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Old 17-07-09, 09:20 AM
Ant Ant is offline
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Exclamation Towing Regulations


Obtained from http://www.caravansa.co.za/caravan_c...article_id=393


Towing, the law and you

Are you towing legal? Revised legislation regarding what you may or may not tow in terms of weight could put you on the wrong side of the law - even if you only tow a light luggage trailer!

According to the South African National Standards (SABS) authority, legislation is constantly amended without promulgation, which means that you and I could be legal one day and illegal the next - without being made aware of the fact. The onus, it appears, is on the individual to keep up to date with traffic ordinance, and through the medium of this publication we will do our best to keep readers abreast of the latest regulations encompassing towing.

Towing a caravan or trailer in the past used to be so simple and straightforward if you obeyed a simple set of regulations. For example, the caravan or trailer could not weigh more than the towing vehicle, the towing vehicle had to have rear-view mirrors (some provinces said one while others require one on each side of the towing vehicle), and naturally one could not exceed the national speed limit. Red tape regarding towing legislation was kept to a minimum and the national statistics of accidents involving towed caravans or trailers were so negligible that it didn’t warrant recording the number of vehicles involved in towing-related accidents.

In the early days of towing – the 1960s and 70s – legislation stated that the caravan could not weigh more than 75% of the towing vehicle’s kerb weight. Caravaning as a means of holidaying grew, with manufacturers recording sales of 11 000 new caravans a year.

Kerb weight, for those not used to this phrase, was perceived to be the vehicle’s standing weight when parked at the kerbside with half a tank of fuel, a spare wheel and a battery. Those were the days when cars were manufactured from steel and more steel, and when they crashed into things, their over-engineered bodies did considerable damage!

Heavy, chromed bumpers soon gave way to lighter plastics, and the modern-day car shed kilos in kerb mass to achieve maximum fuel efficiency. At the same time stability improved and more effective braking systems were introduced, which allowed this regulation to be reviewed and relaxed.

Instead of a vehicle being able to tow up to 75% of its kerb mass, this was rewritten so that a tow vehicle could tow up to its Tare or Licence mass, a newer name for kerb weight. In both cases the kerb or tare mass limitations could be exceeded, providing that the caravan or trailer was equipped with an extra vacuum or hydraulic braking system. Both of these brake operating systems are an additional method of applying the trailer’s brakes via an existing over-run or inertia braking mechanism.

For some reason electric-operated trailer brakes were not permitted in South Africa, but this is now a thing of the past as this braking system has proven to be the system of choice in the USA and Australia. It’s a great system that allows the driver to apply the trailers brakes only in cases of sudden instability caused by side winds, passing vehicles, steep mountain pass descents etc., but more of this topic another time.
A fact that needs to be raised here is that a vehicle towing a well-maintained caravan can stop faster than one that is not towing a caravan, a fact born out by our monthly tow tests which show the average braking time from 100 km/h to zero to be a fast 3.7 seconds. The reason for this is that a caravan not only brakes itself but it adds a down force onto the rear of the towcar, which in turn provides better grip to the tow vehicle’s tyres. Even in a wet and wintry Cape Town, the latest Volkswagen Tiguan and 1090 kg Sprite could stop in 3.37 seconds from travelling at 100 km/h, which is really impressive.

Previously caravans were defined in the ordinance as being what they are - caravans - but this has been revoked and today they are officially lumped back with trailers, with the terminology of a trailer being: includes all vehicles that are designed to be drawn by a motor vehicle and run on wheels. We at Caravan and Outdoor Life feel that this is wrong for the obvious reason that a caravan has predetermined packing space and is designed to tow well within these parameters. They are not goods-carrying trailers designed to transport heavy loads that can shift in transit, with cargo that can be placed anywhere and be nose or tail heavy – or carry livestock, for that matter. Unlike trailers (which are allowed to transport people at up to 30 km/h), caravans are certainly not designed to carry people at any speed.

Caravan-towing-related accidents are rare, a good indication that all is well with the traffic regulations, and perhaps this is not surprising as towing a caravan or trailer has a ‘tranquiliser effect’ on the towcar driver – they realise that they are driving a vehicle which is compromised with an additional burden and abnormal length, so they do not travel fast. Yes, towing does have a calming effect on boy racers, and because you are towing, you concentrate more on the traffic.

As mentioned earlier, the legislation governing the towing of trailers has recently become more complicated, which means that many people towing lightweight luggage trailers may be contravening the law.

You need a license to tow

Today, one needs to have a licence that qualifies you to tow a trailer with a GVM of over 750 kg and, simply put, you could be fined or worse (such as in the event of a towing accident - your insurance company may refuse to pay out if you are caught towing anything heavier than your licence allows). To tow anything that has a GVM exceeding 750 kg you require a driver’s licence with an EB classification.
An EB classified driver’s licence allows the driver to tow up to 3 500 kg. If you don’t have this classification you have to book your learner’s licence at a nearby testing facility where you must be prepared to wait up to a year for a learner’s licence test. Regardless of whether you have a valid driver’s licence you have to pay your R60, submit two suitably sized pictures and sit for a learner’s test. On test day you will have to provide the car and caravan and do the test; to save time, try to book this test when you book your learner’s.

One would presume that an EB learner’s licence would work along the same lines as a driver’s licence in that you would have to find someone with an EB licence to go with you to practise towing! Luckily for all those ‘old’ drivers out there, you can apply for an exemption to get an EB licence; the criteria is that you must have been in the possession of a valid driver’s licence prior to the new credit card licences being issued. The minimum motor vehicle (car) licence allows the driver to tow up to 750 kg.

An interesting topic where the SABS are perhaps right on the money is what happens when you buy a standard caravan or trailer and opt to add extras. When this is done, the Tare mass must be recalculated, because when all the optional extras are taken into account, an overloaded suspension may result - and you have not yet added your clothing!

