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Vehicle weights ?


Spadge

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I apologise for bringing this up again. However I can't quite get my head around these figures. My Mobilvetta on an Iveco Twin rear wheel chassis is plated @ 3500kg. Normal I believe, however on the same vehicle plate it tells me my front axle is plated @ 1800kg and the rear @ 2600kg totalling 4400kg. My actual axle weights from a weighbridge are 1518kg front & 1968 rear totalling 3486kg. Which figure do I take for payload limits ! The 4400kg that it is plated for on the axles or the 3500kg ? :$ I must add it is going to SVTech for a upgrade if it's the 3500kg I have to adhere to. Many thanks in anticipation.
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The Gross weight 3500kg is the one to use less your weighbridge weight gives you a payload of 14kg. Not much good to anyone.

 

It is normal for the axle weights to total more than the gross weight.

 

What condition did you weigh it in, how much fuel, water gas, people on board?

I can't believe a 14 kg payload, what does it show in your V5? If it shows a higher figure there should be another plate on the van that ties up with the V5, converters nearly always leave the original plate under the bonnet and fit their own supplementary plate, often on the side of the van or on a door frame or foot well (visible when door is open).

 

 

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The short answer is 3,500kg. But, the total of the two axle's maxima means that there is scope for uprating, and SV Tech will be able to advise how far that can be taken.

 

However, I'm not sure if there may be a misunderstanding over what constitutes payload. Your van has three defined load values: Unladen (ULW), in Running Order (MIRO), and Maximum Allowable (MAM). Its payload is the difference between its MIRO and its MAM. However, you haven't stated what was its load state when taken to the weighbridge.

 

The statutory definitions for Unladen and MAM, plus the (non statutory) definition of MIRO, are as follows.

 

Unladen (which is not strictly relevant, but may help understanding) is the weight of the van with all loose equipment removed (i.e., no jack, tools, or spare wheel), with no fuel, no fresh water, no camping equipment, but with the engine cooling system filled and ready for use. In other words, as light as it can be made short of unscrewing items. It is relevant only to the speed limits applicable to your van. If the ULW exceeds 3,050kg you must observe the same speed limits as commercial vans. If below that weight, the passenger car limits apply. So, it is a useful value to know, and be able to prove, if you are erroneously stopped by the police for speeding (this can, and does, happen, as it seems not all police appreciate this difference between vans and motorhomes).

 

In Running Order (actually Mass in Running Order, hence MIRO) is as unladen, but plus the tools, jack and spare wheel, and with its fuel and fresh water tanks 90% full, and its gas reservoir 90% full. It was previously taken to include the weight of the driver, at a nominal 75kg, but the latest version of the definition omits the driver (so his nominal 75kg now transfers to the payload allowance).

 

Maximum Allowable (actually Maximum Allowable Mass, hence MAM), is the maximum the van may legally weigh, without reference to the loads on either axle. However, the axle load limits are individually checkable, and overloading either is an offence, as is exceeding the vehicle's MAM.

 

I tend to think MIRO, while a useful rule of thumb when buying, is not much practical use thereafter. Unladen, as above, is worth knowing, though for obvious reasons difficult to achieve. I therefore tend to weigh our vans with the jack, spare wheel and tools present, with the fuel tank brimmed, and with everything else absent (i.e. no driver, fresh water, or gas cylinders on board, all camping clutter etc absent, and all cupboards and the fridge empty). If that comes in below 3,050kg (so far it has :-)) I then know that its unladen weight will be lower still, so the passenger car speed limits will apply. I keep the resulting weighbridge ticket in the van, just in case!

 

The only way to check MAM is to fully load the van with all reservoirs full (because they are bound to be so at some stage), plus all food, liquids, clothing, camping gear (levelling ramps, hook-up lead, etc) tables, chairs, bikes, toys, pets, and driver and passengers aboard, and go the the weighbridge and get the two axle loads plus the all-up weight of the van. Then, if either exle load, or the MAM, are exceeded in this condition there is a problem. If your van was weighed in this condition, you have (just!) no problem - providing you add nothing to it. :-) If your van was weighed in less than a fully loaded state you have a problem: how great a problem will depend on how much above the basic MIRO load was present. If it was more or less at MIRO condition, I'd say you may have a serious problem.

 

But, the only way to know will be to load it fully and slip off to the nearest weighbridge to see how bad the overload is, and where it is worst. It is most likely that the rear axle will be the one with the problem. If both axles are within limits, but the MIRO is insufficient, then a simple "desk" replating should do the trick. If either axle is also overloaded, things are likely to get more complicated, and more costly to solve.

