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Trailer towing:- B and B+E licence rules explained
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userROG.
Posted: 17 June 2012 9:14 PM
Subject: Trailer towing:- B and B+E licence rules explained
 
Just joined

Posts: 4



I hope you will find this useful - many other sites have.
GOOGLE (copy & paste) the title below to confirm this.

Trailer towing:- B and B+E licence rules explained

Trailer MAM means the maximum weight the trailer can be when fully loaded (weight of empty trailer plus weight of load)

Trailers over 3500 kgs plated MAM weight come under different rules which is why all the trailers towed by B class vehicles, those of 3.5 tonnes and under, are not plated at more than 3500 kgs or 3.5 tonnes MAM

Trailers without plates use the total of the TYRE LOAD RATINGS to determine the MAM.
A rating of 66 on 4 tyres would give a MAM of 1200 kgs.

Vehicles in the B licence category will have the following information on a plate in the vehicle, in the handbook or on the V5 form.
Information can also be found on many internet vehicle specification sites.
Unladen or Kerb weight - although there is a slight difference in the two it is not that much
GVW - the max weight the vehicle can weigh when fully loaded
GTW - the max weight the vehicle and trailer can ACTUALLY weigh when added together. This does not refer to the total of the vehicle GWV and trailer MAM weights.
Towing capacity - this is the ACTUAL weight that can be towed by the vehicle - it does not mean the trailer MAM weight.
None of the above weights must be exceeded

Some vehicles have a GVW, a towing capacity and a GTW. In such a case the GTW takes priority over the GVW and towing capacity when added together

FOR B+E LICENCES

Where a towing capacity is listed then this would be a legal example:-
CAR has GVW of 2000 and a towing capacity of 1800
TRAILER has a MAM of 3500 and an unladen weight of 1000
The trailer can be loaded with a maximum weight of 800

Where there is not a towing capacity listed then the GTW is used
GTW minus the GVW does not give the towing capacity unless the vehicle is fully laden
EXAMPLE: -
VAN has GVW of 3500 and GTW of 6000
TRAILER has MAM of 3500
The van and trailer can weigh 3000 each and be legal

FOR B LICENCES
The Gov sites are not that good at explaining this so perhaps my simpler way of explaining will help.....

To tow over 750 kgs with a B licence you need to comply with these rules:-
The plated MAM of the trailer must not be more than the UNLADEN/KERB weight of the towing vehicle
The GVW of the towing vehicle plus the plated MAM of the trailer must not add up to more than 3500 kgs
The ACTUAL weight of the empty trailer and its load must not be more than the listed towing capacity

Example of legally towing over 750 kgs with a B licence - made up figures but not that far from what can be found....

Towing vehicle -
Unladen/empty/kerb = 1500
GVW = 2000
Towing capacity = 1800

Trailer -
Unladen/empty = 800
MAM = 1500 (Perhaps originally a 2000 MAM but downplated by manufacturer so it conforms to B licence towing)

Load trailer with 700 max

Reasons it is legal for towing on a B licence -
The 1500 MAM of the trailer is not more than the 1500 unladen/empty weight of the towing vehicle
The 2000 GVW of the towing vehicle plus the 1500 MAM of the trailer is not more than 3500
The towing capacity/actual weight being towed does not exceed 1800

Here is another way of looking at the B licence towing rules with examples:-

RULE 1 - The gross plated weight of the trailer (MAM) cannot exceed the vehicle kerbweight.

RULE 2 - Also, the sum of the vehicle gross plated weight (GVW) and the trailer gross plated weight (MAM) cannot exceed 3500kg.

Examples:-

Vehicle 1200kg kerbweight, 1700kg gross plated weight (GVW) = maximum trailer gross plated weight (MAM) 1200kg SEE RULE 1

Vehicle 1500kg kerbweight, 2000kg gross plated weight (GVW) = maximum trailer gross plated weight (MAM) 1500kg SEE RULES 1 & 2

Vehicle 1800kg kerbweight, 2300kg gross plated weight (GVW) = maximum trailer gross plated weight (MAM) 1200kg SEE RULE 2

The weight which can be loaded on the trailer is the trailer gross plated weight (MAM) minus the trailer unladen weight
Trailer gross plated weight (MAM) 1500 with unladen weight 900 = a maximum load of 600

The listed maximum towing capacity for a vehicle must not be exceeded - that is actual weight not plated MAM weight
Although there is not a specific law which states this there are other laws which can be used if the combination (vehicle & trailer) is deemed unsafe.

