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Steamdrivenandy

Two Plates On My Wagon .........

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In the trucking world "Down plating" is not unusual.

 

That is the vehicles GVW or MTPLM would be plated lower than the sum of the axles, it used to be done to save road tax.

 

I raise this because it's similar to this discussion and also the prosecuting authorities know about it.

 

So perhaps a road side arguement over the chassis plate takes precidence would be futile with an experience officer.

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Similar on motorhomes too Simple Life - vans on chassis capable of being plated at 3700 downplated to 3500 to widen the net of licensed drivers albeit, perversely, it actually increases the road tax usually).

 

Seems to me that relying on the gas locker plate is cherry picking. I'm sure that if the locker plate MAM + towcar added up to more than 3500 but the external plate MAM + towcar added up to less, there'd be a queue of post-97 licensees asserting that the locker plate's irrelevant. Can't have it both ways.

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If you think about the description of what occurs if your rig is found to be over weight sort of gives a highly practical slant on the situation.

 

The enforcing officer would presumably look at the exterior plate and make a judgement based on weighing the van. Do you tell him/her that they are wrong and show them the gas locker plate, or do you not. If you do they are faced with a quandary. Which of the limits do they accept as operative in this case. I suspect their training and experience, might lead them to follow the exterior plate and if you insist on the internal weight you'll antagonise them and they might issue a ticket for it to be sorted out by a higher authority. If you accept the lower limit is operative they'll suggest ways of reducing the load as described in David's email.

 

So, a pragmatic resolution with no further action or a potential referral to a magistrates court. I know which I'd favour.

 

As for Dave's secondary manufacturing point, I understand what you're saying but in the highly unlikely event it got to court the fact that a chassis is labelled for 2000kg but a secondary plate reduces that limit to 1000kg without any structural justification, would mean any sensible magistrate would throw the case out. You can prove no structural justification because manufacturers will happily upgrade a van to the axle limit with just a paper exercise and a new sticker.

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As I read this thread, we are talking about three plates in total, an axle plate, a locker plate and a door plate. Of the three, only the locker plate is the one that really counts. The axle plate is the 'stage 1' manufacturer's plate that is only relevant to the 'stage 2' manufacturer, in this case the caravan manufacturer, but not to the final customer. The door plate (if present - my caravan doesn't have one because the caravan is not NCC approved) is there only for convenience, but has no legal standing. The locker plate is the definitive one.

 

I think that about sums it up.

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As I read this thread, we are talking about three plates in total, an axle plate, a locker plate and a door plate. Of the three, only the locker plate is the one that really counts. The axle plate is the 'stage 1' manufacturer's plate that is only relevant to the 'stage 2' manufacturer, in this case the caravan manufacturer, but not to the final customer. The door plate (if present - my caravan doesn't have one because the caravan is not NCC approved) is there only for convenience, but has no legal standing. The locker plate is the definitive one.

 

I think that about sums it up.

Actually it's 4 plates, the hitch is Axle 1 and carry it's own stamped in plate.

 

And no its not that straight forward. For example.

 

I paid coachman for the weight upgrade.

The sum of the axles as shown on the bulkhead plate is 1650kg, that being axle 1 at 100kg and axle 2 at 1550kg.

 

Now Coachman sent me back 2 new stickers, one for bulkhead and another for the side of the caravan.

 

The new MTPLM was NOT the sum of the axles but 1550kg.

 

Therefore if a person argued in Court that the higher weight, the sum, was acceptable they would be argueing against the manufactures, which I think would clinch it for the prosecution.

 

Who knows what MTPLM was presented to the NCC authorities for vehicle approval, my bet in my case one seeking 1550kg approval.

 

It's covered in SDA's original post.

Edited by Simple Life

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I'll add an example of how even tho the UK is in Europe we still have our own laws running along side and within EU ones.

 

I'm a lorry driver, as my earnings are substantially higher when at work than on holiday the EU state I should get average holiday pay. The EU also state annual holidays to be 28 days paid leave.

In the UK the ERA (employment rights act) state 20 days paid leave. So in this case the lower 20 day entitlement is the one our legislative body enforce.

 

So I'll stick to the MTPLM and the sticker. The up-plate cost me £35, not a lot of money if you consider the new cost of van, delivery charge and basically all new stuff put in it! (Blame the wife) around £25k spent. What percentage is 35 quid of that?

