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Post Info TOPIC: Weights and Insurance? No idea mate....


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Weights and Insurance? No idea mate....


While I was busy today,with my bathroom scales,checking my towball weight,another caravanner approached and asked what I was doing.Despite me giving him a detailed explanation of the process,he was completely lost,and said "I tow a 2 tonne van.....what should my towball weight be?". Because I had a bit of time to spare,I offered to have a look at his car and van,so off we went.An aged Pajero was his pride and joy,and the van was an ancient single-axle unit with so much ball weight that the Pajero rear tyres were almost flat,and the rear bumper just cleared the road.On the back of this little van he had a spare wheel and 2x20 litre drums of???,while the A frame had plenty of weight on it as well. There was so much gear in the back of the Pajero that the headlights were pointing skyward! A quick check of the van showed ATM at 1350kg with axle rating at 1150kg.......he proudly told me that all these figures were irrelevant because the van had "No GVM" included in the specs so they meant nothing,and the van could weigh  "2 ton mate,no worries". Seems he had towed the van on more than one "lap" with "no trouble at all.....tows beautifully mate".I mentioned that such an achievement was a result more of good luck than of good management,and that he had been very lucky because,in the event of him having an accident,his insurance would he worthless.He replied saying that such technicalities would not affect him because he had no insurance anyway!Watch out for a Pajero with the rear bumper 300mm lower than the front,and keep well clear! Cheers



-- Edited by yobarr on Friday 24th of January 2020 04:47:36 PM

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Yep. Seen a few similar examples on my travels as well. Everything including the kitchen sink in the car, dingy on the roof, caravan festooned with every conceivable thing under the sun and the car dragging it's bum on the ground. Absolute moral to be pushing the weight envelope somewhat.

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Greg O'Brien



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I just checked the calendar, thought it may have been first of the fourth!



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On Tuesday I went with a truckie who has been newly employed by a company whos been moving our dozers for probably 20 years. He was not confident enough to drive a D9 onto the float by himself so I went with him to load and unload. We got stopped by inspectors at Roma and the whole quad float, dolly and prime mover where weighted. All legal. Then out came the tape measure and all the axle centre measurements where checked. Again all legal. As this pain staking process was going on I politely asked when inspectors were going to target caravans. I got a reply saying he could stop the next one going past and successfully prosecute any breach of axle weight. And he admitted to knowing a big percentage of these setups are over weight. BUT the only thing stopping them is the dreaded backlash to the community this type of law enforcement would cause. His words were that they are closing one eye at the moment. But its not going to last for ever. If you think you will be hard done by that think of the poor old truckie who can be taken to court for having a set up with the wrong axle centre measurements. Something I never knew. Regards Pete.   And forgot to add. The dozer was 50 mm wider than what was written in the pilots paperwork.  He nearly got a breach notice for that !!!



-- Edited by PetenSue on Friday 24th of January 2020 05:36:58 PM

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Whenarewethere wrote:


I just checked the calendar, thought it may have been first of the fourth!


 And just for your sake thats the bad boy Im talking about. First day back at work after having $200 000 spent on it 



-- Edited by PetenSue on Friday 24th of January 2020 06:10:04 PM

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Wow! 'Mate'

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PetenSue wrote:

 And just for your sake thats the bad boy Im talking about. First day back at work after having $200 000 spent on it 


 Nice unit you have there Pete.....Its nearly 40 years since I got off bulldozers and went to excavators on the cotton fields around Wee Waa,Collarenebri and Moree. Used to clear $1022/week back in '83 and '84 which was massive money back then,with free house and free ute thrown in.Only a Hilux,but any free car is a good car! Cheers.



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PetenSue wrote:

On Tuesday I went with a truckie who has been newly employed by a company whos been moving our dozers for probably 20 years. He was not confident enough to drive a D9 onto the float by himself so I went with him to load and unload. We got stopped by inspectors at Roma and the whole quad float, dolly and prime mover where weighted. All legal. Then out came the tape measure and all the axle centre measurements where checked. Again all legal. As this pain staking process was going on I politely asked when inspectors were going to target caravans. I got a reply saying he could stop the next one going past and successfully prosecute any breach of axle weight. And he admitted to knowing a big percentage of these setups are over weight. BUT the only thing stopping them is the dreaded backlash to the community this type of law enforcement would cause. His words were that they are closing one eye at the moment. But its not going to last for ever. If you think you will be hard done by that think of the poor old truckie who can be taken to court for having a set up with the wrong axle centre measurements. Something I never knew. Regards Pete.   And forgot to add. The dozer was 50 mm wider than what was written in the pilots paperwork.  He nearly got a breach notice for that !!!


