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stewart4444

Legal Weight limits

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Hi

I read somewhere that only actual weights are enforced by law. Is this true?

As I originally thought legal limits were based on plated MTPLM.

 

Therefore, purely theoretically can a car with a max tow limit of 1200Kg legally pull an empty caravan with a MIRO of 1150Kg and MTPLM of 1350Kg?

 

Another scenario which had me thinking was

 

If the car has a GVW of 2200Kg and the van MTPLM of 1500Kg so GTW of 3700Kg over the post 97 license limit of 3500kg. (Assuming all weights are within limits)

 

However, if the car wasn’t loaded to the max and actually weighed 1999Kg giving a GTW of 3499Kg would that be legal on a B B1 post 97 licence?

Or does it go off the plated maximums?

 

Just trying to fill in a few gaps in my knowledge.

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27 minutes ago, stewart4444 said:

Hi

I read somewhere that only actual weights are enforced by law. Is this true?

As I originally thought legal limits were based on plated MTPLM.

 

Therefore, purely theoretically can a car with a max tow limit of 1200Kg legally pull an empty caravan with a MIRO of 1150Kg and MTPLM of 1350Kg?

 

Another scenario which had me thinking was

 

If the car has a GVW of 2200Kg and the van MTPLM of 1500Kg so GTW of 3700Kg over the post 97 license limit of 3500kg. (Assuming all weights are within limits)

 

However, if the car wasn’t loaded to the max and actually weighed 1999Kg giving a GTW of 3499Kg would that be legal on a B B1 post 97 licence?

Or does it go off the plated maximums?

 

Just trying to fill in a few gaps in my knowledge.

I asked a similar question a few months back for my daughter who is post 97 license and the answer I got was the MAM of the car 2100kg (Ford Kuga) could pull a max of 1400kg MAM caravan. And it is the weights on the plate which count

 

Hope this helps

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Depends on the legislation - weights relating to the vehicle use actual weights - weights relating to the driver's licence use plated maximum weights.

 

So a B-only licence holder can be over the 3500 kg when the two maximum plated weights are added together, even if the actual total is under 3500 kg

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There are two different situations.

 

If you have a B only licence and are therefore li.ited to a train weight of 3500kg, it's the plated GVW of the car and MTPLM of the caravan added together that counts. The actual weights have no relevance.

 

If you're talking about whether a car can legally tow a van, then the actual weights are what counts. The limits are the plated weights on both vehicles. So a car can't weigh more than it's plated GVW and a caravan can't weigh more than it's plated MTPLM. The two added together can't weigh more than the car's plated Gross Train Weight (GTW).

 

The car's Towing Limit is usually, but not always, the difference between GVW and GTW. So the Towing Limit, as published, is not necesarily a legally binding limit, but the plated GVW, GTW and MTPLM  are.

 

If the Towing Limit plus GVW add up to more than the GTW then you have to keep the car's weight below GVW if your van is at the limit. Conversely, where you load a car to GVW, in such circumstances, then you'd have to ensure the caravan weight is adjusted to so that GTW is never exceeded.

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For weight offences, actual weights are compared to plated weights.  Any actual weight of or on any plated component that exceeds the relevant plated weight gives rise to an offence.

 

For licence offences, regardless of actual weights, it is the plated weights or sum of the plated weights that count.   Of course, having committed a licence offence it is possible that weight offences may also be committed. ..

  • Example:   I have a B licence and I am caught driving a 2,500kg GVW car with a 1,450kg MTPLM / 1,500kg axle weight caravan.  Both are loaded under the maximum plated weights, no axle weights are exceeded and and nor is the gross train weight.  I have committed a licence offence but no weight offences.

 

  • Example: licence and outfit as above but I have now loaded my caravan to 1,700kg.  Both a licence offence and one or more weight offences have been committed.

 

 

 

 

 

For clarity, B licence holders may tow up to a gross trainweight of 4,250 kg if the trailer MTPLM is not more than 750kg.  Greater than 750 kg,  the permitted GTW drops to 3,500 kg

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I thought towing weight was irrelevant and it was the figures on the plate that counted.   So exceeding the total gross maximum train weight of vehicle is an offence even if the trailer is empty as it is the combination of the plated maximum gross weight of the vehicle and of the trailer.   A friend got down for this by the police as he was towing an empty trailer which probably weighed under 1000kg but its maximum plated weight was a lot higher and exceeded the gross maximum train weight of vehicle.   Lutz may remember the incident being posted a few years ago on the practical caravan website by Steve in Hereford.

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44 minutes ago, Durbanite said:

I thought towing weight was irrelevant and it was the figures on the plate that counted.   So exceeding the total gross maximum train weight of vehicle is an offence even if the trailer is empty as it is the combination of the plated maximum gross weight of the vehicle and of the trailer.   A friend got down for this by the police as he was towing an empty trailer which probably weighed under 1000kg but its maximum plated weight was a lot higher and exceeded the gross maximum train weight of vehicle.   Lutz may remember the incident being posted a few years ago on the practical caravan website by Steve in Hereford.