An example here is when you’ve purchased an off-road trailer for which the manufacturer quoted a predetermined Tare and GVM. You then add a non-standard deepfreeze, a water tank, extra batteries, a rooftop tent, a porta potti, spare wheel and fuel cans, and you end up with a trailer that is exceeding its GVM just with accessories. Chances are that you will be stopped at a weigh bridge, made to pay a hefty fine and will only be allowed to proceed once you have offloaded all the excess weight in order to bring the GVM back within what is stated on the trailer’s manufacturing plate.

KISS! “Keep it simple, stupid” is not a philosophy that will ever apply to traffic regulations. Local Authorities, in this writer’s mind, are only too willing to follow overseas trends that don’t always apply to South African conditions (two factors that come to mind are that we don’t have snow and road ice), and one can’t help but wonder how these regulations were arrived at.

Your car and ‘trailer’ is illegal if…

Did you know that by law, to tow any trailer with a GVM of up to 750 kg, the Tare of the drawing vehicle must be double the GVM of the trailer! In other words the drawing vehicle must have a Tare (licence weight) of 1 500 kg in the case of a trailer with a GVM of 750 kg, whereas a trailer of 300 kg requires a minimum towcar Tare mass of 600 kg. Let’s put that into perspective: a six cylinder 2.5-litre BMW 325 Touring has a Tare of 1 425 kg, which means that it would be illegal if towing a 750 kg unbraked trailer! Many cars towing unbraked trailers are therefore street illegal.

However, should the trailer be equipped with its own braking system and fall into the category of 751 kg to 3 500 kg GVM, then the Tare of the drawing vehicle must be more than or equal to the GVM of the trailer! If you have brakes fitted to the trailer you can tow up to your vehicle’s GVM providing that you do not exceed the 3500 kg trailer GVM. If you are going to tow a trailer that exceeds 3500 kg GVM, the trailer must have a service brake in addition to over-run brakes.

In addition to this there are other parameters that define what your car may or may not tow. The GCM or Gross Combined Mass has to be displayed on a vehicle’s identification plate. To determine what the vehicle may tow you have to subtract the GVM from the GCM, i.e. GCM less the GVM = 2925 kg -1725 kg = 1200 kg

Chevrons

A Chevron is a board with reflective yellow and red striping set at an angle that is fixed across the rear of a trailer or caravan. All new trailers as well as any vehicle with a GVM exceeding 3 500 kg require a Chevron board. A full chevron may be cut if the full chevron is wider than the trailer, and if a chevron does not fit at all, red reflectors may be used. In addition two red triangles are now required on trailers up to 3 500 kg.

Contour markings

Contour markings refer to the yellow reflective tape, which only applies to caravans in South Africa. According to Regulation 1192A this tape must be applied to all trailers after January 2006 and all new motorhomes from July 1, 2007.

Towing in tandem

There are some caravaners who like to tow an additional trailer or perhaps even a boat behind their caravan and do so quite successfully. While there is no immediate restriction to prevent this practise – other than the warranty of the caravan becoming null and void – there are certain restrictions.
The first restriction is that you may not have two vehicles (a vehicle is classified as having an engine driving wheels) pulling a trailer; rather you are allowed one towing vehicle pulling two trailers (a caravan and a luggage trailer or boat) providing the maximum length does not exceed 22 metres.

One regulation has been relaxed: you may now have passengers in a caravan providing you do not exceed 30 km/h! This is daft.

What you will be required to do

We apologise for the negativity in this article; we just think that the infrastructure of having someone teaching you how to tow a caravan does not exist and, most importantly, that facilities for such testing do not exist. And finally, what is the purpose of needing a special licence to tow? In America one doesn’t need a towing licence! Over-regulating may even prevent someone from considering going caravaning, and an industry stands to lose.

We telephoned the Cape Town Traffic department – Driver’s licence section – to find out how one goes about getting an EB licence. It turns out that all those lucky drivers who had a valid driver’s licence not marked as B can apply for an exemption for an EB classification.

We have approached the SABS for comment on this article, but have not received a reply.

Terminology and other requirements

Terminology

• Motor vehicle – includes trailer.
• Trailer – includes all vehicles designed to be drawn by a motor vehicle and that run on wheels.
• Semi trailers – trailer with no front axle and at least 15% of the mass is carried by the drawing vehicle.

Manufacturer’s responsibilities

• Must register with the province
• Must comply with requirements of MIB Inspectorate – SABS
• Must have all relevant legislation and SANS specifications
• Must build trailers in terms of specifications and homologation requirements.

Driving licences

• B – Can drive a vehicle up to 3 500 kg Tare and GVM
• C1 – Can drive a vehicle of 3501 kg to 16 000 kg Tare and GVM
• EB – Can drive a vehicle up to 3 500 kg Tare, GVM and GCM

Brakes: Roadworthy requirements

• Any trailer up to 750 kg GVM requires a parking brake.
• Trailers weighing between 751 kg and 3 500 kg require a parking brake and overrun brake/service brake.
• Trailers weighing in excess of 3 500 g require a parking brake and service brake.
It is interesting to note that a parking brake can be a brick behind a wheel.

Manufacturer specifications: Reg 239 and Reg 245

• GA – Gross axle mass
• GAU – Gross axle unit mass
• GVM – Gross vehicle mass
• GCM – Gross combination mass
• GKM – Gross kingpin mass
• T – Tare
• P/D – power of engine – kilowatts

Tare

In relation to a motor vehicle this means the mass of such a vehicle ready to travel on a road and includes the mass of:
A) Any spare wheel and all other accessories and equipment supplied by the manufacturer as standard for the particular model of motor vehicle.
B) Anything that is a permanent part of the structure of the vehicle.
C) Anything attached to such a vehicle so as to form a structural alteration of a permanent nature.

It does not include:

• The mass of fuel
• Anything attached to such a vehicle which is not part of the nature referred to in paragraph (B) or (C).

Gross combination mass

In relation to a motor vehicle which is used to draw any other motor vehicle, this means the maximum mass of any combination of motor vehicles (including the drawing vehicle) and load as specified by the manufacturer thereof or, in the absence of such specification, as determined by the registering authority.

