When towing a trailer great care should be taken and
more responsibility accepted. Remember Safety first!
Accidents involving trailers are much worse with greater
consequences than without a trailer. You vehicle
is longer and heavier and all your load is anchored
to your vehicle at one small point. Like an airline
pilot you must regularly check the condition of your
trailer and linkage to make sure that you arrive safely
and with everything that you had at the start of your
your trailer or caravan is critical to safe driving check your towing weights and capacity for your vehicle. Getting this wrong can cost you dearly.
You can buy towing scales which measure the total
weight of your towed load to make sure that it doesn't exceed the capacity of your vehicle but equally important is to make sure that your load is spread evenly.
The following was submitted to CLIC by Ian Willis in answer to an inquiry about the 85% beginners towing
rule. It was generally thought within CLIC, that Ian's words helped to clarify the situation as regards to towing in Great Britain. 85% (or even 100%) rules are not "rules" but guidelines which have no substance
in law. They are designed to ensure that the outfit will be stable (all other factors being equal). Exceeding this figure, whilst not illegal in itself, COULD lead to prosecution if the driver was stopped because of
(say) instability or after an accident as there is a requirement on the driver to ensure the safety of his vehicle in the Construction and Use Regulations. Usually a manufacturer will quote a tow weight which
is far greater than the mass of the vehicle. Generally this is based on the total train weight (car + caravan) which can be started on a 12% gradient. Where this weight (or any other e.g. nose weight) is given as
lower by the manufacturer the user ignores it at his peril. Insurance could well be void after an accident - worse, the illegal combination could cause the accident if the vehicle is unable to handle it.
The big problem we have in the UK is the traffic density, especially on Motorways, which has caravans in close proximity to both cars and large goods vehicles at speed. The vortices encountered can cause trailers
to wander if not loaded correctly and matched to the towing vehicle.