trailer combination which exceeds these weight limits.

Some defitions;


Maximum authorised mass
The term maximum authorised mass (MAM), used in the context of driving licences, is the maximum weight of a vehicle or trailer including the maximum load that can be carried safely while used on the road. This is also known as gross vehicle weight (GVW) or permissible maximum weight. It will be listed in the owner’s manual and is normally shown on a plate or sticker fitted to the vehicle. The plate or sticker may also show a gross train weight (GTW).


There is a specific meaning in the wording of MAM and GVW

MAM is the Maximum 'Authorised' MASS-'AUTHORISED' being the important word
I have two queries which could affect boat towers that probably worth airing

1,The first being the Ratio of Unladen weight of tow car in comparison to the Maximum Authorised MASS note it's not MAM or GVW for Tow Car it's Unladen Weight
Using the license requirements taking the following scinario's
LandRover Freelander Unladen Weight = 1450
Trailer MAM ie boat and Traler(From Plate) = 2000
Trailer weight exceeds car-NEED TO TAKE TEST
Don't forget it says MAM not actual weight of Trailer/Boat

2,My other query is refereance to the 3.5t limit it states;vehicle and trailer combination up to 3.5 tonnes MAM
Scinario 2;
Freelander MAM= 2050
Trailer MAM= 2000
Total = 4050
ie;over 3.5t-NEED TO TAKE TEST
Again the word 'Authorised' in the MAM comes into play
Or as I've allways interprited it
Scinario 3;
Freelander Unladen Weight 1450
Passenger and Load actual 750
Boat and Trailer actual 1200
Total 3400
So under 3.5 t legal to tow on basic license ???????????????
The main query I have is it it the Actual weights or the MAM/GVW that apply ?
I THINK I HAVE BEEN INTERPRETING IT WRONG IF SO SOME OF OUR YOUNGER DRIVERS MIGHT HAVE DONE THE SAME ??????????????
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Old 18-08-2010, 01:17 PM   #2
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i believe that unless you have "grandfather rights" or have taken the additional test you are limited to a max trailer weight of 750kg
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Old 18-08-2010, 01:45 PM   #3
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Dvla

I need to know this to advise my customers (Van Sales) so have sent a copy to the DVLA so will post their response
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Old 18-08-2010, 09:32 PM   #4
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I actually had a big interview with the authorities about this the other day so will attempt to simplify the 2 hour discussion.

The limits are only partly to do with what you are actually towing. The main issue is what you could be towing, as defined by the MAM.

You're right in saying that the total weight cannot exceed 3500kg, nor can the trailer be any heavier than 750kg, nor can the trailer weigh more than the vehicle towing, (possible exception if braked?)

However! And this is the bit that catches people out... Say you're driving a 2000kg vehicle (range rover), which has a MAM of 2000kg. Your theoretical towing ability is 4000kg, so over the limit on a standard licence. It doesn't matter if the trailer you are towing is 2000kg or 2kg, you're braking the law. Stupid, I know. Basically if you attach any trailer to the back of any decent sized 4x4, you're breaking the law. My pajero LWB for example has a potential combined MAM over 3500kg.

Again, say you're using your freelander (1750kg), towing limit 1500kg, you're fine to tow (up to 750kg of course!). You borrow your mate's boat trailer/flatbed to pick up something really light, like a wardrobe or empty hull, and check the combined weight of trailer/object is less than 750kg as required, so you set off.
However, the MAM of the trailer is 2000kg. You're breaking the law again. Not only does the MAM of the trailer exceed the allowed amount for the vehicle towing, but the combined theoretical mass of the vehicle and trailer (1750kg landy plus 2000kg MAM trailer) also exceeds the maximum MAM of 3500kg. Even more stupid, I know.

Basically, the standard towing provision on a 'B' licence allows you to tow a small (say 1 square metre) box trailer behind your mondeo so you can take your garden waste to the tip.
The moment you use a 4x4, or a trailer of any size (horsebox, boat trailer etc), you ARE breaking the law, and you ARE uninsured. Chances are, you'll get away with it until you have an accident.

