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ROG.

Trailer towing:- B and B+E licence rules explained

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ROG.   

Hi all, my first post and the first of three, hopefully useful, ones

 

Trailer towing:- B and B+E licence rules explained

 

 

I have extensive knowledge on this issue and already have a trailer towing clinic HERE

 

Trailer MAM means the maximum weight the trailer can be when fully loaded (weight of empty trailer plus weight of load)

 

Trailers over 3500 kgs plated MAM weight come under different rules which is why all the trailers towed by B class vehicles , those of 3.5 tonnes and under, are not plated at more than 3500 kgs or 3.5 tonnes MAM

 

Trailers without plates use the total of the TYRE LOAD RATINGS to determine the MAM.

A rating of 66 on 4 tyres would give a MAM of 1200 kgs.

 

Vehicles in the B licence category will have the following information on a plate in the vehicle, in the handbook or on the V5 form.

Information can also be found on many internet vehicle specification sites.

Unladen or Kerb weight - although there is a slight difference in the two it is not that much

GVW - the max weight the vehicle can weigh when fully loaded

GTW - the max weight the vehicle and trailer can ACTUALLY weigh when added together. This does not refer to the total of the vehicle GWV and trailer MAM weights.

Towing capacity - this is the ACTUAL weight that can be towed by the vehicle - it does not mean the trailer MAM weight.

None of the above weights must be exceeded

 

Some vehicles have a GVW, a towing capacity and a GTW. In such a case the GTW takes priority over the GVW and towing capacity when added together

 

FOR B+E LICENCES

 

Where a towing capacity is listed then this would be a legal example:-

CAR has GVW of 2000 and a towing capacity of 1800

TRAILER has a MAM of 3500 and an unladen weight of 1000

The trailer can be loaded with a maximum weight of 800

 

Where there is not a towing capacity listed then the GTW is used

GTW minus the GVW does not give the towing capacity unless the vehicle is fully laden

EXAMPLE: -

VAN has GVW of 3500 and GTW of 6000

TRAILER has MAM of 3500

The van and trailer can weigh 3000 each and be legal

 

FOR B LICENCES

The Gov sites are not that good at explaining this so I have managed to find a simple way of determining whether a driver can tow something on a B only licence -

 

To tow over 750 kgs with a B licence you need to say NO to the following:-

Is the plated MAM of the trailer more than the UNLADEN/KERB/EMPTY weight of the towing vehicle?

Does the GVW of the towing vehicle plus the plated MAM of the trailer add up to more than 3500 kgs?

Is the ACTUAL weight of the empty trailer and its load more than the listed towing capacity?

 

Example of legally towing over 750 kgs with a B licence - made up figures but not that far from what can be found....

 

Towing vehicle -

Unladen/empty/kerb = 1500

GVW = 2000

Towing capacity = 1800

 

Trailer -

Unladen/empty = 800

MAM = 1500 (Perhaps originally a 2000 MAM but downplated by manufacturer so it conforms to B licence towing)

 

Load trailer with 700 max

 

Reasons it is legal for towing on a B licence -

The 1500 MAM of the trailer is not more than the 1500 unladen/empty weight of the towing vehicle

The 2000 GVW of the towing vehicle plus the 1500 MAM of the trailer is not more than 3500

The towing capacity/actual weight being towed does not exceed 1800

 

SUPERVISING A B+E LEARNER

In April 2010 new rules were introduced for those supervising certain learner drivers but they only affected those supervising VOCATIONAL categories such as C1 C1+E D1 & D1+E where the supervising driver had those categories given to them for free when they passed a pre 1997 car test.

They do not affect those with a pre 1997 B+E licence who wish to supervise a B+E learner.

The usual rules apply when a learner is driving -

The supervising driver must be aged over 21

The supervising driver must have held a B+E licence for at least 3 years

L plates must be fitted to the front of the vehicle and the rear of the trailer

Correct insurance for a B+E learner

 

Caravan weights work on a slightly different system as they take into account the recommended (not legal) 85% towing rule

 

I hope this helps those who are unsure of the rules

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ROG.   

If anyone wishes me to determine whether they are legal or not then please inform me of the following in kgs:-

 

1 - Licence - B or B+E

2 - Unladen/empty/kerb weight of the towing vehicle

3 - GVW of the towing vehicle

4 - Towing capacity of the towing vehicle

5 - GTW if listed

6 - Plated MAM of the trailer or if no plate then the load rating + number of tyres

7 - Unladen/empty weight of the trailer

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brewx1   

Cheers Rog, that will be a very useful post. There's a whole load of confusion on this, as you've probably seen in related threads if you've searched them. Do you have good knowledge of tachograph regulations?, as that is another area that has a lack of clarity on here.

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ROG.   

Although I do not mind answering PMs on towing issues it would be to everyones benefit to have the Q&As in the open for two main reasons

 

1 - I am not infallible so others can correct any unintentional mess ups or answer aspects to which I have no knowledge

 

2 - other members might want to ask the same thing and seeing it already answered will same them the trouble

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bob   

Hi

So if i have a 3500 transit and want to tow a 2t trailer i would need B+E

and if the trailer was 749kg I would just need B

If I drive a Landrover with a trailer 3500kg i would need B+E

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ROG.   
Hi

So if i have a 3500 transit and want to tow a 2t trailer i would need B+E

and if the trailer was 749kg I would just need B

If I drive a Landrover with a trailer 3500kg i would need B+E

YES to all three

 

The 749 would have to be the maximum weight the trailer could be loaded to and not just the actual weight at the time of towing it

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