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Cars under 750kg



 
 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old January 4th 04, 12:41 PM posted to uk.rec.motorcaravans
Michael Marriott
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 6
Default Cars under 750kg

The maximum weight for towing without brakes is 750Kg in the UK as I
understand it.

Doe's anybody know where I can check out the weight of small cars to allow
me to select a car that is less than 750Kg for towing???

I do have a small Vauxhall Nova that I use for work. I would also like to
check out the weight of this car.

Anybody got any lists???

Mike.




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  #2 (permalink)  
Old January 4th 04, 01:42 PM posted to uk.rec.motorcaravans
Geoff Lane
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Posts: 870
Default Cars under 750kg

"Michael Marriott" wrote in
:

The maximum weight for towing without brakes is 750Kg in the UK as I
understand it.

Doe's anybody know where I can check out the weight of small cars to
allow me to select a car that is less than 750Kg for towing???

I do have a small Vauxhall Nova that I use for work. I would also
like to check out the weight of this car.

Anybody got any lists???


Unfortunately, it is the MAM (maximum allowable mass) that must be 750kg
or less, not the actual weight while on tow. Since even the Smart has a
MAM of about 960kg, I doubt that you'll find many with MAM less than
750kg. One such car is the Aixam
(http://www.aixam.com/index_english.htm). However, the Construction and
Use Regulations have another gotcha: If a trailer is fitted with brakes,
they must work. Since all cars must have brakes, you can't legally tow a
car on a towing frame unless those brakes work, even if it has MAM less
than 750kg.

Now, it is entirely another thing if you want a car to transport on a
brakeless trailer. There, it is the MTPLM of the trailer that is the
limiting factor and provided that is 750kg or less, you don't need
brakes. Of course, the combined mass of the car and trailer must actually
be less than that MTPLM!

HTH,

--
Geoff Lane
Cornwall, UK
  #3 (permalink)  
Old January 4th 04, 03:48 PM posted to uk.rec.motorcaravans
Tony Maris
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 161
Default Cars under 750kg

Geoff has put it in a nutshell and already mentioned The Road Vehicles
(Construction & Use ) Regulations 1986. Another piece of legislation that
would impact on this is EC71/320 and amending regulations.

I wrote an article in 2001 about the subject of towing behind motorhomes and
have copied it below, however, the NTTA were subsequently informed by The
Ministry that part of it was incorrect. As Geoff says, there is the
'gotcha' that all trailers fitted with brakes (which includes cars on 'A'
frames) must comply with EC 71/320. In other words, they need an
auto-reverse braking system fitting which has to work on all wheels.

You will no doubt respond that you see many people towing with 'A' frames.
The situation is that the UK police currently turn a blind eye but this is
not the case everywhere on the continent. Neither is there any guarantee
that the UK police will continue to ignore it.

--
Tony M
Towbars & Trailers
Chesterfield
Specialists in Towing Equipment
NTTA Council Member
http://www.towitall.co.uk
QSA accredited for Towbars and Trailers

__________________________________________________ _

Towing behind a motorhome. What you should know.

In the beginning.

If you are thinking of fitting a towbar to your motorhome, just check a
couple of things before you start.

Firstly, do you actually have the spare capacity to do it? If your vehicle
handbook does not list a towing limit, have a look at the VIN plate. This
should give the Gross Train Weight (the largest figure) followed by the
Maximum Gross Weight. Two other figures you would expect to see are Axle
Weights. Deduct the MGW from the GTW and the difference would normally be
your maximum towing limit.

Secondly, check the wheelbase of the vehicle (centre of front axle to centre
of rear axle) and then measure the overhang (the distance from the centre of
the rear axle to the extreme back). The overhang can go up to 60% of the
wheelbase and the towbar needs to fit within this limit.

If your vehicle has an Al-Ko chassis, do not allow the fitter to drill extra
holes for the towbar mounting. Your chassis warranty would be invalidated.
Braked versus unbraked.

To tow without brakes on the trailer, the Maximum Gross Weight of that
trailer must not exceed 750 kgs or half the Kerbside Weight of the towing
vehicle, whichever is the least. Unbraked trailers must be clearly marked
with the year of manufacture and their Maximum Gross Weight. If built
after 1/1/97, they must have a secondary coupling fitted.

Braked trailers manufactured after 1968 must have brakes on all wheels. If
built after October 1982, an hydraulically damped over-run coupling is
required and, if built after April 1989, the trailer must have an
auto-reverse brake mechanism which meets the efficiency laid down in EC
directive 71/320. Additionally, braked trailers need to have a breakaway
cable fitted which is capable of operating the handbrake mechanism if the
trailer becomes detached from the towing vehicle, it is an offence not to
use it and, it must be 'securely attached' to the towing vehicle. It is
unlikely that merely looping round the towball would be considered a secure
attachment!
'A' frames and Dollies.

