At Upper Hutt Hire our trailers make up a decent part of our hire business. So we thought it was about time to say a few words about trailers and towing weights, mainly because the subject is, frankly, a bit confusing.
Back in the days when Garry wore school shorts, not much attention was ever paid to trailers and weights. So long as the trailer was of reasonable built and had a safety chain & lights, all seemed okay. But a glance through the current legislation and the NZTA website now makes for some bewildering reading, so we thought we might highlight some of the key points.
1. Most manufacturer-fitted tow bars have stated maximum towing weights clearly stamped on the certification tab on the tow bar. It would be rather silly (and bloody dangerous) to exceed these limits.
2. The NZTA recommend that the total laden weight of a trailer should not exceed three quarters of the towing vehicle. In other words, if your small car weighs 1000 kg, then your trailer and load should not exceed 750 kg.
3. The NZTA suggest that the brakes on the trailer and towing vehicle combination must be capable of bring the vehicle + trailer travelling at 30 km/hr to a complete stop within 7 meters. This suggests that the tyres and brakes play a significant role. Indeed common sense suggests you have more control in a large 4WD with good tyres and a braked trailer, than towing a large trailer of manure with a 1967 Ford Anglia with skinny 13” tyres (We know… we tried it once…)
On average seven people are killed on NZ roads each year from trailer-related accidents. The regulations are written for good reason. You can check out the NZ Transport Agency report at http://bit.ly/2rmiVa1 or if you have any questions please feel free to ask us. Above all else, play it safe.