Ireland’s confusing towing rules explained

Popular: Skoda Ireland says 22 per cent of its new cars in 2015 were ordered with factory-fitted towing systemsPopular: Skoda Ireland says 22 per cent of its new cars in 2015 were ordered with factory-fitted towing systems

It’s common on Irish roads to see a car towing a trailer while clipping along at the 120km/h speed limit, despite the fact that the legal speed limit for towing a trailer is just 80km/h.

Speed is just one of the regulations concerning trailer use that are frequently flaunted. The laws and licensing for trailer use are complicated and at times confusing. The reality is that many drivers are towing trailers without the proper licence, despite the risk of incurring penalty points and potentially voiding their insurance cover. With trailer use, weight is the key.

What can I tow on my car licence? On a standard B car licence you can tow a trailer that has a maximum authorised mass (Mam) of 750kg; this includes the weight of both the trailer and its load. (A trailer’s technical specifications are stamped on a metal plate attached to it.) You can also tow a trailer and load weighing more than 750kg as long as the combined weight of the vehicle and loaded trailer does not exceed 3,500kg. A “type 01”, “unbraked” trailer does not need a braking mechanism. This trailer is likely to be small – when it is empty you could manhandle it with little effort – with, usually, just one axle.

Can I tow a horsebox on a car licence? According to the Road Safety Authority, “As a general rule a category B licence does not entitle the holder to tow a horsebox or a livestock trailer, because the combined Mam would exceed 3,500kg.” But this is not always the case. Again, as long as the total weight of the car, trailer and load carried does not exceed 3,500kg you can drive it on a B licence. For example, a Skoda Octavia family estate towing a “type 02” trailer – one with a Mam of more than 750kg – with two bulls weighs in at 3,085kg combined, but the same trailer and livestock towed by a Toyota Land Cruiser SUV weighs in at 4,440kg, well over the 3,500kg B-licence limit.

Drivers of large SUVs on a B licence need to take care, as their heavier vehicles can often push the total weight above the 3,500kg limit, then requiring a category BE (car and trailer) licence.

This seems inherently silly, as a large SUV would generally have more power than a car, to make towing easier, but that’s the way the rules apply.

Of course, before you attach a hitch to a Ford Ka it’s worth noting the towing vehicle must be certified to tow the weight of the trailer and load.

What if the vehicle, trailer and load together weigh more than 3,500kg and I don’t have a BE licence? To gain a category BE on your car licence you must have a full B licence. You are required to get a learner permit and take a practical driving test. You must sit a theory test in category BW (if you haven’t already to get your B licence) to gain a learner permit. You must display an L-plate on the trailer and when practising with it must be accompanied by a driver with a full BE licence. Lessons are not mandatory for a BE test, but the RSA recommends them. During the test, drivers are given the option of reversing to their left or right around a corner. Can I use any trailer for my BE test? No, it must be a permanent boxed trailer, such as a horsebox, at least as wide and as high as the vehicle towing it and at least 2.4 metres long. The trailer must be presented with 30 four-inch cement blocks as a load.

What does a BE licence allow me to tow? With BE, the trailer and load can weigh up to 3,500kg and your vehicle can weigh up to the same maximum of 3.5 tonnes, bringing the combined weight to 7,000kg. A BE-licence holder can tow a car, whereas a B-licence holder cannot.

Can I buy a new trailer from anyone? Since late October 2012 the days of buying a trailer built by a local lad who is good with his hands are gone. All new trailers for sale must have “European Community whole vehicle type approval”. The National Standards Authority of Ireland is responsible for testing and issuing national approvals for trailers made in Ireland. The law is unclear on older trailers and their use, but ultimately the driver is responsible for the safety of his or her trailer and load.

An example of the scale of the towing market in Ireland is evident by orders for cars fitted with hitches. Skoda Ireland says that last year 22 per cent of the new cars it sold were ordered with factory-fitted towing systems.

The benefit of a factory-fitted system is that it’s equipped with compatible electrics connections, while the car’s stability control and other driving aids automatically adapt to having a trailer attached.

