Caravan licence rumour

Submitted: Monday, May 13, 2013 at 16:51
ThreadID: 102194 Views:3522 Replies:14 FollowUps:24
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Heard today that in NSW the RTA are soon going to be requiring all drivers of vans which are over 16foot to hold a HR licence. Anybody able to confirm or deny this?
Apparently there will be a report on this Wednesday night on the Today Tonight show.

I have done a quick google on this topic, with no results.
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Reply By: Flighty ( WA ) - Monday, May 13, 2013 at 17:13

Monday, May 13, 2013 at 17:13
SDG.
Here in good ol' waitawhile.( WA ) a HR licence is for a rigid truck not an articulated vehicle, can't understand their reasoning, apart from revenue raising maybe ?
Be interesting to find out how drivers from other states would be affected when they cross the border.
Best of the lot is the block's of flats being towed around, think they call em 5th wheelers.
I believe they only require a normal "A" class, bit of a joke really.
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Follow Up By: SDG - Monday, May 13, 2013 at 17:43

Monday, May 13, 2013 at 17:43
Yeah, I could not make sence of the rigid part myself unless it has to do with length.
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil 'n Jill (WA) - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 10:18

Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 10:18
Hi SDG - I just had a look at the regs for 'HR' in WA & the copy I found states:

Authorised to tow - one trailer that has a GVM not exceeding 9t, and no other trailer.

That seem to cover the van ok....


Cheers - Phil
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Follow Up By: Croozerute - Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 12:38

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 12:38
Would be more suited to HR Licence than HC.. A van is not part of an articulated vehicle, it,s a trailer. There is a difference.
At least gaining a HR licence would give some insight into operating larger vehicles.
I'm all for it, and I tow a van (and also hold a HC licence)

Cheers
Al
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Follow Up By: Flighty ( WA ) - Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 13:14

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 13:14
Al
I too hold many licences up to MC but Have you ever seen anyone going through their HR licence test with a trailer be it a dog, pig or any other type?
I have never seen any "trainer" vehicles at all connected to a trailer with the exception of HC and MC training.
Granted having a HR licence does give insight to larger vehicle operation, but it gives zero in educating drivers in the use of a trailer.
Am sorry but the point between vehicle and trailer IS an articulation point so that to me classifies it an articulated vehicle, and all the fancy print in the books is not going to alter that fact.
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Follow Up By: Croozerute - Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 13:25

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 13:25
Yeah fair enough, it would need to ensure it has a trailer component to it, but don't think it would need to be a HC.
Even if it just involved a day of learning how to use mirrors and how the dynamics of towing a heavy trailer can affect the way the vehicle operates, i'd be happy. :-)
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 14:10

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 14:10
Quote - "Here in good ol' waitawhile.( WA ) a HR licence is for a rigid truck not an articulated vehicle, can't understand their reasoning, apart from revenue raising maybe ?"

An HR licence is not just for a rigid truck. The following is copied from the national licence classes:

— Any rigid vehicle with three or more axles and
a GVM of more than 8 tonnes.
— Any towed trailer must not weigh more
than 9 tonnes GVM.
— Also includes articulated buses and vehicles in Class MR.
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Follow Up By: Flighty ( WA ) - Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 14:56

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 14:56
Peter
Correct. So where does it state that people towing a van will need that licence in that lot?
If it were to be brought in as SDG has raised it would be across the board bedlam for all concerned as I see it.
It may state "Any towed trailer must not weigh more than 9 tonnes GVM" but will that also require everyone towing anything to sit that licence level?
Even for your average 6x4.
And as stated how many people sit their HR test with a trailer?
Also does it state in the A class classification for example, a restriction on towing any type of trailer, van or even a billboard, myself I don't know the answer.
Am only putting my pov across and don't really need all the political rubbish attached to a simple and reasonable question asked by a poster.
Thank-you
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 19:09

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 19:09
Quote - "Correct. So where does it state that people towing a van will need that licence in that lot?"

I did not state that there was a statement to that effect. You made the statement that the HR licence was for rigid trucks. I posted the full specification for the clas to show it did cover trailers and also articulated vehicles like buses.

