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#1 07-08-14 20:04:06

Coasting Mart
Verified Member
Registered: 11-06-09
Posts: 967

Max you can tow on B+E?

So, on Cat B, max you can tow is Gross Train Weight of 3500kg, and the trailer can't be more than the unladen weight of the car, or the max towing capacity as stated on the V5.
(ignoring the vehicle at 3500 plus a 750 trailer = 4250 peculiarity!)

So, a simple question:  (nothing's ever simple in towing regs!!)
Having gained B+E, what is the maximum you can tow?

I've been reading some of Rog's excellent work on the horse & hound site (exceptional stuff!) but I'm confused by one of Rog's 'myths' that the trailer can exceed the weight of the car, under B+E.  Ok, I can't find a definite law on the Gov site, but surely the insurance, or road worthness, or general safety would dictate an upper limit.  Can I tow a 300 ton tank with a mini if I've done B+E?  I doubt it!


A supplemental question, which vehicles do weigh 3500 kgs MAM? Any examples?

Any explanations gratefully received.  cool


"I swear I found the key to the universe in the engine of an old parked car"

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07-08-14 20:04:06

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Re: Max you can tow on B+E?




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#2 07-08-14 20:39:44

MGM
Verified Member
From: Surrey
Registered: 24-10-11
Posts: 861

Re: Max you can tow on B+E?

According to the gov site (https://www.gov.uk/towing-with-car/driv … ou-can-tow) you can tow trailers up to 3,500 kg with B + E. So you're right - no tanks!

Transit type vans are typically rated up to 3,500 kg MAM. I believe anything heavier needs an Operator's Licence.

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#3 07-08-14 20:46:51

pegasus
Verified Member
From: north west
Registered: 25-02-05
Posts: 3,297

Re: Max you can tow on B+E?

Hi
There are actually 3 different sets of regulations for Cat B towing depending on when you passed your B test.
https://www.gov.uk/towing-with-car/driv … ou-can-tow

With  B+E all I can find is that you can exceed the 3,500 train weight, but presume the Max towing capacity rule still applies, there are a few vehicles mainly 4x4s (I believe SWB Landies come in this category) which have a max towing weight greater than the MAM of the vehicle.
Most advice on towing is that the actual trailer weight should not exceed 75-80% of the vehicle MAM.

Frankly I don't think your mini could even move a tank on a trailer even if you could find a trailer with a suitable hitch to put it on. big_smile big_smile big_smile big_smile big_smile big_smile

Last edited by pegasus (07-08-14 20:50:05)

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#4 08-08-14 06:09:47

(ROG)
Verified Member
From: LEICESTER
Registered: 23-08-10
Posts: 1,551

Re: Max you can tow on B+E?

the trailer can't be more than the unladen weight of the car

That particular bit was revoked for all B licence holders on 19/01/2013

All B licence holders are under the same rules no matter when they passed the test - the DVLA has decided in their wisdom to leave the old rules on the internet

This letter gained via my MP gives the definitive - contacts for the expert at DVLA are given in this letter ......

BLICENCETOWINGLAW001-2.jpg


It also seems that the max trailer MAM for B+E is now 3500kg for all those towing with B+E with a trailer more than 3500 needing C1+E as well as the trailer needing air brakes or similar

There are very few drivers that would need to tow a trailer over 3500 MAM with a B vehicle on their B+E licence


There are quite a few 4x4s with a GVW of about 2700 that have a towing capacity of 3500 - they have been designed to tow 3500 at kerb weight (about 2200) which means the trailer could be 1300 more than the vehicle ..... not something I would be that happy to do but its legal and supposedly safe


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Leicester group of advanced motorists
LGV instructor from 2005 to 2008

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#5 08-08-14 06:10:51

reddragonbus
Verified Member
From: Edinburgh
Registered: 05-02-06
Posts: 1,653

Re: Max you can tow on B+E?

There is no weight limit for the trailer under B+E licence, the limit is dictated by the towing vehicle.

