VW Golf estate towing capacity

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Mar 14, 2005
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In a nutshell what is the manufacturer stated braked towing capacity of your car? As long as you don't exceed this you're fine. Keeping it simple.
I'm sorry Jezzer but that is being irresponsible to suggest that is the simple solution that everyone should follow.

Whilst technically any vehicle should be able pull a trailer at the tugs specified towed weight limit, due to the size difference of a caravan vs an ideal trailer, the caravan will be more difficult and could be unsafe(which is a different offence to a weight infringement.)
 

JTQ

May 7, 2005
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If there is scope within the mechanical capabilities of the components, the manufacture can upgrade the MTPLM, but no one else can do it.
What if any would be the legal ramifications if "caught" over a quoted MTPLM, but within the axle's, licencing etc ratings?

In real life with the UK's pathetic present user payloads I doubt the authorities would find even a majority of the not technically inclined users, are within the MTPLM.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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This summer 75% of MH's stopped were found to be overloaded. Excuses being "I did not realise the passengers were payload', "Is water in the tanks really payload" Looking at what caravans often divulge I am sure many haven't got clue if they are near or past the MTPLM.

When I started weighing kit, and using weigh bridge I was quite surprised how quickly even a payload of 240kg was used up when the definition was based on ex works with nothing like bottles, electric cable included. So basically everything I put in or on was payload.
 
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The law does not actually specify any leniency in the way it is applied, just like speed limits the stated criteria are Limits, not an approximate value with a range of tolerance.

The decision to prosecute or not is left in the hands of area's chief constable. The Association of Chief Police Officers ACPO has suggested to avoid court prosecutions where suspects might be acquitted, their forces should only pursue cases where there is a significant infringement rendering no uncertainty. This is to avoid the cost and time associated with following through cases that are lost. Consequently there is some leniency shown. However they now have access to spot fines for some infringements where the courts are not involved.

As better weighing systems that can resolve to a greater precision and accuracy become available and approved for use, then you can expect to find less tolerance shown to overloading.

Again just as with speeding or other commonly committed driving offenses, just becasue others do it and get away with it does not make a justification for any one else to do it.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Are you aware Clive of the legal ramifications for that 75% of MHs; just a quiet friendly word for the not too excessive ones?
I'm not sure I get your drift. The report that I read only gave the figure of 75% overloaded but did not give further details of what the scale of overloads were. In a MH you have less flexibility to transfer load between car and caravan as caravaners can do. I have no doubts that the Police and Highways Agency will take a pragmatic view in all but the most serious cases.

Similar to the car driver who punched a cyclist out of his window, and ran into the cyclists female partner putting the both the cyclist in the road, and the lady under the car. Fortunately no serious injury to either cyclist. All captured on front and rear GoPro cameras on the cyclists. A caution was issued to the car driver!!!! Thats what I call pragmatic........ Unbelievable
 

JTQ

May 7, 2005
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Prof: Basically as was asked, it was the ramifications of exceeding the makers MTPLM but not the components makers rating, I had wished to explore.

Given that many MTPLM are not physical, just a purchasable virtual limit.
 
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A bit of an abnormality is that on many caravans the MTPLM can be increased in some cases by up to 100kg. Our increase was about 75kg.
One of the reasons why I think that you cannot be prosecuted for exceeding the MTPLM however you can be prosecuted for exceeding the gross maximum axle weight or the load rating of the tyres.
Of course this is just my opinion and happy to corrected.
MTPLMs can only be increased if the manufacturer has had the increased MTPLM type approved. A type approved MTPLM can be used to the full without the need for any notification unless the manufacturer has placed a technical condition in his type approval documentation limiting the MTPLM to a lower value if that specified condition is not met. An increased MTPLM always involves a technical change or modification. If it doesn't, it's not a true increased MTPLM but only a marketing ploy.
 

JTQ

May 7, 2005
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I'm not sure I get your drift.
No more than I tried to question, understand the ramifications that the authorities are dishing out for infringing loading limits in our hobby.

And particularly their stance with caravans as opposed to MHs, of over loading above an arbitrarily stated MPTLM, where the physical scantlings loading limits, are not exceeded.
Thus, no safety related issue is involved, just the user has not paid for exactly the same kit to be accredited a higher value.

