Mirrors legally required on Transit Van tug ??

Submitted: Thursday, Apr 25, 2013 at 10:44
ThreadID: 101871 Views:1807 Replies:3 FollowUps:6
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I am now towing a caravan (pop top) with a Ford Transit van or a Nissan GU Patrol depending on circumstances. Does the transit legally require extension mirrors ??

1. The GU Patrol mirrors need extensions but they seem to be readily available - clearvision and ora seem to be the general choice (at a cost) for people not wanting to risk damage to paintwork on the car - interested in feedback on various options.

2. On the Transit (which has large vertical mirrors) I just have vision down the sides and on a test drive did not feel like I had any problems knowing what was behind me although better vision would probably be helpful, and a rear view camera would enhance that as per the recent discussion on legal requirements of mirrors.

I am curious to know (hopefully pathycop may read this) if the Transit is deemed legal with it's OEM mirrors or needs extension - I guess it is up to the policeman who pulls you over at the time to determine if he thinks it is legal or not and to me that seems like a personal judgement as nothing clearly seems to define what the true "clear view behind" parameters are - as in how much of "behind" you need to see in mirrors and given some people sit right on your tail you can only see them when going around curves anyway.

I know - if in doubt, add more and then you cannot go wrong, but I would be curious on others opinions if anyone else uses or has seen Ford Transits in use.
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Reply By: blown4by - Thursday, Apr 25, 2013 at 11:17

Thursday, Apr 25, 2013 at 11:17
Ken the WA Road Traffic Act 1974 requires that you must have a clear view ahead, behind and to the sides of a vehicle. A rule of thumb is that in your external RV mirrors you should be able to see 75% of the (mirror glass) area to the sides and behind the van and 25% of of the mirror showing the van (or whatever is being towed) In other words if the mirrors cannot be adjusted out far enough that you can have clear view of the roadway either side of the van and you can only see the van no matter how you adjust the mirrors then you need extension mirrors. On one other point, the law requires the extension mirrors to be removed when you are not towing.
I could safely say you will need extension mirrors on the Patrol because Nissan does not even manufacture the drivers side mirror so it can be adjusted far enough away from the vehicle to remove the blind spot on that side. I know because I drive one.
This link might help:
http://www.transport.wa.gov.au/mediaFiles/LBU_VS_IB_107.pdf
AnswerID: 509735

Follow Up By: KenInPerth - Thursday, Apr 25, 2013 at 17:57

Thursday, Apr 25, 2013 at 17:57
I did a check on the Transit and it is probably a 60% side and 40% van split, so now I need to find something to suit the transit mirrors.

I am thinking the standard ORA (with only the mirror clamps) might work even though the supporting arm will be vertical and not horizontal as on the Patrol, and will be usable on both vehicles.

Any other suggestions welcome.
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FollowupID: 787756

Follow Up By: graham B9 - Friday, Apr 26, 2013 at 06:30

Friday, Apr 26, 2013 at 06:30
Duck to the local Jayco dealer as they use them on motorhomes (Conquest etc). These motorhomes have Ford transit extension mirrors fitted. Either break in there at night and steal them ( not my first option as they mnight have a hungry German sheperd guard dog), take a photo of the brand name with your mobile phone and google the brand. Then buy that brand over the inetrnet. Option will almost certainly be more expensive than option 1 however.
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FollowupID: 787795

Reply By: scandal - Thursday, Apr 25, 2013 at 12:37

Thursday, Apr 25, 2013 at 12:37
You only need to be able to see along the sides of the van enough to see whole length
I don't know where this view whats behind business is with side mirrors, name 1 truck that can achieve this with out the use of a camera
AnswerID: 509743

Follow Up By: KenInPerth - Thursday, Apr 25, 2013 at 12:51

Thursday, Apr 25, 2013 at 12:51
Agree with your sentiment

The only thing I have seen in a quick look around is that GVM's over 3500Kg may be categorised differently and maybe slightly different rules apply to them, but that is an uneducated guess.

Ken
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FollowupID: 787733

Follow Up By: blown4by - Thursday, Apr 25, 2013 at 14:45

Thursday, Apr 25, 2013 at 14:45
'View whats behind' means you need to be able to see down both sides of the van and what is diectlty behind that area viewed down each side of the van so if another vehicle is in the lane next to you or has started to pull out to pass you it can be seen. Obviously with RV mirrors you will not be able to see the area directly behind the width of the van. One way to see if a smaller vehicle is up your clacker is to move slightly to the left and then slightly right while looking in the RHS RV mirror (or buy a camera which costs less than a tank of fuel)
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FollowupID: 787745

Follow Up By: KenInPerth - Thursday, Apr 25, 2013 at 17:59

Thursday, Apr 25, 2013 at 17:59
I will be using a camera as well - yes.
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FollowupID: 787758

Reply By: Pathycop - Thursday, Apr 25, 2013 at 15:59

Thursday, Apr 25, 2013 at 15:59
Hi again Ken. As I said in the previous thread I like to keep things simple and try not to worry about the intricacies of percentage or clause 3a sub section 2 part 1 of any act or regulation. All clap trap in my opinion and can be replaced with everyday common sense.

My test has always been, and this was taught to me by an old time traffic cop in breeches, is that when I am following you towing your van, if I am safe distance behind you, 2 sec rule, I need to be able to see down the side of your van and be able to see the whites of your eyes!
You can't account for those who are dancing all over the back of you. If they are up your clacker, you know they are there and your side view will pick them up when they go the big overtake. I would assume most drivers are generally aware of what is already behind them or will be soon given they are catching you up. They don't tend to just materialise up your rear without warning. Our roads are not straight. The slightest curve will give you an angle to see the clown in your blind spot behind you for a moment so just keep checking all the time.
I really can't answer specifically about a transit van. Get a mate to follow you at 80 ks on the hwy and give him a wink. If he can see you and you can see him, you good.
As for removal of mirrors. It's not the mirror that creates the offence. It's anything that protrudes off the side of your car beyond certain limits. Could be a mirror or a carpet sitting diagonally in the back seat and poking out the window waiting to clean up a cyclist. Hope hats all clear and common sense enough. I am sure there will be some one who wants to debate the specific rules and regulations but I will leave that to the solicitors when someone decides to contest a ticket at court. They don't work on common sense!!

Cheers. Graeme
AnswerID: 509755

Follow Up By: KenInPerth - Thursday, Apr 25, 2013 at 18:04

Thursday, Apr 25, 2013 at 18:04
Thanks Graeme for your response again.

Knowing what you guys look for helps take the mystery out of all the rules and regs to a large extent and saves a lot of reading and digesting and re-reading.

As per a previous follow up, the transit is about a 60% side 40% van split in the mirror so I am trying to find something that will now probably suit / adapt to both vehicles and will also have a rear view camera to enhance the view behind.

Ken
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FollowupID: 787759

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