“Gross vehicle mass”, in relation to a motor vehicle, means the maximum mass of such vehicle and its load as specified by the manufacturer thereof or, in the absence of such specification, as determined by the registering authority.
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Old 17-07-09, 10:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ant View Post

Brakes: Roadworthy requirements

• Any trailer up to 750 kg GVM requires a parking brake.

Does this mean I have to add a park brake to my Challenger Town and country?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ant View Post

• Trailers weighing between 751 kg and 3 500 kg require a parking brake and overrun brake/service brake.
What is a "service Brake" - is it a hydraulic or air brake?
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Old 17-07-09, 10:20 AM
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Now my question comes in.

What about a horse like a Volvo 610, that weighs about 12tonne, pulls a trailer, with a load, that weighs 150tonnes. How does this work now?

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Old 17-07-09, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Uys View Post
Does this mean I have to add a park brake to my Challenger Town and country?

You probably have a short piece of chain, and a piece of metal that fit through one of the wheels.

That is a parking brake

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Old 17-07-09, 11:08 AM
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Ant thanks for this article, I see it as infrmative rather than negative.

I am one of the lucky ones which already have EB status.

My question goes as follows: My Jimny weighs in just over a ton, I was told that as long as my trailer AND its load weighs in under 500kg I am OK. Is this correct, or do I know need to add brake assist ?



Note: The weigh bridge outside Worcestor will not let you off load goods if you are over the limit. You get your fine, AND wait untill somebody can come so that you may transfer some of your load onto their vehicle. Sounds like symantics - until this happens to you at some remote weigh bridge 1 000 km from home and friends .....
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Old 17-07-09, 11:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henris View Post
Now my question comes in.

What about a horse like a Volvo 610, that weighs about 12tonne, pulls a trailer, with a load, that weighs 150tonnes. How does this work now?
Yep, or even smaller... 40ft container. Which can be loaded with 35T of cargo. And that excludes that mass of the trailer.

And it is interesting that they changed the law again. The previous "new" law was simply that the tow car (empty) had to weigh atleast as much as the trailer (loaded), the loaded trailer weight had to fall with in the tow car's manufacturers "max towing capability" specs.

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Last edited by RedLineR; 17-07-09 at 11:17 AM.
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Old 17-07-09, 11:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uys View Post
Does this mean I have to add a park brake to my Challenger Town and country?




What is a "service Brake" - is it a hydraulic or air brake?

Parking break can be a brick behind the wheels...
does not need to be a handbrake.
most trailers have a cable that you attach to the wheel.

Overrun brake - normal caravan brake.
Service brake - works when towing vehicle brakes ... hydraulically or pneumatically or electronically

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Old 17-07-09, 11:23 AM
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Henris, it's mentioned in the law, but not in the article.

What I'd like to know, is what the regulations is about flat-towing a vehicle, ie using an a-frame. The laws have become so difficult to interpret in only one way.
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Old 17-07-09, 11:32 AM
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I once saw the regulation regarding towing with an A-frame. Something to do with braking distance on good road surface.

I will see if I can find it.

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Old 17-07-09, 11:37 AM
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How does one know the exact weight of their packed trailer before leaving on a trip. I mean without estimating the weight of individual items and then adding them all up? Are there places to go and weigh a trailer?
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Old 17-07-09, 11:43 AM
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All of this is a huge farse.

You should see the loads that come through Musina, that go up to Malawi. The axles break on the bakkie as well as on the trailer. Why do they "allow" that to happen, but they want to give us sh1t when we are 100kg over.

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Old 17-07-09, 12:22 PM
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Here is the act dealing with Towing of vehicles Nothing in there dealing with the weight of the vehicle on tow.

Read also "Braking performance of service, emergency and parking brakes" ... it deals with "motor vehicle or a combination of motor vehicles" and later on in the act they come to this conclusion:

A light motor vehicle (combination <3500kg) must be able to stop from 35km/h within 14meters on a "reasonable level, dry, smooth and hard surface which is free from loose material"

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Old 17-07-09, 12:26 PM
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Oooops. That's not gonna happen when I tow the CJ2 with my Bantam! He he.
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Old 17-07-09, 01:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RUSSELL View Post
How does one know the exact weight of their packed trailer before leaving on a trip. I mean without estimating the weight of individual items and then adding them all up? Are there places to go and weigh a trailer?
You pack the trailer, then you pick it up and climb onto the scale.
Then you subtract your own weight from the total.

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Old 17-07-09, 02:18 PM
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You pack the trailer, then you pick it up and climb onto the scale.
Then you subtract your own weight from the total.
Too lazy for that... Tell SWAMBO to do it

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Old 01-09-09, 12:44 PM
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Quote:
In addition to this there are other parameters that define what your car may or may not tow. The GCM or Gross Combined Mass has to be displayed on a vehicle’s identification plate. To determine what the vehicle may tow you have to subtract the GVM from the GCM, i.e. GCM less the GVM = 2925 kg -1725 kg = 1200 kg
This is exactly the problem I’ve addressed with some of the Trailer manufacturers and
Never got response from them.

According to Caravan and outdoor Towcar Guide there is only approximately
15 vehicles on SA roads which may lawfully tow the following trailers:

Afrispoor – Mongoose 1500 GVM
Bantam – Sahara 1650 GVM
Bushwakka – Safari 1500 GVM
- Scout 1500 GVM
Conqueror – Conquest 1525 GVM
- Compact 1525 GVM
- Supra 1525 GVM
Desert Wolf – Leo 1800 GVM
- Lynx 1500 GVM
Echo 4 1600 GVM


Maximum Allowable GVM of Caravan/Trailer for the following Vehicles to tow:

Chrysler
Jeep Grand Cherokee 1390 GVM
PT Cruiser 1390 GVM
Jeep Cherokee 1650 GVM
Wrangler 1650 GVM

Ford
Ford Ranger 2.5D 1650 GVM but
The Ranger 2.5D D/C only 1390 GVM (No offroad trailer for him)

Isuzu
350 LE & 240 only 1400 GVM

Land Rover
The Defender Td5, Discovery 3 TDV6 SE, Freelander Td4 not allowed to tow above offroad trailers
Range Rover 1500 GVM

Nissan
The Navara 2.5 CDik Navara 4l auto 4x2, Pathfinder 2.5 CDi and Patrol are not allowed to tow above trailers.