 

Answer 0. 14%.

Edited by Simple Life

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I'll add an example of how even tho the UK is in Europe we still have our own laws running along side and within EU ones.

 

I'm a lorry driver, as my earnings are substantially higher when at work than on holiday the EU state I should get average holiday pay. The EU also state annual holidays to be 28 days paid leave.

In the UK the ERA (employment rights act) state 20 days paid leave. So in this case the lower 20 day entitlement is the one our legislative body enforce.

 

So I'll stick to the MTPLM and the sticker. The up-plate cost me £35, not a lot of money if you consider the new cost of van, delivery charge and basically all new stuff put in it! (Blame the wife) around £25k spent. What percentage is 35 quid of that?

 

Answer 0. 14%.

Sorry should have added too late now to edit.

 

So I'll stick to the MTPLM and the sticker. ... because that's what's being enforced in the UK. ....

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As I read this thread, we are talking about three plates in total, an axle plate, a locker plate and a door plate. Of the three, only the locker plate is the one that really counts. The axle plate is the 'stage 1' manufacturer's plate that is only relevant to the 'stage 2' manufacturer, in this case the caravan manufacturer, but not to the final customer. The door plate (if present - my caravan doesn't have one because the caravan is not NCC approved) is there only for convenience, but has no legal standing. The locker plate is the definitive one.

 

I think that about sums it up.

What you've said would be fine Lutz, except for the fact that on brand new vans UK manufacturer's fit an exterior 'plate' with their standard MTPLM for that model, with a plate in the gas locker with the higher weights that the axle provides.

 

If an upgrade is purchased then a new external 'plate' is issued which then matches the internal gas locker plate. If formally weighed in the latter scenario all would match and there's be no issue.

 

However it's the former scenario where the issue occurs and an unupgraded van has two different weight limits visible. The lower one on the exterior and the higher one 'hidden' away.

 

All would be fine if both 'plates' showed the lower figure when the van left the factory and both 'plates' were substituted if the van was upgraded, but that isn't the current scenario. Presumably the relevant regulations have been interpreted as saying that the gas locker plate must feature the maximum possible MTPLM figure, not necessarily the actual allocated MTPLM figure. A recipe for the confusion we are now debating.

 

As to the secondary manufacturer's plate being applicable, the whole point is that the secondary manufacturer's are fitting two contradictory plates and fitting them without any guidance for the purchaser at all.

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"Presumably the relevant regulations have been interpreted as saying that the gas locker plate must feature the maximum possible MTPLM figure, not necessarily the actual allocated MTPLM figure. "

 

Perhaps it is just me, but it doesn't seem unreasonable that the mass give as the mptlm is the actual Maximum Technically Permitted Laden Mass. Not some arbitrary value chosen to look good in a marketing brochure.

 

The problem arises if the figure on the definitive plate takes the total mass of tow car and caravan over the 3500KG value, which could have implications for both legal and for insurance if you don't have the liecence to tow over 3500Kg.

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"Presumably the relevant regulations have been interpreted as saying that the gas locker plate must feature the maximum possible MTPLM figure, not necessarily the actual allocated MTPLM figure. "

 

Perhaps it is just me, but it doesn't seem unreasonable that the mass give as the mptlm is the actual Maximum Technically Permitted Laden Mass. Not some arbitrary value chosen to look good in a marketing brochure.

 

The problem arises if the figure on the definitive plate takes the total mass of tow car and caravan over the 3500KG value, which could have implications for both legal and for insurance if you don't have the liecence to tow over 3500Kg.

Good point! Most of this debate has been about overloading, and unless it is gross overloading (i. e. way over any of the plates) the most likely outcome would be "words of advice". The B+E licence issue is very much more black and white, not even requiring a weighbridge to confirm.

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Actually it's 4 plates, the hitch is Axle 1 and carry it's own stamped in plate.

 

And no its not that straight forward. For example.

 

I paid coachman for the weight upgrade.

The sum of the axles as shown on the bulkhead plate is 1650kg, that being axle 1 at 100kg and axle 2 at 1550kg.

 

Now Coachman sent me back 2 new stickers, one for bulkhead and another for the side of the caravan.

 

The new MTPLM was NOT the sum of the axles but 1550kg.