The car’s alarm also recognises that a trailer is attached and monitors it; light bulbs in the trailer are monitored, too; stop/start is switched off; and the ABS adjusts for the trailer. Factory tow hitches aren’t cheap but are worth it. Skoda’s start at €499 and rise to €899.

We were invited to put our towing skills to the test at a novel event. We had a Skoda Octavia Combi (from €32,710) to which we hitched a general-purpose twin-axle trailer.

The first challenge was to collect and load a round bale of straw and then drive on a mix of roads. Securing the load, in this case with ratchet straps, is the responsibility of the driver. It is an offence to have an unsecured load. The motorway section of the route was incredibly dull, as we stuck to the 80km/h car-and-trailer speed limit.

At times we felt a little anxious, as cars and buses would appear rapidly behind us and then overtake. Our trailer was braked, so it had internal brakes that were applied whenever the car slowed down. The trailer was new, so it didn’t tug or jerk at all – something older or poorly serviced trailers can do.

At the end of the trip a car park was coned out and a number of reversing tasks were set for us by John Kearney, an instructor with Hynes Quinn driving school.

“Professional training can make the difference between passing and failing your test. More often than not people tend to oversteer; with professional training you can get the best advice to get the trailer going where you want it to go,” he said.

We managed quite well, but reversing with a trailer is a skill you really only master with practice.

Reversing a trailer is counterintuitive, but once you get a feel for it your confidence grows. With a growing number of cars fitted with hitches taking to our roads, it’s a skill that more motorists should formally learn rather than hope to pick up along the way.

Read more: http://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/motors/ireland-s-confusing-towing-rules-explained-1.2633473

Contact us if you need a tow truck

The following blog post Ireland’s confusing towing rules explained is republished from Apex Towing Dublin Blog

Advertisements

2018 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Prototypes Spied Testing Towing Capacity

ne of the vehicles that occupy a position in the top three of our spyshots section this year has to be the next-gen Mercedes-Benz G-Class. The W464 prototypes seem to be everywhere these days and we’re back with another piece of spy footage showing the offroader.

The video, which you can find at the bottom of the page, reveals a pair of G Wagons performing towing tests – both vehicles spied here were consciously handling their trailer duties.

The towing capacity of the next G is obviously an important detail and while we’re talking weight, we’ll remind you the Mercedes-Benz is expected to go on a serious diet. The new platform should allow the rugged terrain machine to become up to 400 kilos (880 lbs) lighter, all while growing in width, which will seriously boost cabin space.

Speaking of the interior, we’ve already shown you various bits of the dashboard, such as the instrument cluster or the rounded air vents – forget the digital craze taking over the car world, the Gelandewagen will stay true to its roots, maintaining analog dials.

Infotainment fans shouldn’t fret, though, as the vehicle will pack the large 12.3-inch central display seen on the S-Class and E-Class, all without the add-on positioning of the current G-Class. In case you missed the leaked dashboard, you can find it here.

While the wild side of the rumor mill expects the G-Class to receive the 48V electric system that will allow the upcoming S-Class facelift to offer mild hybrid assistance, the rugged focus of the model could mean engineers will skip this feature for the once-military offroader, but it’s still too early to tell.

And to end this story on a high horse(power) note, we’ll mention that the automaker’s 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8, in multiple stages of tune, will serve an important part of the new G-Class line-up, namely the G550/G500 and G63. So we”re not exactly dealing with a gentle giant here.

Read more: http://www.autoevolution.com/news/2018-mercedes-benz-g-class-prototypes-spied-testing-towing-capacity-111337.html#ixzz4Kj3d5tGz

Contact us for a Dublin tow truck

2018 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Prototypes Spied Testing Towing Capacity was first published on Apex Towing – Dublin

Proper preparation, safety is must when towing a trailer

Proper loading and size of your tow vehicle is critical to staying safe while traveling no matter the weather you may come across during your journeys.  Russ Tice, For the Press DispatchProper loading and size of your tow vehicle is critical to staying safe while traveling no matter the weather you may come across during your journeys. Russ Tice, For the Press Dispatch