Only the Hardbody 3.0 1650 GVM

Etc, Etc, Etc…

My Question is thus: Were these trailer suppliers to enthusiastic by rating their trailers this high for sales purposes and never kept vehicle towing legislation in mind?

Last edited by Paw_by_Paw; 01-09-09 at 12:46 PM.
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Old 01-09-09, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henris View Post
All of this is a huge farse.

You should see the loads that come through Musina, that go up to Malawi. The axles break on the bakkie as well as on the trailer. Why do they "allow" that to happen, but they want to give us sh1t when we are 100kg over.
Do you honestly think the ENFORCER is up to date with the exact interpretation of this law? NOOIT!!!!

only have to establish doubt in him being right and he will let you go, especially if he thinks his BOSS is going to realise that he does not know the intricacies (spelling?) of the law on towing - BS baffles brains

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Old 19-02-10, 02:39 PM
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Default Trailor with 1300 gvm and 300 tarra

Does my trailor with with 1300 gvm and 300 tarra need a braking system.
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Old 19-02-10, 03:13 PM
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This is a very interesting topic that I've discussed with a few friend on various occasions. By the letter of the law, most vehicles towing a horse box is illegal. The average person uses a std bakkie or suv to tow a trailer weighing in at 500 - 700kg, add 2 horses weighing around 600+kg each and you have a trailer with moving load weighing in at 1800kg and even more if you've got big horses.

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Old 19-02-10, 04:11 PM
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What's interesting is the Rangy can tow 6500kgs up to 30 kmph. From a manual I paged through.

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Old 19-02-10, 11:30 PM
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Quote:
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What's interesting is the Rangy can tow 6500kgs up to 30 kmph. From a manual I paged through.
That is without damage to the rangie. Cops will not see the humor in this
Sad part is that when my pajero blew its engine I asked brother in law to recover with his landy and being a fairly new one he phoned land rover to find out if the landy was up to this. He was told in no uncertain terms that his guarantee would be voided and that they strongly opposed the recovery. We had to settle for a condor to tow the trailer with the pajero on, quite scary up the mountain at watefal boven but slow and steady wins the race

What bugs me about this new lot is if I hook a venter to the back of my golf it is now illegal due to the new weight restrictions even if it is less than half of the golf's weight

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Old 14-05-12, 09:28 AM
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So glad the Disco is a HEAVY weight vehicle and I got the EB automatically.
From all of this - the ability of your vehicle and the law do not see each other.
Knowing what the law says makes it easier for us to make decicions.

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Old 15-05-12, 09:28 AM
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For some reason I missed this thread until now.

Firstly, what criteria was used with the automatic issue-ing of the BE license? I had a normal Code 08, and when we went to the new card license, mine was put down as BE. My wife is classed a B (I got my license in 1991, she in 2001)

My Vitara has a Tare of 1100kg. That means I am not allowed to tow ANYTHING, since even the smallest trailers on the market have GVM's of around 650kg. (And a tare of only 160kg. BUT, according to this, it will be illegal to tow even an empty Venter or bike trailer....since they have unbraked axles.)

I must try to get my hands on the Namibian regs. IIRC, you may tow half the vehicle's weight, max 750kg, unbraked, or up to the vehicles tare weight braked, if this does not exceed the GCM of the vehicle.

The trailer weight in our case is NOT the GVM as indicated on the license of the trailer, but the actual weight of the LOADED trailer, as determined by a weighbridge. This makes more sense. (I'll have to confirm this, but it is the way the law is enforced. But dealing with insurance may be different!)

This brings me to my last question. Lets ASSUME the law in Namibia is different than SA. For a Suffer it would be illegal to tow a Venter behind a Citigolf, but here it would be legal. In case of an accident, the insurance can refuse the claim in SA. Now, what about if a SA reg rig is in an accident in Namibia (where the rig is legal) or a Nam reg'ed rig is involved in an accident in SA (The Citi + Venter was legal until crossing to SA, then became illegal?) What will / can the insurance / authorities do in this scenario??

Why do they have to bloody complicate everything to the point no sane human can understand it
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Old 15-05-12, 09:43 AM
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Okay - if you did your licence under the old system you got a code 08 which automatically became an EB when the new system kicked in.

If you did it under the K53 system you got a B....

It is not the case that your Vitara may not tow. it may tow up to it's legal limit as proscribed by the manufacturer, and the trailer must be braked as proscribed by law.

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Old 15-05-12, 09:47 AM
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the section from the NRTA:



National Road Traffic Act, 1996
National Road Traffic Regulations, 1999
Chapter VI : Fitness of Vehicles
Part II : Equipment on or in respect of vehicles
151. Brakes on trailers



1) Subject to the provisions of subregulation (4) no person shall operate on a public road trailer, if-

a) The gross vehicle mass of such a vehicle does not exceed 750 kilograms and the gross vehicle mass

i) Does not exceed half the tare of the drawing vehicle, unless such trailer is equipped with a parking brake or other device to keep such trailer stationary;

ii) Exceeds half the tare of the drawing vehicle but does exceed such tare unless such trailer is equipped with a parking brake; or

iii) Exceeds the tare of the drawing vehicle, unless such trailer is equipped parking brake and a service break;

b) Te gross vehicle mass of such trailer exceeds 750 kilograms but does not exceed 3 500 kilograms and the gross vehicle mass –

i) Does not exceed the tare of the drawing vehicle, unless such trailer is equipped with a parking break and either an overturn brake or a service break; or

ii) Exceeds the tare of the drawing vehicle; unless the trailer is equipped with a parking brake and a service break,

c) The gross vehicle mass of the trailer exceeds 3 500 kilograms, unless such trailer is equipped with a parking brake and a service brake

and where more than one trailer is drawn by a drawing vehicle, the foregoing requirements shall apply in respect of each such trailer, and in such event the gross vehicle mass shall be constructed as the total of the gross vehicle mass of all trailers so drawn.