Also, say you tow with a tractor, like I do. It's ok right, cos it's agricultural so now tow limits apply (madness!). Wrong. If the object you are towing is not agricultural and being towed for agricultural reasons, it falls to your car licence, you're effectively towing with a car, and chances are the MAM added the the weight of the tractor (potential combined MAM), hugely exceed the 3500kg limit!

I'm pretty sure that's all correct, I've done it all with the booklet next to me!

Hope it helps,

James
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Old 18-08-2010, 10:06 PM   #5
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Hi larbs - Just checked - I passed my test in September 06 - does this mean I'm exempt? I can't see an E on my license anywhere

Thanks mate

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Old 19-08-2010, 07:49 AM   #6
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nope!!! you are nearly 10 years too late!!!
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Old 19-08-2010, 08:21 AM   #7
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Sorry - I actually passed in September 96!

Is the date cut-off the same over here as the UK
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Old 19-08-2010, 08:21 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larby View Post


However! And this is the bit that catches people out... Say you're driving a 2000kg vehicle (range rover), which has a MAM of 2000kg. Your theoretical towing ability is 4000kg, so over the limit on a standard licence. It doesn't matter if the trailer you are towing is 2000kg or 2kg, you're braking the law. Stupid, I know.
Mmmm… you might want to revisit these figures….

Try MAM/GVW of around 3000 Kg for a Range Rover

A Hilux. (just had a quick google) has a MAM of 2680. Therefore you’re Ok with a 750KG MAM trailer, which is OK ish for a small boat trailer.

A Range Rover (if my 3000 Kg is right) would give you a “towing capacity” of 500 Kg MAM


See here for a clear explanation…


http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Motoring...es/DG_10013073

Oooo..just googled Range Rover and got 3,300 Kg...what a fat old boy..so trailer down to 300 Kg..
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Old 19-08-2010, 08:28 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John.Richardson View Post
Sorry - I actually passed in September 96!

Is the date cut-off the same over here as the UK
Hi Jon,

You deffo need a B+E as does anyone towing boats, for gawds sake dont drive on the test like you do on a race day or I aint taking you for the test!!

All joking aside give me a buzz at the test centre 243400 and I will go through what you need

Regards

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Old 19-08-2010, 08:43 AM   #10
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Larby I think my head's going to explode now!

My Toerag V10 should have a 3500kg limit - I passed my test in the dark ages so I don't have to do a test, can I tow 3500kg combined boat and trailer weight or not?
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Old 19-08-2010, 09:55 AM   #11
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two issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jono View Post
Mmmm… you might want to revisit these figures….

Try MAM/GVW of around 3000 Kg for a Range Rover

A Hilux. (just had a quick google) has a MAM of 2680. Therefore you’re Ok with a 750KG MAM trailer, which is OK ish for a small boat trailer.

A Range Rover (if my 3000 Kg is right) would give you a “towing capacity” of 500 Kg MAM


See here for a clear explanation…


http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Motoring...es/DG_10013073

Oooo..just googled Range Rover and got 3,300 Kg...what a fat old boy..so trailer down to 300 Kg..
When comparing ratio of car to trailer its the car unladen weight of car (not GVW/MAM) to the trailer GVW/MAM-most boat trailers will probaly show 2000 MAM on the plate.so getting this ratio correct is easy on most 4X4
if you get the ratio correct(probably impossible with a plated boat trailer especially twin axle with a light weight car) its the under 3500 combined thats the next hurdle ie;car say Freelander 2000 MAM and 2000 trailer mam =4000 so over 3500.
I hope I got this right
Larby I think you explained the 'combined' as the car GVW/MAM plus the towing ability of the tow car.I think its the car GVW/MAM plus the plated GVW/MAM of the trailer that you are towing.but i've been known to get things wrong? Nic
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Old 19-08-2010, 11:28 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jono View Post
Mmmm… you might want to revisit these figures….

