TRAILER SIZE - LAW ?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
resus1uk
Posts: 268
Joined: 12 Mar 2007, 9:28am

Re: TRAILER SIZE - LAW ?

Postby resus1uk » 17 Nov 2013, 5:47pm

I use a Carry Freedom trailer (like Mick, but without the concrete blocks) shared between three bikes.
The load is usually bags of compost or gravel.
I still have not found a safe way to attach it to my delta trikes.
Each bike seems to handle differently.

The heavy Gazelle has a steering damper. The ride is rock steady, probably due to the weight of the bike and big tyres. My preferred trailer bike.

The Brompton can skip easily but still steers well on the level with a load. Braking can be a problem especially downhill with the combined weight of bike, trailer & rider,plus small wheels and lightweight brakes.

The third is a Dawes which I use if I need the full range of gears to shift the load. This can shimmy when unloaded but fine loaded. The frame is much lighter than the Gazelle with less relaxed frame angles.

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Mick F
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Location: Tamar Valley, Cornwall

Re: TRAILER SIZE - LAW ?

Postby Mick F » 17 Nov 2013, 7:56pm

Brucey wrote:....... I'd suggest Mick tries the blocks 4' apart with a big wind catching box on the back
Four feet apart?
How long do you think CF trailers are? :shock:

Seriously, though, a trailer tends to be of a "normal" dimension, so any extra length or width has to carefully thought about. One of our number - DKMWT - is a Plymouth chap with an ICE trike who has towed a huge variety of things and had a website/photo collection of them. A rather long extension ladder springs to mind.
Mick F. Cornwall

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breakwellmz
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Re: TRAILER SIZE - LAW ?

Postby breakwellmz » 17 Nov 2013, 8:07pm

Hi Brucey

Is this the same man that rides a Raleigh Chopper? :lol:

This is the man that rides a Raleigh Chopper. :wink:

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Mick F
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Re: TRAILER SIZE - LAW ?

Postby Mick F » 17 Nov 2013, 8:26pm

Rode a Raleigh Chopper.
I sold it after my JOGLE on it. :oops:

I did nearly 2,000miles on the damned thing mainly towing a load, but to be honest, I miss Chopper, and am sorry I sold it.
It was absolutely a wonderful machine. Surprisingly stable and solid, but heavy and unwieldy. Once I got moving, it was fine though the saddle left a lot to be desired.

The brakes were awful and almost useless, so I fitted a new front wheel with a roller brake hub that transformed the bike and made it reliable and trustworthy. I needed a front pannier system with weights in to hold the front down against wheelies. I used a few Yellow Pages in the panniers! A big strong chap like me coupled with a low gear provided by the double chainset and the double sprockets plus the 3sp SA gave me a wide set of ratios. Bottom was 42/28 1st = 22.5" and top was 52/18 3rd = 76.8"
Mick F. Cornwall

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meic
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Location: Caerfyrddin (Carmarthen)

Re: TRAILER SIZE - LAW ?

Postby meic » 17 Nov 2013, 10:21pm

I have a land rover that weighs 2.2 tonnes and is rated for towing 3.5tonnes behind. I've towed two tonnes with it and that was plenty.


I thought that it was not allowed for the trailer weight to exceed the towing vehicle's weight. Or even to exceed a fraction of its weight, somewhere around 75%?

That is just for motor vehicles and their laws.
Yma o Hyd

Brucey
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Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: TRAILER SIZE - LAW ?

Postby Brucey » 17 Nov 2013, 11:31pm

meic wrote:
I have a land rover that weighs 2.2 tonnes and is rated for towing 3.5tonnes behind. I've towed two tonnes with it and that was plenty.


I thought that it was not allowed for the trailer weight to exceed the towing vehicle's weight. Or even to exceed a fraction of its weight, somewhere around 75%?

That is just for motor vehicles and their laws.


The maximum towing weight (and the noseweight) is specified by the vehicle manufacturer and must not be exceeded. There are also laws which may restrict the vehicle and/or the driver (depending on licence details etc). Land Rovers are popular for towing because they have a very high towing weight allowance; 3.5 tonnes is the maximum allowed for braked trailers behind any non-HGV I think. Being an old fart I have an ordinary licence that allows me to drive an outfit up to 8.25 tonnes gross, where anyone who got their car licence after 1997 will have various restrictions and/or will have to pass other tests.

Most front-wheel drive cars have towing allowances which are comparable to the vehicle weight, but it does vary considerably. I would rather eat worms than drive a small FWD car at its maximum towing allowance, with lots of windage on the trailer it is a recipe for disaster IMV. A lot of these vehicles have very low noseweight limits and there is a commonly held view (with which I hold until proven otherwise) that low noseweight also tends to make for instability.

I have a trailer (for the Landy) which I rebuilt myself from an old caravan chassis; I fully boxed in the chassis rails (40m of welding required... :shock: ), fitted decent radial tyres, machined the hubs to make them accept hubcentric fit wheels, and made sure the brakes were spot on too. It has slots in the bed for carrying motorcycles, ramps for loading, four jacks for steadying it during loading, lashing eyes all over, and carries two full size spare wheels. It also has independent coil spring suspension with good quality hydraulic dampers. It tows beautifully, even at one tonne load (which is all the present tyres are rated for), and even on terribly bumpy roads at speed. Other trailers seem to bounce around by comparison and mostly seem to be shamefully poorly engineered.

I keep thinking that a properly suspended bicycle trailer would similarly be a big step forward, and that stuff like overrun brakes and hitch dampers might allow larger, heavier loads to be transported without undue hazard; hence my earlier enquiry.

Local to me there are several carrier cycles in regular use and they seem a bit poor too. Even the ones I think most of have an unsuspended load bed and after a few years the chassis usually breaks, even if it hasn't been overloaded. A good trailer might well be a better, more versatile solution.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

andrewk
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Joined: 20 May 2011, 3:19pm
Location: SW London

Re: TRAILER SIZE - LAW ?

Postby andrewk » 18 Nov 2013, 12:17am

There are max permitted weight and dimensions for motorcycle trailers, these are substantially below those for cars. The DVLA website has all the data. I suggest that it would be prudent to stick within motorcycle trailer limits.

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jonbott
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Joined: 7 Feb 2008, 12:42pm
Location: cornwall home of the hills!

Re: TRAILER SIZE - LAW ?

Postby jonbott » 18 Nov 2013, 3:56am

damn,looking at the pics of trailers tells me how unfit i am!I had a hard enough time riding towing the trailer with dog to school and back!She`s about 20kg and the trailer`s heavy too :(
most of the riding with trailer has been on local flat trails
I`m def too old for this!

katherine katie
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Joined: 31 May 2018, 12:34am
Location: United Kingdom

Re: TRAILER SIZE - LAW ?

Postby katherine katie » 31 May 2018, 12:40am

Someone suggested to me something I was already concidering! An over run system, where's as when the towing vehicle slows down and the trailer moves forward the brakes are applied automaticliy. Or I was/am going to have a two into one system that I can opperate with my left bootheel.

I just took delivery (Tuesday) of a trailer (for my shopping trips) just like (my 8th trailer) that but minus the green lid, these past few days I have made a wooden lid for mine. I plan to box it all in. Did I mention I brought home a plie of wood on my big trailer :)