Not as far as I know.

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2 hours ago, Steamdrivenandy said:

So a car can't weigh more than it's plated GVW and a caravan can't weigh more than it's plated MTPLM. The two added together can't weigh more than the car's plated Gross Train Weight (GTW).

 

Yes the two added together can exceed the vehicle GTW, assuming you have B+E it goes on the actual weight of the trailer not the plated weight. For example i used a ford mondeo to tow an Ifor plant trailer, figures as follows:

 

Car MTPLM: 2250kg

Car GTW: 4250kg

 

Trailer MTPLM: 3500kg

 

So the two MTPLM add up to 5750kg so well over the Mondeos GTW but as when loaded the trailer was only 2000kg total it was/is perfectly legal. Most common example of this sort of thing are horse trailers and car transporters.  

 

It is only when you have a standard B license are the MTPLMs of car and trailer added together for licensing offences and combined must be under 3500kg, unless the trailer weighs less than 750kg then combined can be up to 4250kg.

Edited by tom_1989

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10 minutes ago, tom_1989 said:

 

Yes the two added together can exceed the vehicle GTW, assuming you have B+E it goes on the actual weight of the trailer not the plated weight. For example i used a ford mondeo to tow an Ifor plant trailer, figures as follows:

 

Car MTPLM: 2250kg

Car GTW: 4250kg

 

Trailer MTPLM: 3500kg

 

So the two MTPLM add up to 5750kg so well over the Mondeos GTW but as when loaded the trailer was only 2000kg total it was/is perfectly legal. Most common example of this sort of thing are horse trailers and car transporters.  

 

It is only when you have a standard B license are the MTPLMs of car and trailer added together for licensing offences and combined must be under 3500kg, unless the trailer weighs less than 750kg then combined can be up to 4250kg.

 

I think your terminology is a little confused. I presume you mean the car's GVW is 2250kg and that plus the trailer's MTPLM of 3500kg means a total of 5750kg, which is way above the B licence 3500kg limit.

 

However if you have a B+E licence the limiting factor is the car's GTW of 4250kg  and if the trailer weighs 2000kg and the car 2250kg they'll be slap on the GTW limit and wont exceed either the car's GVW or the trailer's MTPLM.  'So a car can't weigh more than it's plated GVW and a caravan can't weigh more than it's plated MTPLM. The two added together can't weigh more than the car's plated Gross Train Weight (GTW).'

 

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27 minutes ago, Steamdrivenandy said:

 

I think your terminology is a little confused. I presume you mean the car's GVW is 2250kg and that plus the trailer's MTPLM of 3500kg means a total of 5750kg, which is way above the B licence 3500kg limit.

 

However if you have a B+E licence the limiting factor is the car's GTW of 4250kg  and if the trailer weighs 2000kg and the car 2250kg they'll be slap on the GTW limit and wont exceed either the car's GVW or the trailer's MTPLM.   'So a car can't weigh more than it's plated GVW and a caravan can't weigh more than it's plated MTPLM. The two added together can't weigh more than the car's plated Gross Train Weight (GTW).'

 

 

I used MTPLM for car aswell instead of GVW just to simplify the post as they pretty much mean the same thing.  

 

I agree with your original post accept for the last bit which i have highlighted in red,  my point was the Car GVW and Trailer MTPLM added together can exceed the cars GTW and still be legal as long as the trailer is not fully loaded and the actual weight at the time of towing is within the GTW of the car, assuming you have the B + E license.

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16 hours ago, tom_1989 said:

 

I used MTPLM for car aswell instead of GVW just to simplify the post as they pretty much mean the same thing.  

 

I agree with your original post accept for the last bit which i have highlighted in red,  my point was the Car GVW and Trailer MTPLM added together can exceed the cars GTW and still be legal as long as the trailer is not fully loaded and the actual weight at the time of towing is within the GTW of the car, assuming you have the B + E license.

I think you are incorrect as all the police are required to do is look at the plated weights.   They are under no obligation to weigh the empty unit for a successful prosecution.   Otherwise it is like saying it is okay to carry a loaded weapon as long as you are not going to use it.

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17 hours ago, tom_1989 said:

 

I used MTPLM for car aswell instead of GVW just to simplify the post as they pretty much mean the same thing.  

 

I agree with your original post accept for the last bit which i have highlighted in red,  my point was the Car GVW and Trailer MTPLM added together can exceed the cars GTW and still be legal as long as the trailer is not fully loaded and the actual weight at the time of towing is within the GTW of the car, assuming you have the B + E license.

Weights for driving licences are the permitted maximum (plated) weights, not the actual vehicle weights. If that were the case there would be unladen artics with 44 tonne plated weights being driven on car licences!

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17 hours ago, tom_1989 said:

 

I used MTPLM for car aswell instead of GVW just to simplify the post as they pretty much mean the same thing.  

