Technical Towing Weights on a BMW 125D

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Nov 11, 2009
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Hello Clive,
This is not quite true.

I have seen it but I can't remember where, where the car manufacturer had a 90kg nose load limit in their specifications, but the towbar it's self had an 80kg limit. Perhaps the car had a generic towbar for a model range, and the fitters attached the wrong data plate to the towbar? I don't know.

However as with all load limits, you have to abide by the lowest when there is a conflict of values.

Prof
There were a lot of posts on some sites a while back where particularly Ford owners had cars rated at 90 kg in the Owners Manual when Ford uprated from 80 to 90 kg. But then when towbar suppliers fitted new towbars the owners found them as rated at 80 kg as the towbar makers had not updated their stocks. So in such cases the lower figure would take precedence. But it’s not a common occurrence but one that can occur during model upgrades when car maker increases the noseweight but in most other respects nothing much else changes other than cosmetic or equipment changes to the car.
 
May 27, 2020
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Hello again, Thematrix12,

In the light of the pictures you have sent, the data plate as Roger L has pointed out gives you a GTW-GVW of 1275kg, which comfortably encompasses your caravans MTPLM without having to account for load transfers. 😎

Just for your information the VIN plate gives you from top to bottom
Gross Vehicle Weight
Gross Train Weight
Front axle limit , Rear axle limit

Every EU sold vehicle has the data in the same format.
Thanks all and thanks again John for explaining it in simple terms for a simple me.. 😂

Really pleased to have some positive news that we are able to tow with our other car after the bad news this week about our usual tow vehicle.

Thanks again all. Much appreciated. 👍🏼
 
Jul 18, 2017
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No, if you read my reply correctly you will see that I am saying that the sum of the plated GVW of the car and the MTPLM of the trailer may exceed the plated gross train weight so long as the sum of the actual weights doesn't.

A car with a GVW of 2000kg and a plated gross train weight of 4000kg can tow a trailer with an MTPLM of 2500kg so long as the actual gross train weight doesn't exceed 4000kg.



Without detaching the trailer from the towing vehicle there is no way of checking whether its MTPLM is exceeded or not.

Not only the maximum gross train weight must not be exceeded, but also the GVW of the towing vehicle and all axle loads, including that of the trailer.
If that is the case then what is the point in having any weight plates on the trailer? Your reply does not make sense as the DVSA or police use the plated statutory weights. I think you are giving the incorrect or misleading information to the OP and telling them it is okay to commit an offence?
 
Jul 18, 2017
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My Caravan was detached from the car when checked at a Highways Agency weighbridge near Ringwood. In such circumstances noseweight could have been checked by having the van wheels on the weighbridge and jockey wheel on dry land. And shuffling around. But they were not interested in noseweight it was car axles, car weight, and caravan total. Plus tyres, lights etc.
That is the first time I have ever heard of the DVSA detaching a trailer from the towing vehicle and I am sure it was done illegally. The moment they are disconnected there is no offence for the driver of the towing vehicle as the units are not connected. This I was told by a serving police officer.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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That is the first time I have ever heard of the DVSA detaching a trailer from the towing vehicle and I am sure it was done illegally. The moment they are disconnected there is no offence for the driver of the towing vehicle as the units are not connected. This I was told by a serving police officer.
So I was escorted off the dual carriageway by a police motorcycle and followed him to the weighbridge. There the checks were carried out. So your serving police officer reckons that the act of disconnecting would invalidate any evidence that I had been towing even when escorted by a police motorcycle? The police’s actual knowledge of the law isn’t 100% correct as we often see.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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So I was escorted off the dual carriageway by a police motorcycle and followed him to the weighbridge. There the checks were carried out. So your serving police officer reckons that the act of disconnecting would invalidate any evidence that I had been towing even when escorted by a police motorcycle? The police’s actual knowledge of the law isn’t 100% correct as we often see.
Have to agree with you as about two years ago the DVSA were fining people for having the breakaway cable wrapped around the tow ball. This was incorrect as there is no specific legislation that states it is illegal to wrap it around the towball. The DVSA had to back down. If you were over weight and exceeding the train weight, the fact that the police allowed you to travel to the weigh bridge may have worked against them as they were condoning an offence. Disconnecting the trailer from the vehicle to weigh the trailer was another big mistake. If there wwas an incident while the trailer as disconnected the DVSA would have been liable.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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If that is the case then what is the point in having any weight plates on the trailer? Your reply does not make sense as the DVSA or police use the plated statutory weights. I think you are giving the incorrect or misleading information to the OP and telling them it is okay to commit an offence?
Hello Buckman.
The plates are required to identify the vehicle or trailer and to provide information to help people use them within their specifications.

The plates are used by the authorities when checking the driver licence entitlements, and for comparing measured weights against them to check for axle and weight overloads.

You cannot be charged for an "overloading" offence without proof which requires the vehicle to be weighed on a certified device, and the measured load has to exceed the plated maximum values.

However regardless of what the weight of trailer may be, if in the opinion of a police officer or an authorised Vosa official they consider an outfit to be unsafe or dangerous they can initiate proceedings on that basis , but it is not an overloading offence but either unsafe or dangerous load.

Whilst all stamped plated limits must be adhered to, (i.e, no measured load must exceed any of the plated limits) The overriding weight limit for a towed outfit is the Gross Train Weight of the tow vehicle. Compliance with that can only be verified by weighing the outfit.

The tow vehicles maximum towed weight limit only relates to the proportion of the trailers weight actually carried on its road wheels, which excludes the load imposed by the nose load on the towing vehicle. It does not specify the maximum capacity of the trailer axle or its MTPLM.

