As a legal requirement, we have to ensure that our towing vehicles are road worthy and have passed their compulsory MOT and advised regular service at the recommended intervals. Whilst trailers don’t require any legal form of MOT, it’s up to the owner, or user, to ensure their Box Van or Tipper Trailer is safe to be on the road. It is imperative that they are kept in a correct and roadworthy condition. Similar to the towing vehicle there are benefits of regular servicing, like avoiding expensive repair bills, increasing the lifespan and resale value, and ultimately reducing the risk of causing an accident.
Apart from the regular in depth service, there are regular checks which users should make before every journey;
Doors – it might sound like an obvious one but make sure all doors are locked into position.
Lights – always check left, right, hazard indicators and brakes are working before setting off.
Tyres – should be regularly checked for any signs of wear and tear, old or worn tyres are likely to cause a blowout and also keep an eye on the tyre pressures. The legal minimum depth of tread for car tyres is 1.6 mm across the central ¾ of the tread around the complete circumference of the tyre. The easiest way to measure the tread depth on your tyres is using ‘the 20p test’. This consists of placing a 20p coin into the tread grooves in at least three places around the tyre. If you can see any part of the outer band of the coin, then your tyres are not only unsafe but illegal and need replacing as soon as possible.
Brakes – Your braking system should be tested to ensure it is functioning correctly and that the breakaway cable is used correctly every time you tow (it must be attached to an eye or looped through a main brace of the tow bar, NOT over the tow ball) .
Cargo – Make sure the load you are carrying is not too heavy for the weight capacity of the trailer and try to distribute the weight of the load evenly throughout the trailer.
Did you know?
It is an offence to supply or sell a trailer that is unroadworthy? There have been instances where a trailer owner has let a friend borrow their trailer, and when the friend was stopped by the Police for the trailer not being in a roadworthy condition, they were fined for using the trailer but the owner of the trailer was also fined £600 and had points added to their licence for allowing the trailer to be used in an unroadworthy condition.
For more information regarding trailer safety, you can contact us directly on 01490 7736323 or get in touch with your local Debon Distributor