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wellington womble

Trailers

I could do with one. I mainly want it for hauling the astonishing collection of someone else's junk off the land (you wouldn't believe the junk!) and carrying green waste, straw, compost, wood etc about. A reasonable box trailer would do for that, but as I'm dithering about small livestock this spring or next I'm wondering about getting something that can shift them about as well.

I'm reasonably confident towing, and my 1.9 Skoda Octavia tows the caravan well. It would be helpful to have something lil ol me can handle alone (the current caravan is just slightly too heavy for me shift, which is a pain, requiring extremely precise reversing!) The previous one was manageable) and that I don't need additional licence/tests for on my post 2000 licence. I don't plan on replacing the car anytime soon, so I wouldn't want anything larger than it could sensibly handle.

What should I look for or beware of, at what sort of prices? Do trailers need any sort of MOT type test? I'm sure they were thinking of bringing them in for caravans at one point.
Lorrainelovesplants

no mot yet.
Nick

What livestock are you planning on getting? Go from there.
Ty Gwyn

A 6 x 4 Ifor Williams with top removable and fold down sides seems to fit your bill.
Nick

A 6 x 4 Ifor Williams with top removable and fold down sides seems to fit your bill.


The only reason I'd disagree is because she said she might be getting alpacas. You'd have to joint them carefully to get them in.
wellington womble

Yes, sheep, goats, alpacas. Something like that, nothing bigger.

I've been borrowing a 5x3 and half box trailer, which is nice to handle, it is a bit small for hay, straw and logs though.

Looking a sheep trailer prices, they seem to be three times the price of anything else. I'm not sure that's really worth it for the little I might need to move stock. Except then I'd have no means of moving stock in an emergency, which doesn't seem wise (I can't think of anyone I know locally who has one I can borrow either)

I wonder if you can hire them occasionally?

I've been looking at 8x5 trailers with mesh sides this morning, which fall in between price wise, but I'm wondering whether it would end up being neither one thing or the other - not manageable for yours truly, not suitable for stock. It's about the right size, and perfect if I could secure a lid for emergency stock transfer.
Nick

Big enough for an alpaca?

Sheep and pigs, I'd agree with Ty. It's what I have. With a sheet of mesh for a lid when I needed to ship pigs. Dead light to move by hand, plenty big enough for baling in the summer.

You can certainly hire a horse box if you needed to. But in an emergency that might not be fast enough. Emergencies tend to happen on a Sunday of bank holiday weekends.
sean

It's just another argument against alpacas really.
Nick

It's just another argument against alpacas really.


We are in the post truth economy.

Brexit means alpacas.
Making camelids great again.
Experts schmexperts.

She already owns a caravan. Common sense has left the building.
wellington womble

Good point. In a real emergency, I could always put an alpaca in the caravan. I've got those special mirrors now, too.

I haven't made any decisions. But I need something that eats grass and poos. Chez is trying to persuade me to get emus. I think building the perches would be a pain.

How many small bales can you get in a 6x4 trailer? I'd reckoned the 4 foot width would limit you to three per layer. Although that's better than one in the skoda.
Nick

16. But four are resting on top, beyond the wire frames sides. I wouldn't take it on the road without strapping them on. wellington womble

Thanks. Nick

It means I do a lot of driving between field and barn but this means I get a lot of rest when baking. I'm not a real farmer. Smile

It also fits the eight bale sledge the baler drags so it's very tidy in that sense.
RichardW

As you do not have BE on your licence you do have to watch what you tow.

Whats is your cars MAM? (Maximum Authorised Mass)
For reference what is your caravans MLPM? (Maximum Legally Permitted Mass)

You will be allowed to tow any unbraked trailer as it will be under 750kg MAM.

Then you can drive a combination of up to 3500kg GTW (Gross Train Weight). GTW is the sum of the cars MAM & the trailers MAM/ MLPM.

All weights for non BE licence holders are the plated weights not the real weights so you can not tow an empty heavier type trailer even if its real weight is below your limits.

Be extra careful borrowing trailers. Any faults they have are your problem if stopped & its likely they are plated to suit the owners car not yours.
Jamanda

Nicky Colour it Green has one to sell. wellington womble

As you do not have BE on your licence you do have to watch what you tow.

