The Random Thoughts of a Geek heading for Banbury
The Random Thoughts of a Geek heading for Banbury

Pulling a trailer

I have been looking at a small motorcycle trailer for a while, and now b0atg1rl and I own Puff, I can now look more at getting a small motorcycle trailer;

I am after a trailer that has three channels for motorbikes; so that it can carry either one, or two bikes, (not three at once).

Puff is a Peugeot Partner Diesel 600 L HDi 75 Van, with a Gross Vehicle Weight of 1730 kg, and according to the specifications my maximum Towing Weight (Unbraked) is 500 kg (If the trailer has active breaking I could pull 1100 kg). however since I passed my driving test after 1997 the law regarding towing a trailer became a bit more interesting.

FOR B+E LICENCES Where a towing capacity is listed then this would be a legal example:
CAR has GVW of 2000 and a towing capacity of 1800 TRAILER has a MAM of 3500 and an unladen weight of 1000 The trailer can be loaded with a maximum weight of 800

Where there is not a towing capacity listed then the GTW is used GTW minus the GVW does not give the towing capacity unless the vehicle is fully laden EXAMPLE: – VAN has GVW of 3500 and GTW of 6000 TRAILER has MAM of 3500 The van and trailer can weigh 3000 each and be legal

FOR B LICENCES (The one I have). The Government sites are not that good at explaining the legal position, I have managed to find a simple way of determining whether a driver can tow something on a B only licence:

To tow over 750 kgs with a B licence you need to say NO to the following:

  • Is the plated MAM of the trailer more than the UNLADEN/KERB/EMPTY weight of the towing vehicle?
  • Does the GVW of the towing vehicle plus the plated MAM of the trailer add up to more than 3500 kgs?
  • Is the ACTUAL weight of the empty trailer and its load more than the listed towing capacity?

Example of legally towing over 750 kgs with a B licence (made up figures)

  • Towing vehicle: Unladen/empty/kerb = 1500 kg, GVW = 2000 kg, Towing capacity = 1800 kg.
  • Trailer: Unladen/empty = 800 kg, MAM = 1500 kg.

As such I can only load the trailer with 700 kg to stay in compliance with the law.

The reason it is legal to tow the above on my B licence – The 1500 MAM of the trailer is not more than the 1500 unladen/empty weight of the towing vehicle The 2000 GVW of the towing vehicle plus the 1500 MAM of the trailer is not more than 3500 (3.5 ton limit of Catogory B licence) The towing capacity/actual weight being towed does not exceed 1800.

So working the above example with Puff, and this Trailer I found online ( which they sell as a Two plus One (The Two Plus One trailer is essentially a two bike trailer with an additional centre channel to enable you to carry a single bike safely) which looks like it will fill my requirements nicely.

  • Puff: Unladen/empty/kerb = 1130 kg, GVW = 1730 kg, Towing capacity = 500 kg
  • Trailer: Unladen/empty = 100* kg, MAM = 450* kg. (Deluxe Range) (* Maximum Capacity is 350 kg, so this is an assumed 100 kg empty weight).

So as such as long as b0atgirl and I keep the weight of our motorcycles low, I shall be able to pull them on a trailer behind Puff without getting a B+E licence.

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