rangerovers.pub
The only place for a coil spring is up Zebedee's arse
Member
Joined:
Posts: 1073

Only found out about this in the last couple of days, but worth a read for anyone who's passed their test after 1st Jan 1997

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-rules-for-towing-a-trailer-or-caravan-with-a-car-from-autumn-2021

Effectively you will automatically get cateorgy BE added to your license at some point in the Autumn, allowing towing of trailers upto 3.5T rather than the previous restrictions. Not exactly the same as those who qualified before, but much closer to it than is currently allowed.

Member
Joined:
Posts: 500

So not rests for trailers anymore. Wow. That's not surprising considering the current muppets in government.

Member
Joined:
Posts: 1073

It looks that way as of tomorrow, the last testing date. Theres various changes to Lorry tests as well - https://www.myhermes.co.uk/track#/parcel/C00HHA0024760409/details the main one being fast tracking so you can go straight to driving an Artic without having tests in smaller lorries first....

Member
Joined:
Posts: 500

Bleeding stupid if you ask me. Also doing away with coupling 5th wheel test too.

Member
Joined:
Posts: 1073

I'm not sure the old way of letting someone prove they can just about drive a car, and then giving them a license to drive a 7.5t truck based on that, was a good idea to start with either.

Member
avatar
Joined:
Posts: 6830

I once hired a 7.5 tonne box van, 20 by 8 by 8 foot box on the back of a Ford Cargo chassis. Now I passed my test in 1971, so have the 7.5 tonne clause on my licence but the first thing I thought as I drove off in that thing was, who the hell thought someone who can drive a car can drive something like this? It was nothing like anything I'd ever driven before, a whole new experience.

Mind you, the change is good from my point of view as I've been looking at arranging the BE test for the other half so she can (legally) share the driving when we drive across Europe with a trailer.

Member
avatar
Joined:
Posts: 1227

I've only just in the last few weeks 3d printed and fitted some blanks for where the twin towing sockets were fitted - I removed them a while ago as the wiring was a mess and the bumper had to come off anyway. Never planned on towing anything properly - left the tow bar there for the 'get off my arse' deterrent...

Guess if I can legally use it, I'll have to sort out a new socket now!

Member
Joined:
Posts: 440

As a regular driver of a car trailer 9and passed the B+E tests accordingly), I think whoever thinks to extend the possibility of driving such convoy without proper practice and verification is nothing short of an idiot.
Then on the other hand, you guys in the island seem to have had (and still do!) your fair share of dim-witted chaps in charge ...

Member
Joined:
Posts: 1073

Yes, it seems we elect them into office to keep them from hurting themselves with their stupidity. Not sure its such a good idea really.

Member
Joined:
Posts: 213

I agree with all of you about the new law for towing trailers it's mad
I passed my test in 98 so missed out on licence B+E
I've got my class 2 HGV licence (drive up to 32tonne)
done my tractor test to so at work I could drive and pull trailer I did forestry work so at age of 18 I was driving a fast track JCB pulling a trailer full of timber round but couldn't pull a trailer on my car licence so I think I've got a bit of experience pulling trailers.
now the law has changed I can pull a trailer.
but I scares me to think my work colleague who passed his test in 2010 can now by law pull or work trailer with a 3tonne mini digger on with out any training

Member
avatar
Joined:
Posts: 6830

Even though I passed my test long before the restrictions came in so I've always had B+E, I did a trailer towing course years ago when we had trailers at work which taught me a lot (like reversing an S bend with a trailer on). Some of the old codgers I've seen towing caravans make me cringe though. Their licence says they can do it but they've obviously never had any training and don't have a clue about loading and weight distribution. Virtually all of the downhill stretches on the French Autoroutes have reduced speed limits for caravans (never worked out if they apply to me too with a car transporter or plant trailer on the back...) for very good reason when you see some of them snaking even on the flat.

