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Lutz

Swift MTPLM anomalies

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I see that the standard MTPLM of a Sprite Super Quattro FB is listed as 1704kg, but that of a Super Quattro DB is 1711kg. They must both be on the same chassis so why the difference? If the DB is good enough for 1711kg, then surely the FB must be the same too. I know the difference is only 7kg, but that makes it even more ridiculous.

Funny thing, but both models are listed as having an 1800kg standard MTPLM on Swift's German website. Similar anomalies are to be found for other models. I think Swift should get their act together and decide when a maximum is actually a maximum.

Edited by Lutz
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MTPLM on the plate of UK caravans is essentially an arbitrary figure arrived at by adding a notional payload to the average actual weight of that model. Manufacturers try to keep the MTPLM low to please those buyers obsessed with weight ratios. It actually shows a lack of integrity as the "TP" stands for "Technically Permissible" when there is little technical about it!

Add this notional payload to similar vans but with different layouts and you come to different answers for the same chassis.

 

The German figure is probably the true MTPLM of the chassis.

 

 

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1 minute ago, Stevan said:

MTPLM on the plate of UK caravans is essentially an arbitrary figure arrived at by adding a notional payload to the average actual weight of that model. Manufacturers try to keep the MTPLM low to please those buyers obsessed with weight ratios. It actually shows a lack of integrity as the "TP" stands for "Technically Permissible" when there is little technical about it!

Add this notional payload to similar vans but with different layouts and you come to different answers for the same chassis.

 

The German figure is probably the true MTPLM of the chassis.

 

 

 

AFAIK, British caravans have the lowest possible MTPLM but still comply with NCC minimum payloads - as they have for several decades. As Alko chassis's only come in certain limits, this method is giving 2 fingers to the concept of MAXIMUM TECHNICALLY PERMISSABLE Laden Mass (MTPLM)

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33 minutes ago, Lutz said:

I see that the standard MTPLM of a Sprite Super Quattro FB is listed as 1704kg, but that of a Super Quattro DB is 1711kg. They must both be on the same chassis so why the difference? If the DB is good enough for 1711kg, then surely the FB must be the same too. I know the difference is only 7kg, but that makes it even more ridiculous.

Funny thing, but both models are listed as having an 1800kg standard MTPLM on Swift's German website. Similar anomalies are to be found for other models. I think Swift should get their act together and decide when a maximum is actually a maximum.

 

I'm not asking for primary research (!) but do you know if most German vans have the Alko chassis limit as their MTPLM please?

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3 minutes ago, SamD said:

 

I'm not asking for primary research (!) but do you know if most German vans have the Alko chassis limit as their MTPLM please?

 

Many seem to - and a number can have MTPLM upgrades in 100/200/300 kg steps by fitting a different axle/tyres during the build process.

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A more accurate and honourable title for the UK figure would be Allocated Permissable Laden Mass (APLM), allowing the MTPLM to be the real 'Maximum' that's available. Unfortunately the B licence weight limit doesn't accomodate APLM, so the manufacturers fudge it.

 

I've not checked but I suspect that both the vans Lutz quotes have the same allocated Payload but their MIRO's will be slightly different and so adding the MIRO plus Payload together gives a slightly different MTPLM. Daft and nit picking but that's the way the UK caravan market is.  

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47 minutes ago, Stevan said:

MTPLM on the plate of UK caravans is essentially an arbitrary figure arrived at by adding a notional payload to the average actual weight of that model. Manufacturers try to keep the MTPLM low to please those buyers obsessed with weight ratios. It actually shows a lack of integrity as the "TP" stands for "Technically Permissible" when there is little technical about it!

Add this notional payload to similar vans but with different layouts and you come to different answers for the same chassis.

 

The German figure is probably the true MTPLM of the chassis.

 

 

If it's an arbitrary figure, how can it be a 'maximum'? If a higher laden mass can be achieved without technical change, how can the lower value be called a maximum?

 

38 minutes ago, SamD said:

 

I'm not asking for primary research (!) but do you know if most German vans have the Alko chassis limit as their MTPLM please?

 

 

That is standard practice, yes.

 

36 minutes ago, Steamdrivenandy said:

A more accurate and honourable title for the UK figure would be Allocated Permissable Laden Mass (APLM), allowing the MTPLM to be the real 'Maximum' that's available. Unfortunately the B licence weight limit doesn't accomodate APLM, so the manufacturers fudge it.

