There are specific guidelines you must follow when towing a trailer. We have created a guide on how to pull a trailer safely and legally because of this. You may do various tasks with a reliable trailer, including moving houses, clearing out the garden, packing the family’s bags for vacation, and transporting recreational vehicles like motorcycles and boats. The correct trailer enables you to accomplish a wide range of tasks.
Yet pulling a trailer requires a lot of practice and carries additional risk, especially for inexperienced drivers. Each year, they have to handle over 4000 occurrences involving trailers and caravans, or about 11 per day. This applies to all trailers, including horsebox, construction, and teardrop caravan trailers. You need to know many things before you hitch up and head out on the road to assist lower that added danger.
Who Can Tow a Trailer in the UK, and Do You Require a Special License to Tow One?
Most people who have a basic automobile driving license can tow a trailer. But, when you pass your driving test will determine the maximum allowable mass of the trailer or caravan you are permitted to tow. The regulations governing this changed on December 16, 2021.
Generally speaking, if you passed your exam before January 1, 1997, you are permitted to operate a vehicle and trailer combination weighing up to 8,250kg. You may also use a minibus with a trailer weighing more than 750 kg.
If you want to tow anything heavier, you must pass the C1+E driving exam and the lorry theory test. This will enable you to operate cars and trailers weighing 12,000 kg.
How Do You Work Out My Car’s Towing Capacity?
According to a health insurance broker Bournemouth, the maximum towing capacity of your vehicle should be listed in the owner’s manual. Alternatively, you can look up the vehicle identification number (VIN), typically visible inside the driver’s door or beneath the hood.
The vehicle’s gross vehicle weight and the trailer’s train weight will be shown on the first and second lines, respectively, if the car can tow a trailer securely. Whereas the gross vehicle weight of the automobile is the MAM of the vehicle, including passengers and fuel, the gross train weight is the combined MAM of the car and trailer.
Subtract the gross vehicle weight from the gross train weight on lines one and two to determine your car’s maximum towing capacity. Your trailer’s combined weight with its contents needs to be inside your vehicle’s towing power and, generally speaking, should be at most 85% of the car’s curbside weight if the trailer has brakes or 50% if it doesn’t. You should only utilize your vehicle for towing if it has a gross train weight.
Do You Need to Change Your Driving Style When Towing a Trailer or Caravan?
You’ll need to modify your driving technique. Even relatively straightforward monitoring tasks, like turning right across oncoming traffic, are more challenging by the additional weight and area your combined car and trailer will occupy. The fundamental movements are demonstrated here.
Consider allowing additional time when pulling out at intersections or passing an obstacle because it will take longer to pick up speed. To ensure you have passed the object you are driving by while passing, you must stay in the overtaking lane longer than usual.
- Changing Gear
You must wait a little longer before moving to a manual transmission car. When climbing uphill, especially in an automatic, you should use manual selection to regulate gear changes.
In general, you should slow down. The maximum trailer speed on UK highways is 50 mph on single-carriageways and 60 mph on motorways, but you don’t have to go that fast! A comfortable speed for you, your automobile, and your trailer are one that you should slow down too.
Your braking distance will be affected by the extra weight of the trailer you’re pulling. To give yourself plenty of time to react, you must leave a much greater distance between you and the vehicle in front.
You will need to make wider turns than usual to prevent the trailer wheels from hitting the curb due to the length your trailer adds to your car.
Because the trailer turns in the opposite direction from the direction you are steering, reversing a trailer or caravan is the trickiest maneuver to accomplish. Try backing up in a yard, empty parking lot, or open area. Although it can be annoying, repetition leads to perfection.
That should go without saying, but we’ll say it anyway: if you’re pulling a caravan, you’ll need a lot more space to park, and depending on your trailer, you might stick out more if you’re doing it near the curb. Going to a parking lot with frequently designated spots for longer vehicles and vehicle/trailer combos is preferable.
- Take Plenty of Breaks
It can be exhausting to tow a trailer over long distances, for an extended period, or through congested traffic. You must stop for breaks frequently.
The Final Words
In a word, it’s crucial that you fully understand how towing a trailer works and the applicable rules. To learn more about the regulations governing trailer towing while taking safety precautions and restrictions into account, you should read the article linked above.