License for 5th wheeler ??
Submitted: Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 09:34
Is a special license required for a 5th wheeler??
I was watching a bloke this morning with an obviously newish F250 with about a 25+footer rig on the back. He was trying to manoevere (sp??) in a servo, and after taking out a 'service stand' (the thing with the water/trash can etc), then a 4" diameter bollard, then hitting a customers car- he gave up and just drove away !!
I guess he went home and got back into the Camry..
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Reply By: new boy - Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 10:35
Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 10:35
Several years ago A diesel fitter mate in Geraldton
built himself an articulated trailer to go behind a rodeo trayback same as a 5th wheel set up when he went to licences it the police told him as it was Articulated he therefore must have the old C class licence which he had so no worries.
Everyone else I've spoken to who has a 5th Wheeler doen't seem to worry so I'm very interested in the answer you get
Reply By: RosscoH - Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 10:39
Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 10:39
In a word "NO", but in my opinion anyone who tows anything should be made to have an ARTICULED license, you only have to go to the local tip on a Sunday for all the entertainment you will ever need just watching people "TRY" to back a box trailer. If you can't manoever it you should not be towing it.
Follow Up By: Member - Serg (VIC) - Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 11:26
Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 11:26
Agree - every trailer with GVT more then 500kg should require special license.
Follow Up By: Member - Fred G (NSW) - Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 18:38
Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 18:38
If you are desperate for entertainment of that variety, go to the local boat ramp, pull up a chair ...and enjoy...:-)
Follow Up By: mowing - Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 20:54
Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 20:54
Quite often at the "greens" tip people will ask me to reverse their trailer as they have no idea on how to do it. At caravan parks reversing caravans nearly always lead to an argument. If you can't reverse it you should not be towing it.
Follow Up By: Member - Serg (VIC) - Thursday, May 08, 2008 at 09:49
Thursday, May 08, 2008 at 09:49
Fred, I know exactly what you mean and you spot
Reply By: Rocky_QLD - Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 11:48
Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 11:48
As a reasonably new owner of a Fifth Wheeler the answer is no, a special license is not required. The usual things like towing weights and the like must be adhered to. In response to your post Signman I think we can all agree that we have seen many similar situations with other vehicles.
Follow Up By: Member -Signman - Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 12:15
Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 12:15
So if I had the buck$ (and the inclination) I could go out and buy a 40+ feet long articulated 'truck'/combo ( and I call a dual cab F250 a truck)-
Out if the Camry, and be allowed to drive that rig around with my Camry license !!
Sheeez- I thought some of the caravanners are a worry !!
Follow Up By: Member - Davoe (Yalgoo) - Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 16:24
Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 16:24
F250s not a truck you need to go up to an F350 before it becomes a truck
Follow Up By: PajeroTD - Friday, May 09, 2008 at 03:38
Friday, May 09, 2008 at 03:38
The only difference is an extra set of leaf springs, and the F350 badge. Even F150s are trucks
Follow Up By: Member - Davoe (Yalgoo) - Friday, May 09, 2008 at 11:35
Friday, May 09, 2008 at 11:35
Nope f 350s have duels but thats not the difference
- you need a truck liscense for an f350
thats why its a truck
Follow Up By: PajeroTD - Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 07:22
Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 07:22
F350s have "optional" dual wheels (dooley). I know that cos my bro in law has an F350 crew cab with single rear wheels. I have also driven the 08 F350 diesel with singles. Here in the states, you can drive an F450 on a car license. So I guess here the F450 is a car, and in Australia
the F350 is a truck? Who cares what the licensing department says. The F150, F250, F350 all the way up to F750 are ALL trucks. I had a Ford dealer tell me the only difference between a 250 and 350 was one set of leaf springs. I think Ford Australia
opted for duallies on all their F350's and only ordered chassis-cab models on F350s - that maybe why you think of it as more of a truck?
Reply By: Member - Kevin J (QLD) - Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 11:59
Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 11:59
When the matter of licence requirements regards towing caravans and the particular issue of people being unable to reverse their units even in caravan parks was put to the Hon Minister for Transport in Queensland
he replied to the effect that his Department had established a priority to concentrate on the younger generation since that was the area where most accidents occured and besides there are very few reported accidents involving reversing vans in Caravan Parks.
His reasoning for not requiring additional licence levels eg articulated, was that all the other states work this current way and he could not justify having Queensland
Even our local MP was left shaking his head.
