- I’m looking to replace the stickers on my old Can you supply them?
Various types of stickers for different trailers are available although some older types may be obsolete or unavailable.
- I do not have a User’s Handbook for my trailer. Can you send me one?
The registered owner of a trailer can obtain a replacement handbook by contacting us by phone. The handbook can then be supplied as a hard copy in the post or electronically via email.
- How can I stop the brakes coming on when I am trying to reverse my trailer?
The most common remedy for this problem is to carry out the brake adjustment procedure as outlined in the User’s Handbook. This is something we recommend is done every 2 months/1000 miles in order to keep your trailer braking system in optimal working condition. If trying to reverse up steep inclines or very uneven ground, a manual reverse kit that overrides the trailer’s auto-reverse may be available from us (dependent on the age of the trailer).
- The galvanized finish on my trailer has gone dull with some grey/black stains. Will this lead to premature corrosion?
As part of the normal ageing process, galvanized surfaces form an outer layer of oxide. This protects the reactive zinc and underlying steel from further corrosion. The appearance of the surface ranges from bright silver to dull grey. Exposure to road salt can change the appearance of newly galvanized surfaces to dull grey or black with white or grey deposits. This does not affect the protective properties of the finish.
To minimize this effect, new trailers should be washed regularly to remove any accumulated grime and road salt. This will become less important after the first few months as the protective layer forms on the surface. However, we would still recommend regular washing.
- I am taking my trailer abroad permanently, what do I need to do?
A trailer purchased in the UK and taken abroad cannot be expected to automatically comply with the registration requirements of the destination country/state.
- I’ve heard rumours that in the near future all trailers will require an MOT. Is this true?
At the moment there is no legal requirement for trailers to be registered in the UK, and as such no mandatory requirement for periodic roadworthiness tests. We would however recommend that to get the best from your trailer throughout its life, it should be well-maintained and regularly serviced.
- How do I find out what weight trailer I can tow with my vehicle?
Most vehicles have a manufacturer’s maximum recommended towing weight. It’s usually listed in the handbook or vehicle specification sheet. You can also find it on the vehicle identification number (VIN) plate on the car. If in any doubt, contact your vehicle manufacturer.
When towing a trailer, the following needs to be considered:
The actual weight of the trailer and its load must not exceed the maximum towing weight permitted by the vehicle. For example, if the maximum towing weight of your vehicle is 2000kg and the trailer you are towing has an unladen weight of 500kg, then you can load up to 1500kg on your trailer providing the maximum gross weight of the trailer is 2000kg or above.
- How do I connect the trailer to the towing vehicle?
Ensure that the towing vehicle’s tow bar is in good condition.
Check that the ball head cup is well greased.
Raise the coupling head above the tow ball by using of the jockey wheel.
Position the tow ball under the coupling head, then using the jockey wheel, lower the coupling head onto the tow ball whilst holding the coupling head open. Once the two parts are correctly engaged, the coupling head handle will lock in the closed position. Twist the coupling head and check that the trailer is properly coupled.
Wind the jockey wheel upwards until fully retracted and the top handle is tightly locked – now loosen the main clamp and raise the jockey as high as possible in the clamp. Re-tighten the clamp, ensuring that the jockey wheel is well clear of the brake mechanism and is securely retained.
Check presence and condition of the break-away cable, if damaged or not present, replace immediately. Connect break-away cable to towing bracket on towing vehicle.
Connect the electrical plug to the socket on the rear of the towing vehicle. Check that all lights are fully operational. Ensure also that the electrical lead cannot drag on the ground.
Finally ensure that the hand brake is in the fully off position.
- How should I modify my driving when towing a trailer?
To tow your trailer safely you should remember these points:
- The overall length of your vehicle increases when towing a trailer. It is therefore necessary to widen your turns to avoid hitting kerbs.
- The additional weight of a trailer and its load will increase your stopping distance. You must therefore allow more time for braking.
- When reversing you must steer the opposite way to the direction in which you require the trailer to travel.
- You should never exceed the maximum towing weight for your towing vehicle.
- My vehicle has a maximum towing weight of 1500kg and my trailer has a maximum gross weight of 2000kg. Can I still tow this trailer?
Yes, as long as the unladen weight of the trailer you are towing combined with the trailer load does not exceed 1500kg, then you can tow this trailer with your vehicle.
There is no legal requirement to downrate the plate on your trailer.
Drivers must also possess the appropriate driving licence with B+E category for towing this particular trailer combination as well as adhering to tachograph rules, if applicable.
- I passed my driving test after January 1st 1997; can I still tow a trailer?
If you passed your test after 1st January 1997, you will not have category B+E on your licence, which enables you tow any trailer up to 3500kg. Without your B+E category you will be restricted in the types of trailers you can tow although there are still towing options available to you.
The leaflet attached give you guidance on what trailers you can tow, depending on your towing vehicle.
Alternatively, you can sit your B+E towing test. As of December 2009, tests cost £110 but like your driving test, prior tuition is recommended. The NFU provides B+E test and training discounts to its members.
There are tuition and test centres located across the UK.
- Where do I find my Serial Number and Chassis Code?
HOW TO FIND YOUR SERIAL NUMBER
Every trailer is fitted with a type plate; this will have a unique serial number printed on it by multi-dot punching. The type plate is usually positioned on the trailer drawbar. There are some exceptions, such as Unbraked trailers, when the type plate will be attached to the front or rear panel of the trailer.
An example of a standard type plate is shown here. This example is printed with the full 17 digit VIN (Vehicle identification number). The last 6 or 7 digits represent the serial number depending on the age and model of your trailer (in this example 374538). Some models may be fitted with a slightly smaller plate, however the serial number will still be present and easily recognisable.
- Is it possible to obtain replacement keys for my Trailer?
Provided you are the registered owner of a trailer, you can obtain replacement coupling keys by contacting us with your trailer serial number. Unfortunately replacement keys for trailer doors are not available, and will require a new lock assembly.
- What if my trailer gets stolen?
If your trailer is stolen then you should report it to the police and obtain a crime reference number. They will register it and will also inform TER, The National Plant and Equipment Register. This can assist in identifying owners of recovered stolen trailers.
TER – THE NATIONAL PLANT AND EQUIPMENT REGISTER
Their mission is to combat plant theft and fraud in the UK and Europe. By registering ownership, both technical and marking details can be made available to international police forces through TER.
MCG Trailers – Security
Each trailer is fitted with an ID plate which has a unique serial number etched on it. Additionally, the drawbar has a different unique number cut through it, which is virtually impossible to alter without noticeably affecting the appearance of the numbers and galvanized finish.
- What locks should I use on my trailer?
Ideally your trailer will be fitted with a coupling lock and wheel clamp to deter thieves. However, your trailer should be secured to the requirements that your insurance company specifies as not following their guidance may invalidate your policy.