2) The service brake of a trailer shall be capable of being operated by the driver of the drawing vehicle while such vehicle and drawing vehicle are in motion.

3) If the service or overrun brake of a trailer is capable of being used as a parking brake, a separate parking brake need not be fitted to such trailer.

4) Notwithstanding sub-regulation (1)(c), if a trailer referred to in that sub-regulation is drawn by a tractor and such tractor is not designed for or capable of operation at a speed exceeding 40 kilometres per hour on a reasonably level road, such trailer may be equipped with an overrun brake in lieu of a service brake.

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Old 15-05-12, 09:50 AM
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hmmmm...

I got that from: http://www.acts.co.za/rt_nrta/index.htm

since the official governement site no longer allows you access (nothing like access to the law hey... )

anyway - section (a) (ii) does not read quite right and there are some spelling mistakes...

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Old 15-05-12, 10:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by r2d2c3po View Post
You probably have a short piece of chain, and a piece of metal that fit through one of the wheels.

That is a parking brake
Ok now I know I always wondered what that was for.

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Old 15-05-12, 11:27 AM
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This means that with a B license, I'm only allowed to tow up to 750kg?

Now what off-road trailer will weight less than that? I don't believe there is any.

Better start making a plan to do EB license.

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Old 15-05-12, 02:28 PM
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Hi
Please help me out here.
I have a Kia Sportage 2002 with : GVM 1928kg and Tarra 1440kg.
Is it legal to tow a small trailer ( say a venter) with the Kia?
Is it legal to tow a small caravan(say a sprite swift 1984) with the Kia?
Is it legal to tow a car with a tow rope (say from where it broke down to the nearest garage?

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Old 16-05-12, 07:19 AM
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Not to confuse the issue further!
If the trailer has a GVM of 750 kg the tow car has to have a tare of 1500 kg to be legal if not the trailer has to have brakes!
your Kia can tow a trailer with a GVM of 720 kgs, 721 kgs and u have to have brakes fitted to the trailer! U may tow a small caravan as long as it has brakes or way less than 720 kgs.
I was in a situation where my jet ski trailer was registered as 500 kgs no brakes needed but common sense prevailed, two skis plus camping equipment was a lot more than the 500 kg GVM stated on the plate, if i was stopped and escorted to a weigh bridge, say no more, had brakes fitted and the trailer re registered GVM now 900kg. ( cost of upgrade 6.5 k) Rather safe than sorry!

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Old 15-11-12, 05:06 PM
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Default Towing in Tandem

"Towing in tandem

There are some caravaners who like to tow an additional trailer or perhaps even a boat behind their caravan and do so quite successfully. While there is no immediate restriction to prevent this practise – other than the warranty of the caravan becoming null and void – there are certain restrictions.
The first restriction is that you may not have two vehicles (a vehicle is classified as having an engine driving wheels) pulling a trailer; rather you are allowed one towing vehicle pulling two trailers (a caravan and a luggage trailer or boat) providing the maximum length does not exceed 22 metres."


OK, I know this is not advisable, but I do not have a choice this year

I just want to make sure that I my setup is legal

Land Rover Disco 4 V8 HSE,
Over all Lenght - 4829 m
Tara - 2548 kg
GVM - 3240 kg

Jurgens Exclusive
Over all Lenght - 7330 m
Tara - 1504 kg
GVM - 1750 kg

Venter Elite 6
Over all Lenght - 2890 m
Tara - 160 kg
GVM - 700 kg

Total Lenght = 15 m < 22 m according to law
Vehicle TARA = 2548 > 2450 TARA Caravan + Trailer

So I should be in the parameters of the law

I do have an EB licence which allows me to drive a vehicle up to 3500 TARA and thus also allows me to tow a TRAILER i.e. up to 3500 kg,

Correct

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Old 15-11-12, 05:29 PM
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Hi,

you have to double the GVM of the venter as it is unbraked, so your combination is illegal.

Regards

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Old 15-11-12, 05:47 PM
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Whoa!!! All wrong.

You may tow 2 trailers provided you have the GCM on the tow vehicle to accommodate them.

A 750kg or less trailer does not need brakes, nor does it get multiplied or anything.

NRTA is very clear, ivecposted them many times, I can't get the act up here though...

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Old 16-11-12, 06:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Apocalypse View Post
Whoa!!! All wrong.

You may tow 2 trailers provided you have the GCM on the tow vehicle to accommodate them.

A 750kg or less trailer does not need brakes, nor does it get multiplied or anything.

NRTA is very clear, ivecposted them many times, I can't get the act up here though...

Land Rover Discovery V8 HSE - GCM = 6780kg
Comination 2548+1750+700 = 4998 kg

GCM LR - 6780 > 4998

So I assume I am safe

Thanks

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Old 16-11-12, 07:55 AM
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What does the law say about a A-frame tow vehicle, the problem here is its almost impossible to add a brake system to the vehicle being towed.
My Thar weigh 1700kg, I know the Pajero are allowed to tow that weight according to the GCM - but its not braked??

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Old 16-11-12, 08:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Navigator View Post
What does the law say about a A-frame tow vehicle, the problem here is its almost impossible to add a brake system to the vehicle being towed.
My Thar weigh 1700kg, I know the Pajero are allowed to tow that weight according to the GCM - but its not braked??
here you go:

National Road Traffic Act, 1996
National Road Traffic Regulations, 1999
Chapter X : Rules of the road and matters relating thereto
Part III : General
330. Towing of vehicles




