5er hand brake ?

Discussion in 'Fifth Wheelers' started by scotjimland, May 23, 2009.

  1. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Just out of curiosity,

    As I understand it, imported 5ers don't have a hand brake, how is this overcome to comply with UK trailer regs ?

    Jim
     
  2. chaswb100

    chaswb100 Read Only Funster

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    5er Handbreak

    Hi Jim

    The companys that import them to comply with UK spec fit one.Personal Imports I don`t know.

    Regards - Chas Baker
     
  3. robrobc

    robrobc Read Only Funster

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    Hi Jim


    I personally imported mine and I got one fitted at the same time as the lights, electrics and gas were being converted. Easy Peasy :BigGrin::BigGrin::BigGrin:
     
  4. Sundowners

    Sundowners Funster Life Member

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    the brake manufacturers make a back-plate with a parking brake facility, then you fit a cable and lever, usually like a fork truck's,
    Nigel
     
  5. algill

    algill Funster

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    Exactly what we had to do on our imported Jayco. Purchased the replacement dexter back plates and fitted the cable and lever. :thumb:

    Not used the handbrake yet though, but worth fitting to comply with regs.

    Al
     
  6. robrobc

    robrobc Read Only Funster

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    I know what you mean ..........mine has a pretty red handle :Rofl1::Rofl1::Rofl1: I may try it soon :Rofl1::Rofl1:

    Regulations.....don't we just love them :BigGrin:

    Rob
     
  7. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Just to say thanks for all the informative replies.. :thumb:

    That's what I like about forums.. always someone, or in this case many, who know the answer :Cool:

    Cheers

    Jim
     
  8. IanH

    IanH Read Only Funster

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    Looks like i will be importing our 5th wheel and truck

    It will be parked at the garage i work for and will be doing the conversions myself.

    Anyone got a link to where i can get such backplates etc ,i believe mine are Al-Ko axles with electric braking

    I also got the SVA for the truck sorted ,it will go for IVA which is for imported HGV,s and trailers etc that way i can keep the truck at its maximum GVW

    Ian
     
  9. zaskar

    zaskar Funster

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    See my reply on RVFORUM.NET:thumb:

    ps. You sure they're AlKO and not Dexter?
     
  10. Landy lover

    Landy lover Funster

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    A handbrake on a 5'er is a legal requirement in the UK and if stopped in a VOSA check you seriously risk a prohibition on the trailer until fitted which may then mean recovery by low loader and no further use until not only fitted but passed by a VOSA inspector to remove the prohibition - continued use with a prohibition on it risks fines and confiscation - worth the few quid to fit one - incidently I alway put the handbrake on when dropping the trailer and only take it off after we have hitched up. Incidently one or two people have questioned the use of an electric handbrake on a 5'er as I read it on a trailer it must be a independent mechanical system of application so whilst its operation could be engaged or disengaged by means of electric it should be capable of keeping the brakes applied without electric. Cheaper and simpler to use a basic handbrake kit I should have thought
     
  11. IanH

    IanH Read Only Funster

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    Zaskar
    They well may be dexter ,i might be getting confusedwith the travel trailer brakes and i wont know till i get it over here .


    Landylover
    i am fully aware of prohibitions given by VOSA ,as a job i recover prohibited light vehicles daily and after speaking with VWAlan it seems my 5th wheel will need an mot anyway.
    The electric brakes dont work as a handbrake and if you tried you burn out the breakaway switch and flatten the battery as i found out (faulty switch)
     
  12. Landy lover

    Landy lover Funster

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    Exactly the problem - some unscrupulous importers are tryng to say that you can fit a switch in the system as a handbrake. If you do that you will destroy the braking system - The point I was making though is I think you will find a separate system that applies in the way of a modern car ie switching the brake on or off by electronic means but not holding it on by electric means would be acceptable to VOSA but personally I cannot see the benefit over a basic mechanical system.

    MOTs on trailers appear to me to be a minefield as there are as many grey areas with this as there is with what license do you need to drive an RV over 7.5 tonnes:Eeek:
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2009
  13. IanH

    IanH Read Only Funster

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    Landylover
    I drive for a living so i rather be legal if i get stopped by Vosa rather than drive in the grey area which some are happy to do.Thats why i am going to take my hgv class 1 test.

    The way i see it the only way to go is cables and brake lever,i can lay my hands on the parts to make it work (full hgv workshop facilities ) but would rather buy the proper conversion if possible.