 

 

A caravan with an MTPLM of over 1700kg is highly unlikely to be towable by a vehicle light enough to be within the 3500kg limit for a Category B licence so there seems little point in artificially restricting the MTPLM by such a small amount. And if towload limits are supposed to be the criterion, then in view of the fact that car's towing limits are never such oddball figures like 1704 and 1711kg, there's no reason to cut things quite so fine by differentiating by only 7kg.

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It has also just occurred to me that to enable cross border transfer, by agreement plated MTPLM's are valid EU wide.  so how would Swift explain to a German customer wanting to take delivery of his caravan in the UK it is only plated 1704kg, but if he bought it in Germany the very same caravan would be plated 1800kg. Surely, that's not the case?

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4 minutes ago, Lutz said:

It has also just occurred to me that to enable cross border transfer, by agreement plated MTPLM's are valid EU wide.  so how would Swift explain to a German customer wanting to take delivery of his caravan in the UK it is only plated 1704kg, but if he bought it in Germany the very same caravan would be plated 1800kg. Surely, that's not the case?

I suspect that the figure used by the Germans is actually the figure that UK owners can get theirs upplated to.

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15 minutes ago, Stevan said:

I suspect that the figure used by the Germans is actually the figure that UK owners can get theirs upplated to.

 

As Swift will only have type approved their models once with one weight for each configuration, I presume that the actual plated figure is common to both the UK and Germany and UK customers are having the wool pulled over their eyes thinking their caravan has a lower MTPLM than it really has.

 

if a UK owner were to move to Germany and register his caravan there it would automatically be treated as an 1800kg caravan regardless of what he was told in the UK and he wouldn’t have to apply for an ‘upgrade’ either.

Edited by Lutz

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16 minutes ago, Lutz said:

 

As Swift will only have type approved their models once with one weight for each configuration, I presume that the actual plated figure is common to both the UK and Germany and UK customers are having the wool pulled over their eyes thinking their caravan has a lower MTPLM than it really has.

 

if a UK owner were to move to Germany and register his caravan there it would automatically be treated as an 1800kg caravan regardless of what he was told in the UK and he wouldn’t have to apply for an ‘upgrade’ either.

 

The UK caravan organisations/bodies have over many years "brain washed" the public that safe towing all centres around a weight figure and there is a belief that if you tow a caravan at 99% weight ratio everything is fine, but should you load to 101% the world will come to an end.    On more than one occasion have I heard the word "illegal" used.   Over-seas there seems to be a very different (more structured/logical) train of thought that there are many more influencing factors involved in the safe towing of any high- C of G trailer.

Edited by GaryB1969
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42 minutes ago, Lutz said:

It has also just occurred to me that to enable cross border transfer, by agreement plated MTPLM's are valid EU wide.  so how would Swift explain to a German customer wanting to take delivery of his caravan in the UK it is only plated 1704kg, but if he bought it in Germany the very same caravan would be plated 1800kg. Surely, that's not the case?

 

That's simply specification differences due to their market - you and I have debated in the distant past about differences in towing limits for GM cars in UK, Germany and Netherlands - simply due to different customer expectation, or at least manufacturer's assumption of customers' expectations

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47 minutes ago, Black Grouse said:

 

That's simply specification differences due to their market - you and I have debated in the distant past about differences in towing limits for GM cars in UK, Germany and Netherlands - simply due to different customer expectation, or at least manufacturer's assumption of customers' expectations

 

I think you've got something wrong there. An EU type approval is valid throughout the EU. Unless there are physical differences in equipment to meet local market preferences, towing limits will be identical everywhere. The same model with the same specification will have the same MTPLM everywhere. Only if there are differences in spec can values be different.

 

Edited by Lutz

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15 minutes ago, Lutz said:

 

I think you've got something wrong there. An EU type approval is valid throughout the EU. Unless there are physical differences in equipment to meet local market preferences, towing limits will be identical everywhere. The same model with the same specification will have the same MTPLM everywhere. Only if there are differences in spec can values be different.

 

In theory yes, if you use the MTPLM as shown on the plate in the gas locker, but not if you refer to the MTPLM as shown on the NCC plate by the door.