Reply By: Rocky_QLD - Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 12:58
Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 12:58
Intesting comments so far
When we picked up our Fifth Wheeler, the manufacturer allowed for a full day of instruction which included hitching and un-hitching, normal driving and reversing. The manufacturers went to great lengths to ensure that we had previous experience in towing other vehicles, which we both had. I have heard of some manufacturers hand the keys over and off you go.
I am the first to admit that towing a fifth wheeler is different to other vehicles that i have towed, the best part being the way it tracks behind the towing vehicle. Reversing is somewhat different to other trailers and the like but once you get the hang of it it is OK.
After re-reading some of the comments already there are those that tow vehicles and those that don't.
Reply By: Neil & Pauline - Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 13:11
Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 13:11
I few years ago a class "C" (articulated) licence was required for any articulated vehicle in WA. Now with the "standardisation" across Australia
The it is only required for vehicles over a certain weight, I think 4.5 t. could still be interesting with a number of 5th wheelers.
Follow Up By: Old Dave - Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 17:34
Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 17:34
Many years ago in north of WA the definition of articulated was that you can detatch the prime mover and drive it away,
We had many arguments for guys operating FEL that swivel in the middle,
I believe things changed a lot when we went national.
Reply By: PajeroTD - Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 14:38
Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 14:38
Fifth wheels and goosenecks are more stable than tag trailers, so i don't know what the issue is. License requirements are based on the tow vehicle's capabilities, not the trailer size or hitch style. A ball hitch on the bed of a pickup/ute with a gooseneck hitch is not a 5th wheel coupling, as often mistaken. Just cos one guy couldn't do it, doesnt mean everyone else should need special licenses. Man my wallet is thick enough as it is, and it's not from excess cash!
Follow Up By: Rocky_QLD - Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 14:49
Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 14:49
Well said Paj
Follow Up By: Member -Signman - Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 15:17
Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 15:17
I don't claim to be an expert here..
but from your assumption, there's not a great difference between 'tag' towing a 7x4 camper trailer and a 25+ foot (say) gooseneck house on wheels !!
And ,yes, I do a bit of towing..Either a 7.6 metre trailer yacht up & down the East coast NSW (even Moreton Bay)..
and a dual axle race car transporter on occasions. !!
I apologise for my ignorance in not knowing the difference between 'fifth wheel' and 'gooseneck' attachments.
Follow Up By: Member - Serg (VIC) - Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 15:45
Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 15:45
In ideal word yes, but in reality we have so many idiots who does not know what they doing – it is not a joke. Surely licensing does not guarantee against an idiot and common sense always should be exercised, but from another hand it is not that difficult neither expensive to get an endorsement. As least trailers capable curry car will not be rented to anyone.
Reply By: Member - Russnic [NZ] - Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 15:05
Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 15:05
It all goes back to common sense. the pivot point on a 5r should be slightly in front of or in at least over the back axle. New people to the game don't know or appreciate the (swept area) that an articulated vehicle requires. I learnt at 14 years old carting in hay
for the Local carrier how to turn the rig off a narrow road and through a 12" gate
. Go past the gateway with the Tug swing in so the front bumper just clears the post then steer away to make room for the trailer.
I now drive an F250 with a 30" 5r on the back.
Where I have a problem here in NZ is at tight round-abouts, hang wide to let your trailer come through and some silly bitch joins the roundabout taking up your space.
DONT PASS TURNING VEHICLE signs are there for a reason
Reply By: kiwicol - Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 18:32
Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 18:32
then there is the proffessional truck driver who has to spend heaps of dollars and time to get a licence for a semi, and then has to drive on a log book and know all the loading and restraint laws, then get abused by caravaners with so small writing on the back of the van stating what uhf channel they are on, then holding up normal flow of traffic for their sight seeing and stating they are on holidays and screw you. From experience in every state in OZ. Col
Follow Up By: Member - Fred G (NSW) - Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 18:54
Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 18:54
kiwicol, what you say is spot
on... I have found most truckies these days to be the utmost profesionals, not egotists, and are considered by most travellers as the guardian angels of the highways. Give them the respect they deserve, and your journey shall be all that much safer. Act like a bleep or egotistical boofhead, and you will get what you deserve.
Mind you, there is the occasional exception to the normal.