All the other rigid class licences have the provision to tow trailers up to 9 tonnes.
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Reply By: Member - J&R - Monday, May 13, 2013 at 17:15

Monday, May 13, 2013 at 17:15
Hmmm, have not heard of this option, although HR is Heavy Rigid, so I would have thought something with articulated in it more appropriate, although HR may encompass this....?

But it's about time licencing options were looked at more closely given the greater volume, size and weight being towed by drivers, both experienced (if you can call 2 holidays a year experienced) and inexperienced.

Sure to open a can of worms, but long overdue.
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Reply By: Rockape - Monday, May 13, 2013 at 17:20

Monday, May 13, 2013 at 17:20
Mate,
this won't happen, the first thing that has to be sorted out is the licence has to be national, otherwise as soon as someone crosses a border they are in trouble.

Once that is sorted and we go national, the licence has to target vans as part of the training for a licence.

I am all for it but it has to be sorted properly with the emphasis on vans in particular.

In the future they may even bring in a special licence designated LC or light combination which will cover 5th wheels/camper trailers and vans. I am sure they are looking at it.
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Follow Up By: MP - Monday, May 13, 2013 at 17:53

Monday, May 13, 2013 at 17:53
Agreed. But it needs to be a simple inexpensive process, so that rules out the government managing it!! LC would be perfect because I cannot understand how you are allowed to operate a 3.5 tonne vehicle towing a 3.5 tonne trailer without some form of training or experience and NFI. Maybe once a certain weight/length is exceeded you will need an LC licence.

MP
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Follow Up By: River Swaggie - Monday, May 13, 2013 at 19:43

Monday, May 13, 2013 at 19:43
"Mate,
this won't happen, the first thing that has to be sorted out is the licence has to be national, otherwise as soon as someone crosses a border they are in trouble."


That statement reminds me of our 4wd's and the VSI rule thats different in every state as far as lift goes..I wouldn't put it past them.

Cannot for the life of me understand why these laws are never made nationally..My guess is it would be common sense..
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Follow Up By: Bazooka - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 15:32

Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 15:32
Yep. Overdue, necessary and worth doing even if they only make watching videos and answering some questions the initial qualification.
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Reply By: Member - Boobook - Monday, May 13, 2013 at 17:29

Monday, May 13, 2013 at 17:29
SDG said "Apparently there will be a report on this Wednesday night on the Today Tonight show."

That means it is impossible for it to be true...
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Follow Up By: SDG - Monday, May 13, 2013 at 17:46

Monday, May 13, 2013 at 17:46
As much truth as that other one on the other channel, which is just as bad.
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Reply By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Monday, May 13, 2013 at 17:48

Monday, May 13, 2013 at 17:48
About 40 years ago I was talking to a chap from the Accident research division of the Dept. Motor Transport, (RTA now RMS) and he was saying that as a motoring group, caravaners had the best safety record of any motoring demographic. Interesting.
Perhaps standards have slipped somewhat.

However, as I have related before on these pages there was a woman I bumped into in Big W here in my home town several years ago and she was going through the checkout with a 10" shifter, a pair of pliers, some screw drivers etc and I asked her if hubby was about to do some maintenance jobs and her reply was " Oh no, I just bought a fifth wheeler and I need some tools for it"

I said "Ill bet that is a bit of a handful for you" and she said "Oh no it is good, I took it for a run around the block before I bought it. Do you know I have never so much as towed a box trailer before in my life"!!!!!

I thought (WT Flaming Hell) now there is an accident waiting to happen.

Don't get me wrong girls, some of you could make some blokes hang their heads in shame with regard to driving prowess.

Mind you, she could not do any worse that poor chap who was taking the direct route, took the top of his 5th wheeler on a low bridge heading to the Tasmanian Ferry near the docks there many years ago.

Bloody nice bloke is MB but that is worth a laugh. As he said "S_it happens."
Mind you, they wrote off a brand new police communications unit about 2 weeks before him on the same bridge, so he has no need to be embarrassed.
He was not the first and most likely will not be the last.

