|Trailer Towing Guide - Risk Management
At NCASS, we are keen to promote Risk Management and have identified, the area of Towing where a few minutes reading this guide will help you understand your legal requirements
- Only drivers with full driving licenses are allowed to tow trailers. Provisional B category license holders are not entitled to tow.
- If you passed your Test before 01st January 1997.your licence includes categories B + E and C1 +E. This gives you the entitlement to drive vehicles having a MAM (Maximum Authorized Mass) of up to 7500kg and to tow a trailer providing that the Combined MAM of the towing vehicle and Trailer does not exceed 8250KG and the MAM of the Trailer does not exceed then unladen weight of the towing vehicle.
- If you passed your Test after 01st January 1997, you have category B entitlement only. This restricts you to be able to drive vehicles with a MAM of up to 3500kg and not more than 8 seats with trailers having a MAM of up to 750KG A trailer having a MAM of over 750kg may be towed provided the MAM of the Trailer does not exceed the unladen weight of the towing vehicle and the combined MAM does not exceed 3500KG. If you wish to tow trailer out side of this limits, you should contact the DVLA for further information.
The technical permissible maximum weight is based on the carrying capacity of the tyres, axles, coupling, suspension and chassis. MAM or Maximum Authorized Mass is the latest EC term as used in the driver licensing regulations.
- The Road Traffic stipulates that your motor vehicle policy must cover your legal liabilities in respect of Personal Injury and Third Party Property Damage. Before you take your Trailer on the Road make sure that your Motor Insurer are aware that you intend to tow a Trailer and that it is for Business Use. If you do not notify your insurer that you are towing a Trailer for Business, you may not be covered.
- Make sure your vehicle is fitted with a good quality tow bar, anything less is a safety compromise. Always seek Professional advice and don’t forget to mention to type and size of trailer you intend to tow. It is an offence under the Road Traffic Act if you fit a tow bar to your vehicle that does not meet European Standards. The law states that tow bars are fitted with letter ratings and it is important the manufactures limits for towing weights are not exceeded. Your vehicle handbook should have this information.
- Any part of the tow bar that obscurers the vehicle registration plate must be removed when not in use.
- When towing a Trailer, a vehicle is restricted to 60mph on a motorway and dual carriage way and 50 mph on other roads, providing of course that lower speed limits are not in operation. Vehicle/Trailer combinations with a Maximum Authorized Mass in excess of 7500kg are further restricted to 50mph on dual carriageways and 40mph on other Roads
- Trailers must not be towed in the outside lane of a three lane (or more) Motorway or dual carriage way unless unavoidable due to Roadwork’s or Accident.
- Passengers should not be carried on or in a Trailer.
- Rear View Mirrors must be adequate to allow the driver to see the Road behind the Trailer on both sides.
- The Trailer must be fitted with a number plate from a registered supplier. It must have black letters on a reflective yellow background and be illuminated at night