Whats is your cars MAM? (Maximum Authorised Mass)
For reference what is your caravans MLPM? (Maximum Legally Permitted Mass)

You will be allowed to tow any unbraked trailer as it will be under 750kg MAM.

Then you can drive a combination of up to 3500kg GTW (Gross Train Weight). GTW is the sum of the cars MAM & the trailers MAM/ MLPM.

All weights for non BE licence holders are the plated weights not the real weights so you can not tow an empty heavier type trailer even if its real weight is below your limits.

Be extra careful borrowing trailers. Any faults they have are your problem if stopped & its likely they are plated to suit the owners car not yours.

From memory, the skodas MAM is 1285kg, and the caravan's actual weight unladen is around a 1000, MLPM twelve hundred. Loads of room for under 3.5t, but I have to be careful about loading in order not to exceed the cars weight. I am ok for the usual gear, but the awning and bikes need to go in the car (pita, but there you go, especially as I can't have a rear mounted bike rack for a saloon and am not quite five foot tall! I am a stickler for correct loading and bang on endlessly about poorly loaded caravans to anyone who will listen)

I am planning to replace the big car and small caravan with a campervan and smaller car next year. One of the reasons is I don't enjoy towing (especially as a lone adult with a demented budgie wittering from the passenger seat) despite being reasonably competent at it by now. It makes more sense to to drive a smaller car most of the time, and save the big engine for when we need to carry a lot of weight. Ironically, I will need to sit the trailer test to do this, as the whole shebang will be over 3.5t, even though it's a much safer arrangement. I'm fairly sure I can pass it with a bit of swotting. Don't tell Nick and Sean though. I wouldn't want to spoil their fun!

I haven't yet decided whether to risk an A frame and overflow braking system, or whether that will be another consideration for an ideal trailer, though. Wonder if a smart car would fit in a sheep trailer?! Very Happy
RichardW

I doubt that the skoda is only 1285kg MAM.

I bet thats the kerb weight.

Most people that wing it on the test fail.

To give you some idea these are the test results I get.

2 day course 95% pass first time.

1 or 1.5 day course after taking an assessment & getting my agreement they are good enough 80% first time pass.
About 1 in 10 get my agreement.

less than 2 days without taking assessment & passing or my agreement 20% first time pass.

I try hard not to take those people on or to test at all but in the end its work.

Compare that to the test centres over all pass rate of aprox 50% & you can soon see that people that attend with little or no training take a lot of tests to eventually pass or end up taking training in the end.

Virtually all my clients come to me thinking they can do it & just need an hour prior to the test & take the test.

So far this year I have not has a single person that was actually test ready when I first meet them.
RichardW

PS

If that is the skodas MAM then you can only tow 642.5kg unbraked not the full 750kg.
wellington womble

I knew I'd get it wrong if I tried to remember. My memory's worse than my maths. I'll have to go and check again now, otherwise I'll be paranoid towing the van. I did work it out as close but OK.

What is it people find most taxing, Richard? The practical or the questions part? I'm getting mildly concerned, now. Although I don't really need to worry about it for a while.
Lorrainelovesplants

YF Clubs used to do a course which was slightly subsidised.
The practical isnt a walkover.....
NorthernMonkeyGirl

I knew I'd get it wrong if I tried to remember. My memory's worse than my maths. I'll have to go and check again now, otherwise I'll be paranoid towing the van. I did work it out as close but OK.

What is it people find most taxing, Richard? The practical or the questions part? I'm getting mildly concerned, now. Although I don't really need to worry about it for a while.

You might be fine doing the actual towing, but how is your accuracy? You have to reverse in an S shape and end up with the tailgate in - I think - a 2 foot zone. You're allowed 1-2 shunts. Throughout the test you're also being assessed on your actual driving - so all those sneaky habits need to be gone. Checking your mirrors obviously, not cruising out-of-gear, smooth gear changes, probably feeding the steering wheel, etc etc. My test also included a few "show and tell" things like "What do you need to do before setting off?" = "Check lights are working, walk around the trailer, check your numberplate is affixed....". They also wanted me to remove my numberplate from the trailer once it was unhitched. Oh, un/hitching had to be done in the specific order.
RichardW


What is it people find most taxing, Richard? The practical or the questions part? .

You might be fine doing the actual towing, but how is your accuracy?
1, You have to reverse in an S shape and end up with the tailgate in - I think - a 2 foot zone. You're allowed 1-2 shunts.