And as Lutz posting highlights, the van can still be loaded within its "type approval" limit, just not the present plated MTPLM value.
 

JTQ

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The MTPLM is most certainly physical, because the technical conditions which apply to it must be defined in the type approval process.
But not where the MTPLM plated is below that type approved MTPLM value, which is often the case here in the UK unless money is furnished to release more of its full potential.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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The Road Fund tax that HGV's vehicles pay is linked to the vehicles MAM and the difference between the largest HGV and the small commercial vehicles is very significant, but there is a big difference in the volume of goods each can carry. Some industries products may be very low density (e.g. expanded polystyrene) and for the business to make transporting their goods as economical as possible, they need to use the largest possible goods vehicle. Unfortunately all the very large goods vehicles are normally built so they can carry heavy weights, which means the polystyrene supplier is in a cleft stick. If they were to fill the largest vehicle with their goods, the actual payload may well still be less than 1T but they would still be paying the tax burden for the large HGV

To allow such businesses to utilise large vehicles for low density loads, the gov't has used the vehicle Platting scheme, which allows the company to have the largest vehicles, but to choose an upper weight limit for its use. Based on that assurance, the vehicle is "plated" and shows the derated MAM for the vehicle and or trailer.

If such s down plated vehicle is stopped for a roadside inspection and its found to heavier than its plated limit the driver and company can be prosecuted, based on the lower MAM set for the vehicle.

It is entirely feasible for the authorities to apply the same logic to the caravans MTPLM system though there is no tax implication.
 
Jan 31, 2018
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I'm not being irresponsible Ive tried to simplify what is actually an almost impossible question that receives a miriad of convoluted answers by as above stating the absolute minimum requirements and creating total confusion in my mind for anyone who dare ask the question or read the above, to be in the law. Even the fov website isn't clear. It's a minefield. From then on its up to the op to decide what suits.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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MTPLMs can only be increased if the manufacturer has had the increased MTPLM type approved. A type approved MTPLM can be used to the full without the need for any notification unless the manufacturer has placed a technical condition in his type approval documentation limiting the MTPLM to a lower value if that specified condition is not met. An increased MTPLM always involves a technical change or modification. If it doesn't, it's not a true increased MTPLM but only a marketing ploy.
Exactly as all you get is a label to stick over the current label. No paperwork etc which is why I doubt very much if you can be prosecuted for exceeding the MTPLM however it is certainly NOT a good idea not to exceed the MTPLM.
 
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Exactly as all you get is a label to stick over the current label. No paperwork etc which is why I doubt very much if you can be prosecuted for exceeding the MTPLM however it is certainly NOT a good idea not to exceed the MTPLM.
Strange that when I upgraded my last two caravans both Bailey (2005) and Swift (2017) sent “certificates” confirming the new MTPLM together with new labels.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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The 85% figure is based on kerbweight and kerbweight, by definition, is without the driver.

I would challenge anyone to be able to detect any difference in the way an outfit at 90% handles compared with 85%, all other conditions remaining unchanged. It's only when you get close to 100% or more that one would expect to notice any unease.
I must say that I am glad that I started my hobby before the internet age, which in many instance only serves to create uncertainty in the minds of newcomers, and some oldies too. The only advise I received was from a recently widowed neighbour when I asked her if the caravan ( Safari) was to be sold. She told me that my Marina estate wasn’t heavy enough and then explained some of the basics.

WRT kerbweight not including the driver I see that in the latest CCC Tow Car of the Year 2021 the kerbweight includes 68 kg for the driver and 7 kg luggage. I’ve always taken a “ standard” driver as 75 kg, why on earth would a “definition” which is only used as guidance for the 85% guide complicate things by having a lightweight driver plus a bit of luggage. The CCC then describes this as being iaw EU standard, viz:


“Cars were matched to a caravan weighing 85% of their kerbweight, unless the legal towing limit or the maximum laden weight of the caravan was below 85% of the kerbweight. Kerbweights include 68kg for the driver and 7kg for luggage (the ‘conventional load’ as specified in the EU standard). This may differ from the figure the manufacturer publishes online or in its brochures.”