Try MAM/GVW of around 3000 Kg for a Range Rover

A Hilux. (just had a quick google) has a MAM of 2680. Therefore you’re Ok with a 750KG MAM trailer, which is OK ish for a small boat trailer.

A Range Rover (if my 3000 Kg is right) would give you a “towing capacity” of 500 Kg MAM


See here for a clear explanation…


http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Motoring...es/DG_10013073

Oooo..just googled Range Rover and got 3,300 Kg...what a fat old boy..so trailer down to 300 Kg..
Sorry, wasn't trying to be accurate with weights, I was just giving examples. Probably should have said 'non-denominational 4x4'!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cookee View Post
Larby I think my head's going to explode now!

My Toerag V10 should have a 3500kg limit - I passed my test in the dark ages so I don't have to do a test, can I tow 3500kg combined boat and trailer weight or not?
Ooh, that's a good one! First check you actually have the 'E' bit on your licence. As far as I'm aware though, B+E only gives you up to a combined weight for trailer, contents and vehicle of 3500kg, so no, youre double the limit.
I believe you would need at least C1+E, good luck with that one!!

Cheers,

Larby
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Old 19-08-2010, 11:45 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cookee View Post
Larby I think my head's going to explode now!

My Toerag V10 should have a 3500kg limit - I passed my test in the dark ages so I don't have to do a test, can I tow 3500kg combined boat and trailer weight or not?
Yes and No.


I have been taken to court by the rozzers for towing illegally, and won due to interpretation of the laws, but I will not risk it a second time. In court it is down to the magistrates having a hard time understanding the law themselves, as well as the Police just rattling off the law, and not offering an explanation, so that was just luck!

The law is actually quite clear.

Also - the only thing that counts is the stamp on the trailer or the stamp on the car. If you get a 1meter trailer and stamp 1000kg on it - you need a +E licence, no matter what.

Conversely if you have a 3 ton boat and a 1 ton trailer and stamp 3495kg on it, then you are usually OK with a +E even as you are over the limit, as the rozzers cant be arsed to take you to a weigh bridge.


In your case:

First, examine your driving licence - Do you have the codes B+E or B or C1+E or C+E or C or any other combinations.
Secondly on the reverse there are the limitations on your C1+E or C+E or C or C1. Usually if you were granted a C1+E when you passed your test your are limited to a combined maximum mass of 8250kg, and not the expected 11000kg.

Please reproduce your codes and limitations, and I will give you the exact limits for your specific licence.

Quote:
Originally Posted by larby View Post
Ooh, that's a good one! First check you actually have the 'E' bit on your licence. As far as I'm aware though, B+E only gives you up to a combined weight for trailer, contents and vehicle of 3500kg, so no, youre double the limit.
Cat B
Motor vehicles with a MAM of up to 3,500 kg, no more than eight passenger seats, with or without a trailer - weighing no more than 750 kg


Cat B + trailer
As category B but with a trailer weighing more than 750 kg. The total weight of the vehicle and the trailer together can’t weigh more than 3,500 kg. The weight of the trailer, when fully loaded, can’t weigh more than the unladen weight of the vehicle

B+E
As category B but with a heavier trailer that isn't covered in the descriptions for category B ( limited to MAM of 3500kg UNLESS...)

All drivers who passed a car test before 1 January 1997 retain their entitlement to tow trailers until their licence expires. This means they are generally entitled to drive a vehicle and trailer combination up to 8.25 tonnes MAM. This also usually entitles them to drive a 7.5 ton truck/lorry under their car licence. However, if you legally drive a 7.5 ton lorry, you can only tow a 750kg trailer due to the 8250kg MAM limit!!

For driver licensing purposes there are no vehicle/trailer weight ratio limits for category B+E. Ratios ONLY apply to B category drivers towing something! So any car/van/4x4 can tow any trailer provided it is under 8250kg MAM total.