Happy Camping to you! Russ and Lori would like to answer some email questions we have received with regard to tow vehicles and trailer weights or lengths. Most questions applied to the towing of a travel trailer, yet the question of towing boats or vehicles behind a motorhome also was of concern to some.
The dynamics of trailer towing have not changed much over the years but the dynamics of tow-vehicles and travel trailers has over the past several years. Tow vehicles of today are computer controlled wonders of horsepower and gear selection with automatic transmissions. With that in mind, proper loading and size of the tow vehicle is critical to staying safe.
An overloaded trailer or towing with a vehicle that has exceeded its tow or weight ratings is extremely dangerous. It is not just the stated weight of the vehicle and trailer. Those figures are generally for an ‘unloaded vehicle’. This includes the weight of passengers, water, propane, holding tanks, and all gear stored aboard. For example; four adults in the vehicle can easily weigh a combined 600 pounds or more. 50 gallons of water in the rig is another 400 pounds. You are already at 1000 pounds of extra weight and we have not put an ounce of gear, food, or supplies in the rig yet. When we add up the combined weight of everything you are taking with you, it is not unusual to find that we have 500 or more pounds to think about. A few cases of water or soda give you an idea of how weight adds up. Russ and Lori want you to stay safe.
There is an expert in the High Desert with regard to tow vehicles, travel trailers, motorhomes, you name it. Timm over at I-15 RV in Hesperia has been around as long as Russ and Lori. He has a history and knowledge to assist you with any RV questions. I spoke with him and he is more than happy for you to visit or call. His expertise is what has Russ and Lori set-up nicely with a great travel trailer-tow vehicle combo.
We tow what is in length a 34 foot Vibe travel trailer. Interestingly enough, towing is quite nice with our RAM half-ton truck. The RAM has a Hemi engine and 3.92 differential. That gives our truck about a 10,500 pound tow rating. The Vibe Extreme Lite trailer is about 6,700 pounds unloaded. We tow with only 5 gallons of water in the trailer tank. Even then, I am looking at a good 700 pounds more when we consider our two little generators, full RV propane tanks, gas can, bottled water, food, clothes, firewood, etc. Put Lori and Russ in the truck cab and there is another 300 pounds. Russ and Lori agree on the 300 pounds yet are still in discussion about that weight distribution. Our pre-load 6,700 pounds is now about 7,700 pounds.
Always try to stay between 70 percent and no more than 80 percent of your vehicle’s tow ratings. Three terms you need to know are GVWR, RGAWR, and GCWR. GVWR is the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. This is the weight that the vehicle should never ever exceed. This rating is the ‘most’ that your vehicle should ever weigh. Again, give yourself a margin. Never max-out a vehicle. You would never do that to a horse, right? Treat your vehicle like a good person treats a horse and it will give you many years of enjoyment.
RGAWR is the Rear Gross Axle Weight Rating. This is the maximum weight that the tow vehicle’s rear axle should carry. This is where hitch weight of the trailer can make a difference.
GCWR is the Gross Combination Weight Rating. This is the combined gross tow vehicle weight and gross trailer weight that should never be exceeded.
One more deal here is the hitch rating on your tow vehicle. The hitch rating is the absolute most weight that the hitch can support. Stay within a safe margin. The vehicle tow receiver may have a different rating number than the hitch, depending on manufacture or different ratings. Always go with the lower number.
You can search some online weight calculators for RV and travel trailer use. We use this for comparison only and do not rely on these numbers. Only the actual ratings for your particular rig matter.
We are available 24/7 any time you require vehicle towing dublin

The article Proper preparation, safety is must when towing a trailer Read more on: dublin.apextowing.ie

The tow truck was invented in Chattanooga 100 years ago

The tow truck was invented in Chattanooga, The International Towing & Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum is here and Ooltewah is home to Miller Industries, the world’s largest manufacturer of towing and recovery equipment.

So, yeah, there will be a celebration in Chattanooga on Saturday, Sept. 10, to mark the tow truck’s 100th birthday.