The towing vehicle cannot exceed 3500kg MAM it is unlikely you will find a category B vehicle which can tow much more than 3500kg

A 280 transit can only 700kg


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#6 08-08-14 06:16:00

(ROG)
Verified Member
From: LEICESTER
Registered: 23-08-10
Posts: 1,551

Re: Max you can tow on B+E?

pegasus wrote:

Most advice on towing is that the actual trailer weight should not exceed 75-80% of the vehicle MAM.

Caravans only for that advice and its 85% of the actual weight of the vehicle at the time of towing it


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Leicester group of advanced motorists
LGV instructor from 2005 to 2008

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#7 08-08-14 06:18:13

(ROG)
Verified Member
From: LEICESTER
Registered: 23-08-10
Posts: 1,551

Re: Max you can tow on B+E?

reddragonbus wrote:

A 280 transit can only 700kg

Have a look an the transit site forum because the T280 has a towing limit of 1200
GVW 2800
GTW 3500
Towing capacity 1200
Towing 1200 would mean that the van could not be loaded to more than 2300

Last edited by (ROG) (08-08-14 06:24:02)


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#8 08-08-14 06:23:36

(ROG)
Verified Member
From: LEICESTER
Registered: 23-08-10
Posts: 1,551

Re: Max you can tow on B+E?

reddragonbus wrote:

There is no weight limit for the trailer under B+E licence, the limit is dictated by the towing vehicle.

The small print in the EU directive invoked on 19/01/2013 suggests that a trailer MAM limit for a B+E is now 3500

what that directive is saying is that any vehicle or trailer combination where either is over 3500 MAM now puts it into the LGV category system


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LGV instructor from 2005 to 2008

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#9 08-08-14 07:04:15

(ROG)
Verified Member
From: LEICESTER
Registered: 23-08-10
Posts: 1,551

Re: Max you can tow on B+E?

Does anyone know of a B+E driver who tows a set up where the total plated MAM is over 7000kg? - I know I don't


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LGV instructor from 2005 to 2008

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#10 08-08-14 09:57:25

Coasting Mart
Verified Member
Registered: 11-06-09
Posts: 967

Re: Max you can tow on B+E?

Thanks for the replies - it's not entirely easy getting one's head round all this stuff.  Makes motorbike rules look simple!!

So, the definitive amounts are:
3500 GTW for B, trailer size limited by the manufacturer's stated towing capacity.
7000 GTW for B+E made up of max 3500 MAM for a trailer and 3500 MAM for the vehicle, again limited by the likelihood of the court thinking more than the manufacturer's towing capacity would be unsafe, and max size of Cat B vehicles.

Thanks again to Rog for the clearest explanations I've come across!  The Govt should employ you to write a guide!  cool


"I swear I found the key to the universe in the engine of an old parked car"

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#11 08-08-14 10:06:03

(ROG)
Verified Member
From: LEICESTER
Registered: 23-08-10
Posts: 1,551

Re: Max you can tow on B+E?

Coasting Mart wrote:

3500 GTW for B, trailer size limited by the manufacturer's stated towing capacity.

The actual weight is but not the plated MAM weight

On a B+E you can legally do this ...

Vehicle
GVW 2400
GTW 4400
Towing capacity 2000

Trailer
plated MAM 3500
empty weight 1000

Load trailer with 1000 max so as not to exceed the towing capacity


IAM Observer
Leicester group of advanced motorists
LGV instructor from 2005 to 2008

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#12 09-08-14 07:04:07

reddragonbus
Verified Member
From: Edinburgh
Registered: 05-02-06
Posts: 1,653

Re: Max you can tow on B+E?

(ROG) wrote:
reddragonbus wrote:

A 280 transit can only 700kg

Have a look an the transit site forum because the T280 has a towing limit of 1200
GVW 2800
GTW 3500
Towing capacity 1200
Towing 1200 would mean that the van could not be loaded to more than 2300

I asked FORD they said 700kg

Where do you get 1200 from?