Caravan weights work on a slightly different system as they take into account the recommended (not legal) 85% towing advice

SUPERVISING A B+E LEARNER
In April 2010 new rules were introduced for those supervising certain learner drivers but they only affected those supervising VOCATIONAL categories such as C1 C1+E D1 & D1+E where the supervising driver had those categories given to them for free when they passed a pre 1997 car test.
They do not affect those with a pre 1997 B+E licence who wish to supervise a B+E learner.
All B licence holders have B+E provisional on the paper part of their licence and can tow an empty or loaded trailer on all roads including motorways.
The usual rules apply when a learner is driving -
The supervising driver must be aged over 21
The supervising driver must have held a B+E licence for at least 3 years
L plates must be fitted to the front of the vehicle and the rear of the trailer
Correct insurance for a B+E learner

Many will find that passing the once in a lifetime B+E test is their best option so here is some info on that test:-

The B+E test
No medical or theory test required
Read a number plate from a certain distance
VIDEO - Show Me Tell Me Questions - usually 5
The next three can be in any order:-
VIDEO - Reversing Exercise (old measurements) - done in test centre grounds if test conducted from practical test centre - some tests are now being done from training school grounds
VIDEO - Uncouple/couple up - done in test centre grounds if test conducted from practical test centre - some tests are now being done from training school grounds
One hour road drive - includes the independent drive and is done virtually the same as the basic car test

DISCLAIMER - I have no connection to any companies which may be featured in those videos

I hope this helps those who are unsure of the rules


Please post with this info if you want me to answer a specific query - weights in kgs please
(might be made easier if the info below is copied and pasted with the weights etc put after the '=' bits)

LICENCE
B or B+E =

VEHICLE
Unladen/kerb =
GVW =
GTW =
Towing capacity =

TRAILER
Unladen =
MAM =

PS - I am also well up on the LGV licence rules
userSunray
Posted: 3 January 2014 2:44 PM
Subject: RE: Trailer towing:- B and B+E licence rules explained
 
Just joined

Posts: 3



Hi

It seems from this that the figure thats used for the weight of the trailer is the MAM and not the actual weight.

I have previously towed a trailer of 1500Kg MAM but a moving (loaded) weight of around 800Kg which is well inside the vehicles 1100Kg capacity.

In the 'olden days' this would have been totally acceptable, is that not the case now?

userKeithl
Posted: 3 January 2014 4:57 PM
Subject: RE: Trailer towing:- B and B+E licence rules explained
 


Lord of the posts

Posts: 6155
500010001002525
Location: Birmingham. 2004 Auto-Trail Cheyenne Mercedes 313.


Sunray - 2014-01-03 2:44 PM

Hi

It seems from this that the figure thats used for the weight of the trailer is the MAM and not the actual weight.

I have previously towed a trailer of 1500Kg MAM but a moving (loaded) weight of around 800Kg which is well inside the vehicles 1100Kg capacity.

In the 'olden days' this would have been totally acceptable, is that not the case now?



I believe the answer to this question is both Yes and No as it depends on what license you hold.

If you hold B+E then it will be legal.

If you hold only B then not legal.

If anyone disagrees please shout out.

Keith.
userBrian Kirby
Posted: 3 January 2014 6:14 PM
Subject: RE: Trailer towing:- B and B+E licence rules explained
 


500050005000200020005001001001001002525
Location: East Sussex. Motorhome: Knaus Boxstar 600 Street


I agree. So far as I am aware the limits for the purposes of the driving license are the plated MAM, and not the ALW. This is logical, as it is the potential vehicle weight that MIGHT be driven that is being governed, and not the actual weight that is being driven at any given moment in time.