Miller Industries will sponsor the festivities, which include a parade of tow trucks rolling through downtown that will stop around 7 p.m. Saturday at Ross’s Landing near the Tennessee River riverfront. The public is invited to Ross’s Landing for live music, free refreshments, food truck fare, games for kids — and a fireworks display once it gets dark.

Lots of people are expected for the once-in-a-century event.

“Since I’ve come to work here, I have been amazed at how many people are actually into tow trucks. It is mind-boggling,” said Kathy Brown, who worked at a bank downtown before she was hired in mid-August as co-assistant director at the International Towing & Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum. “I did not realize tow trucks had such a following.”

The museum’s events will include a ceremony at 10 a.m. on Sept. 10 that’s open to the public, to add names to the museum’s Wall of the Fallen, a memorial to tow truck operators who’ve lost their lives on the job. The museum also has a survivor’s fund that helps drivers’ families, Brown said.

TV shows about the towing and recovery industry are popular, including “Highway Thru Hell,” a reality TV show set in Canada, “Wrecked,” set in Chicago, and “Ice Road Truckers.” Jamie Davis, a real-life tow truck operator who’s the star of “Highway Thru Hell,” will take part in Saturday’s parade.

The 100th birthday celebration coincides with the Tennessee Tow Show, which runs from Thursday to Saturday at the Chattanooga Convention Center.

“There’ll probably be over 2,000 people this year, because it’s the 100th anniversary,” said Jimmy Collins, president of the Tennessee Tow Truck Association and owner of Casper’s Bodyshop and Wrecker in Greeneville, Tenn. “For the industry [the anniversary’s] a big milestone. For the city of Chattanooga, it’s a big milestone.”

Ernest Holmes in 1916 built the first tow truck in Chattanooga by attaching a rigging system to a 1913 Cadillac, marking the birth of the towing and recovery industry, according to Miller Industries. Holmes filed for a patent — the first of about a dozen — for his idea in 1917 and subsequently built the Ernest Holmes Co. here to make and market his tow truck.

The Holmes brand lives on as part of Miller Industries’ family of tow truck equipment manufacturers that also includes the brands Century, Chevron, Vulcan, Boniface and Jige.

“Miller Industries’ roots run deep in Chattanooga, and we are honored to share the centennial celebration of our Holmes brand with our friends and neighbors in the local communities,” Miller Industries’ President and Co-CEO Will Miller said in a statement.

First Seen Here: http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/business/aroundregion/story/2016/sep/03/chattanoogparade-fireworks-make-tow-trucks-10/384831/

Also find our tow truck Dublin yelp profile

The following post The tow truck was invented in Chattanooga 100 years ago was first seen on Apex Towing

2017 Ford GT ’66 Heritage Edition is a Le Mans throwback

You didn’t think you’d heard the last from Ford about its stunning victory at Le Mans, did you? We’re not even talking about the 2016 running of the 24-hour endurance race. No, Ford throws it all the way back to 1966 for its new 2017 Ford GT ’66 Heritage Edition. The black-and-silver livery recalls the GT40 Mark II driven by Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon back in 1966. That year, the No. 2 car came in first place, followed by the No. 1 GT40 of Ken Miles and Denis Hulme and the No. 5 GT40 driven by Ronnie Bucknum and Dick Hutcherson.

Each ’66 Heritage Edition will wear Shadow Black exterior paint – either matte or gloss finish – with silver stripes and Frozen White No. 2 graphics on the hood and doors. The 20-inch forged aluminum wheels are done up in a gold satin finish. Ebony leather covers the carbon fiber seats inside, with gold accents on the instrument panel, seat X-brace, and shift paddles. Blue seatbelts round out the homage to the 1966 racecar.

Ford says the ’66 Heritage Edition will be sold in 2017 only, which makes sense. We wouldn’t bet against similar special-edition offerings in 2018, ’19, and ’20 – 1966 kicked off four straight victories for Ford at Le Mans – but if you like this specific livery, you’d better get in line now. See for yourself in our high-res image gallery up top, and feel free to read more in the press release below.

