Towing regulations And recommendations

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Towing regulations And recommendations

Postby kfxnando » Sun Jan 23, 2011 4:43 pm

very difficult to get info on local regulations!!

however info on UK and Aus is readily available!!

and here is some!!

http://www.towingguide.com.au/couplings.html

Couplings
The coupling must be strong enough to take the weight of a fully loaded trailer. There are five main parts involved in a trailer coupling: the towbar, the ball mount or tongue and the tow ball are all attached to the tow vehicle, while the coupling body and the trailer draw bar or 'A' Frame form the attachment points on the trailer.
The Towbar

Image

Image
very similar to the set up on the Jeep

The Towbar:
The towbar is the framework attached to the back of the tow vehicle. For safe towing, a properly designed and fitted towbar with
an adequate certified weight rating is mandatory. Further, the load capacity of the towbar and the trailer coupling must be equal to or exceed the loaded mass of the trailer.



If you bought a second hand vehicle with a towbar already attached, be especially careful. You need to make sure that the towbar is appropriate for whatever you intend towing. For example, although ideal for the previous owner's box trailer, the towbar might be totally unsuitable for your caravan.



Note: Towbars should not protrude dangerously when your trailer is not connected.



Unless a permanent part of the vehicle, it is compulsory for all towbars manufactured after 1 July 1988 to clearly and permanently display the maximum load rated capacity plus the make and model of vehicle for which they are intended, or alternatively, the manufacturer's name, trade mark and part number. Check for this information to help you ascertain whether the towbar suits your needs.
ball mount and tongue
The Ball Mount or Tongue

The Ball Mount or Tongue:
The ball mount, also known as the tongue, is the section of the towbar to which the towball is attached. It is usually a flat 75mm wide, 16 to 20mm thick steel bar, which may be either straight or curved to achieve the correct coupling height. If the ball mount or tongue obscures the number plate it must be removed from the towbar when the trailer is not attached.
tow ball

The Tow Ball:
Tow balls suitable for weights of up to 3,500kgs must be 50mm in diameter and should comply with Australian Standard 4177-2. The tow ball must be a one-piece element, the shank of which should be 22.2mm in diameter. The top face of the sphere should be clearly stamped with the capacity (3.5t) and tow ball diameter (50). The tow ball unit must be fitted to the vehicle with a locking washer and an appropriately sized nut. According to the Australian Standard 4177.2 the manufacturer's name or trademark must also be stamped on the flange of the tow ball.



Image

The Coupling Body
The coupling body is the section that is attached to the 'A' frame of the trailer. It forms a socket for the tow ball and provides the necessary pivot point between the trailer and the towing vehicle. Coupling bodies commonly in use can range in capacity from 750kgs to 3,500kgs. They must be marked with their capacity, as well as the manufacturer's name and the size of the tow ball for which they are suitable.



It is important to ensure that the coupling body's capacity exceeds or is at least equal to the fully laden weight of the trailer.
Coupling Height - 50mm Ball Couplings

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Coupling Height - 50mm Ball Couplings:
Ball couplings used on trailers with an ATM of up to 3.5 tonnes must comply with Australian Standards and be installed so that the height of the centre of the body of the ball couplings is between 350mm and 460mm from the ground when laden.
A frame drawbar
The Trailer's 'A' Frame (Drawbar)

The Trailer's 'A' Frame (Drawbar):
This is the front section of the trailer or caravan chassis to which the coupling body is attached with bolts, nuts and locking washers. Welding the coupling body is also permitted on trailers under 1000 kgs provided the manufacturer has specified that this approach is suitable and has provided welding instructions, which must be followed.



The "A" frame or drawbar is required under the Australian Design Rules to be of sufficient strength for the specified trailer ATM, and must be able to be proven to do so by engineering calculation. It is therefore not advisable to add to the drawbar additional items that will increase the load on the drawbar, without the specific approval of the trailer and towbar manufacturers. Increasing the downward load on the trailer drawbar will also increase the tow-ball weight on the towbar.



Excessive overloading of towbar ball weight will affect its performance and may void manufacturer’s warranty.
safety chain
Safety Chains

Image

Safety Chains:
Safety chains are compulsory in all States and Territories of Australia. They must be strong enough to hold the trailer and prevent the drawbar from touching the ground, should the coupling fail or be accidently disconnected from the ball.