1) No person shall operate a vehicle on a public road towing another vehicle –

a) if the length of the tow-rope, chain or tow-bar between the two vehicles exceeds three and a half metres;

b) if the towed vehicle is connected to the towing vehicle in such a manner that both vehicles are not under control;

c) unless the steering gear of the vehicle being towed is controlled by a person holding a code of driving licence authorising him or her to drive the class of such vehicle, if the towed vehicle is fitted with steering gear contemplated in regulation 200(1): Provided that the provisions of this paragraph shall not apply in the case where –

i) the steerable wheels of the towed vehicle are being carried clear of the ground; or

ii) the device connecting the towing vehicle to the towed vehicle is such that the steerable wheels of the towed vehicle are controlled by such device;

d) if the brakes of the towed vehicle do not comply with the provisions of regulation 155, unless the towing vehicle is connected to the towed vehicle by means of a drawbar or tow-bar;

e) at a speed in excess of 30 kilometres per hour, unless the towing vehicle is connected to the towed vehicle by means of a drawbar or a tow-bar;

f) if the towed vehicle is conveying persons at a speed in excess of 30 kilometres per hour, unless the towed vehicle is a semi-trailer; or

g) if the towing vehicle is a motor cycle, motor tricycle, motor quadrucycle or pedal cycle.



basically - if you are pulling a vehicle (NOT A TRAILER) all the weight limits don't apply, nor do you have need have brakes on the towed vehicle if it's on a solid bar (a frame)

which is daft, but true.

what you may not do is have passengers in the towed vehcile nor may you connect a trailer to the towed vehicle, nor may you A- Frame a vehicle behind a trailer.

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Old 16-11-12, 08:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohanJvV View Post
Land Rover Discovery V8 HSE - GCM = 6780kg
Comination 2548+1750+700 = 4998 kg

GCM LR - 6780 > 4998

So I assume I am safe

Thanks

looks that way, as long as the caravan is braked!

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Old 16-11-12, 12:07 PM
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And just to add fuel to the debate...none of this even deals with the laws regarding weight on the towbar itself. I know for a fact that there are plenty people that are unaware of this. I know I was until Apocalype posted about that a while ago.

I was waay over the limit...even before addressing the weight of the caravan.

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Old 16-11-12, 02:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Apocalypse View Post
looks that way, as long as the caravan is braked!
Overrun brakes

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Old 16-11-12, 02:40 PM
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I see the main problem people have with this towing issue is the lack of understanding what the all the weight discriptions mean and how to do the calculation as the law requires. So I will endeaver to explain in laymens terms how it works, to start off with I will use from Zero Kg to 3500Kg which is the towing weight limit for the EB licence.
By law there must be a data plate fitted to all vehicles and trailers ( some in the engine bay, front doors, Aframe etc ) where the weight data is displayed. What you are looking for is:
Tare ( vehicle empty weight with a driver, spare wheel, some fuel and is used as the licencing mass )
GVM ( gross vehicle mass ) the maximun mass the vehicle can weigh when loaded.
GCM ( gross combination mass ) the maximun mass of the combination of the drawing vehicle + trailer/s all loaded.
All the towing calculations can be done with these three weight groups
Calc 1) Towing mass.
Subtract the drawing vehicle's GVM from the drawing vehicle's GCM and you have the maximun weight you can tow in Kg.
Calc 2) unbraked trailer.
Look at the trailer GVM and check if it is less than half of the tow vehicle Tare mass,
a) If it is less then you are fine.
b) If it is more then the trailer requires a run in brake as a caravan has. See calc 3.
Calc 3 ) braked trailer with run in brakes.
a) When the GVM of the trailer is more than half the Tare mass of the drawing vehicle it will require a run in brake.
BUT A big BUT
The trailer GVM must not exceed the drawing vehicle tare mass, then you will require service brakes.
Calc 4 ) trailer with service brakes.
When the trailer GVM is more that the drawing vehicle's Tare mass you can still tow with the EB licence up till 3500Kg towed mass, but the trailer must have servic
brakes. Which means a braking system that is operated from the brake foot pedal of the drawing vehicle.
When the GVM is more than the tare you need to look at the GCM figure you got in Calc 1, max towing mass, the trailer GVM must not exceed this figure, then you are still legal.
As for the tow bar imposed weight on the tow hitch, there is no mention in the law, I think these are found in the SABS manuals for the trailer manufactures of that class of trailer.

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Old 16-11-12, 03:03 PM
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Quote:
Now my question comes in.

What about a horse like a Volvo 610, that weighs about 12tonne, pulls a trailer, with a load, that weighs 150tonnes. How does this work now?
Henris, it is more involved when you look at the big rigs, for eg:
All big rigs are 3500kg + so the service brakes are a must on each unit being drawen.
PD, is the rated HP/Kw of the engine which is involved in a traction calculation.
DT, is the maximun mass the truck tractor may pull behind it, so the manufacturer rates this and is also part of the traction calculation. Then there is the 11% weight tranferr from the 5th wheel steering wheels, all this is on the AV regitration for abnormal vehicles.
The braking part, the truck tractor is not there to stop the all the weight, as each trailer behind it must comply to the braking specs on its own, and does its own braking which the TT controls from the driver in put. Its when the trailer brakes are not adjusted regularly then they burn out the trucks brakes and have run a ways.

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Old 18-11-12, 12:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Apocalypse View Post
here you go:

National Road Traffic Act, 1996
National Road Traffic Regulations, 1999
Chapter X : Rules of the road and matters relating thereto
Part III : General
330. Towing of vehicles




1) No person shall operate a vehicle on a public road towing another vehicle –

a) if the length of the tow-rope, chain or tow-bar between the two vehicles exceeds three and a half metres;

b) if the towed vehicle is connected to the towing vehicle in such a manner that both vehicles are not under control;

c) unless the steering gear of the vehicle being towed is controlled by a person holding a code of driving licence authorising him or her to drive the class of such vehicle, if the towed vehicle is fitted with steering gear contemplated in regulation 200(1): Provided that the provisions of this paragraph shall not apply in the case where –

i) the steerable wheels of the towed vehicle are being carried clear of the ground; or

ii) the device connecting the towing vehicle to the towed vehicle is such that the steerable wheels of the towed vehicle are controlled by such device;

d) if the brakes of the towed vehicle do not comply with the provisions of regulation 155, unless the towing vehicle is connected to the towed vehicle by means of a drawbar or tow-bar;

e) at a speed in excess of 30 kilometres per hour, unless the towing vehicle is connected to the towed vehicle by means of a drawbar or a tow-bar;

f) if the towed vehicle is conveying persons at a speed in excess of 30 kilometres per hour, unless the towed vehicle is a semi-trailer; or

g) if the towing vehicle is a motor cycle, motor tricycle, motor quadrucycle or pedal cycle.



basically - if you are pulling a vehicle (NOT A TRAILER) all the weight limits don't apply, nor do you have need have brakes on the towed vehicle if it's on a solid bar (a frame)

which is daft, but true.

what you may not do is have passengers in the towed vehcile nor may you connect a trailer to the towed vehicle, nor may you A- Frame a vehicle behind a trailer.
This does not make sense at all unless I got it altogether wrong. I can therefore tow a truck of which the brakes does not work woth my Citi Golf as long as a solid bar is used, the person steering the truck is duly licenced and he carries no passengers.