LGV PCV Instructor DVSA ADI Fleet

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#13 16-08-14 19:57:25

(ROG)
Verified Member
From: LEICESTER
Registered: 23-08-10
Posts: 1,551

Re: Max you can tow on B+E?

reddragonbus wrote:
(ROG) wrote:
reddragonbus wrote:

A 280 transit can only 700kg

Have a look an the transit site forum because the T280 has a towing limit of 1200
GVW 2800
GTW 3500
Towing capacity 1200
Towing 1200 would mean that the van could not be loaded to more than 2300

I asked FORD they said 700kg

Where do you get 1200 from?

The folks on the transit forum who have all the info and drive them for a living - they also have the specs on that site for each model


IAM Observer
Leicester group of advanced motorists
LGV instructor from 2005 to 2008

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#14 16-08-14 20:15:55

reddragonbus
Verified Member
From: Edinburgh
Registered: 05-02-06
Posts: 1,653

Re: Max you can tow on B+E?

Ok so the people who build the van don't know what they are talking about?


LGV PCV Instructor DVSA ADI Fleet

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#15 16-08-14 20:21:22

(ROG)
Verified Member
From: LEICESTER
Registered: 23-08-10
Posts: 1,551

Re: Max you can tow on B+E?

reddragonbus wrote:

Ok so the people who build the van don't know what they are talking about?

Many do not as those on the transit forum found out when they asked - ask Ford for the exact info/specs by email and mention you need it to keep legal
Give them your vehicle info especially the VIN number


IAM Observer
Leicester group of advanced motorists
LGV instructor from 2005 to 2008

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#16 15-10-14 12:58:30

dog
Verified Member
Registered: 29-10-06
Posts: 813

Re: Max you can tow on B+E?

Coasting Mart wrote:

A supplemental question, which vehicles do weigh 3500 kgs MAM? Any examples?

A lot of vans, depending on configuration. I drive a van for work a lot of the time and it's stamped at 3500kg gross weight. With a 2500kg unladen weight it has a payload of approximately 1000kg. Also I believe some of the big 4x4's can run upto 3500kg too.

There is no requirement for the trailer to weigh less than the towing vehicle under B+E. The category B vehicle with the highest towing capacity that I know of is Land Rover Defender which can legally tow 4000kg if it's set up right. I'm sure some of the bigger vans are capable of much more than 3500kg but since the mechanical overrun brake system is not permitted on trailers over that weight, there are generally no 'light' trailers which weigh more. I have seen an Ifor Williams twin car transporter, converted to air powered disc brakes, which weighs just over a tonne and can take a payload just shy of 3 tonnes.

If there are any American pickup trucks with a GVW of 3500kg or less, I'm sure they can tow a lot more than 3500kg. Some of the Ford F series pickups can tow 10,000kg but they have a gross weight considerably higher than 3500kg.

Last edited by dog (16-10-14 11:43:34)

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#17 15-10-14 16:43:58

(ROG)
Verified Member
From: LEICESTER
Registered: 23-08-10
Posts: 1,551

Re: Max you can tow on B+E?

dog wrote:

there is no weight limit on trailers under B+E at all unless you passed after January 2013 (I think that's the date the 3500kg max rule came in).

The EU directive of 19/01/2013 was retrospective so ALL B+E drivers are limited to a max trailer MAM of 3500 kg - but they have decided not to tell everyone because the number towing trailers over that with B vehicles is very small

There was a rumour that some of those with trailers over 3500 kg MAM who were towing with B vehicles have been notified but not sure if that is a fact or not

It makes sense to have the same laws for all B & B+E drivers


IAM Observer
Leicester group of advanced motorists
LGV instructor from 2005 to 2008

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#18 16-10-14 11:40:40

dog
Verified Member
Registered: 29-10-06
Posts: 813

Re: Max you can tow on B+E?

(ROG) wrote:

It makes sense to have the same laws for all B & B+E drivers

Unfortunately, sense is something the DVSA lack. We have no system for registering trailers in the UK yet, so how would they contact owners of light trailers over 3500kg?

It's good to see that the 3500kg limit has been applied retrospectively, although it will not affect those with grandfather rights as they have C1+E anyway.

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