All-New 2017 Ford GT ’66 Heritage Edition Pays Homage toHistoric Livery on 1966 Le Mans Winner

– All-new Ford GT ’66 Heritage Edition with unique black and silver-stripe livery celebrates 1966 Le Mans-winning GT40 Mark II race car driven by Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon

– Ford GT ’66 Heritage Edition honoring historic No. 2 race car limited to 2017 model year only

– Limited-edition Ford GT features exclusive race-number graphics, and unique interior colors, materials and appointments

DEARBORN, Mich., June 27, 2016 – The all-new 2017 Ford GT will be available in a limited-edition Heritage theme honoring the GT40 Mark II driven to victory by Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon at Le Mans in 1966 – part of the historic 1-2-3 Ford GT sweep. The car will feature unique interior and exterior color themes, and an exclusive wheel finish.

“Celebrating the anniversary of Ford’s historic victories at Le Mans has always been a part of the return of the Ford GT,” said Raj Nair, Ford executive vice president, product development, and chief technical officer. “The 2017 Ford GT ’66 Heritage Edition is a stunning tribute to the car that kicked off Ford’s string of Le Mans victories in 1966.”

The Ford GT ’66 Heritage Edition features a Shadow Black exterior in either gloss or matte finish with silver stripes and exposed carbon fiber package. The car sports Frozen White #2 hood and door graphics, and 20-inch one-piece forged aluminum wheels in a gold satin clearcoat with black lug nuts.

The interior of the limited edition model wraps the Ford GT carbon-fiber seats in Ebony leather, with pillowed inserts and plow-through stitching, and the seats’ head restraints and the steering wheel are debossed with the Ford GT logo. The instrument panel, pillars and headliner also features an Ebony-leather wrap, with gold appliqués on the instrument panel, the seat’s X-brace and shift paddles. Like the 1966 race car, the steering wheel is leather wrapped, with seat belts featuring a unique blue webbing.

Rounding out the modifications to the Ford GT ’66 Heritage Edition are a unique serialized identification plate, the #2 interior door graphic, and exposed matte carbon fiber door sills, air register pods and center console.

Garen Nicoghosian, exterior design manager for the car, says the team set out to highlight where it all started with the Ford GT. “While the looks are distinctly based on the GT40 Mark II race car,” he says, “we’ve accentuated new styling cues to provide a modern interpretation.”

The Ford GT ’66 Heritage Edition can be viewed at FordGT.com using the configuration tool.

Limited quantities will be available for the 2017 model year only.

2017 Ford GT ’66 Heritage Edition is a Le Mans throwback is courtesy of Apex Towing

2017 Ford GT ’66 Heritage Edition is a Le Mans throwback

You didn’t think you’d heard the last from Ford about its stunning victory at Le Mans, did you? We’re not even talking about the 2016 running of the 24-hour endurance race. No, Ford throws it all the way back to 1966 for its new 2017 Ford GT ’66 Heritage Edition. The black-and-silver livery recalls the GT40 Mark II driven by Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon back in 1966. That year, the No. 2 car came in first place, followed by the No. 1 GT40 of Ken Miles and Denis Hulme and the No. 5 GT40 driven by Ronnie Bucknum and Dick Hutcherson.

Each ’66 Heritage Edition will wear Shadow Black exterior paint – either matte or gloss finish – with silver stripes and Frozen White No. 2 graphics on the hood and doors. The 20-inch forged aluminum wheels are done up in a gold satin finish. Ebony leather covers the carbon fiber seats inside, with gold accents on the instrument panel, seat X-brace, and shift paddles. Blue seatbelts round out the homage to the 1966 racecar.

Ford says the ’66 Heritage Edition will be sold in 2017 only, which makes sense. We wouldn’t bet against similar special-edition offerings in 2018, ’19, and ’20 – 1966 kicked off four straight victories for Ford at Le Mans – but if you like this specific livery, you’d better get in line now. See for yourself in our high-res image gallery up top, and feel free to read more in the press release below.