    Only yesterday i recovered a 09 plate Range Rover with the push button parking brake,that got the old grey matter thinking

    Ian & Doreen
     
  14. matamoros

    matamoros Funster

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    Many people seem to have differing opinions on this and many other aspects of running fifth wheel imported trailers.
    I own a unit imported and modified by Calder Leisure and is not fitted with a parking brake that operates via the service brake mechanism. I do however have a device that expands between the tyres and is mechanically locked in place. Calder Leisure have assured me that this fulfills the legal requirements, my own research, which I shall detail in a moment, seems to back this up.
    First quote is from a DOT factsheet - American Caravan/Trailer up to 3500kg Brakes

    5. Parking brakes
    American caravans/trailers do not always have a parking brake. European requirements demand that a caravan/trailer must be fitted with a parking brake that is capable of holding the vehicle stationary on an 18 per cent up or down gradient. Also, the working parts must be held in the locked position by a purely mechanical device

    Second quote from EC directive referred to in above factsheet.

    2.1.2.3. Parking braking system
    The parking braking system shall enable the vehicle to be held
    stationary on an up or down gradient even in the absence of the
    driver, the working partsbeing then held in the locked position
    by a purely mechanical device. The driver shall be able to
    achieve this braking action from his driving seat, subject, in the
    case of a trailer, to the requirements of point 2.2.2.10.

    2.2.2.10. On every trailer which isrequired to be fitted with a service
    braking system, parking braking shall be ensured even when the
    trailer is separated from the towing vehicle. It shall be possible
    for a person standing on the ground to actuate the parking
    braking system;

    As far as I can see the device that I am using fulfills all the above requirements for my trailer which is below 3500kg.

    However things change somewhat for vehicles over 3500kg for this particular requirement and many others not the least of which is the requirement for MOT testing, presumably this also means a VOSA plate and testing at one of their testing stations.

    Whilst we are washing our dirty linen in public, so to speak, I will raise the subject of the correct driving licence. I will not go into too many details, but I have looked at the relevent DVLA web sites, and as far as I can see anyone towing an 8' wide trailer with a towing unit over 3500kg would need a class C+E licence.I believe many people have imported pickups downrated to less than 3500kg to avoid other legislation, this would then limit the trailer to 7'6".

    I do not claim to be an expert on these matters and am open to correction by anyone who can back up their arguments with facts but 'facts' are vert difficult to come by, below is the disclaimer used by the DVLA.


    "However while this is our understanding of the meaning of the regulations, it is only the courts which can reach a definitive interpretation of the law."

    I shall look forward with interest to others comments.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2009
  15. Landy lover

    Landy lover Funster

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    Hi you state I own a unit imported and modified by Calder Leisure and is not fitted with a parking brake that operates via the service brake mechanism. I do however have a device that expands between the tyres and is mechanically locked in place. Calder Leisure have assured me that this fulfills the legal requirements, my own research, which I shall detail in a moment, seems to back this up. And then quote the regs as American caravans/trailers do not always have a parking brake. European requirements demand that a caravan/trailer must be fitted with a parking brake that is capable of holding the vehicle stationary on an 18 per cent up or down gradient. Also, the working parts must be held in the locked position by a purely mechanical device

    Whilst I can see where you are coming from I believe that if you are stopped in a roadside check you will find that your device is classified as a security system and could not be used as a handbrake as is not a permanant fixture to the trailer if you look a the regulations you have quoted it is within that European requirements demand that a caravan/trailer must be fitted with a parking brake - whilst I doubt you ever would you could leave that device behind at which time you could not use it when required.

    Before I bought a 5'er I studied the regs in great detail as like most people I do not want to fall foul of the law I therefore discussed with Police - VOSA - DVLA - and our local ministry testing station the implications of a 5'er the VOSA guys said the first thing they look for is a handbrake - they know roughly most of the other things will comply except possibly weight and tyres.

    Personally I would not be happy without a visible handbrake fitted
     
  16. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    as to the licencing it does all depend on the unladen weight of the tow unit .also the total train weight.
    mine weighs less than 3ton ,originally had a train of 9.8 ton. i voluntary drop the train to8.25 that allows c1+e drivers to drive it. .
    as i have said before if the tow unit is under 3.500kg gvw you can tow with out a weight restriction .only the train weight of tow unit restricts. underb+e category. this can well exceed 8.250kg.
    my interpretation having discussed this with vosa is that the expanding chock will not cover the handbrake requirement. it only covers the requirement of parked trailer to be chocked ,braked or chained to stop it rolling.
    The handbrake should be a permenant fitting fixed to the vehicle .not something that can be removed quite as easy as a chock. I can only say discuss it with vosa yourselfas i have.
    I also take the view that allmost all the dealers are lieing cheating rogues.
    I would love to see this chock device being used at a ministry test station and see and hear their views.
    you also have to remember that most fifth wheel trailers are not true articulated vehicles .to be an articulated vehicle minumum of 20 percent of the uniformally loaded trailer must super impose on the towing unit.
    i suggest contact with swansea dvla and talk with your traffic area office. IN cornwall we use the bristol office on 08706060440
     
  17. matamoros

    matamoros Funster

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    I will try and put my interpretation of the various points raised, though as I have already stated I am not an expert and it is up to individuals to make there own minds up and assess any risks involved.

