Jul 14, 2012 / 5:00 am
The quality of a home made utility trailer can range from factory perfect to I'm amazed that it is still following you. Licencing, lights and weight are the most common problems encountered by enforcement personnel at the roadside. With a little thought and knowledge you can pull that extra load around safely.
All trailers, at minimum, need two yellow front side marker lights and reflectors, two red rear side marker lights and reflectors, tail lights, brake lights, rear reflectors and a licence plate light. They must all be functional, even in full daylight. Depending on the dimensions of the trailer additional clearance lights may be required.
"Borrowing" a licence plate from another trailer instead of properly licencing each trailer owned is surprisingly common. You cannot temporarily transfer utility licence plates among vehicles you already own. This is misuse of licence plates and is an offence that will result in a fine and possibly a tow truck.
Finally, let's consider weight. Many ubilt utility trailers have a licenced weight of 700 kg. and this means that the weight of the trailer and everything carried by it cannot exceed 700 kg. even if the trailer is capable of carrying more. Beware of overloading trailer components as well. Tires and axles have maximum weight capacities that cannot be exceeded.
The author is a retired constable with many years of traffic law enforcement experience. To comment or learn more, please visit www.drivesmartbc.ca.
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Tim Schewe has been writing his column for most of the 20 years in his traffic enforcement service in the RCMP. It was 'The Beat Goes On' in Fort St. John, 'Traffic Tips' in the South Okanagan and now 'Behind the Wheel' on Vancouver Island and now Castanet.net. Schewe retired from the Force in January of 2006, but the column became a habit and continues.
E-mail him your questions or concerns: firstname.lastname@example.org
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