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TOWING OVER THE CAR LIMIT??


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I've never towed near the tow limit of the car, why risk damage to the car or tow in the fear of not being able to restart on a steep hill?

Not to mention the risk that you may be putting the family in.

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Sometimes I think we need to stop debating the minutiae of legalities and allow common sense to take over. The car's manufacturer state a towing limit for the car, they do not limit that downwards for

Gotta feel sorry for the OP. Joins and asks an innocent question, and then all the armchair 'experts' chip in with their contradictory opinions and arguments and legal debates over and over again.

If it has a limit of 1200kg, then you can't tow 1250kg.  Although not ideal you might be best to look at changing your car.

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1 hour ago, Wildwood said:

The point about if the makers weight limit is the legal maximum, is I think one where the legal position for of breaching it is a matter of opinion at the moment. As far as I can see there is no published test case so to me the answer is we do not know for certain. I have argued on line that as the figure is simply the load it can restart on a 12% incline, it is not safety related, but have been shot down by many people. Unless anyone can find a case where this has been decided no one knows for sure what the answer is. 

See my post at 0015 Thursday. There is no specific offence which states "thou shalt not exceed the manufacturer's towing limit". An incident of it would be dealt with under the umbrella of Section 40A Road Traffic Act 1988. Plenty of successful summary (Magistrate's Court) prosecutions for a whole host of situations including incidents of exceeding weight limits. Summary offence cases and appeals are rarely reported upon. 

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The trouble is that Section 40A Road Traffic Act is very vague and open to interpretation as to what is dangerous and what is not. It would surely be difficult to prove that 10kg over the limit would already amount to a dangerous condition, but obviously the line has to be drawn somewhere. In case of doubt one would have to call upon the services of an appointed expert. One cannot expect the legal profession alone to pass judgment on a technical issue.

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21 minutes ago, Lutz said:

The trouble is that Section 40A Road Traffic Act is very vague and open to interpretation as to what is dangerous and what is not. It would surely be difficult to prove that 10kg over the limit would already amount to a dangerous condition, but obviously the line has to be drawn somewhere. In case of doubt one would have to call upon the services of an appointed expert. One cannot expect the legal profession alone to pass judgment on a technical issue.

It would be for the prosecution to present adequate evidence, possibly including that from an authorised and qualified police or DVSA vehicle examiner and for the Court to pass judgement accordingly. It may not be Section 40A(d), dangerous condition but could be Section 40A(b), unsuitable purpose depending on the circumstances and evidence presented.

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1 hour ago, Legal Eagle said:

It would be for the prosecution to present adequate evidence, possibly including that from an authorised and qualified police or DVSA vehicle examiner and for the Court to pass judgement accordingly. It may not be Section 40A(d), dangerous condition but could be Section 40A(b), unsuitable purpose depending on the circumstances and evidence presented.

 

And, of course, the defence also has the opportunity to provide evidence to the contrary.

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I appreciate that there is no specified offence of towing over the manufacturers limit, it might need evidence that the cars brakes suspension etc. were based on that figure being the safe limit for the these items. Without ever seeing any details of prosecutions I am still of the opinion that you are unwise to exceed them.

The roadside checks must have thrown up some examples of this, I do wonder how the authorities deal with it.

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3 minutes ago, Wildwood said:

I appreciate that there is no specified offence of towing over the manufacturers limit, it might need evidence that the cars brakes suspension etc. were based on that figure being the safe limit for the these items. Without ever seeing any details of prosecutions I am still of the opinion that you are unwise to exceed them.

The roadside checks must have thrown up some examples of this, I do wonder how the authorities deal with it.

Very seldom, if ever, will roadside checks go as far as finding out the towing limit. Generally they simply check axle loadings of the car, GTW and MTPLM of the van using a simple drive over type of scale and comparing with the plates.

When I was pulled the weight check comprised a DVSA guy taking a brief look at the outside and through the windows before saying "weights look fine"! They had a scale in their van but were clearly saving it for outfits that looked wrong.

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Sometimes I think we need to stop debating the minutiae of legalities and allow common sense to take over. The car's manufacturer state a towing limit for the car, they do not limit that downwards for the fun of it, as to some, albeit possibly a small minority that might make the vehicle less attractive and the manufacturer would not do that unless it were necessary. 

 

The limit is specified by the manufacturer for good reason, why would you want to exceed it?

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32 minutes ago, Wildwood said:

I appreciate that there is no specified offence of towing over the manufacturers limit, it might need evidence that the cars brakes suspension etc. were based on that figure being the safe limit for the these items. Without ever seeing any details of prosecutions I am still of the opinion that you are unwise to exceed them.

The roadside checks must have thrown up some examples of this, I do wonder how the authorities deal with it.

 

Exceeding the towing limit without at the same time exceeding the gross train weight or without exceeding the maximum permissible rear axle load of the towing vehicle (both of which would constitute an offence) must be a very rare occurrence and I doubt very much whether any such case has ever come to light.

 

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1 hour ago, Lutz said:

 

Exceeding the towing limit without at the same time exceeding the gross train weight or without exceeding the maximum permissible rear axle load of the towing vehicle (both of which would constitute an offence) must be a very rare occurrence and I doubt very much whether any such case has ever come to light.

