Driving can be a hazardous activity, especially when it comes to towing trailers. That’s why we’re here to highlight the importance of appropriate fleet driver training in the UK, specifically for employees who may need to tow a trailer.
With the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) urging drivers to take a training course before towing, there’s no better time to ensure that you and your employees have the necessary skills and knowledge to do so safely.
At Beyond Driving, a driver training company that provides fleet training to businesses, we offer a range on-road, and workshop-based driver training to help your drivers make better decisions behind the wheel. From driver and fleet health checks to licence checking and risk assessments, their services can help improve your driver safety standards and reduce fleet running costs.
For those who need to tow a trailer, Beyond Driving also offers a Trailer Safety & Awareness Course, this course is designed to help you feel competent and safe when using trailers. The course covers pre-towing inspection routine, reversing, coupling/uncoupling, and on-road towing training.
It’s important to note that the weight you’re allowed to tow depends on when you got your licence. If you passed your test before January 1st, 1997, you can usually drive a vehicle and trailer combination up to 8,250kg. However, if you passed your car driving test on or after January 1st, 1997, you can drive a car or van up to 3,500kg maximum authorised mass (MAM) towing a trailer of up to 750kg MAM or tow a trailer over 750kg MAM as long as the combined MAM of the trailer and towing vehicle is no more than 3,500kg. If you want to tow anything heavier, you will need to pass the car and trailer driving test, also known as the ‘B+E’ test.
To ensure you’re towing safely, it’s crucial to know the weight of both the vehicle and trailer, also known as the maximum authorised mass (MAM). You can usually drive a vehicle and trailer with a combined weight of up to 8,250kg MAM and tow a trailer that weighs up to 3,500kg MAM.
There are also regulations covering towing and licence requirements, with the key factor being MAM. This should always be taken to mean the permissible maximum weight, also known as the gross vehicle weight. Your driver’s handbook will usually provide information on the maximum permissible trailer mass, along with the maximum nose weight that should be applied to the tow ball.
When towing, the length of your family car can be considered doubled. Exterior towing mirrors will be needed for a clear view down both sides of the trailer/caravan. The use of a good stabiliser fitted to the tow bar can make the combination easier to handle, especially in crosswinds, or when being overtaken by lorries.
In short, appropriate fleet driver training is crucial for those employees who may need to tow a trailer. Whether it’s for towing for the first time, returning to towing after a break, towing larger trailers, or refreshing and formalising your skills, there’s a course to suit every level of ability. With Beyond Driving, you can ensure that your employees have the necessary skills and knowledge to tow safely and avoid any potential accidents or damage.
To find out more about our trailer training courses, click here