 

Therefore if a person argued in Court that the higher weight, the sum, was acceptable they would be argueing against the manufactures, which I think would clinch it for the prosecution.

 

Who knows what MTPLM was presented to the NCC authorities for vehicle approval, my bet in my case one seeking 1550kg approval.

 

It's covered in SDA's original post.

 

Actually, Axle 0 is the jockey wheel, not the hitch, but that's only a technicality.

 

That the sum of the axle loads is not the MTPLM, but a value greater than that, is not unusual and quite often the case for cars, too.

 

It would seem to me that if the door plate doesn't agree with the bulkhead plate, but shows a lower limit, then it would be perfectly OK to remove the door plate as it doesn't have any legal significance anyway.

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I think I covered that in my OP when saying that the standard MTPLM as featured in brochures and on the side of the van really only has relevance to the B+E licence restrictions situation and are of no practical use for anyone who has Grandfather's rights.

 

Having said that, if an enforcing officer sees the internal plate with it's higher weight he/she might be tempted to interpret it as being the relevant caravan weight and then consider the rig as being over the licence limit. A can of worms.

 

To me the answer is simply to advise manufacturers that both plates should match, but presumably the regulation doesn't"t allow that, which is a bureaucratic stupidity.

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If you think about the description of what occurs if your rig is found to be over weight sort of gives a highly practical slant on the situation.

The enforcing officer would presumably look at the exterior plate and make a judgement based on weighing the van. Do you tell him/her that they are wrong and show them the gas locker plate, or do you not. If you do they are faced with a quandary. Which of the limits do they accept as operative in this case. I suspect their training and experience, might lead them to follow the exterior plate and if you insist on the internal weight you'll antagonise them and they might issue a ticket for it to be sorted out by a higher authority. If you accept the lower limit is operative they'll suggest ways of reducing the load as described in David's email.

So, a pragmatic resolution with no further action or a potential referral to a magistrates court. I know which I'd favour.

As for Dave's secondary manufacturing point, I understand what you're saying but in the highly unlikely event it got to court the fact that a chassis is labelled for 2000kg but a secondary plate reduces that limit to 1000kg without any structural justification, would mean any sensible magistrate would throw the case out. You can prove no structural justification because manufacturers will happily upgrade a van to the axle limit with just a paper exercise and a new sticker.

 

 

 

It is not just a paper exercise because the manufacturer would of had to of subjected the caravan to testing and type approval to allow the upgraded weight .

 

 

Dave

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It is not just a paper exercise because the manufacturer would of had to of subjected the caravan to testing and type approval to allow the upgraded weight .

 

 

Dave

 

Quite so Dave, but as far as the customer requesting an upgrade is concerned any testing involved is back in the past and it's a paper excercise.

 

I also suspect that manufactuer's don't test each individual layout in a range but rely on some sort of blanket testing on one or more examples to certify all those in a range and the rest is administered based on the limits provided by the chassis manufacturer.

 

And it seems that, legally, it's the internal plate, with it's higher limit that is required by Type Approval, not the external plate with the allocated MTPLM dreamt up by the manufacturer for marketing purposes.

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To me the answer is simply to advise manufacturers that both plates should match, but presumably the regulation doesn't"t allow that, which is a bureaucratic stupidity.

 

The regulation doesn't call for a plate by the door (which, as I understand, is only an NCC requirement), only the type approval plate, so it's not a bureacratic issue, more an internal one of the caravan manufacturer.

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I have read and digested everything so far,firstly,thanks SDA for your investtiagive work,it's answered some questions but posed a few more.

I think the only answer is for someone who is stopped to take to court and gat a judges decision,no other opinion will be final IMO.

It compares with the problem of motorhomes towing on A frames,neither legal or illegal in U. K. To date,but some European countries are taking a lead and fining offenders.

All us mortals can do is carry on,obey the current laws as we understand them,and hope for the best.

Dave.

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The regulation doesn't call for a plate by the door (which, as I understand, is only an NCC requirement), only the type approval plate, so it's not a bureacratic issue, more an internal one of the caravan manufacturer.

What do caravans made and sold outside UK in Europe have on them? They will comply with the same legislation.

 

By the way, well done SDA for your perseverance.

Edited by Ern
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What do caravans made and sold outside UK in Europe have on them? They will comply with the same legislation.