It is probably about time they stiffened up the licencing re caravan towing. Especially with these bigger rigs we tow today. Some semis are a little smaller than my unit.
By the way, I have a HR licence.

Cheers, Bruce.
At home and at ease on a track that I know not and
restless and lost on a track that I know. HL.

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Follow Up By: Rockape - Monday, May 13, 2013 at 18:51

Monday, May 13, 2013 at 18:51
Bruce,
over 40 years ago I took my 16 foot viscount van from Moonie to Brisbane down the Toowoomba Range . At the time I was towing it with an FC Holden with 2 blown pistons. Yes I made it but I had done a lot of K's in trucks and hard country. That is where my training roots came from.

Today you go and buy a vehicle plus van and hit the road. Am I scared now. Hell yes. Of those who buy these rigs, many will have no problems at all because they have basic smarts. It is the few that scare the hell out of me. Little bit of training will go along way to lower van accidents.

I agree the cost should be minimal and if it was just a training course t would be even better. Then again training courses are often just a joke unless the are run by the a government authority.

They can't stop accidents, they can just help to educate drivers.



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Follow Up By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Monday, May 13, 2013 at 21:22

Monday, May 13, 2013 at 21:22
Hi RA,

Could not agree more with each point you made.

Those Donald Duck training programs are an absolute waste of money IMHO and are almost fraudulent given the lack of real education they provide, but they do seem to satisfy the insurance companies. For whatever that is worth.

Mind you RA, even well experienced people can have a lapse in concentration and go ace over base at the drop of a hat.

On the other hand, having lost 2 brothers to cancer, when your number is up, your number is up, and not before.

Hey mate, that caravan you towed back about 40 years ago would have weighed less than a tonne. I had one of those. Mine weighed 17CWT. a bit over 800kg or there-abouts I guess. Same sized van today would probably go 1500Kg.

We also drove an FC back to Sydney from Singleton with the head blown in 3 cyls also. not towing though. As fast as we put the water in it went out the back. But it got us home.

Ahh the old days, thank god they have long gone, hahaha.

Cheers Mate, Bruce
At home and at ease on a track that I know not and
restless and lost on a track that I know. HL.

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Reply By: Member - Ian H (NSW) - Monday, May 13, 2013 at 18:39

Monday, May 13, 2013 at 18:39
I recently did my LR licence and asked the testing officer just that and he said as far as he knows there is nothing planned. He may not have heard antthing but that is as close to the RTA as I can get.
However, I have often said drivers should have to do a 1 day course and get their licence endorsed accordingly to tow anything heavier than 1 tonne or longer than say 4 metres.
Ian
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Follow Up By: rocco2010 - Monday, May 13, 2013 at 19:32

Monday, May 13, 2013 at 19:32
Gidday

As long as that one day course put a lot of emphasis on explaining to caravanners that they don't have travel in groups with 20m between vans I would be in favour of it.

The point has been made above that there is nothing stopping me going out tomorrow and buying a three tonne monster and heading for Broome. well two things really, I don't have the cash and and I like to think I am more responsible than that.

Cheers
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Reply By: howesy - Monday, May 13, 2013 at 19:58

Monday, May 13, 2013 at 19:58
All states are moving towards more standardised rules and there have been many changes already to create national standards. This would be backward so I would say its a load of fertiliser
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Reply By: Motherhen - Monday, May 13, 2013 at 21:02

Monday, May 13, 2013 at 21:02
A caravan is a trailer - IF and when they bring in a licence requirement it would have to cover all trailers above a specified weight - be they caravans, horse floats boats or trades trailers.

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Reply By: Jarse - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 08:19

Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 08:19
I wouldn't worry, SDG.

I wouldn't put too much credence in any of the rubbish from Today-Tonight or ACA. They're just sensationalist gossip shows nowadays, much like the morning shows on any of the commercial stations :)
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Follow Up By: SDG - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 08:51

Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 08:51
I'm not worried. I have the licence and more.
I was just curious.
Might put some wind up some people though if the rta ever do change this licence.
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Reply By: fisho64 - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 10:18

Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 10:18
Today Tonight-the modern day Encyclopedia Brittanica!