 

If you have recently acquired the van, I would urge you to do this as soon as practically possible. I say this because, if the overload cannot be reconsiled by removing load, to the extent that the van is not practically usable as a motorhome, you may need to seek redress from the seller. This is the worst possible potential outcome, so not I think likely, but it remains possible until proved otherwise - say if a previous owner has added extras that have absorbed almost all the available payload. So, the sooner you are aware the better, as the longer you delay finding out, the more difficult it will become to gain redress. Good luck, and I hope this helps.

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Spadge,

 

You still appear to be using the axle weights from your recent MOT, reference your earlier posting... http://www.outandaboutlive.co.uk/forums/Motorhomes/Motorhome-Matters/Axle-weights-/36008/

 

You where advised then to get accurate weighbridge weights to check your position, have you done this yet? If not I very strongly advise you to do so AND ask the weighbridge operator what the tolerance on the weighbridge is at your weights. This will either be expressed as +/- a percentage or number of kilogrammes. Either way you should be able to arrive at Maximum and Minimum possible weights. I suggest you use the higher to eliminate any risk of being pulled and weighed in the future.

 

Keith.

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I too am going through this weight dilemma! I have similar axle limitations to you, but as the van is French the lettering is different to Brian's explanation. Basically my PV weight (basic weight) is 3.46t, the PTAC weight (max running weight) is 3880kgs, and the train weight (max towing all up weight) is 5880kgs. Axle weights are 1800/2430, on a single axle rear wheel.

 

So today, after taking off all "unnecessary" kit, I had the van weighed with 1/2 fuel, 1/2 water, a 21kg gas bottle to represent a generous food allowance, but no clothes or bikes and just came in under the max 3880 weight by 10kgs. So what to do?

 

I have already spoken to SVtech who say as a paper exercise we can go to 4000kgs, also a call to Daimler, as we are on a Sprinter chassis was fruitless, as was a call to the manufacturer. Cost to upgrade in the region of £280 + vat.

 

So, adding a full tank of fuel, 2 bikes, an A/C unit , clothes and bits, I estimate that a gain of 120kgs will give us a 5kg under load!! This will improve as we burn up fuel, or use water, but certainly, you cannot add weight willy nilly, and I am convinced that probably 80%+ of motorhomes on the road are ignorantly illegal!

 

Now the legal bits. I understand that if you are weighed and found to be over weight, you will certainly be fined, then made to offload the excess weight (and leave it) and in the event of an accident, your insurance will be invalid, and we know how insurance companies like to wriggle out of paying!

 

I would have thought your max weight of 3500 is low, maybe there is another figure somewhere else, but certainly on your V5.

 

Best of luck!

 

Ainsley

 

 

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Many thanks Brian, a detailed precise response as always. The figures are the same KeithL I agree. The MOT figures were taken during the MOT with the van empty and no water etc. I use a HGV service centre for my MOT's and they have a separate weighbridge I took the van back for a separate weight check recently in exactly the same condition. The figures matched. Same place different weighbridge. I never thought to ask if there was a tolerance figure but I will go back and ask exactly that. Thanks for the info. Thank you Lennyhb, I'll take a look for another plate inside the vehicle soonest. Thanks everyone else for your responses, communication with SV assured now the figures are clear in my mind.
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Spadge,

 

What tax class is your MH registered as? PLG or PHG? ie Light goods being 3,500 kg or less OR Heavy goods as in over 3,500 kg?

 

It may be that your MH is already plated at over 3,500 kg and you just have not found the heavier plate.

 

Keith.

 

PS As an example our MH was up-plated by AT when it was built, to 3,800 kg (in agreement with Merc) but the only 'plate' is a sticker underbonnet added by AT saying so.

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flyboyprowler - 2014-11-27 7:07 PM.............So today, after taking off all "unnecessary" kit, I had the van weighed with 1/2 fuel, 1/2 water, a 21kg gas bottle to represent a generous food allowance, but no clothes or bikes and just came in under the max 3880 weight by 10kgs. So what to do?...........................Ainsley

But why do that, Ainsley? At some time you will fill the fuel tank, so logically it would have been better to weigh with the tank full. Then, at least you would know you can't accidentally go overweight with extra fuel. Besides, all you really know is that the fuel gauge read half full, not how much the van would actually weigh if the tank were filled, or how that weight would transfer between the axles. Same with the water. I assume you know the capacity of the tank, so can easily calculate how much a full tank would weigh (1 litre of water = 1kg). But, do you know how the weight of the extra half tank of water would be shared between the axles? You will presumably carry gas when using the van, so that 21kg gas bottle (which, if a 13kg steel cylinder, won't have been full, as the cylinders alone weigh in the region of 15kg) can only represent gas, not food. The food will be extra.