Reply By: coongoola - Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 18:44
Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 18:44
I used to tow a Jayco Dove outback and we sold that to buy a small fifth wheeler. Ours is an Okanagan 24' which has a dry weight of 1900 kgs. Not a real big unit compared to some of the big ones that are imported from the states. Mine is asembled in Nambucca Heads and is fully Oz compliant. I tow it with a Rodeo CRD dual cab and it tows & tracks like a breeze.
Most people have not accepted the fifth wheel principal yet because we are still in Caravan/ Towball mode. 70% of new Vans in the US are fivers. Most people who have towed Caravans and then try a fifth wheeler would not go back to a normal van.
Interestingly, the overall towing length compared to my old Jayco is only 1.3 metres longer ! No drawbar see !
As far as reversing goes, I leave that to my wife !
Reply By: Dunaruna - Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 18:47
Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 18:47
A fifth wheeler on an F250 with a GVM of no more than 4500kg is classed as a small articulated vehicle. Class 'C' license applies. (normal car license).
The question should now be, are we talking about a 2 or 4 wheel drive F250?
Reply By: Member - Davoe (Yalgoo) - Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 19:08
Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 19:08
Dum Q---- But why are they known as 5th wheelers any real reason because i never saw the coralation
Follow Up By: Member -Walkabout(NSW) - Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 19:29
Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 19:29
I think we inherited that one from the good ol U.S.of A. Refers to the circular turntable
perched above the bogey drive wheels....about the best they could do I suppose...
Follow Up By: Motherhen - Thursday, May 08, 2008 at 00:01
Thursday, May 08, 2008 at 00:01
I always call them "goose neck". Its hardly a 5 wheeler.
Follow Up By: Member - Davoe (Yalgoo) - Thursday, May 08, 2008 at 02:35
Thursday, May 08, 2008 at 02:35
Goose necks i understand, Saw a few goose neck horse floats way back when
Follow Up By: Member - Russnic [NZ] - Thursday, May 08, 2008 at 07:56
Thursday, May 08, 2008 at 07:56
A goose neck drops onto a ball type fitting, a 5r has a fitting similar to a Heavy Atticulated Vehicle. I have had my HT licsence since an18yr old. Never drove a road train one dog was enough for me. The rig I drive for fun now is a F250 FX4 short bed with a sliding hitch. The 5r has an air bag hitch. I have never dragged anything better, no sway, no jerking great trailer brakes. Been over most Mountain passes in NZ including gravel roads. Like any articulated vehicle be aware of the swept area and watch out for the idiots that don't understand and expect to use your space.
Follow Up By: Member - Russnic [NZ] - Thursday, May 08, 2008 at 08:13
Thursday, May 08, 2008 at 08:13
All up my rig weighs over 10 tonne so you need the appropiate License. An articulated vehicle is slightly differant to back than a conventional trailer or van. the pivot point being over or in front of the rear axle the reaction time is much slower, need to anticipate quicker. Always better to back on the open side. The diis-advantage in backing is the reason they are so great on the open road.
Follow Up By: Richard Kovac - Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 20:09
Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 20:09
back when the first semi where invented they had 4 wheels on the ground and the 5th was the turn table Yankee thing
Reply By: Member - Vince M (NSW) - Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 21:11
Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 21:11
Signman Its a different story if the towing trailer has 3 axles a class 3 or articulated licence is required no matter what the weight
Follow Up By: Member -Walkabout(NSW) - Thursday, May 08, 2008 at 10:32
Thursday, May 08, 2008 at 10:32
WA Police do a licence and rego check on our heavy lifts as a matter of course before they let us move. The trailerman (it's self propelled with 2x450 hp motors) who operates this has only a class 3 lic. The cops reckoned it couldn't possibly be ok, but after an hour of looking up the rules, conceded that there was nothing in the rule book to stop him!!!Image Could Not Be Found
Reply By: Member - Nev (TAS) - Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 21:55
Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 21:55
an interesting lot of comments. However I must compliment truckies. Having done the Sydney
trip 15 times with my family I found them extremely professional and friendly.
However when you talk about people backing trailers etc I reckon watching people drive around shopping centre carparks again and again looking for a bay they can drive into and preferably one they can drive straight out of is also hilarious. My wife doesn't read this forum
but we live about 8 kms return from the local shopping centre but when it is busy her return trip can be more than 10kms. Sometimes parks so far away I am surprised she doesn't walk from home.
I will deny having written this and will be blaming my next door neighbour.