Rods 'n' Sods - UK Hot Rod & Street Rod Forums banner
61 - 80 of 103 Posts

·
Off the Xmas card list
Joined
·
24,264 Posts
Doubt anyone will read it though :( Most just want the answer to THEIR question and not to understand the whys and wherefores.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
778 Posts
Doubt anyone will read it though :( Most just want the answer to THEIR question and not to understand the whys and wherefores.
Oh dear, feel bad asking my question now :sniff:

Ok, so I have had a good read of this thread, and all the links, and I think I know the answer to my question. But I'd just like to have it confirmed, so here goes;

B+E licence (amongst many others)
1955 Chevy 1/2ton swb Pick Up, guessing between 1500 and 2000kgs
A-frame towing a Lakes Modified, guessing 900-1500kgs, taxed/tested/insured

Do I need to hook the brakes up to a Bowden Cable and inertia set-up, or am I ok with no brakes? Modern regs say I need them, but I see lots of mention of "except certain exceptions for age", with not much info backing it up.

What say you experts?
 

·
Compulsive chicken choker
Joined
·
6,410 Posts
Discussion Starter · #64 ·
Hello Stranger!

Like you say, definitive information on A frames is sadly lacking but from what I have gathered using one in the UK falls into two categories. Unbraked versions are okay for use by recovery firms for the recovery of a broken down vehicle, braked versions are okay for other use. The Problem area is that the braking system should conform to the same current trailer braking regs. The vehicle on tow becomes a trailer and therefor has to meet the trailer regs for lights, braking, breakaway cables etc. anything over 750kgs needs brakes.

Trying to sort the braking sidei isn't easy and you have the additional problem of not being able to reverse properly with an A frame as the towed vehicle won't steer in reverse.
If it were me I'd build a period looking lightweight trailer and know you're legal. New trailers should also pass an IVA test.......
 

·
Off the Xmas card list
Joined
·
24,264 Posts
Quick thought , manual or auto in towed car ? Don't forget you can't tow an auto any distance without disconnecting prop.
 

·
Compulsive chicken choker
Joined
·
6,410 Posts
Discussion Starter · #67 ·
There is a company selling A frames with over run brakes that use a bowden cable attached to the vehicle on tows brake pedal, however there's doubts over whether it meets the braking efficiency requirements. There's a US system called a Brake Buddy which is mounted in the footwell and an actuator presses on the brake pedal, activated electrically when the tow cars brake lights come on. I doubt that system meets any EU regs.

EBay always has caravan chassis for sale cheaply which could be used as a basis for a period looking trailer (use steel wheels, chrome hubcaps etc) providing axle and coupling have a high enough rating.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
778 Posts
Thanks chaps, I shall have to get the modified on the weighbridge and see if it's lighter than I thought, though with a Cadillac Flathead up front I somehow doubt it! I think I'll explore the idea of rigging up a Bowden Cable to the brake pedal, I've seen it done before, and it'd be the best solution for the setup I want, the trouble with trailers is you have to find somewhere to park them when you're not using them.

Good reminder on the prop thing Kev, though mines a manual so it'll be fine. Don't all Hotrods have three pedals? Lol ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
175 Posts
Something else that I could do with an update on - electric brakes.

Electric brakes, with a separate controller, are very common in the US but not popular here. Comments will be made like "you can't use them here" but I don't think that is still true.

This is one of my trailers;



It is a 1980's Nolan Road / Rail convertible trailer, used for hauling sleepers and full lengths of rail ( front and rear gates remove ) Load rating is single axle two ton, unladen weight hovers around 750Kg. The axle brakes are electric, and were originally operated by a controller in the tow vehicle cab - illegal in the UK. Instead it now has a separate automatic controller actually on the trailer, not capable of being individually controlled from the tow vehicle to comply with UK laws. Trailer also has a battery backup and a breakaway switch that brings the brakes on if the hitch separates. Battery is charged and brakes operated by constant live from the tow hitch while in operation, control is by brake light circuit triggering the brakes as well as the brake lights. The only thing that doesn't seem to be legal is that if it breaks away and the battery in the trailer then runs down, it will roll away again, but I think it is 'good enough' to use. The solid tow frame and unique axle with Dayton utility wheels would not convert easily - if at all, to overrun, air, or vacuum. It is usually just moved around empty so the 750Kg total weight allowance lets me tow it with no brakes hooked up if I really need to.

Anyone else here using electric brakes in the UK? any tips or tricks? anyone had any legal problems?
 

·
Gym Junkie
Joined
·
6,213 Posts
Hello Stranger!