An accident looking for a place to happen!

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Old 19-11-12, 09:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Apocalypse
here you go:

National Road Traffic Act, 1996
National Road Traffic Regulations, 1999
Chapter X : Rules of the road and matters relating thereto
Part III : General
330. Towing of vehicles




1) No person shall operate a vehicle on a public road towing another vehicle –

a) if the length of the tow-rope, chain or tow-bar between the two vehicles exceeds three and a half metres;

b) if the towed vehicle is connected to the towing vehicle in such a manner that both vehicles are not under control;

c) unless the steering gear of the vehicle being towed is controlled by a person holding a code of driving licence authorising him or her to drive the class of such vehicle, if the towed vehicle is fitted with steering gear contemplated in regulation 200(1): Provided that the provisions of this paragraph shall not apply in the case where –

i) the steerable wheels of the towed vehicle are being carried clear of the ground; or

ii) the device connecting the towing vehicle to the towed vehicle is such that the steerable wheels of the towed vehicle are controlled by such device;

d) if the brakes of the towed vehicle do not comply with the provisions of regulation 155, unless the towing vehicle is connected to the towed vehicle by means of a drawbar or tow-bar;

e) at a speed in excess of 30 kilometres per hour, unless the towing vehicle is connected to the towed vehicle by means of a drawbar or a tow-bar;

f) if the towed vehicle is conveying persons at a speed in excess of 30 kilometres per hour, unless the towed vehicle is a semi-trailer; or

g) if the towing vehicle is a motor cycle, motor tricycle, motor quadrucycle or pedal cycle.



basically - if you are pulling a vehicle (NOT A TRAILER) all the weight limits don't apply, nor do you have need have brakes on the towed vehicle if it's on a solid bar (a frame)

which is daft, but true.

what you may not do is have passengers in the towed vehcile nor may you connect a trailer to the towed vehicle, nor may you A- Frame a vehicle behind a trailer.
Quote:
This does not make sense at all unless I got it altogether wrong. I can therefore tow a truck of which the brakes does not work woth my Citi Golf as long as a solid bar is used, the person steering the truck is duly licenced and he carries no passengers.

An accident looking for a place to happen!
The part you guys are missing is on the towing vehicles data plate, you still have the maximun towing mass, it still has to comply to the road regs, so you are getting some relief on the drawen vehicle on the brake side. I read the regs as for towing a broken down vehicle on the side of the road, one that is road worthy and licenced, not a A-framed pipe car from JHB to CT.

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  #44  
Old 06-12-12, 08:55 PM
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Spoke to one of the sales people at a caravan dealership and was told that even with a EB license, the tow vehicle GVM and the caravan/trailer GVM combined may not exceed 3500 kg's. Thats apart from the restriction with regards to GCM masses and braked/un-braked weight restrictions.

Does that mean I am not allowed to tow an off-road caravan even though I am towing with a Disco?

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  #45  
Old 06-12-12, 10:04 PM
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Code Vehicle classes Includes
Motorcycles
A1 Motorcycles with an engine capacity of 125 cubic centimetres or less
A Motorcycles with an engine capacity greater than 125 cc Code A1
Light motor vehicles
B Vehicles (except motorcycles) with tare weight of 3 500 kilograms or less; and minibuses, buses and goods vehicles with gross vehicle mass (GVM) of 3 500 kg or less. A trailer with GVM of 750 kg or less may be attached.
EB Articulated vehicles with gross combination mass (GCM) of 3 500 kg or less; and vehicles allowed by Code B but with a trailer with GVM greater than 750 kg. Code B
Heavy motor vehicles
C1 Vehicles with tare weight between 3 500 kg and 16 000 kg; minibuses, buses and goods vehicles with GVM between 3 500 kg and 16 000 kg. A trailer with GVM of 750 kg or less may be attached. Code B
C Buses and goods vehicles with GVM greater than 16 000 kg. A trailer with GVM of 750 kg or less may be attached. Codes B and C1
EC1 Articulated vehicles with GCM between 3 500 kg and 16 000 kg; and vehicles allowed by Code C1 but with a trailer with GVM greater than 750 kg. Codes B, EB and C1
EC Articulated vehicles with GCM greater than 16 000 kg; and vehicles allowed by Code C but with a trailer with GVM greater than 750 kg. Codes B, EB, C1, C and EC1

Tsotsi if the GVM was not allowed to be more than 3500kg then your Disco wouldn't be allowed to tow a pram let alone an off road caravan.
My Pajero has a GVM of 3080kg
An EB licence allows one to tow a trailer with a mass greater than 750kg. The limit of the trailer is thus defined by the limit of the tare mass of your vehicle.
That being said if your off road caravan tips the scale @ the weigh bridge at 1600kg this only allows you 1900kg for the vehicle, including contents. This is due to the fact that both vehicle and trailer may not exceed 3500kg combined.
So if the tare mass of your vehicle is 2000kg and the family and all the holiday luggage adds another 600kg, mrs venter is all you can tow


See - http://www.aawdc.offventure.com/now/annexD.pdf

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  #46  
Old 07-12-12, 09:45 AM
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Quote:
Spoke to one of the sales people at a caravan dealership and was told that even with a EB license, the tow vehicle GVM and the caravan/trailer GVM combined may not exceed 3500 kg's. Thats apart from the restriction with regards to GCM masses and braked/un-braked weight restrictions.