All-New 2017 Ford GT ’66 Heritage Edition Pays Homage toHistoric Livery on 1966 Le Mans Winner

– All-new Ford GT ’66 Heritage Edition with unique black and silver-stripe livery celebrates 1966 Le Mans-winning GT40 Mark II race car driven by Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon

– Ford GT ’66 Heritage Edition honoring historic No. 2 race car limited to 2017 model year only

– Limited-edition Ford GT features exclusive race-number graphics, and unique interior colors, materials and appointments

DEARBORN, Mich., June 27, 2016 – The all-new 2017 Ford GT will be available in a limited-edition Heritage theme honoring the GT40 Mark II driven to victory by Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon at Le Mans in 1966 – part of the historic 1-2-3 Ford GT sweep. The car will feature unique interior and exterior color themes, and an exclusive wheel finish.

“Celebrating the anniversary of Ford’s historic victories at Le Mans has always been a part of the return of the Ford GT,” said Raj Nair, Ford executive vice president, product development, and chief technical officer. “The 2017 Ford GT ’66 Heritage Edition is a stunning tribute to the car that kicked off Ford’s string of Le Mans victories in 1966.”

The Ford GT ’66 Heritage Edition features a Shadow Black exterior in either gloss or matte finish with silver stripes and exposed carbon fiber package. The car sports Frozen White #2 hood and door graphics, and 20-inch one-piece forged aluminum wheels in a gold satin clearcoat with black lug nuts.

The interior of the limited edition model wraps the Ford GT carbon-fiber seats in Ebony leather, with pillowed inserts and plow-through stitching, and the seats’ head restraints and the steering wheel are debossed with the Ford GT logo. The instrument panel, pillars and headliner also features an Ebony-leather wrap, with gold appliqués on the instrument panel, the seat’s X-brace and shift paddles. Like the 1966 race car, the steering wheel is leather wrapped, with seat belts featuring a unique blue webbing.

Rounding out the modifications to the Ford GT ’66 Heritage Edition are a unique serialized identification plate, the #2 interior door graphic, and exposed matte carbon fiber door sills, air register pods and center console.

Garen Nicoghosian, exterior design manager for the car, says the team set out to highlight where it all started with the Ford GT. “While the looks are distinctly based on the GT40 Mark II race car,” he says, “we’ve accentuated new styling cues to provide a modern interpretation.”

The Ford GT ’66 Heritage Edition can be viewed at FordGT.com using the configuration tool.

Limited quantities will be available for the 2017 model year only.

2017 Ford GT ’66 Heritage Edition is a Le Mans throwback is available on Apex Towing Galway Blog

Volkswagen’s Dieselgate Settlement Will Cost A Whopping $15 Billion: Report

Volkswagen’s Dieselgate settlement with American owners of its cheaty diesel cars will cost the company more than $15 billion, or five billion dollars more than was originally reported, according to Bloomberg. More than $10 billion of that is slated just to go to Volkswagen owners.

The reported settlement also leaves less than $3 billion left over in Volkswagen’s initial Dieselgate fund for pending legal actions and investigations in the rest of the entire world.

Here are the financial details of how it will work:

Car owners will get a total of $10.03 billion, which covers both the value of their vehicles before the scandal became public last September and compensation payments of as much as $10,000 apiece, two people familiar with the negotiations said. Those figures could rise if VW misses certain repair deadlines.

The compensation figure jumped over the past few days, these people said, as the parties changed their estimates on what it would take to get some 85 percent of owners to trade in their vehicles under the settlement.

The rest of the settlement includes $2.7 billion for the Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board, and an additional $2 billion for research into clean-emissions technology, Bloomberg reported.

There’s a further settlement with individual states as well, possibly to the tune of another $400 million. There’s also no exact timetable yet for when any of this will come to fruition, or how VW owners will be able to make a claim for their cars.

But as we said earlier today, this is definitely not the end. There are still multiple lawsuits pending in many different countries, along with pissed off shareholders and regulators. Not to mention any lingering depression in sales that can be attributed to the scandal.

Read More: http://jalopnik.com/volkswagens-dieselgate-settlement-will-cost-a-whopping-1782703916

Volkswagen’s Dieselgate Settlement Will Cost A Whopping $15 Billion: Report is available on galway.apextowing.ie/