Like you say, definitive information on A frames is sadly lacking but from what I have gathered using one in the UK falls into two categories. Unbraked versions are okay for use by recovery firms for the recovery of a broken down vehicle, braked versions are okay for other use. The Problem area is that the braking system should conform to the same current trailer braking regs. The vehicle on tow becomes a trailer and therefor has to meet the trailer regs for lights, braking, breakaway cables etc. anything over 750kgs needs brakes.

Trying to sort the braking sidei isn't easy and you have the additional problem of not being able to reverse properly with an A frame as the towed vehicle won't steer in reverse.
If it were me I'd build a period looking lightweight trailer and know you're legal. New trailers should also pass an IVA test.......
Also if brakes are fitted they have to work irrespective of the weight so people towing cars that are under the 750kg weight are unwittingly breaking the law.
 

·
Gym Junkie
Joined
·
6,213 Posts
Was driving down the M6 last week and passed two transit beaver tails with cars on towing another car each on a dolly, cars all had the white writing on the windscreens that you get at auctions, oh and they were both doing significantly more than 60mph, the sight did raise an eyebrow or two :D
 

·
Off the Xmas card list
Joined
·
24,264 Posts
Thanks chaps, I shall have to get the modified on the weighbridge and see if it's lighter than I thought, though with a Cadillac Flathead up front I somehow doubt it! I think I'll explore the idea of rigging up a Bowden Cable to the brake pedal, I've seen it done before, and it'd be the best solution for the setup I want, the trouble with trailers is you have to find somewhere to park them when you're not using them.

Good reminder on the prop thing Kev, though mines a manual so it'll be fine. Don't all Hotrods have three pedals? Lol ;)
2 legs = 2 pedals , never mind all that tap dancing stuff ! In that Gov link t also says about all wheels in contact with road have to be brakes so a braked 2 wheel frame would be illegal still. Like you say some form of operation direct to towed cars brake pedal would be best.
 

·
Compulsive chicken choker
Joined
·
6,410 Posts
Discussion Starter · #73 ·
R
Something else that I could do with an update on - electric brakes.

Electric brakes, with a separate controller, are very common in the US but not popular here. Comments will be made like "you can't use them here" but I don't think that is still true.

This is one of my trailers;



It is a 1980's Nolan Road / Rail convertible trailer, used for hauling sleepers and full lengths of rail ( front and rear gates remove ) Load rating is single axle two ton, unladen weight hovers around 750Kg. The axle brakes are electric, and were originally operated by a controller in the tow vehicle cab - illegal in the UK. Instead it now has a separate automatic controller actually on the trailer, not capable of being individually controlled from the tow vehicle to comply with UK laws. Trailer also has a battery backup and a breakaway switch that brings the brakes on if the hitch separates. Battery is charged and brakes operated by constant live from the tow hitch while in operation, control is by brake light circuit triggering the brakes as well as the brake lights. The only thing that doesn't seem to be legal is that if it breaks away and the battery in the trailer then runs down, it will roll away again, but I think it is 'good enough' to use. The solid tow frame and unique axle with Dayton utility wheels would not convert easily - if at all, to overrun, air, or vacuum. It is usually just moved around empty so the 750Kg total weight allowance lets me tow it with no brakes hooked up if I really need to.

Anyone else here using electric brakes in the UK? any tips or tricks? anyone had any legal problems?
One of my links on the previous page takes you to a DFT article that has a section on American trailers and electric brakes, I think the brakes are okay but not the independant in car brake controller. Follow the link & double check because I'm not 100%
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
175 Posts
Will look, thanks

That's why I moved the controller into the trailer and set it as automatic. As I understand it the illegal bit is being able to work the trailer brakes separately from the drivers seat, independently of the towing vehicle

Later ... having looked, the only obvious non-compliance with my setup is that there isn't a purely mechanical parking brake - will have to work on that. Thanks.
 

·
Compulsive chicken choker
Joined
·
6,410 Posts
Discussion Starter · #76 ·
still trying to get my head around some of this

if i have B + E am i still limited to 3500kg total weight ?
No, that is for B (post January 1997) only. B+E is full entitlement for towing pretty much anything with a standard car or van based vehicle subject to any tachograph issues.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
All incredibly useful, thanks - I am keeping my Defender (with towball) to ferry engines, gearboxes, around, before I replace it with Ford Model A pickup (minus towball)!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
205 Posts
loads of useful information here - thanks guys for being very helpful !

i am a self confessed tow purve, love to tow anything and everything - my first towing experience was in 1980something - at the age of 17 i drove my 1959 splitscreen vw camper 350 miles to collect a rare type 147 kleinleiferwagen (rotted to fuck and not road legal, insured etc) - i knocked up a properly dodgy A frame the night before and tried it for the first time when we got there ! - seemed to work so towed it back 350 miles...... i would like to think that i wouldn't be as stupid now - but never say never !

i now use a proper car transporter trailer and a toyota landcruiser but am looking into a race transporter based on a converted MAN VW truck, I will have to be careful with gross weights as many of these vehicles get massively overloaded on the basis of 'it still moves, therefore it must be ok' !

good luck fellow towers........
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
533 Posts
Just read this entire thread and I think I understand...but I'd rather be sure as I'm pulling everything together from several sites. I would like to tow a caravan, and passed my full test in 1989 without disqualification since.