 

I agree with your original post accept for the last bit which i have highlighted in red,  my point was the Car GVW and Trailer MTPLM added together can exceed the cars GTW and still be legal as long as the trailer is not fully loaded and the actual weight at the time of towing is within the GTW of the car, assuming you have the B + E license.

 

If you have a B+E then, in the example you quote no licence conditions have been breached.  And if the actual weights are as you quote then no vehicle weight limits have been breached either. If you have a B only licence then the licence conditions would have been breached but, again, no vehicle weight limits  would have been broken. 

 

'The two added together can't weigh more than the car's plated Gross Train Weight (GTW).' In this sentence I was referring to B+E and the relevant actual weights as the surrounding text makes plain.

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6 minutes ago, Durbanite said:

I think you are incorrect as all the police are required to do is look at the plated weights.   They are under no obligation to weigh the empty unit for a successful prosecution.   Otherwise it is like saying it is okay to carry a loaded weapon as long as you are not going to use it.

Weight offences are based on actual weights.  To successfully prosecute a weight offence, the actual weight must be measured and for that,  the police will escort a suspect to a local weighbridge.  Plated weights alone can only give rise to a licence offence.  

 

 See here. .. Towing a trailer with a car or van: the basics.  

 

From paragraph 1. ..

Quote

Where the sum of the maximum plated weights of the towing vehicle and of the trailer added together exceed the plated GCW [gross combination weight] of the towing vehicle, this is not a problem as long as the ‘actual’ weights of the vehicle and trailer (which may not be fully laden at the time) do not exceed the plated GCW.

 

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47 minutes ago, Durbanite said:

I think you are incorrect as all the police are required to do is look at the plated weights.   They are under no obligation to weigh the empty unit for a successful prosecution.   Otherwise it is like saying it is okay to carry a loaded weapon as long as you are not going to use it.

 

Any prosecution for exceeding GTW is based on actual weight, just as exceeding the MAW

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As said actuals are checked against plated weights for Construction and Use offences of being overweight and the plated weights for maximum weights are used for driving licence offences .

 

 

I tow regularly my empty car trailer 550 kg but plated at 2600 kg mam with a vehicle that has only 1200 kg trailer allowance .

 

 

 

Dave

Edited by CommanderDave
  • Like 1

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I have a letter from VOSA confirming this, but it is a pdf document and at 9mB is too big to upload here, the unclear screenshot is the best I can do.

vosa letter.jpg

Edited by GaryB1969
  • Thanks 1

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5 hours ago, Legal Eagle said:

Weights for driving licences are the permitted maximum (plated) weights, not the actual vehicle weights. If that were the case there would be unladen artics with 44 tonne plated weights being driven on car licences!

No there wouldn't, 44 tonne gvw artics weigh in at over 15 tonnes empty, so still need C+E licence.

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The plated gross train weight is not the sum of the MTPLM of the trailer and the GVW of the car, but the sum of all axle loads.

 

For driving licence purposes, it is the sum of the MTPLM of the trailer and the GVW of the car and that is referred to as gross combination weight.

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2 hours ago, 1164 County said:

No there wouldn't, 44 tonne gvw artics weigh in at over 15 tonnes empty, so still need C+E licence.

Maybe I didn't use the best example, but even if you stick the smallest, lightest skeletal trailer on the tractor unit the maximum gtw plated weight on the cab may still be 44,000kgs even though the combination  itself wouldn't allow it.

Edited by Legal Eagle

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so my 4989 kg/empty  caravan is right out then?:)

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3 hours ago, Legal Eagle said:

Maybe I didn't use the best example, but even if you stick the smallest, lightest skeletal trailer on the tractor unit the maximum gtw plated weight on the cab may still be 44,000kgs even though the combination  itself wouldn't allow it.

Ok, I'll concede that, but even with the smallest trailer on the lightest truck, it will still be well over 8250kg, which is the max allowed for a C1 licence, which those who are old enough would have got with a car test.

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As I understand it, Mrs FB (who has a B license) can tow our outfit as he car has a GVW of 2020kg, the caravan an MTPLM 1300kg despite the GTW of the Passat being 4020kg.

 

It matters not, as I do all the towing on my B+E.

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9 minutes ago, FrankBullet said:

As I understand it, Mrs FB (who has a B license) can tow our outfit as he car has a GVW of 2020kg, the caravan an MTPLM 1300kg despite the GTW of the Passat being 4020kg.

 

It matters not, as I do all the towing on my B+E.

Yes. .. the combined plated vehicle weight is 3,320 kg and well within the B licence entitlement of 3,500kg.

 

Mrs B cannot tow anything plated at over 1,480kg MTPLM with that particular car but she is legal with anything at or than lower 1480kg.

Edited by happynomad
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If you have a B+E licence pre 97 then there is no trailer limit only only the vehicles capability .

 

So in theory you could buy a US pickup with a 10000 kg towing limit . That's how the 5th wheels are towed with a 4200 + kg mam are legally towed .

 

After 2013 the 3500 kg mam was introduced into B+E .

 

Licence entitlement is confusing and you need to check .

 

 

Dave

Edited by CommanderDave

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