Maybe easier to visualise in the case of a single vehicle. If your driving license permits you to drive only vehicles of 3.5 tonnes or less, you may not drive even an empty 4 tonne vehicle, notwithstanding its actual weight would be substantially less than 3.5 tonnes.
userKeithl
Posted: 3 January 2014 6:50 PM
Subject: RE: Trailer towing:- B and B+E licence rules explained
 


Lord of the posts

Posts: 6155
500010001002525
Location: Birmingham. 2004 Auto-Trail Cheyenne Mercedes 313.


Sunray - 2014-01-03 2:44 PM

I have previously towed a trailer of 1500Kg MAM but a moving (loaded) weight of around 800Kg which is well inside the vehicles 1100Kg capacity.



If you only have a category B license and want to tow this trailer in the future the options are to either pass your B+E test or get the trailer 'downplated' to a figure which makes it legal, say 1100kg in your example.

And Brian's example is very good, it is all about intent.

Keith.
userSunray
Posted: 4 January 2014 2:21 PM
Subject: RE: Trailer towing:- B and B+E licence rules explained
 
Just joined

Posts: 3



Thanks for the replies.

I have an old license (originally a little red book) so have several +E's and 'Grandads rules'

My biggest problem is that I did a LOT of towing up to about 1985 including heavy 17ft & 22ft caravans & cars for banger racing and think I knew the rules hook, line and sinker at that time. To be truthful I had not kept up with the rules since.

This trailer that I refer to now belongs to a club and several years ago had been happily towing it, recently with the influx of new license holders since jan 2013 the questions have arisen.

Reading the multitude of different websites the confusions gets worse and I must admit, I agree with you and think the regs currently state I cannot tow a trailer with a plated MAMS greater than the 1100KG stated by my vehicle manufacturer, regardless of the GMW.

Interestingly if I still had the vehicles from the 80's and the original trailers, the latest rules would not be applicable...

Thanks again and Happy New Year.

Any more comment greatfully received.

Ray
userBrian Kirby
Posted: 4 January 2014 4:11 PM
Subject: RE: Trailer towing:- B and B+E licence rules explained
 


500050005000200020005001001001001002525
Location: East Sussex. Motorhome: Knaus Boxstar 600 Street


Ray, if your license includes category B + E you can tow the trailer. Isn't your case covered by this, from the OP?

"FOR B+E LICENCES

Where a towing capacity is listed then this would be a legal example:-
CAR has GVW of 2000 and a towing capacity of 1800
TRAILER has a MAM of 3500 and an unladen weight of 1000
The trailer can be loaded with a maximum weight of 800"

As I understand the usual interpretation of the law in UK, the trailer load limit imposed by the manufacturer of your car applies to its actual laden weight, and not to its maximum allowable mass. It seems you will not be overloading the trailer, and will not be going abroad so, IMO, this interpretation should be the one that governs.

Edited by Brian Kirby 2014-01-04 4:12 PM
userROG.
Posted: 26 January 2014 7:52 PM
Subject: RE: Trailer towing:- B and B+E licence rules explained
 
Just joined

Posts: 4



All good answers given

A change happened a year ago re B licence towing
The rule where the trailer plated MAM must not exceed vehicle unladen weight was scrapped by an EU directive

That now leaves one extra rule for the towing of a trailer over 750 kgs MAM on a B licence on top of all the usual rules which is .... the vehicle GVW added to the trailer plated MAM must not total more than 3500 kgs

Also a change to the B+E test - the trailer must now be loaded with either 600 kgs in sand bags or 1 x 1000 litre/kgs IBC water container

userGwilliams
Posted: 31 January 2014 9:38 PM
Subject: RE: Trailer towing:- B and B+E licence rules explained
 
Just joined

Posts: 1



Thanks for this, you should rewrite the .gov site because it is not clear at all!

I have read that much now I thought I would save my brain and ask a direct question....

I have a cat b license.

Audi a3
Kerb weight is 1310
Mam 1800
Towing weight braked is 1700

I am looking at getting an old lunar clubman 500/4 - I only know the mtplm which is 1200.

Am I legal or do I need to get my b+e licence?

Your view would be greatly appreciated

Gareth
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