The car (1989 Ford if the VIN plates differ between manufacturers) has weights on in VIN plate as follows, but there is nothing on there to say what each weight means:
1400kg - I believe this is the total the vehicle can legally weigh fully loaded. The kerb weight per the manual is 995kg.
2300kg - I believe this is "Gross Train Weight" (possibly the wrong words technically) which is the total that Ford say the car and trailer should weigh.
725kg - I believe this is axle weight (conflicts on whether this is front or rear but irrelevant here although included in case that's wrong).
725kg - I believe this is axle weight (conflicts on whether this is front or rear but irrelevant here although included in case that's wrong).
I don't think there are any plates on the tow bar as it's been on there since before most of this legislation.

The caravan is mid-90s and has a plate that has the following weights:
M.A.W. 1000kg - I believe this is the maximum allowable weight of the caravan when fully loaded.
C.A.P. 200kg - I believe this is the weight of load that the caravan can take (including gas bottles, water bottles etc, i.e. anything not part of the structure of the caravan).
From the above I believe the unloaded weight is 800kg per the manufacturer.

So.....I think this is a legal combination subject to not loading the car above 1300kg IF the caravan is loaded up to it's maximum of 1000kg. Alternatively, the car can be loaded up to it's maximum of 1400kg as long as the caravan isn't loaded above 900kg. It also looks like it'd be sensible to load the car and caravan a similar amount to try to preserve the 85% recommended limit, or at least bias towards the car.

So am I correct or have I missed something? If I'm wrong then where have I gone wrong?

If I was to get a tow bar on my '65 Mustang how would I determine the maximum towing weight given there's no weight plates at all? Wikipedia suggests a kerb weight of 1400kg.

Apologies for a long winded post but I must confess to finding the MAW, GVT, GWT etc. etc. all very confusing...... I'll have my family in the car so want to ensure it's both safe and legal.
 

·
Compulsive chicken choker
Joined
·
6,410 Posts
Discussion Starter · #80 ·
The car (1989 Ford if the VIN plates differ between manufacturers) has weights on in VIN plate as follows, but there is nothing on there to say what each weight means:
1400kg - I believe this is the total the vehicle can legally weigh fully loaded. The kerb weight per the manual is 995kg.
2300kg - I believe this is "Gross Train Weight" (possibly the wrong words technically) which is the total that Ford say the car and trailer should weigh.
725kg - I believe this is axle weight (conflicts on whether this is front or rear but irrelevant here although included in case that's wrong).
725kg - I believe this is axle weight (conflicts on whether this is front or rear but irrelevant here although included in case that's wrong).
I don't think there are any plates on the tow bar as it's been on there since before most of this legislation.

The caravan is mid-90s and has a plate that has the following weights:
M.A.W. 1000kg - I believe this is the maximum allowable weight of the caravan when fully loaded.
C.A.P. 200kg - I believe this is the weight of load that the caravan can take (including gas bottles, water bottles etc, i.e. anything not part of the structure of the caravan).
From the above I believe the unloaded weight is 800kg per the manufacturer.

So.....I think this is a legal combination subject to not loading the car above 1300kg IF the caravan is loaded up to it's maximum of 1000kg. Alternatively, the car can be loaded up to it's maximum of 1400kg as long as the caravan isn't loaded above 900kg. It also looks like it'd be sensible to load the car and caravan a similar amount to try to preserve the 85% recommended limit, or at least bias towards the car.
The advice from the various caravan industries is for the kerbweight of the car to always be more than the maximum weight of the caravan to prevent instability, so with a kerbweight of 995kg and a caravan MAW of 1000kg you're over this recommendation, but it is only a recommendation (albeit a sensible one).

Yes, the 1400kg maximum weight and the 2300kg maximum train weight give a maximum towing weight of 900kg, so, seeing as you passed your test before January 1997 and if you only loaded the caravan to 900kg you are legal.

The only things I'd say are that maximum towing limits are set by the vehicle having the ability to restart on an incline (12% I think) and aren't really a true reflection on it's suitability to regularly haul that weight. Some are, while some are a bit "optimistic"!

Also, loading a caravan is surprising, when we got our new one I weighed everything before putting it in and was up to the limit BEFORE any clothes or food were added! So just be careful with the loading.
 
61 - 80 of 103 Posts
Top