Does that mean I am not allowed to tow an off-road caravan even though I am towing with a Disco?
Tsotsi, an extract from the regs, and you will notice that it refers to the vehicle you drive, and the restrictions imposed on it, not whats behind it.


EB
A motor vehicle, excluding a motor cycle, motor tricycle, motor quadrucycle, tractor and a motor vehicle which is a type of mobile agricultural or industrial equipment or machinery not designed principally for the conveyance of persons or goods, being-- (i) an articulated motor vehicle, of which the gross combination mass of the truck-tractor does not exceed 3 500 kilograms;
(ii) a combination of--
(aa) a motor vehicle the tare of which does not exceed 3 500 kg; or
(bb) a mini-bus, bus or goods vehicle, the gross vehicle mass of which does not exceed 3 500 kilograms,
with a trailer the gross vehicle mass of which exceeds 750 kilograms.


Firstly a truck tractor is a goods vehicle, which you dont have so ignore it. As for the rest it will apply to the vehicles Tare weight only, not GVM,GCM etc. as there is no mention of these, and lastly you can tow a trailer heaver that 750kg GVM. Trailers are licenced vehicles on their own and have the required regs which they must comply with, as with the towing there off. The towing ability of your vehicle is not reflected in the class of licence you hold, but specified by the vehicle manufacture to conform with homologation regs before they can sell it. Another misconception is the vehicle tare, this does not influnce the size/weight of the trailer you can tow at all, it helps to define what the braking requirments need to be for what you will be towing, period. As an example using a Discovery 3, weights will not be accurate but more or less, but the calculation remains the same,

GVM 3500kg ( gross vehicle mass, the maximun a fully laden legal mass of the D3 ) GCM 6000kg ( gross combination mass, maximun mass of the vehicle,GVM, and trailer,GVM, combined ) so you subtract the vehicle GVM from the vehicle GCM and you have 2500kg which you can tow behind you, simple, then the braking requirements are checked to see if the trailer complies.

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Last edited by discoeast; 07-12-12 at 09:48 AM.
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  #47  
Old 07-12-12, 01:44 PM
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Hi, the following regulation extract is what got me confused as well, and I think possibly the sales guy I spoke to. it refers to a Gross Combination Mass of 3500Kg's, in other words vehicle GVM and Trailer GVM combined.
which means if the vehicle GVM is 2480Kg's, you have 1020kg's left for the GVM of the trailer.
http://www.aawdc.offventure.com/now/annexD.pdf

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  #48  
Old 07-12-12, 01:59 PM
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the law is very clear in terms of what you can tow.

the B licence allows you to drive a light motor vehicle (i.e. Gross Vehicle Mass less than or equal to 3500kg) PLUS a trailer if up 750kg GVM

an EB licence allows you to drive the same vehicle plus a trailer of over 750kg. no upper limit. as long as the car is rated to tow it, and the trailer complies - you can legally drive it. If it's rated to tow 10 tons and your trailer complies with the rules - no problem.

thereafter it is about the vehicle.

IF you have, for instance, a Jeep Rubicon like mine, the vehicle has a GVM of around 2600kg - which means I may drive it with a B or EB licence.

It has a gross combined mass of some 6100kg. As I have an EB licence I may drive the vehicle (while it is correctly loaded to not more than it's GVM) while towing a trailer over 750kg up to the GCM of the vehicle (in this case GCM-GVM = a 3500kg trailer)

it must be noted that there are OTHER rules about the trailer - i.e. as it is over 750kg it must have a brake.

if it is below the GVM of the towing vehicle it may have an overrun brake only. SO - if my trailer is 2600kg or less with an overrun brake it is legal.

PLEASE NOTE - the same trailer with the same brakes WOULD NOT be legal behind a lighter car.

if my trailer is heavier than the car - in this case over 2600kg but less than 3500kg - it must have a SERVICE brake - i.e. the driver must be able to operate it while driving - usually conencted to the brake system of the car.

and note: A car IS NOT A TRAILER. the TRAILER rules do not apply to flat towing a car....

ALSO to NOTE - a TRAILER is different to an articulated vehicle.

your EB licence does not entitle you to drive one of those bakkies with a fifth wheel and trailer if the whole rig is over 3500kg as the articulated part is considered part of the vehicle, even though you can unhitch the trailer. the principal difference is that a large portion of the load of an articulated vehcile is carried on the back axle of the towing vehicle...

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Last edited by Apocalypse; 07-12-12 at 02:06 PM.
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Old 10-12-12, 09:41 AM
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Quote:
EB
A motor vehicle, excluding a motor cycle, motor tricycle, motor quadrucycle, tractor and a motor vehicle which is a type of mobile agricultural or industrial equipment or machinery not designed principally for the conveyance of persons or goods, being-- (i) an articulated motor vehicle, of which the gross combination mass of the truck-tractor does not exceed 3 500 kilograms;
(ii) a combination of--
(aa) a motor vehicle the tare of which does not exceed 3 500 kg; or
(bb) a mini-bus, bus or goods vehicle, the gross vehicle mass of which does not exceed 3 500 kilograms,
with a trailer the gross vehicle mass of which exceeds 750 kilograms.
Tsotsi, I think your confusion is with the class of vehicle discription, if you drive a truck tractor,mini-bus,bus or goods vehicle then they refer to the GVM, then your thinking would be correct, but anything els would be considered a motor vehicle and there they refer to the tare, it is written that way in the regulations, the only exclusion are the highlighted vehicles in the opening paragraph. You will also notice there is no mention of GCM here, this is delt with els where.


Quote:
Firstly a truck tractor is a goods vehicle, which you dont have so ignore it. As for the rest it will apply to the vehicles Tare weight only, not GVM,GCM etc. as there is no mention of these
I need to correct myself here as the GVM is mentioned.

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  #50  
Old 10-12-12, 10:05 AM
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Hi All,
Thanks for assisting with clearing this up. At least now I know what I am allowed and not allowed.
Will be visiting the caravan sales guy soon again!

Was wondering what a venter would look like with 15" wheels and trailer tent on top>>>

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