Jump to content

Towing Trailers


Anderzander
 Share

Recommended Posts

  • Anderzander changed the title to Towing Trailers

Not sure I understand correctly, there is no change for me and without any training I and my friends have towed multiple tons without disaster. Now more people are able to so are they incapable?

Yes the accident numbers will increase due to the percentages and volume of drivers. But am I any different to those drivers now included?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As I understand it a number of years ago they stopped automatically allowing you to tow a trailer without an additional test. A wise move. Now they are reversing this. Makes no sense to me from a safety point of view 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 minutes ago, monkie said:

As I understand it a number of years ago they stopped automatically allowing you to tow a trailer without an additional test. A wise move. Now they are reversing this. Makes no sense to me from a safety point of view 

As above so you are saying I am unsafe!!!!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, missingsid said:

As above so you are saying I am unsafe!!!!!!

Probably not any more. But when you started out?

I took the B+E test a few years ago, and you at least had to show a basic understanding of what you were doing: hookup procedures, reversing, parallel parking. Nothing you can't learn without a test, but at least that test verifies you're not a *complete* numpty.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, missingsid said:

As above so you are saying I am unsafe!!!!!!

No I am not. I'm sure most people on a 4x4 forum are competent at towing because generally we care about safety. What I am saying is this change in rule is unsafe given many people after passing a test can't even reverse park a Corsa in Tesco car park properly, allowing EVERY driver to go ahead and tow a loaded trailer is madness.

It's like saying if the MOT test were to be removed and someone then points out the safety risk of such a move... then a few of us complaining about the person who points out the safety risk because we know how to properly maintain our vehicles to be safe. 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The move is to skip a step in training people to drive trucks. Personally I have grandfather rights and have always been able to tow large trailers but I had to learn myself. Currently you need to take a test to tow over a certain weight. They are just reverting to the old system. 

The current system is daft as it allows you to tow with no training upto 3.5ton gross but to exceed this you need a test. Personally I think you need a test to tow anything at all or no test. Under the new/old system I do think you should have to undergo some training to tow as part of learning to drive, but I didn't and I'm still here.

Mike

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Personally I think they should be tightening the requirements. Driving is the only thing most of us do that could land you in prison. I would support a requirement for everyone to have to retake a test every 10 years. That way everyone's competence is reviewed, changes in rules can be communicated and assessed plus it catches people who should no longer be driving because of a deterioration in health through age. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, miketomcat said:

but I didn't and I'm still here

I see what you are saying and I agree that the current rule is daft but you could also say "I've never worn a seat belt and I'm still here". Doesn't mean it is sensible and safe. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I get what you're saying monkie. It's not about (competent) existing towers but a load of completely inexperienced numpties suddenly taking to the roads with trailers they fundamentally do not understand as soon as the law is dropped - ironically, probably overloaded beyond the legal weight limit anyway.

Also, there was a good chance pre-97 you'd be shown the ropes by someone who'd been towing for years and had passed the test's more effective cousin; experience. As these people have become fewer and fewer, there are simply less people to draw on to teach people who won't shell out for tutition. All of this just encourages people to skip any learning steps and go straight to towing their new 8 axle, 5 billion ton monstrosity on the family holiday as their first experience. Fact is, it's just a different environment to what it was.

Besides, it's not like those with the rights are all universally competent. A few weeks back I was getting tailgated in lane 3 driving at 70 (I don't have an exemption from speed limits like everyone else seems to) by a pickup with a trailer that was loaded with most of the weight beyond the rear axle, who went on to 90+ once I was "out of the way". Probably had passed a trailer test, definitely passed his driving test; neither being demonstrated here.

How many caravans end up on their sides in the way down Cornwall every summer? Many of those are towed on grandfather rights basis.

Take a look on any bank holiday at the number incidents along any given route. Driving is just a task with which the general public cannot be entrusted; lowering existing standards makes us all less safe. Adding trailers into that mix is not going to improve things.

As I know any of the above will fall in deaf ears, think of it this way. Do you want a bunch of millennials towing on your roads? 

 

images.jpeg.e6cc5609a09b5b30b465b3f642a7b210.jpeg

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I guess you could argue that those who don't care about trailer safety are not necessarily held back by regulations either. And a bigger, braked trailer is definitely safer than a small but overloaded one. I still think it's not a step forward for safety. The grandfathers right was a concession to avoid people having to get their license renewed to comply with the stricter trailer regulations. Just like we have in Belgium, but only for licenses up to 1989.

Last week I had a learner driver in telling me there must be something wrong with her lights because she was constantly getting flashed by oncoming traffic when she had her lights on. Turned out high beam was turned on. She had no clue whatsoever, didn't know (or care) about the blue indicator light on the dash, didn't know the difference between side lights and dipped beam and thought high beam was the same as fog lights. Yet she's driving on public roads without supervision (after taking the minimum of lessons). If that same group of drivers will now be allowed to hook up a big caravan, once a year, on roads they don't know etc, it does not bode well. Just like we see loads of people struggling with small trailers. I can't imagine they'll do much better with a big trailer, but the consequences can be far greater.

We seem to be getting burdened with more and more rules, often in the name of safety, so this doesn't make sense. Those who think it is a good idea, will you still do so when speed limits are reduced on downslopes because there have been to much accidents involving trailers?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, monkie said:

I see what you are saying and I agree that the current rule is daft but you could also say "I've never worn a seat belt and I'm still here". Doesn't mean it is sensible and safe. 

What I ment was I've learned how to tow trailers therefore there's no reason others can't. Equally there's plenty that have learnt but shouldn't be allowed.

I guess my overall point is a friend had to tow his caravan with a car rather than his disco 2 because of the 3.5 ton rule and that's definitely not safer. Therefore ditching a daft rule is better than nothing but realistically it should be replaced with either amalgamating into the test or an outright ban on towing without a test (though sensibility that would have to start from new licenses).