Trailers less than 2,500kgs ATM must be fitted with at least one safety chain of at least 9.5mm in diameter. Trailers over 2,500kgs ATM and up to 3,500kgs must have two safety chains. Chains must comply with AS4177-4 and have a size designation at least equal to the trailer ATM.



The chains attach the 'A' frame or drawbar of the trailer to the main towbar framework on the vehicle. The attachment must be made with 'D' shackles of equivalent strength to the chains. It is vital that the chains are attached to the main towbar framework and not to a detachable ball mount or tongue. Safety chains must be stamped with the chain's capacity, the manufacturer's identification and the digits 4177.



The chains should be as short as possible, leaving only enough slack to permit tight turns. If two are required they should be crisscrossed under the trailer tongue to prevent the forward end of the drawbar from hitting the ground if the coupling becomes disconnected.


although our government does not always do what should be done!!
so we cant even say we should be similar!!

more to follow!!
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kfxnando
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Re: Towing regulations And recommendations

Postby kfxnando » Wed May 18, 2011 2:23 pm

here is some more info on towing and regulations!!

this is the relevant section in the NRTA...

still trying to make sense of it

Part IV

Loads on vehicles

Manner in which children to be counted for purposes of regulations

231. For the purposes of establishing the number of persons that may in terms of these regulations, other than regulation 263, be carried on any vehicle, other than a motor cycle, motor tricycle, motor quadrucycle or pedal cycle--

any child under the age of three years shall not be counted;
two children of three years or over but under the age of six years shall be counted as one person; and
three children of six years or over but under the age of 13 years shall be counted as two persons:
Provided that in applying the provisions of this regulation, fractions shall be disregarded.

Mass of person and luggage for determining mass of load

232. For the purposes of establishing the maximum mass of persons and luggage which may be conveyed on a motor vehicle--

the mass of a person together with his or her personal effects shall, subject to the provisions of regulation 231 be taken as 63 kilograms; and
in the case of a motor vehicle which is fitted with--
a luggage compartment, the mass of luggage shall be calculated at the rate of 100 kilograms per cubic metre; or
a roof rack, the mass of luggage shall be calculated at the rate of 75 kilograms per square metre of area of the roof rack:
Provided that where a motor vehicle is examined for the purpose of obtaining a roadworthy certificate as contemplated in regulation 142, the provisions of paragraph (b) shall not apply in the determination of the seating capacity of such motor vehicle.

Number of persons that may be carried on motor vehicle in relation to seating capacity

233. (1) Subject to the provisions of regulation 231, no person shall operate on a public road a motor vehicle, other than a mini-bus or bus which is used for hire or reward, motorcycle, motor tricycle, motor quadrucycle or pedal cycle if--

the number of persons on any seat of such vehicle exceeds the number of persons for whom seating accommodation is provided for on such seat, at the rate of 380 millimetres per person measured at the widest part of the seat with the doors closed; and
the total number of persons carried on such vehicle, excluding persons carried in the goods compartment of the vehicle, exceeds the number of persons for whom seating accommodation, determined in the manner referred to in paragraph (a), is available in such vehicle: Provided that, one child over the age of three years but under the age of six years may be carried on each transverse seat, in excess of the number of persons for whom seating accommodation is available on such seat, determined in the manner referred to in paragraph (a).
(2) Subject to the provisions of regulation 231, no person shall operate on a public road, a bus or a mini-bus, if the number of persons on any seat exceeds the number of persons for whom seating accommodation is provided for on such seat, at the rate of--

400 millimetres per person in the case of a bus; or
380 millimetres per person in the case of a mini-bus,
measured at the widest part of the seat with the doors closed.

(3) For the purposes of the proviso to subregulation (1)(b), a row of seats shall be regarded as one seat.

(4) Where in this regulation a reference is made to a maximum or minimum dimension, a tolerance of 10 millimetres apply to such dimension.

Permissible maximum axle massload of vehicle

234. (1) No person shall operate on a public road a mini-bus, bus, tractor or goods vehicle if the permissible maximum axle massload of such vehicle is exceeded.

(2) The permissible maximum axle massload of a vehicle shall be the least of the mass limits determined by--

regulation 238(1) in respect of a vehicle fitted with pneumatic tyres or regulation 238(2) and 243 in respect of a vehicle fitted with tyres other than pneumatic tyres;
regulation 239(1)(a)(ii); and
regulation 240(a), (b) and (c).
Permissible maximum axle unit massload of vehicle

235. (1) No person shall operate on a public road a mini-bus, bus, tractor or goods vehicle if the permissible maximum axle unit massload of such vehicle is exceeded.