    Landy lover makes a good point as regards a "fitted parking brake", my device is fixed and stored in the gas locker by a cable long enough to reach between the tyres. I don't know for certain if this will satisfy the regulations but my belief is that it does.
    I don't want to get involved with licensing issues, they don't really concern me, this is an issue for individuals but seems to me to be a contenscious area, especially regarding the larger imported pickups and trailers.

    I will try and reply to vwalan's points individually.

    "my interpretation having discussed this with vosa is that the expanding chock will not cover the handbrake requirement. it only covers the requirement of parked trailer to be chocked ,braked or chained to stop it rolling.
    The handbrake should be a permenant fitting fixed to the vehicle .not something that can be removed quite as easy as a chock. I can only say discuss it with vosa yourselfas i have."

    I believe I have dealt with the matter of permanent fitting above. As far as regards discussing this with VOSA, I have dealt with VOSA for 25 years and have no intention of putting my head into the lions mouth to see if it will bite, if bitten at a later date I will sort things out, it won't be the end of the world.

    "I also take the view that allmost all the dealers are lieing cheating rogues."

    I would be interested in hearing the reaction of Alex Sutherland at Calder Leisure to that remark.

    "I would love to see this chock device being used at a ministry test station and see and hear their views."

    Trailers under 3500 kg are not required to be tested, I know this device would not be suitable for trailers over this weght which many imported fifth wheelers are.

    "you also have to remember that most fifth wheel trailers are not true articulated vehicles .to be an articulated vehicle minumum of 20 percent of the uniformally loaded trailer must super impose on the towing unit."

    I fail to see the relevence of this,' articulated vehicles' disappeared as a separate licensing class in 1997 when the current driver licensing regulations were introduced. The definition of a 'semi trailer' according to EC regs is:
    " 1.16. ‘Semi - t rai ler ’
    means a towed vehicle in which the axle(s) is (are) positioned
    behind the centre of gravity of the vehicle (when uniformly
    loaded) and which isequipped with a connecting device permitting
    horizontal and vertical forcesto be transmitted to the towing
    vehicle.
    which I believe is what fifth wheel caravan trailers are.

    I am not trying to contradict anyone and as I have said previously I am not an expert but have carefully looked at the regulations, made my own decisions,and have now made them known . It is for individuals to make their own minds up as to the risks involved. I do not believe this is a safety issue, that would be totally different matter and I would never compromise myself or anyone else on a matter of safety.
     
  18. Jackomet

    Jackomet Read Only Funster

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    Handbrake

    Hi
    When I ordered my 5er from Calder I insisted on a handbrake being fitted after going through the "regs" as quoted so far. Calder fitted one. I have not even used it yet I just use chocks. I don't think that Alex will fit one as standard as he believes that chocks or wheel clamps are enough for the law as it stands. But it now may well be an option as his new demo units do not have them.
    Jk
     
  19. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    hi, there is no differance to the braking regs as to the mot break offpoint . all trailers over 750kg need brakes. for vehicles over 750kg the rules go back to ist january 1968.a chock is a chock the handbrake must be fixed to the vehicle not a removable chock. when i build vehicles i talk with vosa to make sure i build to the regs. their job is to discuss any
    construction details we want to know about to ensure safe vehicles. always taik to them .
    articulated vehicles did not disapear. they have a driving licence catagory. c+e as a restriction 102 for drawbar trailers only.
    as to the small mini artics like mine they have always been around.
    Mine was originally built in 1987.
    i recomend anybody with questons to visit or talk to their local vosa people they are the enforcers of the regs so it makes sense to build what they want.
    when i build a vehicle i will and have stood in courts to verify the regulations and actually have a very good relationship with my local vosa and dvla office .vehicle inspection was a monthly occurance when we were in full swing in the garage.now they visit my house where i frequently build expedition vehicles for friends.
    another good source of information in uk is lynton trailers in manchester or vipex trailers ,both have been building trailers articulated or drawbar for years.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2009
  20. matamoros

    matamoros Funster

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    I do not want, or see any point in, arguing these points except to say that most 5er owners are not in the business of constructing vehicles and having to get them type approved etc. We buy a vehicle from a reputable dealer, who in my case have their own contacts with VOSA, and to a point trust what they are selling is road legal.
    It seems to me that in this country we suffer from an abundance of updated legislation without proper consolidation of the old legislation. As far as restriction 102 to a C+E licence is concerned my understanding is that this was granted to class 2 & 3 HGV licence holders who could previously drive vehicles with drawbar trailers in order that they could continue to drive this type of vehicle when the C&E category was introduced that did not differentiate between 'articulated' semi trailers and other trailers.
     

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