East Devon District Council

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Policy Hackney carriage vehicle and driver licensing policy

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4. Hackney carriage - trailers

Hackney carriages licensed by us are allowed to tow trailers - as long as the following conditions are met at all times.

  1. The licensed towing vehicle’s insurance must cover the towing of a trailer.
  2. Trailers must not be left unattended anywhere on the highway.
  3. Trailers must not be used when plying for hire on a rank.
  4. The speed restrictions applicable to trailers must be observed at all times.
  5. A spare wheel for the trailer and adequate tools to change a wheel must be carried at all times by a licensed vehicle whilst towing a trailer.
  6. The tow bar must meet with the type approval regulations in respect of all tow bars fitted to cars after August 1998.
  7. The towing of a trailer by a licensed vehicle shall only permit conveyance of luggage and belongings owned by a passenger whilst the vehicle is hired by a passenger within the vehicle.
  8. Drivers of vehicles towing trailers must ensure that they have the correct driving licence group to permit them to tow the relevant trailer.
  9. Only those trailers that comply with the following conditions will be permitted to be towed by a hackney carriage licensed by us.
    1. Trailers must have been manufactured by a recognised manufacturer and have not been structurally altered since manufacture.
      1. A licensing officer must initially approve all trailers in regard to size and type of construction.
      2. When initial approval is granted and then annually when the towing vehicle undergoes its council test, an authorised Department of Transport Tester/Inspector must inspect the trailer at a garage located within East Devon. The tester/inspector must certify that the trailer meets the equivalent standards that would normally be required to pass a Ministry of Transport (MOT) test. The garage’s authentication stamp must be applied to the certificate supplied by the inspector.
      3. When the tester/inspector has certified the trailer, that trailer, together with the licensed vehicle to be used to tow the trailer, will be presented for inspection by a licensing officer.
    2. A trailer may be used by more than one licensed towing vehicle but each licensed vehicle used to tow the trailer must be separately approved and the additional licence fee paid for each towing vehicle.
    3. An additional licence plate will be issued by us for each licensed hackney carriage vehicle licensed to tow trailers and the relevant plate must be affixed to the rear of the trailer near the number plate whenever an approved trailer is towed by the licensed vehicle.
    4. Unbraked trailers shall be less that 750 kgs gross weight.
    5. Trailers over 750 kgs gross weight shall be braked acting on at least two road wheels.
    6. The towing vehicle must have a kerb weight of at least twice the gross weight of the trailer.
    7. A suitable lid or other approved means of enclosure shall be fitted to secure the contents within the trailer when in use and to keep it watertight.
    8. The maximum permissible length of the trailer shall be seven metres including the drawbar and coupling.
    9. The width of the trailer shall not be greater than the towing vehicle subject to no trailer being wider than 2.3 metres.
    10. The maximum length for braked twin axle trailers is 5.54 metres.
    11. The trailer must at all times comply with all Road Traffic legislation requirements in particular those as laid down in the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986.
    12. The trailer’s body must be constructed of either glass-reinforced plywood/fibreglass or fully galvanised steel.
    13. The trailer’s full frame must be made of galvanised steel with a straight drawbar.
    14. With the exception of sub-condition below, the trailer shall not display any form of sign or advertisement not required or approved by us or road traffic legislation.

A trailer towed by a hackney carriage may display signs or advertisements approved by the District Council. Reference should be made to the District Council’s "Guidelines for Advertising on and in Licensed Hackney Carriages".