(2) The permissible maximum axle unit massload of a vehicle shall be the least of the mass limits determined by--

regulation 238(1) in respect of a vehicle fitted with pneumatic tyres or regulation 238(2) and 243 in respect of a vehicle fitted with tyres other than pneumatic tyres;
regulation 239(1)(a)(iii); and
regulation 240(d), (e), (f) and (g).
Permissible maximum vehicle mass

236. (1) No person shall operate on a public road a mini-bus, bus, tractor or goods vehicle if the permissible maximum vehicle mass of such vehicle is exceeded.

(2) The permissible maximum vehicle mass of a vehicle shall be the least of the mass limits determined by--

the sum of all the permissible maximum axle massloads and axle unit massloads of the vehicle as contemplated in regulations 234 and 235;
regulation 239(1)(a)(i);
regulation 239(2);
regulation 239(3); and
regulation 241:
Provided that the permissible maximum vehicle mass of such vehicle shall not exceed 56 000 kilograms.

Permissible maximum combination mass

237. (1) No person shall operate on a public road a combination of vehicles where the drawing vehicle is a mini-bus, bus, tractor or goods vehicle, if the permissible maximum combination mass of such combination is exceeded.

(2) The permissible maximum combination mass of a combination of vehicles shall be the least of the mass limits determined by--

the sum of all the permissible maximum axle massloads and axle unit massloads of the combination of vehicles as contemplated in regulations 234 and 235;
regulation 239(1)(b);
regulation 239(2);
regulation 239(3); and
regulation 241:
Provided that the permissible maximum combination mass of such combination shall not exceed 56 000 kilograms.

Load on tyres

238. (1) No person shall operate on a public road a motor vehicle--

which is fitted with pneumatic tyres, where any wheel massload is in excess of the wheel massload referred to in the appropriate part of the standard specification SABS 1550: "Motor Vehicle Tyres and Rims: Dimensions and Loads", Part 1 "General", Part 2 "Passenger car tyres", Part 3 "Commercial vehicle tyres"; or
where any pneumatic tyre is not mentioned in the standard specification referred to in paragraph (a), where the wheel massload is in excess of the wheel massload approved by the manufacturer of the tyre concerned:
Provided that for the purposes of determining the pressure in a tyre the temperature of the tyre shall be disregarded.

(2) No person shall operate on a public road any vehicle fitted with tyres, other than pneumatic tyres, if the wheel massload exceeds eight kilograms per one millimetre width of any such tyre.

Gross vehicle mass, gross axle massload, gross axle unit massload, gross combination mass, power to mass ratio and axle massload of driving axle to total mass ratio not to be exceeded

239. (1) No person shall operate on a public road a mini-bus, bus, tractor or goods vehicle--

if--
the gross vehicle mass;
any gross axle massload; or
any gross axle unit massload,
is exceeded;

drawing any other motor vehicle if the gross combination mass is exceeded.
(2) No person shall operate on a public road a vehicle which is a minibus, bus, tractor or goods vehicle if the mass in kilograms of such vehicle or of a combination of vehicles of which such first-mentioned vehicle forms a part, whether laden or unladen, exceeds a figure arrived at by multiplying the net power in kilowatts of the engine of such vehicle as determined in accordance with or calculated with due regard to code of practice SABS 013 "The determination of performance (at net power) of internal combustion engines"--

in the case of the drawing vehicle being a tractor by 400; or
in the case of any other vehicle by 240.
(3) No person shall operate on a public road a vehicle which is a mini-bus, bus, tractor or goods vehicle if the mass in kilograms of such vehicle or of a combination of vehicles of which such first-mentioned vehicle forms a part, whether laden or unladen, exceeds five times the total axle massload of the driving axle or axles of such vehicle.