Mike

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, miketomcat said:

What I ment was I've learned how to tow trailers therefore there's no reason others can't. Equally there's plenty that have learnt but shouldn't be allowed.

I guess my overall point is a friend had to tow his caravan with a car rather than his disco 2 because of the 3.5 ton rule and that's definitely not safer. Therefore ditching a daft rule is better than nothing but realistically it should be replaced with either amalgamating into the test or an outright ban on towing without a test (though sensibility that would have to start from new licenses).

Mike

 

3 hours ago, miketomcat said:

I see what you are saying and I agree that the current rule is daft but you could also say "I've never worn a seat belt and I'm still here". Doesn't mean it is sensible and safe. 

Both of these points are true; for me, I have been towing several times, but not enough to warrant going for a trailer test. But it meant I was usually illegal.

Thing is, I would have had grandfather rights, had I done my test in the UK. But I had a dutch license, and I tried to wiggle it in such a way that the year in which I got my license, would give me grandfather rights in the UK. Not so, as no grandfather rights in Holland, means no grandfather rights in the UK. So I am happy with this move. But it is not good for everyone.

large.1928001745_landroverregremoved.jpg.3d157a18c6596530ac2de1fd613fa7e2.jpg

My last (borderline legal, but safe) towing adventure.

Daan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 hours ago, western said:

Just wait for the increase in towing vehicle/trailer incidents involving drivers who have never towed heavy trailers before. a bit of a dumb change just to save money. road safety will drop.

I hear ya. But as someone who was 6 months too young to be able to get a licence with full towing rights on it. I know loads and loads of people with pre ‘97 licences that have towed with no additional training or issues. 
 

And as the law currently stands, post 97 licences you can still tow quite a bit with the right combo. Eg my Jimny has a tow rating of 1300kg. So legally I have always been able to tow a caravan with it. As the combined MAM is less than 3.5t. 
 

With a Freelander I can tow up to 1450kg legally without taking a trailer test. Which means a small transporter and a sports car on it. 
 

The crazy thing is. The recommended trailer for the trailer test is a 1 tonne box trailer. So you could use something a Freelander. Driver there own your own with the test trailer, put L plates on. Fail the test, then remove the L plates and legally continue towing the trailer! Utter craziness if you ask me. 
 

Also the test had no content at all on towing heavier trailers. Most of it is about general driving, using mirrors and indicators. And then some reversing, which as said. With the right vehicle you would have been doing without a test anyway. 
 

Oh and of course I can also legally drive this with 10 tonne corn on board. On the same licence that says I can’t tow 3.5t if I use a Land Rover. 
 

 

010C0950-AB14-4A19-B735-D3AD92F8A784.jpeg

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, monkie said:

As I understand it a number of years ago they stopped automatically allowing you to tow a trailer without an additional test. A wise move. Now they are reversing this. Makes no sense to me from a safety point of view 

See my post above. It never stopped you being able to tow. It just made it hugely complicated. But it did mean the better the tow vehicle, the less you could tow. And encouraged people to use less good tow vehicles. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Daan said:

 

Both of these points are true; for me, I have been towing several times, but not enough to warrant going for a trailer test. But it meant I was usually illegal.

Thing is, I would have had grandfather rights, had I done my test in the UK. But I had a dutch license, and I tried to wiggle it in such a way that the year in which I got my license, would give me grandfather rights in the UK. Not so, as no grandfather rights in Holland, means no grandfather rights in the UK. So I am happy with this move. But it is not good for everyone.

large.1928001745_landroverregremoved.jpg.3d157a18c6596530ac2de1fd613fa7e2.jpg

My last (borderline legal, but safe) towing adventure.

Daan

If that pic is in the U.K.  and a post 97 licence. I’m pretty sure 750kg MAM is all you would be able to legally tow with a 110. If it was a 109 you might have been ok if the trailer had been replated to a lower MAM. 

At least it won’t be an issue in the future 😃

Link to comment
Share on other sites

All this thread is proving is what a horlicks the DVLA/government  made of it all when they introduced it, and have since meddled with a few times just to confuse the issue even further, meaning no-one really understood the rules unless you studied them for half an hour, which meant they didn't get followed, even if unintentional.

For that reason alone, this is a good move.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Did accidents involving trailers reduce when they introduced the limits ? 
 

I’ve looked for some data on it - but can’t find it. What I found just seemed to show that most trailer accidents were and are articulated lorries (which obviously have a very rigorous test) and caravans (which surprises no one I expect).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wonder what insurance companies have to say? I imagine if you have just passed your test and saved up enough to insure yourself you should read the terms and conditions very carefully to see if they cover you for towing irrespective of the law change. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I actually doubt it will make an difference to the number of accident's either way because a numpty will crash a trailer regardless of weight and someone with half a brain is less likely however now they will tow legally with a heavy trailer.

Mike

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have been towing trailers for over 30 years and while I have had one or two incidents I have never had an accident while towing. In all of that time I have towed small trailers, caravans and larghe trtailers with cars as heavy as Range Rovers. 

The amount of training, I passed my driving test over 30 years ago, amounts to zero hours which is typical of my generation. I found it strange at the time tha legislation was introduced and find it stranger still is is being recinded. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 minutes ago, rednaxela said:

Bit unfortunate for those whose livelihoods depend on mentoring post 1997 licence holders for their trailer test.

Problem is, there is a massive backlog in tests, and now things are opening up they are likely to be inundated with regular licence training, as well as the 'recommended' trailer  stuff.

Part of this is to free up training for hgv, which is where we have a shortage....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience. By using our website you agree to our Cookie Policy