 Hi PetenSue.

Just a question on the inspectors.

What were they  Qld motor transport or DMR inspectors?



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Qld transport inspectors. Purple lights

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yobarr wrote:
PetenSue wrote:

 And just for your sake thats the bad boy Im talking about. First day back at work after having $200 000 spent on it 


 Nice unit you have there Pete.....Its nearly 40 years since I got off bulldozers and went to excavators on the cotton fields around Wee Waa,Collarenebri and Moree. Used to clear $1022/week back in '83 and '84 which was massive money back then,with free house and free ute thrown in.Only a Hilux,but any free car is a good car! Cheers.


I have worked for the same old hard arse boss for nearly 28 years. I get paid $55 per rock clock hour plus meals,ute and phone. We have an agreement for maintenance work. Can earn big money for a few months straight. Then struggle street for the next few. It averages out so we are both happy. 28 years of service brings a few perks as well. Regards Pete. 



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PetenSue wrote:

On Tuesday I went with a truckie who has been newly employed by a company whos been moving our dozers for probably 20 years. He was not confident enough to drive a D9 onto the float by himself so I went with him to load and unload. We got stopped by inspectors at Roma and the whole quad float, dolly and prime mover where weighted. All legal. Then out came the tape measure and all the axle centre measurements where checked. Again all legal. As this pain staking process was going on I politely asked when inspectors were going to target caravans. I got a reply saying he could stop the next one going past and successfully prosecute any breach of axle weight. And he admitted to knowing a big percentage of these setups are over weight. BUT the only thing stopping them is the dreaded backlash to the community this type of law enforcement would cause. His words were that they are closing one eye at the moment. But its not going to last for ever. If you think you will be hard done by that think of the poor old truckie who can be taken to court for having a set up with the wrong axle centre measurements. Something I never knew. Regards Pete.   And forgot to add. The dozer was 50 mm wider than what was written in the pilots paperwork.  He nearly got a breach notice for that !!!

-- Edited by PetenSue on Friday 24th of January 2020 05:36:58 PM


 Come on Pete! We all know that 50mm can make a huge difference in many cases,but seems you were lucky this time? Cheers



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Hope it comes up the right way

Nuh didn't work. Looks good up the right way    



-- Edited by Southern Cruizer on Friday 24th of January 2020 08:49:20 PM

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Yeah Ive only ever seen it the right way up. Until today haha

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yobarr wrote:
PetenSue wrote:

On Tuesday I went with a truckie who has been newly employed by a company whos been moving our dozers for probably 20 years. He was not confident enough to drive a D9 onto the float by himself so I went with him to load and unload. We got stopped by inspectors at Roma and the whole quad float, dolly and prime mover where weighted. All legal. Then out came the tape measure and all the axle centre measurements where checked. Again all legal. As this pain staking process was going on I politely asked when inspectors were going to target caravans. I got a reply saying he could stop the next one going past and successfully prosecute any breach of axle weight. And he admitted to knowing a big percentage of these setups are over weight. BUT the only thing stopping them is the dreaded backlash to the community this type of law enforcement would cause. His words were that they are closing one eye at the moment. But its not going to last for ever. If you think you will be hard done by that think of the poor old truckie who can be taken to court for having a set up with the wrong axle centre measurements. Something I never knew. Regards Pete.   And forgot to add. The dozer was 50 mm wider than what was written in the pilots paperwork.  He nearly got a breach notice for that !!!

-- Edited by PetenSue on Friday 24th of January 2020 05:36:58 PM


 Come on Pete! We all know that 50mm can make a huge difference in many cases,but seems you were lucky this time? Cheers


 The big kenworth has Long and Strong written on the front. So yeah 50 mm make all the difference.  just ask her. Hehe 



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Re Mr. Pajero:

Wait until he wipes another road user out and gets a bill for a couple

of hundred big ones from the other insurance company.

Won't be too gung-ho then!