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12 minutes ago, Stevan said:

In theory yes, if you use the MTPLM as shown on the plate in the gas locker, but not if you refer to the MTPLM as shown on the NCC plate by the door.

 

Now which plate is used for those individuals with any driving license limitation?

I would naturally assume only the statutory one, which rather negates part of the NCC's ploy to catch a wider market.

Edited by JTQ
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8 minutes ago, JTQ said:

 

Now which plate is used for those individuals with any driving license limitation?

I would naturally assume only the statutory one, which rather negates part of the NCC's ploy to catch a wider market.

There was a thread about this a little while back which included a response from DVLA  (or whatever they are now called), which (if simplified) said that they would nor seek prosecution for overweight based on the NCC plate as long as the driver was not relying on it for licence conditions.

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48 minutes ago, Stevan said:

In theory yes, if you use the MTPLM as shown on the plate in the gas locker, but not if you refer to the MTPLM as shown on the NCC plate by the door.

 

Anywhere outside the UK the caravan would not have an NCC plate by the door and, as the authorities elsewhere have probably never heard of the NCC (they are not a recognised legislative body), they would ignore such a plate anyway and they wouldn't accept a certificate issued by them because they are not empowered to issue type approval documentation.

 

Edited by Lutz

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I think you find that a National Caravan Council a trade body is far more important than a statutory plate.  

It's a total can of worms and JTQ you have identified the most important point about people unwitting towing something that is heavier than their licence allows.   This is far more serious than being 20kg over weight according to the NCC  "MPTLM".

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19 minutes ago, Stevan said:

There was a thread about this a little while back which included a response from DVLA  (or whatever they are now called), which (if simplified) said that they would nor seek prosecution for overweight based on the NCC plate as long as the driver was not relying on it for licence conditions.

 

That means that both technically and for driving licence purposes they would go by the statutory plate and not the NCC plate.

9 minutes ago, fred said:

This is far more serious than being 20kg over weight according to the NCC  "MPTLM".

 

Of course it is, because the so-called 'MTPLM' on the NCC plate is, if anything, lower than the actual MTPLM.

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23 minutes ago, fred said:

I think you find that a National Caravan Council a trade body is far more important than a statutory plate.  

It's a total can of worms and JTQ you have identified the most important point about people unwitting towing something that is heavier than their licence allows.   This is far more serious than being 20kg over weight according to the NCC  "MPTLM".

 

How can that be? A self-appointed group to represent the trade cannot be more important than UK and/or EU legislation/regulation.

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I would like to add that there is nothing wrong in principle with restricting the MTPLM to MIRO plus a calculated payload as defined in BS EN1645-2 and then offering an 'upgrade' for the MTPLM to be in line with the maximum axle load, but to make it enforceable, the statutory plate would have to agree with the plate by the door. If the statutory plate is located in the front locker, then both that and the one next to the door would have to be exchanged when there is an 'upgrade'. If the statutory plate already shows the higher value than the one by the door, then the one by the door is really valueless. The latter also doesn't contain other relevant information either.

 

Edited by Lutz

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So, those paying their £50 odd for a post build upgrade are effectively simply wasting their money?

The statutory front plate says it all and should reflect the true maximum limit? The NCC plate is just some cosmetic little label for those that like labels and want to buy another?

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I don't have any issues with the UK way of doing things, I think we have it spot on as it is.

I bought my standard MTPLM caravan with the maximum upgrade at zero cost.   All the above posts are just splitting airs IMO.

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7 minutes ago, xtrailman said:

I don't have any issues with the UK way of doing things, I think we have it spot on as it is.

I bought my standard MTPLM caravan with the maximum upgrade at zero cost.   All the above posts are just splitting airs IMO.

 

What was the upgrade weight you achieved,?

We need that to concur  that the amount actually was so trivial to be "splitting hairs" or quite the opposite a decent % of the payload.

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It is not splitting hairs in my opinion.   If for example with a post ‘97 licence  my daughter were to buy a caravan with two mptlm values on it and the lower one made her weight under the magic 3500kg limit but higher type approved one took her over that value, is she driving legally?   Might an insurance company say no B&E no payout in those circumstances?

 

What gives a manufacture the authority to issue a plate with a mptlm at vairence to the mptlm on the statutory plate?   Non at all as far as I can see it is just custom and practise not the law.  

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