Member
Joined:
Posts: 213

Richard tou hit the nail on the head I believe when you take a trailer test it should teach weight distribution and the test should be done with a loaded trailer
when I did my class 2 hgv test it was in a empty 12t box lorry luckily I had driven loads before so knew abit more about pulling away and breaking distance would be greatly affected

Member
Joined:
Posts: 1073

This has now changed as of today

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-rules-for-towing-a-trailer-or-caravan-with-a-car-from-autumn-2021?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_source=30ccf952-95bf-470d-b99b-382387f0e460&utm_content=immediately#what-changed-on-16-december-2021

Member
Joined:
Posts: 711

I passed my car test well before 1997, so the rules didn't apply to me anyway. I had a HGV licence and I lost it when I turned 70.
To get it back I needed to pay for a medical by the doctor. I didn't bother, as I can't see myself driving HGV's again. I passed my HGV test in the TA, many, many, years ago. Largest vehicle I've driven is an Antar tank transporter. Also Leyland gun tractor and loads of AEC's and Bedfords.
Great fun and you get paid for it.
Caravans are easy to back up but I do have difficulty backing up a small 750Kg unbraked trailer though, particularly when in the p38.
It goes out of sight sometimes when backing up and turning at the same time. Easy to jackknife and break a back light.

Member
avatar
Joined:
Posts: 6830

I agree, I'd far rather reverse a 6m car transporter trailer than a tiny little box on wheels. They seem to have a mind of their own and are virtually impossible to reverse in a straight line.

Member
Joined:
Posts: 1232

Passed my test at 17 in 1987 but learned to drive much younger, did a lot of it on 'Shell Island' (campsite) in Wales including towing boats (and pushing boats with a towbar fitted on the front of a Landrover, sometimes towing and pushing at the same time lol), driving a 6ton Merc lorry converted to an RV with boats on tow, etc. Up and down the cliff track, beach launches etc with the Landrover. Dad used to send me off-site onto public roads to nearby towns to buy petrol for said boats before I was 15. Drove tractors and ploughed fields working on a local farm after school and weekends at 15/16. Day I got my provisional I drove to London to deliver an outboard engine dad was selling but I could already drive properly. Only had 5 lessons before passing my test but dad was a club turn / entertainer and I used to drive him to and from gigs so got a lot of practice on unfamiliar roads between getting my provisional and going for my test and he was a good driver/teacher.

Dad's mate didn't even take a driving test until he was in his mid 40's but had owned cars since 17 and somehow managed to get insurance. The first vehicles he drove were the oversized dump lorries they used to dump spoil on pit tips when he was 14. Never even had any lessons, police pulled him one day and found out he didn't have a licence, he wasn't prosecuted but had to go for his driving test, when he went for his driving test the examiner asked him how long he'd been driving and owned cars.. which was around 30 years... the examiner said 'take us back to the testing station you've passed'.

At the other end of the scale my grandad could have been give a licence when leaving the Navy but didn't bother to apply for it after getting home from the Jap POW camp he'd been in for 4 years. Then he set up in business and wanted a licence so had to go for his test. When the examiner failed him for the 2nd time grandad punched him in the face in the car lol. He passed 3rd time...

Missus is learning to drive at the moment. Told her that due to the new rules she can drive to Cornwall with the caravan on the back while I go to sleep... but she told me where to get off (and I don't think I'd sleep well anyway).

Member
Joined:
Posts: 2314

The heaviest load I've ever towed was a Jeep XJ behind the P38. I think the trailer weighed almost as much as the jeep - it was designed for hauling around vintage tractors!
So, no I'm not a great advert for the automatic trailer license. In my defence I didn't hit anything!
I do haul around some converted horse trailers at work, they're fitted out for Catering and are horrible. After I insisted on them getting new tyres, I feel safer. The problem with them is that they're all different heights and need to be levelled for the coffee machines and fridges to work properly. Total lash-up :(

Member
Joined:
Posts: 500

Well this might be of interest to Richard

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2021/dec/16/van-drivers-in-uk-operating-licences-eu-brexit

😔

Member
Joined:
Posts: 711

As well as that, all travel to France is now stopped due to Macron's Omicron restrictions.
I notice it doesn't apply to HGV drivers though and it is not clear if you can drive straight through France to another country, like Spain for example.