 



-- Edited by Brodie Allen on Sunday 26th of January 2020 04:18:23 PM

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Hi Pete,
what's the 'axle centre measurements' issue?
I have been researching now for three years issues about weights and have not come across this issue.
I have also been discovering new little gems re weights, having thought I was fully aware due to all my hard research.
I suspect I still haven't discovered all I need to know despite my best efforts, totalling an untold number of hours working the internet and talking to other grey nomads - all of whom (and there have been many, having done a 5 month trip up North and back to Melbourne in 2018 plus some 20+ years of other caravanning trips) have not convinced me that they know enough and all of whom have been reluctant to admit ignorance. most seem not to know, for instance that there at least nine different weight ratings (and, I think, another two if fully off-road) that MUST be observed if you want to be fully legal (not to mention safe, for yourself and other road-users). They mostly seem unaware of the GCM (gross combined mass) requirement for both the caravan and the tow vehicle. mostly, they seem to end with thinking ball weight (no mention of the difference between tare and actual) and payload weight are all you need to know about. some add knowledge of the ATM (aggregate trailer mass) and GTM (gross trailer mass). but beyond those, zilch!
now what really grieves me is that these folk are on the road with me and my loved ones - they are irresponsible at the least - and a danger to themselves, their loved ones (if they have any) and other road users.
now as I say, even I might be a recalcitrant, but at least I have done my best. and will continue to do so - at the moment we are noting and weighing every single item we are loading into our new caravan, and I have bought a Reich caravan weight scale and a CTS Towing Load Indicator which I will be using to help me make the weight decisions.
mind you, I think this problem is one that federal legislators should resolve - with not only appropriate legislation, but also good, free public education courses available and mandatory for all caravanners - after all, we do have to work at getting a driver's licence, don't we? I say free, because it is so important and there shouldn't be any obstacles placed in the way. it's a federal issue since we travel interstate don't we?
so, what's the 'axle centre measurements' issue?

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shane


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shanem wrote:

Hi Pete,
what's the 'axle centre measurements' issue?
I have been researching now for three years issues about weights and have not come across this issue.
I have also been discovering new little gems re weights, having thought I was fully aware due to all my hard research.
I suspect I still haven't discovered all I need to know despite my best efforts, totalling an untold number of hours working the internet and talking to other grey nomads - all of whom (and there have been many, having done a 5 month trip up North and back to Melbourne in 2018 plus some 20+ years of other caravanning trips) have not convinced me that they know enough and all of whom have been reluctant to admit ignorance. most seem not to know, for instance that there at least nine different weight ratings (and, I think, another two if fully off-road) that MUST be observed if you want to be fully legal (not to mention safe, for yourself and other road-users). They mostly seem unaware of the GCM (gross combined mass) requirement for both the caravan and the tow vehicle. mostly, they seem to end with thinking ball weight (no mention of the difference between tare and actual) and payload weight are all you need to know about. some add knowledge of the ATM (aggregate trailer mass) and GTM (gross trailer mass). but beyond those, zilch!
now what really grieves me is that these folk are on the road with me and my loved ones - they are irresponsible at the least - and a danger to themselves, their loved ones (if they have any) and other road users.
now as I say, even I might be a recalcitrant, but at least I have done my best. and will continue to do so - at the moment we are noting and weighing every single item we are loading into our new caravan, and I have bought a Reich caravan weight scale and a CTS Towing Load Indicator which I will be using to help me make the weight decisions.
mind you, I think this problem is one that federal legislators should resolve - with not only appropriate legislation, but also good, free public education courses available and mandatory for all caravanners - after all, we do have to work at getting a driver's licence, don't we? I say free, because it is so important and there shouldn't be any obstacles placed in the way. it's a federal issue since we travel interstate don't we?
so, what's the 'axle centre measurements' issue?


 Hi Shane...It'd take a month to discuss the subject of axle spacing variables,but this chart may give you a basic understanding of the meaning of Pete's post? Cheers 

 



-- Edited by yobarr on Monday 27th of January 2020 08:15:17 PM

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Shane. I have no idea of the rules about trucks. I was just passenger. I wouldnt be too worried about these axle measurements. Im sure they dont relate to caravans. Regards Pete



-- Edited by PetenSue on Tuesday 28th of January 2020 06:21:22 AM

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PetenSue wrote:

Shane. I have no idea of the rules about trucks. I was just passenger. I wouldnt be too worried about these axle measurements. Im sure they dont relate to caravans. Regards Pete