If this now confuses me I have real sympathy for the OP, and applaud Mel’s foresight in post #2 🤔
 
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Exactly as all you get is a label to stick over the current label. No paperwork etc which is why I doubt very much if you can be prosecuted for exceeding the MTPLM however it is certainly NOT a good idea not to exceed the MTPLM.
One most certainly can be prosecuted for exceeding the MTPLM. On the other hand one cannot be prosecuted for exceeding the towing limit so long as you don’t exceed any plated limits.

Strange that when I upgraded my last two caravans both Bailey (2005) and Swift (2017) sent “certificates” confirming the new MTPLM together with new labels.
Those “certificates” are not worth the paper they’re printed on because they aren’t legal documents. They are are certificates issued on behalf of the NCC which is only an trade body without any official status. Their certificates only confirm that certain industry standards are met, not the relevant Construction and Use Regulations.

WRT kerbweight not including the driver I see that in the latest CCC Tow Car of the Year 2021 the kerbweight includes 68 kg for the driver and 7 kg luggage. I’ve always taken a “ standard” driver as 75 kg, why on earth would a “definition” which is only used as guidance for the 85% guide complicate things by having a lightweight driver plus a bit of luggage. The CCC then describes this as being iaw EU standard, viz:


“Cars were matched to a caravan weighing 85% of their kerbweight, unless the legal towing limit or the maximum laden weight of the caravan was below 85% of the kerbweight. Kerbweights include 68kg for the driver and 7kg for luggage (the ‘conventional load’ as specified in the EU standard). This may differ from the figure the manufacturer publishes online or in its brochures.”

If this now confuses me I have real sympathy for the OP, and applaud Mel’s foresight in post #2 🤔
UK legislation is quite clear that kerbweight does not include any vehicle occupants including the driver. Anyone claiming the contrary is simply bending the law to suit their own interpretation.

Things are made even more confusing inasmuch as kerbweight is not documented anywhere. Only “mass in running order” (also known as mass in service) and “actual mass” are to be found in any sort of legal document.
 
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One most certainly can be prosecuted for exceeding the MTPLM. On the other hand one cannot be prosecuted for exceeding the towing limit so long as you don’t exceed any plated limits.



Those “certificates” are not worth the paper they’re printed on because they aren’t legal documents. They are are certificates issued on behalf of the NCC which is only an trade body without any official status. Their certificates only confirm that certain industry standards are met, not the relevant Construction and Use Regulations.



UK legislation is quite clear that kerbweight does not include any vehicle occupants including the driver. Anyone claiming the contrary is simply bending the law to suit their own interpretation.

Things are made even more confusing inasmuch as kerbweight is not documented anywhere. Only “mass in running order” (also known as mass in service) and “actual mass” are to be found in any sort of legal document.
The reason I put certificates in quotation marks is because I know they aren’t cerifcates that have legal bearing, but the papers issued do add to the caravans documents record so that after 3-4 years when the door label has faded the owner still has a formal record the van has been upgraded. We’ve discuses this same point earlier this this year.

I and also very well aware of the views on kerbweight that’s why I said the CCC article only serves to add more confusion. And being totally pedantic in 2010 the weight of the average British male was 83 kg. Reported by ONS.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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The reason I put certificates in quotation marks is because I know they aren’t cerifcates that have legal bearing, but the papers issued do add to the caravans documents record so that after 3-4 years when the door label has faded the owner still has a formal record the van has been upgraded. We’ve discuses this same point earlier this this year.
Fact is that the caravan was never really upgraded. The certificate only brings the displayed MTPLM in line with what was type approved as a legal technical limit all along.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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One most certainly can be prosecuted for exceeding the MTPLM. On the other hand one cannot be prosecuted for exceeding the towing limit so long as you don’t exceed any plated limits.