 

By the way, well done SDA for your perseverance.

 

My caravan only has the chassis plate (from BPW for Dethleff's reference only) and the Dethleff's type approval plate in the locker (applicable for the finished product).

Edited by Lutz

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Does that plate in the locker match a manufacturer's specified MTPLM or the axle limit Lutz? Or are they the same in your case?

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My caravan only has the chassis plate (from BPW for Dethleff's reference only) and the Dethleff's type approval plate in the locker (applicable for the finished product).

Then that is very likely to meet the requirements of the legislation.

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It seems to me that the most important statement made by the NCC in reply to SDA questions is this one.

 

The type approval plate is the only plate that is required by regulation, however it should be noted that the manufacturer’s weight plate demonstrates that the van complies with the wider requirements of the NCC’s Product Approval Scheme and is usually used as the basis for any enforcement action by the police and DVSA. As part of the NCC’s Product Approval Scheme the manufacturer’s plate is used to demonstrate compliance with the NCC’s code of practice for touring caravan payloads (NCC CoP 304) that requires a greater payload than that found in the requirements of the type approval regulations. As stated above the enforcement agencies usually refer to the NCC label during compliance checks as this is the most accessible and straightforward way to get the required information about the caravan.

 

The weight manufacturers weight plate is not required for legal compliance.

It is required for compliance with the NCC product approval scheme, but that scheme has no meaning in law, My Caravan isn't NCC approved doesnt make it illegal to use on UK roads. The NCC is a trade body nothing more or less.

 

The fact alluded to in another paragraph that the inspection enforcement authorities use the manfucturers weight plate as a reference plate. Just means that they are mistaken in law. You cannot enforce something on a data plate that has no legal standing. It is hoped that if you are compliant the manufacturers plate then you are also by default compliant with the type approval plate. Though I don't think that my point about the restrictions applied to those without a B&E licence.

 

Would I remove the manufacturers weight plate? No simply because I would rather get on my merry way after a stop. Rather than winning my case in court after having my caravan impounded and ruining my trip.

All this only applies to post 2013 caravans a wonder what the previous situation was. Also on a personal level my 2015 Hymer has a type approval certificate but I have never noticed a plate in the gas locker I will have to check more thoroughly.

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Does that plate in the locker match a manufacturer's specified MTPLM or the axle limit Lutz? Or are they the same in your case?

 

In the case of my caravan, the weight shown on the BPW plate is the same as the one on the Dethleff's plate. However, this need not necessarily be the case. My caravan has the maximum factory fitted upgrade of 200kg, bringing it from 1600kg to 1800kg. I don't know whether the same model without the upgrade also has the same chassis, in which case there would be a difference between the weights on the two plates, but somehow I suspect that without the upgrade the chassis would be a different one.

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I think the only answer is for someone who is stopped to take to court and gat a judges decision,no other opinion will be final IMO.

 

 

On balance it looks like the EU plate in the locker is the one that has legal standing, however I think you are right, only when there is historic case law established as a point of reference will there be any real clarity.

 

As it stands at the moment there is room for 'interpretation', in the first instance at the roadside where the initial evidence is collected and then at the CPS where they decide if the evidence is sufficient to prove an offence. At both stages there is the opportunity for misunderstanding dependent on the investigative abilities of those involved i. e. having an understanding that the two plates exist and the history as to why they exist and their reason for existing. As SDA's evidence shows it requires some significant digging find the information.

 

Also, the first level of judgment would be at magistrates following which the decision could be appealed. Only when that process has been followed would there be a case history which could be reliably referred to.

Edited by jetA1

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SDA was informed by NCC that "the type approval plate is required by regulation". This may be correct but I wouldn't accept that as being a fact either, until I had seen some referenced legislation. NCC seem to have become some sort of quasi-authority and I do t trust them at all.

 

Has there been a prosecution?

Edited by Ern

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SDA was informed by NCC that "the type approval plate is required by regulation". This may be correct but I wouldn't accept that as being a fact either, until I had seen some referenced legislation. NCC seem to have become some sort of quasi-authority and I do t trust them at all.

 

Has there been a prosecution?

 

The type approval plate, or statutory plate as it is officially called, is referenced in Regulation 19/2011/EC.

Edited by Lutz

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