1/ If a licence was brought in it wouyldnt be "tomorrow you cant tow anymore til you get this licence
2/ it wouldnt be a Heavy Rigid licence

does anyone actually place any store in what TT night other than laughing at the "have you stopped beating your wife" type interview style?
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Reply By: Member - evaredy - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 16:48

Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 16:48
I have always wondered why anyone with 0 towing experience, can jump in a car, hook up a large caravan. I think they should be made to have some sort of training for vans that are a certain length and weight.

But it's a bit pointless making it law in one state and not the others.
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Reply By: mikehzz - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 18:33

Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 18:33
While common sense says that there should be a licence, my practical experience suggests it may not be needed. I do more kilometres a year than average and have done for 35 years. I don't tow anything on a regular basis, certainly not a caravan, I have no interest in it. But, I must say that I haven't come across many caravaners in my travels that I would class as dangerous. Mostly they are an inconvenience that you have to get around. All in all I think most of them do a pretty good job, certainly better than a lot of other vehicle drivers on the road. There's nothing better than slapping 3 tonne behind a car to steady the driver down a bit. Any van drivers reading this can take it as a direct compliment. There don't seem to be any readily available statistics to back any claim either way.
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Follow Up By: Rockape - Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 13:59

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 13:59
Mike,
one thing I have come across is caravans that belong to the upside down transport group. They will go down in the annals of history along side some of the greats like Lindsay Bothers from years before.

Leichhardt Highway from Moonie to Gundi. Distance around 100k. Road good. One little jump up. A few years back from memory, 8 caravans came to grief on this section alone.

Pathycop may be able to dig up a bit of info on the stats if he reads this.

One thing is a bit of training will not go astray.


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Follow Up By: Dave(NSW) - Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 17:16

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 17:16
I thought A up transport from years ago was Roccozzano.
Cheers Dave
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Follow Up By: Rockape - Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 18:06

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 18:06
There a a few you could through in there. Maybe those SAR's were the cause of things.

I had a laugh on Sunday when I found out my over the road neighbour starred in the Tasmanian exhaust brake prank. Cool drinks bring out lots of history.

If anyone does google this, there is a wee bit of bad language so be warned.

Roccisano can also sadly join the hall of fame and I mean sadly in a big way.




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Follow Up By: Dave(NSW) - Thursday, May 16, 2013 at 11:23

Thursday, May 16, 2013 at 11:23
Yeah, I did hear that prank awhile back (very funny) unless youve' been there you wouldn't no why he went off LOL
Cheers Dave.
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Reply By: Member - Phil 'n Jill (WA) - Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 13:46

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 13:46
Hi Folks

Didn't get an opportunity to watch the show - has anyone anyone got any feed back from it at all?

Cheery pips - Phil
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Follow Up By: SDG - Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 15:26

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 15:26
If rumour is correct about when it is on, it is suppose to be tonight.
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil 'n Jill (WA) - Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 16:40

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 16:40
Seems like the days are draggin nowadays - Thanks SDG

I still probably won't be able to wrest the tv controls, so will rely on feedback following the show.

Can't help but feel some recognition of a modicum of ability to control a van would be appropriate - not because of lack of skills - I think 'self survival' would suffice for that, but there are many pitfalls for the unwary that would be useful to know prior to 'hooking up and hitting the road' - I don't profess to be any expert - from from it :O)

Thanks - Phil
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Reply By: Bruce-n-Bundi - Thursday, May 16, 2013 at 06:28

Thursday, May 16, 2013 at 06:28
WELL................was there anything on TT last night.

Didn't bother to watch.

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Follow Up By: SDG - Thursday, May 16, 2013 at 11:24

Thursday, May 16, 2013 at 11:24
Don't know.
Turns out we don't get the show here. Never watched it before so did not know we don't get get it.
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Follow Up By: Phillipn - Thursday, May 16, 2013 at 16:51

Thursday, May 16, 2013 at 16:51
I checked out 7s web site on TT show. Nothing on the subject.

Sounds like a load of Bull .
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