 

Car based vans can fall into this category. They often have a high GVW and rear axle load allowance to allow greater load carrying on their uprated rear springs and commercial grade tyres. The GTW can be in the "normal" range, but the braked trailer limit quite low to compensate for an assumed greater load being carried in the van. 

If you don't load up the van, being well under GVW, axle load and GTW is easy even if trying to tow a heavy caravan.

 

We owned a Doblo van for a while which was as described above. We could easily have towed our current caravan well within these limits while being up to 300Kg over the braked towing limit (No, we didn't).

For cars and SUV's I agree that this would be much harder to achieve.

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Thanks everyone for the comment I have purchased a van last Saturday which is 1230kg and miro of 998kg so as long as I don't fill her up and load he properly I should be fine.. 

I drive the caravan back in a storm with 50mph winds and the car was brilliant the weight of the car at 1400kg stuck to the road I went through a wet patch on the motor way and the car and caravan planed but the car pulled the van out of this no problem,, I have to admit picking up speed take a while but it gets there and starting on hills is no problem for the mokka with the auto gear box.... I think everyone if go to much in detail your towing a moving weight the manufacturer has put this weight for a reason!!!!  

 

Not everyone can afford massive flash cars. 

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Is1230 the vans MTPLM and 1200 the Tow Limit of the car? 

Graham

 

Unless otherwise stated all posts are my personal opinion 

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13 minutes ago, WispMan said:

Is1230 the vans MTPLM and 1200 the Tow Limit of the car? 

 

Reading back through the thread, yes. 

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19 minutes ago, WispMan said:

Is1230 the vans MTPLM and 1200 the Tow Limit of the car? 

 

So, no problem as long as the noseweight is 30kg or more.

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2 hours ago, Lutz said:

 

So, no problem as long as the noseweight is 30kg or more.

If the car tow limit is 1200kg and the trailer weighs more than that then the tow limit is exceeded. It makes no difference what static load is on the tow ball or what load is just carried through the trailer axle(s), it's the actual weight of the unhitched trailer that matters as that is the weight being towed. Providing the actual trailer weight is kept at or below 1200kg it will be lawful.

Edited by Legal Eagle
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Legal eagle we don't put alot of things in the van only food and bedding everything else in the car we have no dog so is loads of boot space.. So it will not exceed the 1200kg maximum 

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5 hours ago, Legal Eagle said:

If the car tow limit is 1200kg and the trailer weighs more than that then the tow limit is exceeded. It makes no difference what static load is on the tow ball or what load is just carried through the trailer axle(s), it's the actual weight of the unhitched trailer that matters as that is the weight being towed. Providing the actual trailer weight is kept at or below 1200kg it will be lawful.

 

Thank you for that, I have read this point about the static load, total load minus nose weight in a number of different places but have never been able to find any official confirmation of it. 

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38 minutes ago, Wildwood said:

I fully agree with legal Eagle in that it is the static weight that counts. The tow car still has to pull this  and nothing else is relevant.

So what your saying is as long as I don't load my van to the maximum I'm legal? 

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On 04/11/2020 at 23:42, PMW said:

 

Thank you for that, I have read this point about the static load, total load minus nose weight in a number of different places but have never been able to find any official confirmation of it. 

 

Here is the official confirmation, taken out of 1230/2012/EC Article 2 (Definitions), Paragraph 9

 

‘technically permissible maximum towable mass’ (TM) means the maximum mass of one or more trailers that may be towed by a towing vehicle which corresponds to the total load transmitted to the ground by the wheels of an axle or a group of axles on any trailer coupled to the towing vehicle;

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53 minutes ago, Lutz said:

 

Here is the official confirmation, taken out of 1230/2012/EC Article 2 (Definitions), Paragraph 9

 

‘technically permissible maximum towable mass’ (TM) means the maximum mass of one or more trailers that may be towed by a towing vehicle which corresponds to the total load transmitted to the ground by the wheels of an axle or a group of axles on any trailer coupled to the towing vehicle;

 thanks for that, but paragraph 7 states 

Quote

(7) ‘technically permissible maximum laden mass’ (M) means the maximum mass allocated to a vehicle on the basis of its construction features and its design performances; the technically permissible laden mass of a trailer or of a semitrailer includes the static mass transferred to the towing vehicle when coupled;

 

Now, I know I am a bear of little brain but that suggests to me that when you are considering the weight as in what is being drawn by the towing vehicle you can exclude the nose weight, but when you are considering the weight in terms of loading the van you must include the nose weight in the trailers actual weight which must of course remain within the MTPLM

 

is that correct?

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24 minutes ago, PMW said:

Now, I know I am a bear of little brain but that suggests to me that when you are considering the weight as in what is being drawn by the towing vehicle you can exclude the nose weight, but when you are considering the weight in terms of loading the van you must include the nose weight in the trailers actual weight which must of course remain within the MTPLM

 

is that correct?

 

Yes, of course the technically permissible laden mass (MTPLM) includes the noseweight, but that is not the same as the towed mass. It seems that this is not always appreciated.

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45 minutes ago, Lutz said:

 

Yes, of course the technically permissible laden mass (MTPLM) includes the noseweight, but that is not the same as the towed mass. It seems that this is not always appreciated.

Lutz is correct here. The towable mass is the mass transmitted to the ground through the axles, and really has nothing to do with MTPLM.

 

Take for example 5th wheel caravans. There MTPLM is often higher than 3500kg but they are still able to be classified as O2 because the Towable mass is less than 3500.

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