Massload carrying capacity of road

240. No person shall operate on a public road a motor vehicle or a combination of motor vehicles, the wheels of which are fitted with pneumatic tyres, if--

the wheel massload of wheels--
which are fitted to a steering axle, exceeds 3 850 kilograms; or
which are fitted to axles other than a steering axle, exceeds 4 000 kilograms;
the axle massload of an axle fitted with two or three wheels and--
which is a steering axle, exceeds 7 700 kilograms; or
which is an axle other than a steering axle, exceeds 8 000 kilograms;
the axle massload of an axle fitted with four wheels and--
which is fitted to a vehicle designed to compact refuse and which is carrying such refuse, exceeds 10 200 kilograms;
which is fitted to a breakdown vehicle, exceeds 10 200 kilograms;
which is placed in the rear or middle of a bus-train, exceeds 10 200 kilograms;
which is fitted to a bus, other than a bus-train, exceeds 10 200 kilograms; or
which is not mentioned in subparagraphs (i) to (iv), exceeds 9 000 kilograms;
the axle massload of an axle unit which consists of two axles, each of which are fitted with two or three wheels, and--
which is a steering axle unit, exceeds 15 400 kilograms; or
which is an axle unit other than a steering axle unit, exceeds 16 000 kilograms;
the axle massload of an axle unit which consists of two axles, each of which are fitted with four wheels, and--
which is fitted to a vehicle, except a trailer designed to compact refuse and which is carrying such refuse, exceeds 20 400 kilograms;
which is fitted to a breakdown vehicle, exceeds 20 400 kilograms; or
which is not mentioned in subparagraphs (i) and (ii), exceeds 18 000 kilograms;
the axle massload of an axle unit which consists of three or more axles, each of which are fitted with two or three wheels, and--
which is a steering axle unit, exceeds 23 100 kilograms; or
which is an axle unit other than a steering axle unit, exceeds 24 000 kilograms;
the axle massload of an axle unit which consists of three or more axles, each of which are fitted with four wheels, exceeds 24 000 kilograms.
Massload carrying capacity of bridges

241. (1) No person shall operate on a public road a vehicle or combination of vehicles, the wheels of which are fitted with pneumatic tyres, if the total axle massload of any group of axles of such vehicle or combination of vehicles exceeds the mass in kilograms determined by multiplying the dimension of such group measured as referred to in subregulation (3) by 2 100 and adding 18000.

(2) A group of axles referred to in subregulation (1) may comprise any series of axles, but shall not consist of one axle unit referred to in regulation 240(d), (e), (f) or (g) alone.

(3) (a) The dimension referred to in subregulation (1) shall be measured in metres and tenths of metres from the centre of the first axle of any group of axles to the centre of the last axle of such group.

If the dimension so measured is not a definite figure in metres and tenths of a metre, the next highest number of tenths of a metre with which the dimension so measured is exceeded shall be used for the calculation referred to in subregulation (1).
Where a group of axles of a combination of vehicles is measured, the vehicles of such combination shall be positioned in line and both sides of such combination of vehicles shall be measured, and if the dimensions of the two sides differ, the longer dimension shall be used for the calculation referred to in subregulation (1).
Distribution of axle massload and wheel massload on vehicle fitted with pneumatic tyres

242. Notwithstanding the provisions of regulation 240 no person shall operate on a public road a motor vehicle which is fitted with pneumatic tyres if--

on any axle with--
two tyres, the wheel massload on one tyre exceeds the wheel massload on the other tyre by more than 10 per cent; or
four tyres, the wheel massload on two tyres nearest to each other exceeds the wheel massload on the other two tyres by more than 10 per cent;
in the case of an articulated motor vehicle the axle massload of any steering axle or the sum of the axle massloads of any steering axle unit is less than 11 per cent of the sum of all axle massloads of such vehicle;
in the case of a motor vehicle, not being an articulated motor vehicle, with a steering axle unit, the sum of the axle massloads of such steering axle unit is less than 30 per cent of the sum of all axle massloads of such vehicle; or
in the case of any other vehicle the axle massload of a steering axle is less than 20 per cent of the sum of all axle massloads of such vehicle, except in the case of a tractor when the axle massload of the steering axle shall not be less than 12 per cent of the sum of all the axle massloads of such tractor.
Axle massload of vehicles fitted with tyres other than pneumatic tyres

243. No person shall operate on a public road a vehicle fitted--

with metal tyres, if any axle massload of such vehicle exceeds 2 700 kilograms; or
with tyres, other than pneumatic or metal tyres, if any axle massload or the sum of all axle massloads of such vehicle exceeds 50 per cent of that permitted for vehicles fitted with pneumatic tyres in terms of regulation 240 or, if the axle massload of any steering axle of such vehicle does not comply with the requirements of paragraphs (b), (c) or (d) of regulation 242.
__________________




enjoy!! :mrgreen:
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kfxnando
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Re: Towing regulations And recommendations

Postby kfxnando » Wed May 18, 2011 3:07 pm

some towing regulations explained!!

