Do you know how to check your towing capacity?

We often get asked what the towing capacity of a tow bar is, but it is your car that determines what you can tow safely and legally.

The exact towing capacity figure that should be used for your vehicle is that which is stamped on the Vehicle Identification Number Plate (VIN Plate). The VIN plate can usually be found under the bonnet or on a door pillar and details of the location will be in the owner’s handbook.

The VIN plate will display either 3 or 4 sets of weights.

  • – The top figure ‘A’ is the gross vehicle weight, the Maximum Allowable Mass (MAM) of the vehicle including occupants, fuel and payload.
  • – The second figure ‘B’ is the gross train weight, this is the combined maximum allowable mass of the vehicle and trailer.
  • – The third and fourth figures ‘C’ and ‘D’ are maximum axle loads front and rear respectively.

To calculate the recommended maximum towing capacity for your vehicle is the gross vehicle weight (A) subtracted from gross train weight (B).
On the above example 4200kg – 2505kg = 1695Kg

Did you know?
Certain performance, hybrid and city-car models or similar variants of standard models are not homologated to tow, including some cars with panoramic sunroofs, this means that the vehicle manufacturer has deemed that the model is unsuitable for use as a tow vehicle. With this type of vehicle, the towing capacity will equate to zero or a gross train weight will not be displayed.

Stay Safe, Tow Safe.

It was officially the coldest night of the year last night.  We’ve certainly got our thermals on in the workshop today!

It’s very icy on the roads, and this time of the year always throws other adverse weather conditions which should make us all question if our journey is necessary, but towing any vehicle adds additional considerations.

  • Are you confident you can drive safely in adverse weather conditions?
  • Are your vehicles in tip-top condition and prepared for every motoring eventuality?
  • Do you have plans and procedures in place in the event of an emergency?

If you do choose to tow, staying safe is a lot to do with common sense.  Traction decreases by about half on wet roads, but on ice covered roads there can be almost nothing.

  • Clear your vehicles of ice and snow to ensure you have good visibility and that it won’t become dislodged while your driving causing a danger to others
  • Watch your speed, and give yourself extra time to get to your destination
  • Avoid abrupt manoeuvres – drive smoothly and steady and maintain momentum
  • If your towing vehicle has anti-lock brakes, use continual pressure; don’t ‘lift up’ when these brakes pulsate
  • While applying brakes, use a light and even pedal pressure. This light application should still let the wheels roll, so you can maintain control
  • Slow down well before entering a curve. If the curve is a constant radius, keep your speed steady through the turn. Tight turns of decreasing-radius require that you slow down as you proceed; these are the trickiest. Turns of increasing-radius allow you to accelerate lightly as you exit them
  • Don’t use cruise control, you need to be fully in control of your vehicle and it won’t know what the weather conditions are and might accelerate or decelerate  at the wrong time
  • Give yourself extra stopping distance

Stay safe.