Member
avatar
Joined:
Posts: 6830

tanis8472 wrote:

Well this might be of interest to Richard

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2021/dec/16/van-drivers-in-uk-operating-licences-eu-brexit

I've already been pointed towards the gov.uk site on that and have to admit, like most of the stuff on there, it is as clear as mud and, as I have found in the past, I still seem to fall through the gaps. It says if I use a car and trailer between 2.5 and 3.5 tonnes gross train weight, I need to add it to my Goods Vehicle Operators Licence. Only problem is, when I enquired earlier this year to see what I needed to do to shift cars on a trailer between UK and EU, I was told that because I was under 7.5 tonnes, I couldn’t get, an Operators Licence. The important part, I was told, is the word Goods. I don’t have a goods vehicle, I have a private car. I was however told that I would need an EORI (Economic Operator Registration and Identification) number so applied for one (it’s free so may as well). Only to find that is only needed if I am doing Customs declarations which I don’t as I am not carrying goods for commercial purposes but personal property. When I took a car over a couple of weeks ago, I was stopped in Calais on my way out by French Customs (first time I've ever even seen someone from French Customs on my way out!). I told them the car had come over to England for work to be done to it and I was returning to the owner who had a house in France. As it was UK registered, they considered it a temporary import, I had to complete a form which was actually marked as confirmation of an oral declaration. It has a space at the bottom for the owner to get the bit of paper stamped within 6 months when he brings it back to the UK otherwise he will be asked to pay duty on it and register it in France. This has always been the case with temporary imports either into or out of UK, irrespective of Brexit, otherwise how could you go on holiday in a private car without exporting it and re-importimg it (which Customs call a repatriation rather than an import)? Nearer the time I’ll give them a call and see what has changed and if there is anything I need to do differently. If they feel I need an Operators licence, then I also need a transport manager. Someone who has experience of looking after a fleet for at least 10 years. That’ll be me then. I've been planning my own routes and arrange my own maintenance for over 15 years, so why not?

As for the Covid rules, they change by the week. I went over on Friday 3rd to deliver the above mentioned car and collect another which has been over there since before lockdown started. The owner had driven it to his house in the Charente region but a suspension arm had broken so he had left it there and flown home. He had been over recently with a new arm with the intention of getting it fitted there and driving it back, but realised that due to the delays while there were travel restrictions, the MoT had run out so asked me to collect it on a trailer rather than risk driving it with no MoT. From the previous Wednesday (1st Dec) there had been news stories about France wanting a negative test before they would let you in. While a lot of news outlets covered the story, only one said it would come in from Saturday 4th although there was nothing at all on either the UK or French Government websites. When I checked in at Dover, I asked the (very helpful for a change) French immigration man if it was correct that from the following day travellers would need a test (as I would be coming back on the 6th but going out again on the 9th for a trip to the Strasbourg Christmas market). His answer was he didn’t know, he said that there had been talk about it but these decisions are made in Paris and they don’t bother telling the people that are supposed to be doing the checks. He said he’d probably be told at 9am on Saturday that he should have been checking from midnight…..

I wonder what the situation will be in mid-January when we may be driving to Dina’s parent in Latvia if nothing has changed by then? She’s an EU passport holder (Latvian) and I am her partner (which gives slightly more rights than a UK passport holder when entering France) and while we will be entering France we will only be there for the 30 minutes or so it takes to get to the Belgian border. There is an exemption of up to 24 hours if you are transiting through at an airport but what about if transiting by road? Or does it mean we have to use the Stena Harwich to Hook of Holland ferry and bypass France? Don’t really want to as the Stena ferry is more expensive than my P&O season ticket (which I have just renewed with another 5 returns so have already paid for the crossing) and while it saves a couple of hours driving time, it’s a 7 hour crossing so adds considerably to the overall journey time.

I've spent a bloody fortune in Covid tests in the last few weeks as it is but at least they are coming down in cost.