... stopped at the weigh bridge while I was out and about...

there are 2 relevant parts of the NRTA which apply to the weight of the trailer.

first of all it's this lot:

Brakes on trailers

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

the mass of such trailer and any load thereon is 750 kilograms or less and--
does not exceed half of the tare of the drawing vehicle, unless such trailer is equipped with at least a parking brake or other device for keeping such trailer stationary; or
exceeds half of the tare of the drawing vehicle but does not exceed such tare, unless such trailer is equipped with a parking brake and either an overrun brake or a service brake;
the gross vehicle mass of such trailer exceeds 750 kilograms but does not exceed 3 500 kilograms and does not exceed the tare of the drawing vehicle, unless such trailer is equipped with a parking brake and either an overrun brake or a service brake; or
the gross vehicle mass of such trailer exceeds the tare of the drawing vehicle or 3 500 kilograms, whichever the case may be, 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 construed 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 subregulation (1)(c), if a trailer referred to in that subregulation is drawn by a tractor and such tractor is not designed for or capable of operation at a speed exceeding 35 kilometres per hour on a reasonably level road, such trailer may be equipped with an overrun brake in lieu of a service brake.

what that says is

1. unbraked trailer - the ACTUAL mass (not the GVM of the trailer) must be half your Tare (i.e. if your TARE is 1400kg, your unbraked trailer must ACTUALLY be 700kg or less, the GVM of the trailer is not taken into account) and in any event an unbraked trailer may not exceed 750kg GVM, or actually exceed 750kg and must have some kind of parking brake.
2. trailer fitted with overrun brakes - ACTUAL mass may not exceed your Tare (i.e. 2 ton TARE vehicle can pull a trailer that weighs 2tons)
3. Trailer fitted with a service brake (one that is actuated by the pedal) may weigh up to 3500kg - so a Land Rover, Wrangler etc MAY pull a 3500kg trailer ONLY if it has a proper braking system.

definition of service brake per the act:

"service brake" means a brake, normally a footbrake, used in the ordinary course of events to reduce the speed of a vehicle or to stop the vehicle, and which consists of--

a single braking system which brakes the front and rear wheels of the vehicle simultaneously, or in the case of--
a semi-trailer, brakes the wheels thereof simultaneously;
a trailer, which according to the registration certificate thereof was registered for the first time before 1 January 1986 and which is not a semi-trailer, brakes the front or rear wheels or all wheels thereof simultaneously; or
a tractor, brakes the wheels of the rear axle or rear axle unit of the tractor simultaneously; or
two braking systems which--
jointly brake the front and rear wheels of the vehicle simultaneously; and
independently brake at least two wheels of the vehicle simultaneously;

PLUS - the following applies:


"gross combination mass"
in relation to a motor vehicle which is used to draw any other motor vehicle, 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;


so, even if you have a service brake on a 3500kg trailer if the manufacturer specified 1500kg max, it's illegal to pull the big trailer if it's fully laden.

again, in the NRTA it applies to ACTUAL measured mass - so you can pull a 3500kg GVM trailer if it is unladen and weighs under 1500kg as you are using it...

from the fine my mate got, it seems that this is how they are applying the law as well...

EDIT - strictly reading the NRTA section it seems to me that ACTUAL weight only applies to trailers without service brake, under 750kg and in the case of larger trailers the GVM is used to determine whether it is legal to tow it or not, but from the info I was given the weighbridge automatically calculates fines based on ACTUAL mass over the GCM - the GVM of the trailer came up on the form, but it did not add a fine for drawing a trailer with GVM over permitted towing capacity. however - I am sure that if pulled over in a roadblock you could be fined for it...

in addition - it seems this applies to flat towing too - so, basically, you can't pull a hilux with a hilux legally


hope this helps, will keep adding info as I find it!! :mrgreen:

enjoy!!
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kfxnando
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Re: Towing regulations And recommendations

Postby kfxnando » Wed May 18, 2011 3:11 pm

here is some more!!


from http://www.acts.co.za/rt_nrta/regs_151_ ... ailers.htm

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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