Those “certificates” are not worth the paper they’re printed on because they aren’t legal documents. They are are certificates issued on behalf of the NCC which is only an trade body without any official status. Their certificates only confirm that certain industry standards are met, not the relevant Construction and Use Regulations.
If the certificate is not worth the paper that is printed then how can the MTPLM sticker be legal as it probably came from the same printing press? I guess a lot depends on what the DVSA regard as legal and in a court of law the gross maximum axle weight would be the final definition.
This raises the question when some one downplates the MTPLM as i.e. their car cannot tow more than 1600kg and the caravan has an MTPLM of 1700kg so they cannot be prosecuted however another person with the same combination who has not downplated can be prosecuted on the MTPLM sticker although the actual maximum weight of the caravan at the time of being stopped by DVSA is only 1600kg as it has not been loaded fully.
So how can they be prosecuted as legally they are not exceeding the gross train weight of the vehicle?
 
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If the certificate is not worth the paper that is printed then how can the MTPLM sticker be legal as it probably came from the same printing press? I guess a lot depends on what the DVSA regard as legal and in a court of law the gross maximum axle weight would be the final definition.
This raises the question when some one downplates the MTPLM as i.e. their car cannot tow more than 1600kg and the caravan has an MTPLM of 1700kg so they cannot be prosecuted however another person with the same combination who has not downplated can be prosecuted on the MTPLM sticker although the actual maximum weight of the caravan at the time of being stopped by DVSA is only 1600kg as it has not been loaded fully.
So how can they be prosecuted as legally they are not exceeding the gross train weight of the vehicle?
An MTPLM sticker is only legal if it also displays the type approval number under which the vehicle (it makes no difference whether it is a car or a caravan) was type approved with that MTPLM. An MTPLM which is not accompanied by a type approval reference will only be accepted by a law enforcement officer on a purely discretionary basis. He is not under any obligation to do so.
Downplating only makes sense with respect to driving licence entitlement purposes. Otherwise, only actual weights count and each of those must not exceed the relevant plated values. There is no need to downplate for purely technical reasons.
 
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Fact is that the caravan was never really upgraded. The certificate only brings the displayed MTPLM in line with what was type approved as a legal technical limit all along.
I know enough about how the system works in that unlike some Continental makes most UK upgrades are there to take money out of the customers pocket and don’t make any technical changes even on caravans being purchased new.
 
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I know enough about how the system works in that unlike some Continental makes most UK upgrades are there to take money out of the customers pocket and don’t make any technical changes even on caravans being purchased new.
If no technical changes are necessary it’s not an upgrade. The higher figure was valid already before any so-called upgrade was issued. If a manufacturer quotes two different MTPLMs for the same vehicle he must state which MTPLM applies under what technical conditions. Otherwise no-one would know when which MTPLM applies.
 

JTQ

May 7, 2005
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If no technical changes are necessary it’s not an upgrade. The higher figure was valid already before any so-called upgrade was issued. If a manufacturer quotes two different MTPLMs for the same vehicle he must state which MTPLM applies under what technical conditions. Otherwise no-one would know when which MTPLM applies.
That being the case, could a prosecution hold where the trailer was loaded within the "Type Approval" [real MTPLM], but above the UK van makers downgraded, plated MTPLM ?
 
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This raises the question when some one downplates the MTPLM as i.e. their car cannot tow more than 1600kg and the caravan has an MTPLM of 1700kg so they cannot be prosecuted however another person with the same combination who has not downplated can be prosecuted on the MTPLM sticker although the actual maximum weight of the caravan at the time of being stopped by DVSA is only 1600kg as it has not been loaded fully.
So how can they be prosecuted as legally they are not exceeding the gross train weight of the vehicle?
You are getting a little mixed up here.

To be prosecuted for an Overload offence, the suspect vehicle or outfit has to be weighed, and one or more weight limits must have been exceeded. If no weight limits have been exceeded they cannot prosecute an overload offence as no "Overload" has occurred.

Applying that logic to your scenario - where a car cannot pull more than 1600kg , the measured weight on the trailers road wheel must not exceed 1600kg. The MTPLM is a weight limit or capability, it is not a measured weight, so provided the trailer is only part loaded and does not exceed 1600kg on its road wheels an overweight offence has not been committed.

However driving licences are different, and that is where the mathematical sum of the tow vehicle and trailers MAM would be used and no measurement is necessary - that would result in a no licence to drive the vehicle offence not an "overload" offence. But this is an area the Govn't has vowed to change- see other threads.
 

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