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post #21 of 119 (permalink) Old 18-05-2018, 16:59 Thread Starter
GMJ
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The chap from the Government responded to my email and provided updated guidance on A Frames in the UK here..

https://www.gov.uk/government/public...es-and-dollies

So it appears that they are perfectly legal in the UK but not necessarily in the rest of the EU...

Graham
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post #22 of 119 (permalink) Old 18-05-2018, 20:22
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Er sorry to pass water on your bonfire but please read the below paragraph lifted from their advice.

Since 1 October 1988 inertia braking systems have been required to allow a trailer to be reversed by the towing vehicle without imposing a sustained braking drag. Devices used to fulfil this requirement must engage and disengage automatically. This applies to A-frames that employ inertia overrun technology.

So any car on an A frame simply cannot comply with this regulation because, once the brakes are applied on the towed vehicle by means of the over-run brake system they REMAIN on so the combination cannot then be reversed. Which is the point I have been making on this forum about A frames for years!!

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post #23 of 119 (permalink) Old 18-05-2018, 20:29
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So how do caravans get round this Andy?

Ray.

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post #24 of 119 (permalink) Old 18-05-2018, 22:02
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It’s a system that’s built into the brakes from the initial design stage. See below link for an explanation of how caravan brakes disengage when being reversed and you will understand why a towed cars brakes cannot work like a caravans and therefore why an over-run A frame CANNOT comply with the regulations. I know people think I keep banging on about it but it was my job for thirty years and I KNOW what the regulations are and how they apply to trailers (which, as the info on the previous link states, is what a car on an A frame becomes. A trailer)
http://www.al-ko.co.uk/edit/files/ha...m-handbook.pdf

Andy

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Last edited by Mrplodd; 18-05-2018 at 22:04.
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post #25 of 119 (permalink) Old 19-05-2018, 08:25
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I know we have gone round and round in circles about this Andy and again Alan Bee of Car-A-Tow issued a pamphlet in two languages saying it was legal in UK.
As for reversing. I have always managed to reverse either in a dead straight line for several metres until the car veers off or on an angle for maybe 2 or 3 metres depending on angle.
No problem with the brakes locking on as long as you creep forward a few inches to release them. And reverse slowly and gently so the brakes don't grab.

Anyway, I don't have the problem now only a left over Car-A-Tow 'A' frame.

Ray.
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post #26 of 119 (permalink) Old 19-05-2018, 13:45 Thread Starter
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It would appear that UK is OK but EU, no so...

However this supplier makes some interesting points regarding travel in Europe..

https://www.lnbleisure.co.uk/index.php/2/

Graham
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post #27 of 119 (permalink) Old 19-05-2018, 14:16
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Graham

Please read CAREFULLY the excerpt that I have copied into my previous post!!!

ANY trailer fitted with over-run brakes must comply with the regs which say it must be capeable of being reversed with no “appreciable drag” from the brakes. Caravans have brakes SPECIFICALLY designed to do exactly that, cars do not. Therefore any car being towed on an A frame is incapable of meeting that regulation. On what basis do you consider them legal when the regulations clearly state what is required and no car is fitted with the equipment to enable it to comply?

Andy

Its not the destination that matters.

It's who you share the journey with (even if like me, it’s in a caravan!)
I am very fortunate to have Mrs Plodd to share mine with

Last edited by Mrplodd; 19-05-2018 at 14:20.
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post #28 of 119 (permalink) Old 19-05-2018, 14:34 Thread Starter
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I'm not arguing with you Andy. Can you email the chap at the DfT with your thoughts and see what he says? Its the chap who emailed me the [email protected]

It's strange then how many suppliers/manufacturers in the UK are selling a product under false pretences.

Also all the folks who use an A Frame in the UK are also doing so illegally.

I suspect that whilst technically you are correct the law is not enforced to its letter.

Maybe we should start a list of all those who have been successfully prosecuted in the UK for using an A Frame?

Anyone?

No?

Graham

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Last edited by GMJ; 19-05-2018 at 14:37.
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post #29 of 119 (permalink) Old 19-05-2018, 14:52
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There is no need to contact the chap at the DFT as he hasn’t said they are (or are not) legal he has ONLY supplied you with a link to their information page. The information on that page is unequivocal. ALL trailers must comply with the regulations, and they say that when reversed the trailer brakes must offer minimal drag, which a normal car cannot.

The DFT will NEVER EVER give legal advice (I tried on this VERY subject for a few years and only ever got a standard reply “These are the regulations, it’s up to a court not the DFT to interpret them”

I have never heard of anyone being prosecuted for using an A frame in the U.K. BUT if one was involved in a fatal RTC and someone started digging then doubtless a prosecution (and because of the reasons I have given) a conviction is the result, then a serious penalty (causing death by dangerous driving?) COULD result.

I for one never used an A frame (an excellent system in my view but the law differs) but towed a Smart car on a trailer. Yes it was a pain but I KNEW I was 100% legal.
I am keen to make sure that anyone on this forum who is thinking about using an A frame is in possession of the FACTS in respect of whether they meet the required regulations (which clearly, technically, they do not)

If someone chooses to “risk it” then that’s doen to them but I feel, bearing in mind my previous job, to point out the legalities to them so they can make an informed decision based on fact not supposition.

I have no desire to get into an arguement with anyone over this. I KNOW what the regulations state and I likewise KNOW that a car on an A frame, with an over-run braking system does NOT comply with them. I am aware certain manufacturers CLAIM they are legal, but are not prepared to offer to pay anyone’s legal fee if prosecuted. Ask yourself why not.

Andy

Its not the destination that matters.

It's who you share the journey with (even if like me, it’s in a caravan!)
I am very fortunate to have Mrs Plodd to share mine with
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post #30 of 119 (permalink) Old 19-05-2018, 15:40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrplodd View Post
Graham
Please read CAREFULLY the excerpt that I have copied into my previous post!!!
ANY trailer fitted with over-run brakes must comply with the regs which say it must be capeable of being reversed with no “appreciable drag” from the brakes. Caravans have brakes SPECIFICALLY designed to do exactly that, cars do not. Therefore any car being towed on an A frame is incapable of meeting that regulation. On what basis do you consider them legal when the regulations clearly state what is required and no car is fitted with the equipment to enable it to comply? Andy
The only reason I can see that caravans are legal is it's very rare to find any driver capable of reversing a caravan. They get out and push the bloody thing backwards.

Ray.
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