2, Throughout the test you're also being assessed on your actual driving - so all those sneaky habits need to be gone.

3, Checking your mirrors obviously, not cruising out-of-gear, smooth gear changes,

4, probably feeding the steering wheel, etc etc.

5, My test also included a few "show and tell" things like "What do you need to do before setting off?" = "Check lights are working, walk around the trailer, check your numberplate is affixed....". They also wanted me to remove my numberplate from the trailer once it was unhitched.

6, Oh, un/hitching had to be done in the specific order.

The questions are easy. You get 5 out of about 20 possibles. As long as you get one right you cant fail on them. In the last year I have not had a single driver fault for the questions.

1, The reverse is easy. You have a 1m zone to stop in. THE bay is the same length as the combination so makes it easy to know when you are in but not to far.

2, Most things you think are bad habits do not matter.

3, yep & more

4, Feeding the wheel? NOT A FAULT. Re steering, safe effective control.

5, yep a proper check of a trailer that is not yours

6, It is easy to make a mistake here. You need a good solid method to ensure that the key points are done in the right order & that key checks are done. If you want to do anything prior to the test this is the bit that you want to do so that on the day its your method you are doing not some forced effort.

When its time let me know & I will send you our pre course info docs. Please do keep it to yourself as it is one of the reason my pass rate is so high. It is very evident during the training who has & has not actually ready & digested the info.
wellington womble

Oh my word! I never knew I'd regret leaving my driving test till after university so much. What a palaver! I had certainly planned to find out the contents of the test and practice, I have no doubt that I would not pass otherwise (I learnt the entire question bank for my driving theory test!)

1). Accuracy variable. Reversing the van is the bit I hate most. I can do it, but it turns my brain inside out every time. I'm probably the only person in the world who actually practises in spring. With cones. (I get the hang of it over the season, but I lose the knack very quickly.)

2) Yes, I had assumed there would need to be supression of learned bad-habits. I had assumed this was the bit most people failed on. I am a reasonably cautious driver in any case.

3, yes,

4, I do have a tendency to ride the clutch. Probably loads of other bad habits too. *sigh*

5, I have very fond memories of checking the lights on the caravan. From about age 9, it was my job. I have handed this on to Jenna, who has two responsibilities. To check the lights, and make sure nothing but the wheels are touching the ground. This give me a minutes peace to check the hitch. I also walk round and check windows and lockers are secure. It's what you do on a caravan. I suppose people who only drive trailers are more confident and perhaps less methodical than us part time Tuggers.

6, I am marginally paranoid about the thing coming off on the motorway, so I always triple check the hitch. I have a five point checklist, although not in any order, probably. Tow ball secure, safety cable secure, power cable connected, jockey wheel raised, brake released. I check three times. I never do anything with the number plate, though. I've got one, I stuck it on. I'd notice if it came off. I expect you need a magnetic one or something?

All assistance grateful received, anyhow. It's a bit of a hoop, as I'm already towing, and although the new arrangement will be a bit bigger, it will be massively safer, and easier (which is why I want it). I could possibly go for a slightly smaller van and skip it, but I want to be able to tow a car regardless, and I do not intend to slum it and skimp on my kit in the van. Everyone says I ought not to bother, but I bet the insurance company would use it to wriggle out of any claims, so it's Sod's law I'd get shunted.

I'll happily buy your docs, Richard. I'd come and do your course if I were closer.
RichardW

If stopped you risk:-

no licence= points & fine
no insurance= more points & more fines

Due to having both of the above vehicle & trailer seized & possible retained.

In a crash the insurance would pay for damaged you caused (cos they cant get out of that) but would not pay for your losses.

Having a check list is fine however it is after the event & only checks that they have been done. The items MUST be not only done but done in the right order.

Some test centres are more worried about removing the number plate than others.

Are you planning on doing the test in your own car?
RichardW



I'll happily buy your docs, Richard. I'd come and do your course if I were closer.

I'm from the East mids & still go back to see family & friends.

When you planning on doing this?
wellington womble

When I can't avoid it any longer! I have no intention of skipping it, I'd be bound to write off my spanking new van if I did.

Seriously, I don't know when. It depends on when I get the money, which is out of my control. Next January would be ideal from my point of view, but I've practically no control over the timing.
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