 

If you're considering travelling in your van for more than a couple of weeks or so, you're going to need a payload, on top of full gas, water, and fuel, of around 300kg for two people. That will spread around the van as you load it and, unless you weigh everything as you put it in, and then record its location relative to the rear axle, entering the lot on a spreadsheet (doing this on paper would take half a lifetime!), you can't really estimate how the axles will load up.

 

I think you really need to make two trips to the weighbridge. One as I suggested with everything removed except the jack, spare and tools, but with the fuel tank brimmed, and another with absolutely everything you'd normally take, full gas, full water, all food etc, and including driver and all potential passengers, on board. Each time get the actual individual axle loads.

 

You will then know a) how much weight you actually add when you load the van. More usefully, b) you will know what the individual axle loads are when empty, and c) again whan fully laden. From that, you will know d) how your payload is shared between the axles, e) whether either axle is overloaded, plus f) whether the van itself is overloaded, and g) by how much.

 

You will then see much more clearly whether you can make it work if uprated by SV Tech, or whether you have to travel with reduced water, or omit other items. That will also tell you whether a simple re-plating exercise will solve the problem, or whether you may need to enhance the load carrying capacity of either axle, by how much, and allow SV Tech to advise whether that would be possible, and at what cost.

 

Until you do those things, and get that information, I'm afraid I think you are only shadow-boxing. You have to take it to the limit. Assumptions are no good, this is not a zero sum game. But I'm afraid I have to say, based on what you have said above, I'm not overly optimistic that a simple re-plate will work. Sorry!

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Ainsley’s motorhome is (I understand) a 2011 Le Voyageur LVX 850 with 3-litre motor and automatic transmission.

 

This model was normally marketed in France with a MAM of 3500kg (the standard MAM for the Mercedes Sprinter 'single-wheel’ rear axle chassis used), but would normally be marketed outside France at the optional (more realistic) 3880kg MAM limit.

 

Ainsley raised the weight-related issue in October

 

http://www.outandaboutlive.co.uk/forums/Motorhomes/Motorhome-Matters/Increasing-revenue-weight/36383/

 

Although it used to be possible with earlier Sprinter-based motorhomes with this type of chassis to uprate to 4250kg MAM via SV Tech’s services, it would appear that 4000kg would be (as SV Tech has advised) the maximum with Ainsley’s vehicle. Normal practice seems to involve fitting air-assist to the rear axle (assuming it’s not already there) but the standard tyres are, apparently, considered adequate for the uprated MAM.

 

These links relate to current UK ‘overweight vehicle’ penalties http://tinyurl.com/l5zdnk4 (Page 12) and http://tinyurl.com/ombbnrg

 

(I vaguely recall a VOSA inspector saying (some long time ago) on an internet forum that VOSA had no authority to impose a penalty on a motorist whose privately owned vehicle (ie. a non-commercial vehicle) was found to be overweight. I don’t know whether this is true or not, but I’ve never heard of any motorhome owner being penalised in the UK for driving an overweight motorhome.)

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Derek Uzzell - 2014-11-28 9:21 AM

 

(I vaguely recall a VOSA inspector saying (some long time ago) on an internet forum that VOSA had no authority to impose a penalty on a motorist whose privately owned vehicle (ie. a non-commercial vehicle) was found to be overweight. I don’t know whether this is true or not, but I’ve never heard of any motorhome owner being penalised in the UK for driving an overweight motorhome.)

 

This was posted on the HCI forum and as reported in the Hymer Club magazine a couple of years ago (I have left out the members name).

 

At the end of last week on the M1, Nottinghamshire Police directed a

motohome onto a weight check site on the Trowell Services,operated by

VOSA ( Vehicle and Operator Services Agency, the old Ministry of

Transport to most of us) .

They were using portable weighing pads and found the veicle to be

overweight on both axles to a total 160kgs. The driver was given an on

the spot fine of £60 per axle, £120 in total and the vehicle issued

with a GV9 Prohibition Notice. This was a restricted one that allowed

the journey to be completed, with the excess weight then to be removed

before before it could return onto the public roads. In extreme cases

they can issue total prohibition notices that prohibits the movement

of the vehicle at all until the weight has been reduced.

THE INTERESTING THING IN ALL THIS IS THAT THE MINISTRY MEN ALLEGEDLY

TOLD THE DRIVER THEY WERE STARTING A NEW PROJECT IN MOTORHOME WEIGHING

AS THEY BELIEVE THAT UPTO 95% ARE BEING USED WHILST OVERWEIGHT.

 

I can't verify if the story is true or not but I have no reason to doubt it.

