It is a legal requirement to ensure that our towing vehicles are road worthy and have passed their compulsory NCT and advised regular service at the recommended intervals. Although Box and Tipper Trailers do not require any compulsory form of NCT, it’s the responsibility of the trailers owner, or user, to maintain them in a correct and safe condition. Similar to the towing vehicle, there are many benefits to reap from regular servicing, such as avoiding expensive repair bills, increasing the lifespan and resale value of the trailer, and ultimately reducing the risk of causing an accident.
Regular Routine Checks
Aside from the recommended in depth service, there are regular routine checks which users should undertake before each journey;
Doors – the last thing you want as your driving along is a door, or even worse a ramp opening, so make sure all doors are locked into position.
Lights – always check all indicator and brake lights are working correctly 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. Also check along the sides of the tyre tread for any cracks as these can appear over time if the trailer is standing for long periods.
Tyre Treads – 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 working 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 on the towing vehicle, 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.