To drive a vehicle with a trailer the driver must have one of the following license categories:
- B (if the vehicle complex does not exceed 3.5 t),
- B with harmonized code 96
It is not true that the holder of a category BE driving license who subsequently obtains a category C license, can also drive vehicles off the CE category. Before leaving, it is necessary to make the electrical connection between the tractor and the trailer (even for light towing) and it is advisable to make sure that the lighting and signalling systems work regularly.
It is also necessary to check that from the external rear-view mirrors, mounted on the tractor, there is adequate visibility.
When towing a trailer, you must be aware that:
- fuel consumption increases even if you drive at moderate speed
- there is a significant reduction in the acceleration (pickup) capacity of the vehicle, especially if the trailer is loaded;
- on roads with steep climbs the temperature of the engine coolant increases – the braking distance increases
- on steep descents, the thrust force exerted by the trailer on the tractor must be taken into account
- in straight-line travel, during braking, the transported load tends to move forward, while during a sudden acceleration it tends to move backward;
- increases the overturning force exerted by the wind
- the movements of the liquid that occur inside a tank tied to a trailer (tank, bonza, etc.) during changes in direction, when braking and accelerating, are the main causes of instability in-vehicle complexes;
- when turning, the “clearance band” (ie space needed to turn) of the vehicle complex is greater and the trailer tends to “tighten” the curve (because it travels a circular path with a radius smaller than the tractor). For example, when turning right, you must be careful not to get on the pavement with the rear wheel.
Trailers must be registered and equipped with their own plate, even if light (it is therefore not true that it is necessary to remove the plate from the tractor and apply it to the rear of the trailer). The appendage trolleys do not have their own plate but are equipped with a repeater plate, identical to that of the tractor.
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Trailers intended for the transport of things with a maximum laden mass exceeding 3.5 tonnes must be marked with rear and side retro-reflecting stripes and with the appropriate rear panels. Furthermore, in the rear part of the vehicle complexes (road train, car towing a trailer or
caravan, etc.) there is the obligation to affix the markings indicating the specific maximum speed limits imposed on them.
The value of the mass that can be towed by a vehicle is indicated in the registration certificate. This value, called the “towing ratio”, is expressed by the ratio between the total laden mass of the trailer and the total laden mass of the tractor. Apart from this, towingless.com can be a great consideration to find the best towing services.
It must not exceed the value of:
- 1: in the case of trailers equipped with a service brake and mass up to 3.5 tons
- 0.5: for trailers without any braking device
Practically with a towing ratio equal to 1 the mass of the trailer can reach up to be equal to that of the tractor, while with 0.5 it can reach half. There is no particular ratio between the width of the trailer and that of the towing vehicle. The mirrors must not protrude more than 20 cm from the shape of the vehicle (tractor or trailer), with reference to the point of greatest width.
The goods transported in the trailer must be arranged in such a way that, while driving, there is no movement, overturning, falling or rubbing. It is also recommended that the load be placed so that heavy objects are as close as possible to the axle (center) of the trailer and not at the towbar. The maximum vertical load on the tow hook must not, in any case, exceed the limit indicated by the manufacturer on a specific plate placed on the tow hook itself and must not alter the attitude of the vehicle and the inclination of the headlight beam.
A load of trailers (even if light), as for motor vehicles, cannot protrude on the front side, but only on the rear up to 3/10 (three tenths, i.e. 30%) of the length of the trailer. The protruding load must be indicated with the appropriate panel. You can carry a load with a side overhang (it is therefore not true that the width of the trailer must not exceed that of the towing vehicle), as long as the overhang on each side does not exceed 30 cm from the front and rear position lamps.
Before carrying out any manoeuvre with the trailer hitched, it is advisable to make sure that there are no things and/or people within the manoeuvring range of the complex. On motorways with carriageways with three or more lanes, drivers of vehicle complexes with a total length of more than 7 meters are prohibited from using other lanes other than the two closest to the right-hand edge of the carriageway.