The majority of UK van drivers don’t know their vehicle’s maximum load-carrying capacity and almost half of business do not monitor the weights of their company vehicles on a regular basis, according to a study done by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) in Transport News Brief.
The study showed that 53% of van drivers are unaware of the maximum load-carrying capacity of their vehicles and that a large proportion of companies do not carry out regular weight checks on their vehicles.
A lack of knowledge about vehicle load weights and towing laws could mean that drivers are potentially breaking the law, and this latest study underscores what appears to be a perennial problem in this area. In 2015 the DVSA stopped over 10,800 vans on UK roads and found 89% to be driving overloaded.
If you passed your car driving test between 1 January 1997 and 18 January 2013, you can drive a car or van up to 3,500kg maximum authority 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. You have to pass the car and trailer test if you want to tow anything heavier.
If you passed your car driving test (category B) from 19 January 2013, you can tow small trailers weighing no more than 750kg or trailer over 750kg as long as the combined weight of the trailer and towing car or van is no more than 3,500kg) MAM.
The full story is here.