The trailers MTPLM includes the load on the axle AND the load imposed by the coupling. Compliance can only be measured by uncoupling the trailer and the whole trailer being weighed and the trailers total measured weight being compared to the plated MTPLM.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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Hello Buckman.
The plates are required to identify the vehicle or trailer and to provide information to help people use them within their specifications.

The plates are used by the authorities when checking the driver licence entitlements, and for comparing measured weights against them to check for axle and weight overloads.

You cannot be charged for an "overloading" offence without proof which requires the vehicle to be weighed on a certified device, and the measured load has to exceed the plated maximum values.

However regardless of what the weight of trailer may be, if in the opinion of a police officer or an authorised Vosa official they consider an outfit to be unsafe or dangerous they can initiate proceedings on that basis , but it is not an overloading offence but either unsafe or dangerous load.

Whilst all stamped plated limits must be adhered to, (i.e, no measured load must exceed any of the plated limits) The overriding weight limit for a towed outfit is the Gross Train Weight of the tow vehicle. Compliance with that can only be verified by weighing the outfit.

The tow vehicles maximum towed weight limit only relates to the proportion of the trailers weight actually carried on its road wheels, which excludes the load imposed by the nose load on the towing vehicle. It does not specify the maximum capacity of the trailer axle or its MTPLM.

The trailers MTPLM includes the load on the axle AND the load imposed by the coupling. Compliance can only be measured by uncoupling the trailer and the whole trailer being weighed and the trailers total measured weight being compared to the plated MTPLM.
I think you are incorrect as a former member on here, Steve was charged for exceeding the gross train weight of the towing vehicle even through the car trailer was empty. The plated maximum gross weight of both units exceeded the plated gross maximum train weight of the vehicle. He also got points on his licence.
You are welcome to try and argue with a police perspon, but I would not take the chance. What is the point in having plated weights if they are to be ignored unless to enlist the help of a third aprty i.e. DVSA.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Have to agree with you as about two years ago the DVSA were fining people for having the breakaway cable wrapped around the tow ball. This was incorrect as there is no specific legislation that states it is illegal to wrap it around the towball. The DVSA had to back down. If you were over weight and exceeding the train weight, the fact that the police allowed you to travel to the weigh bridge may have worked against them as they were condoning an offence. Disconnecting the trailer from the vehicle to weigh the trailer was another big mistake. If there wwas an incident while the trailer as disconnected the DVSA would have been liable.
It wasn’t Highways Agency staff that disconnected the caravan. I was invited to disconnect and then drive the car forward off of the bridge. The car was then inspected closely. It was again me that hitched it back up.
 
May 7, 2012
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The caravan is just inside the cars limit and so the outfit would be legal. The towing ratio will be well over 100% though, which is very high and could be a problem. It is not a ratio I would be happy with and I would certainly avoid loading it to anywhere near its limit.
If you are possibly going to use the BMW with a tow bar with a 75 kg limit I would check the caravans nose weight first. If you do not have a proper gauge you can use the bathroom scales with a piece of wood in the hitch, it does need to have the hitch at the correct height for towing though or the reading will be wrong.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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lutzschelisch.wix.com
If that is the case then what is the point in having any weight plates on the trailer? Your reply does not make sense as the DVSA or police use the plated statutory weights. I think you are giving the incorrect or misleading information to the OP and telling them it is okay to commit an offence?
The statutory plates are there to check whether the actual weights are within the stated limits.

I'm not misleading or telling anyone it's okay to commit an offence because no offence would be committed.

I think you are incorrect as a former member on here, Steve was charged for exceeding the gross train weight of the towing vehicle even through the car trailer was empty. The plated maximum gross weight of both units exceeded the plated gross maximum train weight of the vehicle. He also got points on his licence.
You are welcome to try and argue with a police perspon, but I would not take the chance. What is the point in having plated weights if they are to be ignored unless to enlist the help of a third aprty i.e. DVSA.
The only reason that he may have committed an offence is if he only held a Category B driving licence, limiting him to a 3500kg combination weight and the sum of the plated weights on car and trailer exceeded that value, even though their actual combined total weight was below 3500kg. If he had held a B+E licence both the towing vehicle and the trailer could have been plated at up to 3500kg, i.e. 7000kg in total.
 
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Nov 6, 2005
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I think you are incorrect as a former member on here, Steve was charged for exceeding the gross train weight of the towing vehicle even through the car trailer was empty. The plated maximum gross weight of both units exceeded the plated gross maximum train weight of the vehicle. He also got points on his licence.
You are welcome to try and argue with a police perspon, but I would not take the chance. What is the point in having plated weights if they are to be ignored unless to enlist the help of a third aprty i.e. DVSA.
That was either wrong - or it was a B-only licence infringement.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I think you are incorrect as a former member on here, Steve was charged for exceeding the gross train weight of the towing vehicle even through the car trailer was empty. The plated maximum gross weight of both units exceeded the plated gross maximum train weight of the vehicle. He also got points on his licence.
You are welcome to try and argue with a police perspon, but I would not take the chance. What is the point in having plated weights if they are to be ignored unless to enlist the help of a third aprty i.e. DVSA.
As others have said, I think you may have got hold of the wrong end of the stick, and misunderstood the nature of "Steve's" infringement.

As I have pointed out an accusation of "overload" can only be verified by measuring the article and finding the measurement exceeds the stated limit.

Further added comment 13/7 2020

As you say the weight plates are not to be ignored but they are there for a purpose to inform not what the trailer actually weighs, but to specify its maximum load potential.

I most certainly would argue with a policeman if he tried to accuse me of being "overloaded" with one of my trailers which has an MTPLM of 2500kg but empty is only 600kg. and and part loaded was 1500kg towing it behind a vehicle with a towed weight limit of 1700kg. If the CPS decided to proceed even a modest barrister would have a field day.
 
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