-- Edited by PetenSue on Tuesday 28th of January 2020 06:21:22 AM


Exactly right,Pete.Shane seems to have done commendable amounts of research,but generally,dependent on the car,the biggest problem with weights, is complying with the rear axle ratings of the car.Because a 350kg towball weight takes between 130kg and 180kg off the front axle,and transfers it to the car's rear axle,it is almost impossible to ever reach the car's GVM figure,as there is no way to ever get that 130-180kg back onto the front axle.Very few cars can manage having 480kg-530kg added to the rear axle if there is to be anything carried in the back of the car,or on its tray.Most twin-cab utes (one exception?) have rear axle ratings well under 2000kg,with the LC200 on 1950kg and the vehicle that "Eats utes for breakfast (or some such rubbish) has a rear axle rating of only 1770kg....virtually useless.Both these cars are limited to towing only 3000kg ATM if safety is of any concern,as even with the much vaunted 3800kg GVM upgrade the LC200 has a rear axle capacity of only 2000kg.People seem happy to spend thousands of dollars and end up gaining a miserable 50kg on the  rear axle.Spare me! And let us not forget that,if safety is of any concern, the weight on the car's wheels should be at least 10%......some specialists claim 20%.....more than the weight on the van's wheels.Shane's profile seems to not show what car he has,but if he were to let us know,perhaps we could offer assistance? Cheers



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hi yobarr,
I drive a 2016 Colorado 4x4 Cr/Cb Ute P/up LS Auto 147kW 2.8 litre Duramax 2 Diesel Engine - I give you all this info because i'm not a car guy - just drive it and worry about weight issues. re weights it has a towing capacity of 3500 kgs and maximum ball load of 350kgs, but a GVM of 3150kgs, kerb mass of 2079kgs, maximum front axle load of 1450kgs, maximum rear axle load of 1850kgs. the van and car have a GCM OF 6000kgs. I work on the GVM being the critical figure. But I will use the Reich caravan weight scale and a CTS Towing Load Indicator to help decide weight issues, including the distribution of weight within the van plus ensuring the car is heavier than the van. I had already determined that the tow vehicle should be heavier than the van (two sources say so) although I have had a caravan dealer chappie insist it should be the van heavier! (Going downhill and having a problem crop up seemed logically to me to have the car heavier). So now you add the criterion of: 'the weight on the car's wheels should be at least 10%......some specialists claim 20%.....more than the weight on the van's wheels' - so I will put that into my calculations as well. Anyway, doesn't a weight distribution hitch transfer van weight to the car's front axles? the chart is for trucks, yes? not vans/rvs unless they are the really biggies? 3.4 metres is a long distance between van axles, ours is nothing like that.
thanks for your help guys.

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Hi Shane...bit busy at moment,but I will answer your questions a bit later today.Great to see that you are actively trying to get your weights right! FYI, a WDH transfers SOME weight from the car's rear axle,back to the front axle of the car,but around 30% of the weight removed from the car's rear axle goes onto the van's axle group,dependent on TBO and wheelbase. Cheers.



-- Edited by yobarr on Tuesday 28th of January 2020 07:11:58 PM

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shanem wrote:

hi yobarr,
I drive a 2016 Colorado 4x4 Cr/Cb Ute P/up LS Auto 147kW 2.8 litre Duramaxy 2 Diesel Engine - I give you all this info because i'm not a car guy - just drive it and worry about weight issues. re weights it has a towing capacity of 3500 kgs and maximum ball load of 350kgs, but a GVM of 3150kgs, kerb mass of 2079kgs, maximum front axle load of 1450kgs, maximum rear axle load of 1850kgs. the van and car have a GCM OF 6000kgs. I work on the GVM being the critical figure. But I will use the Reich caravan weight scale and a CTS Towing Load Indicator to help decide weight issues, including the distribution of weight within the van plus ensuring the car is heavier than the van. I had already determined that the tow vehicle should be heavier than the van (two sources say so) although I have had a caravan dealer chappie insist it should be the van heavier! (Going downhill and having a problem crop up seemed logically to me to have the car heavier). So now you add the criterion of: 'the weight on the car's wheels should be at least 10%......some specialists claim 20%.....more than the weight on the van's wheels' - so I will put that into my calculations as well. Anyway, doesn't a weight distribution hitch transfer van weight to the car's front axles? the chart is for trucks, yes? not vans/rvs unless they are the really biggies? 3.4 metres is a long distance between van axles, ours is nothing like that.
thanks for your help guys.


