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Be Careful Towing

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by syncro, Jul 5, 2019.

  1. syncro

    syncro Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,289
    Location:
    Southern Highlands
    Driver of overweight caravan charged after accident

    It seems more often than not, we talk about vehicle and towing weights along with the dangers, and indeed the laws surrounding them, in our magazines. Prosecution is now pending against the driver of an overweight caravan, who has been charged after the death of two passengers in the vehicle.

    Our sister publication RV Daily, has just published a story in their most recent issue detailing the circumstances surrounding the tragic death of a 72-year-old woman, Lynette Russell, and her son, Stephen Russell, who were killed when a Toyota Prado they were travelling in was involved in a single motor vehicle accident. We can’t go into detail about the circumstances surrounding the accident due to the ongoing case, however, we hope it will serve as an important reminder that the times of complacency when it comes to vehicle weights are gone.

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    Image courtesy – NBN News
    The driver of the vehicle was a former driver in the Royal Australian Army, and once he left the defence force continued the career driving trucks, so there was no lack of training or experience at play. After the accident, in which only he and his son’s girlfriend survived, NSW Police have charged him with multiple offences, including doing an act intending to pervert the course of justice; two counts of dangerous driving occasioning death; dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm; and negligent driving occasioning grievous bodily harm.

    Where this accident becomes of particular interest, is that NSW Police investigating the crash had arranged for the remains of the caravan and its contents to be collected from the accident scene and weighed. As a result, the driver has been further charged, with towed vehicle weight exceeding the capacity of the towing attachment; and towed vehicle weight exceeding the maximum laden weight.

    Despite the continuous warnings throughout the media, most folks assume the worst that can happen when they are over the weight limit is they may crash, have the car repaired by the insurer, and walk away with a few bumps and scrapes. This case serves as a timely and tragic reminder that there is so much more at risk.

    People with Hayman Reese towbars on T3s really need to be careful as they are poorly made and have a low load limit.
     
    Mr Beckstar, TeeBee, oldman and 3 others like this.
  2. Luckyphil

    Luckyphil Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,911
    Location:
    Gosford
    The Heyman Reece towbars fitted to T3 by VW Dealers are rated at only 900kg. I know this as I had one fitted when I bought a 1990 T3 Caravelle GL new. The Heyman Reece rear protection /tow bars are only rated at 500kg. Both were dealer not factory options and their limitations were explained to me by the dealer. However most would not be aware of this.
     
    Mr Beckstar, oldman and syncro like this.
  3. Grantus

    Grantus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    15,572
    Location:
    Southern ACT
    Running two Hayman Reece bars, it’s also worth stripping and repainting the bar and mounting components, to check and ensure there is no rust.

    Replace all the 30 year old high tensile mounting bolts, and I’ve welded on a decent piece of checker plate steel onto the stock hollow tube cross member, to gain some extra strength, and peace of mind.
     
    Mr Beckstar and Luckyphil like this.
  4. saabman

    saabman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,795
    Location:
    Goulburn
    When I pulled the tow bar off my bay - god only knows who made it but more alarming was the mounting points on the Kombi were not much more than iron oxide - at least one of the captive nuts was not actual attached to anything!
     
    TeeBee, Mr Beckstar and Grantus like this.
  5. Grantus

    Grantus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    15,572
    Location:
    Southern ACT
    Any tow bar, is only as good as the way it’s mounted, no matter what the rating is. ;)

    Or rotted over time, and no longer what is was, 30 or 40 years ago.... :eek:
     
    grumble and Mr Beckstar like this.
  6. ruby6689

    ruby6689 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,341
    Location:
    Burnett Heads
    Andy is a real stickler on weights and safety, he is always commenting on vehicles he sees that do not comply.
     
    Mr Beckstar likes this.
  7. syncro

    syncro Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,289
    Location:
    Southern Highlands
    There are 6 holes on a T3 designed for towbar mounting. If the halfwit australian manufacturers used these then there would be a lot less problems.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
    Mr Beckstar and Luckyphil like this.
  8. Luckyphil

    Luckyphil Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,911
    Location:
    Gosford
    Hey Phil there are only 6 holes which are not threaded, the bar has 6 captive nuts. If you pick up a factory bar or the Melbourne towbar version then you will notice that the mounting bars are twice as long and have 6 points to secure to chassis and it weighs at least twice as much as the other bars commonly fitted.
     
    Mr Beckstar and syncro like this.
  9. syncro

    syncro Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,289
    Location:
    Southern Highlands
    Correct. I have a factory bar on my syncro and had a Melbourne bar on the Doka.

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    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
    Syncro27 and Mr Beckstar like this.
  10. bruce hh

    bruce hh Member

    Messages:
    62
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Never used the towbar on any of my cars before - so if I read on a website that my Witter vw9c towbar has "max towing weight 1500kg" this is the "rating"? Does this have to be plated somewhere on the bar? I'll possibly never be towing anything of any great weight, but it is obviously important to know.
     
  11. syncro

    syncro Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,289
    Location:
    Southern Highlands
    Yes it should be if the bar was fitted after about 1991.
     
  12. Luckyphil

    Luckyphil Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,911
    Location:
    Gosford
    Many bars have been repainted over the years and the weight rating stickers can easily deteriorate or are painted over
     
  13. syncro

    syncro Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,289
    Location:
    Southern Highlands
    You could be knocked back for rego for that. Or you could say that the bar was fitted in 1990.
     
  14. Grantus

    Grantus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    15,572
    Location:
    Southern ACT
    So my unmarked tow bar, fitted by the dealer in 1988 can’t be knocked back then?

    Mind you, the last time my ACT rego’d vehicle was required to pass a roadworthy, was in 1990.:rolleyes:

    As long as the rego never lapses for more than 12 months, it’s never been required since. ;)
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019
  15. syncro

    syncro Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,289
    Location:
    Southern Highlands
    I don't know whether the towbar ADR rule applies in the ACT.
     

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