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Towing weight confusion


Sunray

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Hi All

 

Amoungst a group of us there seems to be a lot of discussion on who can tow and at what weights.

 

I think we have resolved all now but the weight issue,

 

My question here is:

what weight is used for the trailer, the MAM or the moving (loaded) weight?

 

A chat with the local constabulary seems to be the actual weight including load and not its capacity.

 

Happy new year from a newbie

 

Ray

 

 

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The weight used is the difference between the gross train weight and the gross vehicle weight . So if your GTW is 5500 Kgs and your GVW is 3500 Kgs your towing limit is 2000 Kgs including trailer.
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Not always! Yes, Gross Train Weight (GTW) is the maximum permissible weight of the laden vehicle and the laden trailer (be it a caravan, or whatever). It is set by the vehicle manufacturer as the maximum actual laden weight (ALW) at which the vehicle can be driven off on a specified gradient (I think 10%).

 

So, the trailer can be plated for a higher weight, so long as its ALW, combined with the ALW of the tow vehicle, does not exceed the plated GTW for the tow vehicle.

 

It goes without saying that neither tow vehicle nor trailer may be loaded beyond their respective MAMs.

 

The first exception is that some manufacturers also stipulate a maximum trailer load, in which case this takes precedence. In these cases, even though the combined ALW of trailer and tow vehicle may be less than the plated GTW, the max trailer load rules. This is usually because the Type Approved towbar is unsuitable for a higher load.

 

The second exception arises if you are considering towing abroad. Outside the UK, generally, it will be the plated MAM of the trailer plus the plated MAM of the tow vehicle that would be checked against GTW, irrespective of the ALW of either (always assuming no overload). This should not cause a serious problem, but explaining the UK interpretation may not be straightforward. You would also be wise to carry a weighbridge certificate showing tow vehicle ALW, plus trailer ALW, plus their combined weight.

 

Don't forget to check also that the individual axles are within their weight limits. Also, check that the downforce on the tow hitch does not exceed either the hitch downforce limit (should be stamped into the hitch), nor the tow bracket downforce limit (should be stated on the towbar plate). Hope this helps.

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Guest pelmetman
To be on the safe side I had my new trailer plaited at 730kg to ensure my outfit exactly matched my GTW ;-)..................
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I feel the point Brian made regarding the towing limit imposed byt he maker is very important. For example if you buy a Ford Transit PVC it can tow 2000 kg but if the same Ford Transit is the base of a coachbuilt invariably this drops to 1000 kg due to the overhang at the rear and the greater difficulty in getting strong attachment points.

 

The other point which I do not if has actually been legally clarified is the French desire to use the plated weights for classifying an outfit, not what it actually might be. I know this interpretation was being challenged but do not know the outcome, even different French organisations had different opinions. So even if your actual total weight is under 3500 kg, but your plates show a greater weight, the French will still classify you as the higher bracket, so speed limits and toll charges apply. Typical Gallic logic which will depend on the good humour of the Gendarme who stops you, not the best way forward.

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