Towing Trailers

Submitted: Sunday, Jul 04, 2004 at 14:35
ThreadID: 14363 Views:1942 Replies:7 FollowUps:5
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Gidday folks

The hot topic in the past few weeks has been about the people not knowing enough about four wheel drives. There are people around that say there should be a special license available to drive one. This recent accident in SA brings the question up "Should there be a special license for the towing of trailers, caravans or whatever?"

Now I have spent quite some time driving towtrucks and attending accidents myself and as well as being in the funeral industry, so I have seen the full spectrum of what happens, right from the accident happening, to the investigation of the accidents and the effect the trauma has on the relatives.

I think that we have to face facts that ordinary Joe Bloggs can go out and get his license, buy a car with a towbar and go and tow any sort of trailer behind it without knowing the limitations of the vehicle or the trailer itself without doing any familiarization training at all.
The question is
Should there or could there be some training be made avilable and possibly mandatory about the dangers of towing trailers?

Let's have your thoughts on the subject.....

Swerv.
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Reply By: Lone Wolf - Sunday, Jul 04, 2004 at 14:51

Sunday, Jul 04, 2004 at 14:51
Yep, hot topic alright, and just in time too I might add. Let's take some focus off the 4 x 4's......

I can't really throw my hat into this ring, don't know enough, except this.........

How about every 5 years when you reregister your tralier, it has to be checked out. How many peiced of shi.t have we had to sit behind, no lights, crab walking, swaying, stuff falling off, etc.......?

Cheers

Wolfie
AnswerID: 66396

Follow Up By: Swerv - Sunday, Jul 04, 2004 at 15:04

Sunday, Jul 04, 2004 at 15:04
Absolutely Wolfie

When I was driving the towtrucks, the amount of trailers that were unroadworthy that I picked up just when the car was broken down was unbelievable.

I just wish that people would take responsibilty for what they are doing.

Scratch that last comment, I should have known better than to use common sense.

Swerv..
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Reply By: Willem - Sunday, Jul 04, 2004 at 18:56

Sunday, Jul 04, 2004 at 18:56
Life is dangerous, Swerv.

Now if you take all the vehicle movements per hour in this country it will add up to one hell of a number. If you think of all the thousands of trailers and caravans being towed around the country at this moment without incident then why even broach the question about an isolated incident.

If we are going to save all 4x4 drivers from killing thems elves and others by further licencing.....if we are going to issue training for trailer and caravan towers to prevent accidents....if we are going to eradicate cancer and heart disease....then very soon the country will be overpopulated.......

Just look at the stringent licensing regime which is imposed on the interstate truck drivers............AND look at the frequent accidents they have. It is all a matter of numbers and percentages.

In every avenue of life there is a percentage of injury and fatalities outside the norm.

You cannot prevent the dangers of life!!!! The wrong decision, the wrong place, the wrong time...and your number is up!
AnswerID: 66418

Follow Up By: Member - Jiarna (SA) - Sunday, Jul 04, 2004 at 19:06

Sunday, Jul 04, 2004 at 19:06
Good points Willem.

Part of the problem IMHO is that you can get your licence in a Toyota Echo, then go out and buy a LC100 with camper trailer and drive into the sunset. The licence indicates that you know the road rules (so how do most people get theirs??) not that you know how to drive 3-4 tonnes of articulated projectile down a dirt road. The amazing thing is that so many people learn 'on-the-job' and don't get killed. Shame about the ones that do.

Cheers
John
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Follow Up By: Willem - Sunday, Jul 04, 2004 at 19:23

Sunday, Jul 04, 2004 at 19:23
You should be aware, John.....that a qualified surgeon can just make the ever so slightest error and the patient is history. Further training is not going alleviate errors by surgeons to a greater extent. The same applies to drivers with limited training.

And the same same philosophy applies to everyday life. Some of us grow old...some don't. You have to take responsiblility for your own actions and not rely on others to look after you.

You can train and legislate as much as you like.... you are not going to save mankind from having accidents!
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Follow Up By: Member - Jiarna (SA) - Sunday, Jul 04, 2004 at 22:55

Sunday, Jul 04, 2004 at 22:55
Yeah, I know. Just wish we could do something about it. Like you say, probably wouldn't help anyway. That hurts.
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Follow Up By: Member - Bob - Monday, Jul 05, 2004 at 11:43

Monday, Jul 05, 2004 at 11:43
Willem,good analogy about the surgeon. At least when you go for an operation you know it will be a trained surgeon holding the knife (even though mistakes can still happen). To extend your analogy it would be like having a trained surgeon doing the operation but being butchered by an untrained maniac racing into the operating theatre wielding a scalpel (inexperienced P plater driving a turbo charged commodore with bald tyres hitting you head on as he rounds a bend out of control).
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Reply By: Member - Jiarna (SA) - Sunday, Jul 04, 2004 at 18:59

Sunday, Jul 04, 2004 at 18:59
I have thought for years that you should have to apply for an endorsement on your driver's licence before you can tow a trailer, just like you have to do before you can ride a motorcycle or drive a truck.

Just my 1.8 cents worth, after GST

John
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Reply By: GOB & denny vic member - Sunday, Jul 04, 2004 at 20:33

Sunday, Jul 04, 2004 at 20:33
goodday swerve
i agree with your thoughts and willems comments i am on the road most days have towed most types of vehicles vans trailers horse floats etc and once would have said b/s to your comments but now there are more and more people retiring selling there little car buying a 4b and van ,trailer or whatever and going ..not having any idea about what they are driving and most never having towed anything
i believe a lot of caravan and trailer sales people should accept some responsibility for what people take out of there yards the same as car hire people hiring 4bs with lack of instruction on how to drive them and what to do if you get stuck(lake eyre a couple of yrs ago) i dont agree witha separate licence but maybe some sort of formal traning maybe the 4b sales people could add a couple of days traing when they sell a car (make it law in all states it wouldnt hurt)

all this is just my opinion and not meant to offend anyone

steve

AnswerID: 66431

Reply By: Allan Mac (VIC) - Sunday, Jul 04, 2004 at 21:35

Sunday, Jul 04, 2004 at 21:35
the comments on this post make a lot of sense and I agree with most of the points raised. I see that that wanker advocating special licences for 4bys was on the morning show again advocating that P platers should have a curfew on night driving etc. That type of talk just inflames the argument and nothing is resolved. Just as an aside. and thinking about towing trailers. next public holiday have a look at the number of boat trailers are pulled up on the side of the road with wheel problems ,ie lack of maintenance etc
AnswerID: 66442

Reply By: Dave from Fraser Coast 4WD Club - Monday, Jul 05, 2004 at 08:12

Monday, Jul 05, 2004 at 08:12
...and you shouldn't be allowed a boat license if you can't back it down the ramp first go!!

Seriously, the most dangerous part of a day on the water is the time spent at the ramp.

... and you should be taught to drive with the back window blacked out so you have to use your wing mirrors!
AnswerID: 66480

Reply By: Member - Landie - Monday, Jul 05, 2004 at 16:23

Monday, Jul 05, 2004 at 16:23
Many are far too quick to call for special licencing requirements without the real issue ever being canvassed.

It is one of driver attitude, get that right on day one, and we'll be a lot closer to resolving all these "special" situations.

It makes no difference whether you intend to drive a small sedan or a large articulated vehicle, unless the right aproach (usually common sense) is drummed in at the very first lesson then little will ever be achieved. This is where the focus on driver training should be directed.

Legislation=revenue for the government - it won't take the foolhardy off the road.

Cheers
AnswerID: 66540

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