Hi Shane....The main thing to note,and something that many proponents of using a WDH seem to not understand,is that a WDH does not change towball weight. If you were silly enough to hook up a 3500kg van behind your car,you would transfer around 160kg from the car's front axle to the car's rear axle, meaning that your 350kg TBM has added a total of over 500kg to your car's rear axle.(350kg+160kg).Were you to then fit a WDH,not only would you increase the TBO (towball overhang,or distance from rear axle to hitch point) meaning that even more weight is transferred from the front axle to the rear axle,but you would also make the vehicle more unstable.(Think levers).When the WDH is tensioned,weight is removed from the car's rear axle. Some of this weight,around 70% dependent on TBO and wheelbase,is put back onto the car's front axle with the balance going on to the van's axle group.With our subject 3500kg van,your ATM is made up of 3150kg GTM plus 350kg towball weight=3500kg so it is easy to see that the weight transferred to the van,which already was at its 3500kg ATM,instantly causes the van to be overloaded,illegal,unsafe and uninsured. If safety is of any concern,your car should not be used to tow more than about 3150kg ATM.With 10% towball weight,you would have 2835kg GTM,or weight on van wheels,so that if your car was loaded to its 3150kg GVM,the car would be 10% (+/-)  heavier than the van.However,it is almost impossible to reach your 3150kg GVM because of the weight removed from the front axle when the van is connected,and the car's rear axle limitations. I have test results here that show that when a WDH was used to remove 100kg from a car's rear axle,the front axle gained 66kg with the other 34kg being transferred to the van's axle group.Because the van was already at its 3500kg ATM,with ball weight of 350kg and GTM 3150kg (weight on van wheels),the transferred 34kg caused the van to become overloaded.Please feel free to ask as many questions as you wish,as always I am happy to help.And again, I'd like to commend you for taking your weights so seriously.Cheers



-- Edited by yobarr on Tuesday 28th of January 2020 09:01:37 PM

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hi yobarr,

thanks for that info which I will now digest. will inform of my progress.
shane

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shane


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Hi Yobarr,
OK, I tried to understand that, but unsure.
Here is the weight info re our new caravan.
TARE is 2048kgs
BALL (TARE) is 150kgs
PAYLOAD is 475kgs
ATM is 2523kgs
GTM is 2373kgs
Water is 164kgs
Gas is 18kgs
WDH is 26kgs I believe this needs to be included in the weight calculations, yes? But how? That is, does it count as part of the caravan weight (I think so)? Or the tow vehicle weight? Or a portion for both?
I would then have 206kgs already loaded (assuming WDH weight must be entirely accounted in the van ATM/GTM).
This leaves ATM spare weight load of 269kgs, having added the 206 kgs to the TARE 2048 kgs limit.
This also leaves GTM spare weight load of at least 374kgs since the ball weight is transferred to the vehicle and that will exceed the TARE ball weight by some margin to be determined by the CTS Towing Load Indicator I mentioned in my earlier thread comment.
Does this make sense to you? And do you agree?
Also, what is the 30% of the weight removed from the car's rear axle goes onto the van's axle group in this scenario if I am correct above?
Well, you did say you were happy to help and I would be grateful for some further advice. Shane


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shanem wrote:

Hi Yobarr,
OK, I tried to understand that, but unsure.
Here is the weight info re our new caravan.
TARE is 2048kgs
BALL (TARE) is 150kgs
PAYLOAD is 475kgs
ATM is 2523kgs
GTM is 2373kgs
Water is 164kgs
Gas is 18kgs
WDH is 26kgs I believe this needs to be included in the weight calculations, yes? But how? That is, does it count as part of the caravan weight (I think so)? Or the tow vehicle weight? Or a portion for both?
I would then have 206kgs already loaded (assuming WDH weight must be entirely accounted in the van ATM/GTM).
This leaves ATM spare weight load of 269kgs, having added the 206 kgs to the TARE 2048 kgs limit.
This also leaves GTM spare weight load of at least 374kgs since the ball weight is transferred to the vehicle and that will exceed the TARE ball weight by some margin to be determined by the CTS Towing Load Indicator I mentioned in my earlier thread comment.
Does this make sense to you? And do you agree?
Also, what is the 30% of the weight removed from the car's rear axle goes onto the van's axle group in this scenario if I am correct above?
Well, you did say you were happy to help and I would be grateful for some further advice. Shane


 Hi Shane...bit pressed for time next day or so,but I will quickly look at this! With 2523 Kg ATM,you should be aiming to get about 250kg (10%) onto the towball,but if you do that,the most you can carry on van's axle group (GTM) is 2273kg.(2523kg ATM minus 250kg ball weight). WDH is part of car GVM as it is an extension of the car's towbar. (Except for the brackets on the van drawbar,maybe 2kg?) The weight that is transferred to the van from the car's rear axle becomes part of the GTM,obviously. There are many variables,and this could all become very confusing,so I have sent you a PM.Cheers.



-- Edited by yobarr on Thursday 30th of January 2020 09:15:24 PM

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thanks again yobarr, you're a legend. shane

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