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The V5 states PLG, there is another plate inside the footwell put in place by Mobilvette Design. However there are no axle or gross weights stamped on same just what looks like the original chassis No and the converters new chassis number.
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For many Motorhomes the limit of 3500 kgs is simply unrealistic, it leads to many law infringements (unintentional) and the restriction on licences since 1997 to 3500 kg is a 'restriction on trade' as younger folk are restricted on the motorhomes they can buy (when they are the VERY people who will need 'Multi-berth' motohomes for their children). The far more sensible limit for the 'car license' is 7.5 tonne. the weight limit for 'Towns' should also be 7.5 tonnes(and in the UK it usually is). This stops 44 tonne trucks 'rat running' but allows for sensible sized delivery trucks. I firmly believe that 3500 kgs is an artificially low limit for both aspects. And is creating a nation of unintentional lawbreakers, calling every vehicle over 3500kg an HGV is simply crazy, the differance between 3500 and 7500kgs would not create 'mayhem' on the roads. And is an Abritary limit imposed by EU lawmakers. (IMHO).

Ray

 

Did you know that the 'C1' license requires a test that includes 'use and operation of the tachometer'. Potty for potential Motorhome drivers.

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Spadge - 2014-11-28 11:23 AM

 

The V5 states PLG, there is another plate inside the footwell put in place by Mobilvette Design. However there are no axle or gross weights stamped on same just what looks like the original chassis No and the converters new chassis number.

 

PLG would indicate that it is 3500kg, the "max permissible mass" should be shown on line F1.

 

Also look at your tax disc, if under 3500kg tax paid would be £230 if over 3500kg would be £165.

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lennyhb - 2014-11-28 11:51 AM

 

Spadge - 2014-11-28 11:23 AM

 

The V5 states PLG, there is another plate inside the footwell put in place by Mobilvette Design. However there are no axle or gross weights stamped on same just what looks like the original chassis No and the converters new chassis number.

 

PLG would indicate that it is 3500kg, the "max permissible mass" should be shown on line F1.

 

Also look at your tax disc, if under 3500kg tax paid would be £230 if over 3500kg would be £165.

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I agree regarding checking the respective axle weights most probably after loading ready for the off so to speak. This last exercise was purely to see if, when the tank is full, and with a representative weight for food, and having weighed bikes and clothes, ready to go on board, whether we would be over our max weight including upgrade, and it just works. I was also generous with my calculations. Also if there is enough spare weight on the rear axle, I may well consider the addition of a tow bar and trailer, but that isn't a route I really want to go down! Ultimately, at the moment, I cannot use the van in its current weight state, so I must get the weight upgrade just to be legal on the road, let alone carry a few cases of best Rioja back from Spain in January! The drawing board is still open!!

 

Thanks so much for all your input, certainly, I shall not be buying another van without being absolutely sure that the payload is sufficient for my needs! Big learning curve!

 

Ainsley

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lennyhb - 2014-11-28 10:56 AM

 

Derek Uzzell - 2014-11-28 9:21 AM

 

(I vaguely recall a VOSA inspector saying (some long time ago) on an internet forum that VOSA had no authority to impose a penalty on a motorist whose privately owned vehicle (ie. a non-commercial vehicle) was found to be overweight. I don’t know whether this is true or not, but I’ve never heard of any motorhome owner being penalised in the UK for driving an overweight motorhome.)

 

This was posted on the HCI forum and as reported in the Hymer Club magazine a couple of years ago (I have left out the members name).

 

At the end of last week on the M1, Nottinghamshire Police directed a

motohome onto a weight check site on the Trowell Services,operated by

VOSA ( Vehicle and Operator Services Agency, the old Ministry of

Transport to most of us) .

They were using portable weighing pads and found the veicle to be

overweight on both axles to a total 160kgs. The driver was given an on

the spot fine of £60 per axle, £120 in total and the vehicle issued

with a GV9 Prohibition Notice. This was a restricted one that allowed

the journey to be completed, with the excess weight then to be removed

before before it could return onto the public roads. In extreme cases

they can issue total prohibition notices that prohibits the movement

of the vehicle at all until the weight has been reduced.

THE INTERESTING THING IN ALL THIS IS THAT THE MINISTRY MEN ALLEGEDLY

TOLD THE DRIVER THEY WERE STARTING A NEW PROJECT IN MOTORHOME WEIGHING

AS THEY BELIEVE THAT UPTO 95% ARE BEING USED WHILST OVERWEIGHT.

 

I can't verify if the story is true or not but I have no reason to doubt it.

 

Thanks for that. I couldn’t see why motorhomes found to be overweight should be treated differently by VOSA and the comment I mentioned was from years back.

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