Q. What is a trailer?
A. A road vehicle, usually (but not necessarily) two wheeled, towed by a
motor vehicle.

Given the above dictionary definition, it is fairly clear that anything
attached to the towball and having wheels in contact with the ground is a
trailer. This includes cars on 'A' frames and dollies. Bearing in mind
that the unbraked towing limit of 750 kgs refers to Maximum Gross Weight
(i.e. the figure on the towed cars VIN plate) and not to actual weight, it
severely restricts the options. The only cars I know of with a MGW of less
than 750 kgs is the Aixam range. These are around 450 to 550 kgs.

There are strict regulations on braked trailers and, whilst a braked 'A'
frame attached to a towed car constitutes a braked trailer, it is not legal
for transportation as it cannot comply with EC71/320. With car dollies, the
situation is somewhat different. Under regulation 83 of the Road Vehicles
(construction & Use) Regulations 1986 (SI.1986/1078) Amending Regulations, a
car dolly, with a car in place, will be considered as two trailers. This is
legal for recovery but, under the Road Traffic Regulations Act 1984
(Schedule 6) the combination is limited to 40 mph on motorways and dual
carriageways and 20 mph elsewhere.

Note that there is a very specific difference between recovery and
transportation. Recovery is the removal of a broken down vehicle to a place
of safety. It does not include removing a rotor arm (for instance) and
travelling the length and breadth of the country. The police are well aware
of the difference due to the regulations covering Tachographs and Operators
Licences. Recovery vehicles are exempt.

It is well known that some countries in the EEC tend to overlook the
regulations (the UK included) but some countries don't. The situation
regarding enforcement could change at any time and, as a result, the only
safe way to transport another vehicle behind a motorhome is on a car
transporter trailer. Play safe! Don't take the risk!

The regulations which cover this aspect of towing a-

91/438/EEC covers driving licences.
71/320/EEC covers auto reverse braking systems and couplings.
S.I. 1971 No 450 Part III covers the obstruction of number plates.
94/20/EEC covers type approval of towing equipment and 'S' and 'D' values.
95/48/EEC covers Masses and Dimensions of M1 class vehicles.
E.T.R.T.O. 1991 section 13 covers wheels and tyres.
BSAU 113c covers 50mm ball and coupling dimensions.
BSAU 24a (1989) covers eye couplings and pin/jaw arrangements.
98/12/EEC covers brake linings and will be implemented in the UK from
1/4/01.

And not strictly towing but applicable to motorhomes is

EN1648-1 covers extra low voltage installations in Leisure Vehicles and
Caravans.

Disclaimer.

The information in this guide is as accurate as the writer is able to make
it, however, no responsibility can be accepted for any inaccuracies which
may be in the text. It is the responsibility of any person wishing to depend
on the facts to check for themselves with original documentation or any
updating regulations, instruments or changes in the law. Interpretation of
the law is a matter for the courts.

Copyright 2001 Tony Maris.


Tony Maris
Towbars & Trailers
Chesterfield
http://www.towitall.co.uk


The writer has been Proprietor of Towbars & Trailers (Chesterfield) for over
20 years and lectures on Towbar Installations and Trailer Maintenance to
members of the industry. He is a Council Member of the NTTA, is a founder
member of the 'Quality Secured' working group and is currently chair of the
NTTA's I.T. working group. His company was the first in the UK to be
accredited to the NTTA's 'Quality Secured' standard. Additionally, he was
the founding Treasurer of the re-formed Chesterfield and District Small
Business Club and is a D.O.T. and RYA certified Yachtmaster (Offshore).


___________________________________________

"Michael Marriott" wrote in message
...
The maximum weight for towing without brakes is 750Kg in the UK as I
understand it.

Doe's anybody know where I can check out the weight of small cars to allow
me to select a car that is less than 750Kg for towing???

I do have a small Vauxhall Nova that I use for work. I would also like

to
check out the weight of this car.

Anybody got any lists???

Mike.






  #4 (permalink)  
Old January 5th 04, 06:09 PM posted to uk.rec.motorcaravans
Michael Marriott
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 6
Default Cars under 750kg

Thanks for these replies folks. Mmmmmm..........not as straight forward as
I had hoped.

Back to the drawing board maybe.

Many thanks.

Mike Marriott.

"Michael Marriott" wrote in message
...
The maximum weight for towing without brakes is 750Kg in the UK as I
understand it.

Doe's anybody know where I can check out the weight of small cars to allow
me to select a car that is less than 750Kg for towing???

I do have a small Vauxhall Nova that I use for work. I would also like

to
check out the weight of this car.

Anybody got any lists???

Mike.






 



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