Other laws may come into play if you tow a 3500kg trailer with a smart car. Silly Policeman!
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Old 19-08-2010, 12:10 PM   #14
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As far as I'm aware though, B+E only gives you up to a combined weight for trailer, contents and vehicle of 3500kg, so no, youre double the limit.
I believe you would need at least C1+E, good luck with that one!!

Cheers,

Larby
Nope....he's not "Double the limit"

B licence before '97 =

"vehicle and trailer combination up to 8.25 tonnes MAM"


Category B+E: Vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes MAM towing trailers over 750kgs MAM

Category B+E allows vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes MAM to be combined with trailers in excess of 750kgs MAM.
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Old 19-08-2010, 12:17 PM   #15
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OK I think I'm there now - test on my licence dated August 1976 (anyone remember the really hot summer?) so I think I can have a MAM of 8250kg - my Touareg is allowed to tow 3500 and it only weighs 2600kg empty, loaded it still comes in under the 8250 total, so according to my calculations if my trailer is stamped with 3450kg and it doesn't weigh over that at a weighbridge I should be OK.

As I understand it if I was a whipper snapper and recently passed my car test I would have to take two? Additional tests to be able to have a MAM of 7500kg and would never get to a maximum of 8250kg as that is the benefit of being an old git!
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Old 19-08-2010, 02:59 PM   #16
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81 i passed, on licence it says B+E, C1E, & D1E but as i passed before 97 so think i fall into the 8250 mam limit. There for should be ok to pull a p21 with a L200 (when i get the boat) As Cookee said, Benefit of being an old git. Funny though bloody car insurence as never got any cheaper the older i get.
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Old 19-08-2010, 05:07 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cookee View Post
Larby I think my head's going to explode now!

My Toerag V10 should have a 3500kg limit - I passed my test in the dark ages so I don't have to do a test, can I tow 3500kg combined boat and trailer weight or not?
that all depends on your "max train weight"
my T350 transit has GVW(gross vehical weight)of 3500kg and a MTW(max train weight) of 5500kg.
so i can only tow 2000kg legaly even if my van is empty!
if the trailer is over 2000kg the potential combined weight of van and trailer exceeds 5500kg, so even though your not actually over my maximum train weight, your still breaking the law!
so in summery the amount your vehical can legaly tow is your MTW-GVW
as for the licence thing here's what i've got if that helps
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Old 19-08-2010, 05:35 PM   #18
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Replate your trailer-Business opertunity ?

It might be adviseable in some cases to look into downgrading your trailer MAM as this could help with weight ratio and keeping under 3.5t gvw.Trailer manufactures in the past would allways put the highest weight feesable to enable heavier loads to be carried when there was no license restrictions.
The business opertunity would be to manufacture and supply plates with whatever the owner wants on them,as with doggy number plates sold for disply use only of course?saying that there probably allready for sale on e bay.
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Old 19-08-2010, 06:09 PM   #19
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Quote:
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that all depends on your "max train weight"
my T350 transit has GVW(gross vehical weight)of 3500kg and a MTW(max train weight) of 5500kg.
so i can only tow 2000kg legaly even if my van is empty!
if the trailer is over 2000kg the potential combined weight of van and trailer exceeds 5500kg, so even though your not actually over my maximum train weight, your still breaking the law!
so in summery the amount your vehical can legaly tow is your MTW-GVW
as for the licence thing here's what i've got if that helps
my previouse statement was what i was told by a copper i did work for! (so probably completly wrong!!)
he backed it up with a statment about trailer weight must not ecced towing vehical wieght...BLAA,BLAA,BLAA!
after doing some research on that interweb thingy im now more confused than ever!
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Old 20-08-2010, 01:59 PM   #20
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its all done to confuse us, they are trying to baffle us with science. We are not ment to understand it, that way we will always be illegal then we can be nicked. Just more bullshit legislation to get more money out of us, other countries dont have all this crap. Rant over.
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