Towing a recovery trailer for business use
Hello all! Registered just a few moments ago. There looks to be a lot of good advice for everyone here.
I hope someone can help me with a situation I find myself in.
I run a general car repair garage in Suffolk. Business is good and the staff and customers are happy!
I run a US spec 1998 Ford Expedition for personal use and the occasional drawbar recovery from local area. It's an SUV with 8 seats, so not a commercial vehicle, and it has a GVWR of 3265kg.
I recently bought an ex-AA recovery Hazelwood trailer. It's a 16ft beavertail 3500C, and the weight plate on it says it is a 3500kg Gross weight unit. I'd like to be able to do local recoveries and car collections using the trailer. I also have a classic American car - a 1969 Dodge Charger that weighs 1800kgs
The problem I have is trying to establish the maximum weight of vehicle I can safely and legally put on the trailer. Will I be able to trailer my Charger to shows using the Expedition / Hazelwood combination? The total (MAM) weight would be less than 7500kg.
Another question that keeps cropping up is, do I need a tachograph? It would be used very occasionally, locally, and for business and personal use. I've sat and stared blankly at the VOSA pdf files on towing, tachos and driving hours and frankly, I'm lost!
Can someone help this confused trailer user?
Towing a recovery trailer for business use
This is my opinion only and professional advice is always an option.
Look under the bonnet (hood) of the Expedition. There should be a metal plate on the bulkhead.Listed will be GVW 3265kgs below will be GTW. That is the Gross Train Weight - the total weight of the Expedition plus any trailer and its load. Make a note of that weight, it is the most important one.
Now the trailer.
You need to find the unladen weight of the trailer. I presume it is not on a plate or you would have said. Take it to a local weighbridge and weigh it. That will give you the unladen weight (UW). The difference between the GVW and the UW is the payload (PL) - the total weight it is allowed to carry. Providing your trailer is under 1700kgs UW you can carry the Charger.
I mentioned GTW as being the most important. Forget about 7500kgs. The maximum weight of vehicle and trailer combined cannot exceed the GTW. It won't come close to 7500kgs.
Only if the combination is over 7500kgs do you need to worry about Drivers Hours. 7500kgs in your case is only applicable in driver licensing for C1. You can legally drive and tow on B (B+E if towing).
Tachographs. The black hole.
I'll deal with that shortly, after this problem.
Any vehicle with a combination of over 3500kgs and used for business purposes requires an Operator's Licence. Notice I said ANY. It does not have to be a commercial. If towing your own product for hire and reward you require a RESTRICTED 'O' Licence. If towing a product belonging to someone else for hire and reward you require a NATIONAL 'O' licence.
As a garage, do you have Trade Plates?
Do they cover you for recovery? If so, your breakdowns are covered. 'O' licence exempt.
Collection is a different problem. It depends what you are collecting , where you are delivering it and who does it belong to. It is unlikely Trade Plates will cover you, unless it's to and from your garage. If it's not your own product you may require a National 'O' licence.
Towing your own vehicle to shows is generally private use. 'O' licence exempt.
Back to the black hole. If the combinations maximum permissible weight exceeds 3500kgs then it is in scope of EU rules when used for business purposes. You can claim an exemption for breakdown and recovery but the collection and delivery are your problem area.
If you do not travel more than 50kms from your base you come under UK Domestic Hours and only require a record book. In excess of that and into EU rules where a tachograph is required.
As I said, IMO and I will bow to a greater knowledge.
Last edited by honest abdul; 03-02-11 at 22:51.
Assuming the vehicle and trailer are going to be used for breakdown/recovery purposes the regs are as follows......
Originally Posted by honest abdul
An O licence is not required if the vehicle is broken down or accident damaged. It is only required if the vehicle being transported has no fault.
As long as you stay within a 100km (62 mile) radius of your garage you are not required to run on tachograph. Step one foot out of that radius and you have to insert a tacho card and then spend the next 2 weeks running on tacho.
I think this only applies to specialist recovery vehicles e.g a wrecker. This is just a 4x4 towing a trailer.
Originally Posted by Defender