Towing, trailers, tilt-trays and caravans

Here, you will find information covering towbar standards and requirements for towing trailers and caravans, plus information relating to A Frame Towing and towing agricultural implements.

  Building a trailer

If you are considering building or importing a trailer with an aggregate trailer mass (ATM) of 4,500 kg or less, you should read the Vehicle Standards Bulletin: Building Small Trailers (VSB1).

This bulletin is available on the on the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications, and the Arts website.

The bulletin contains information on relevant standards, applicable Australian Design Rules (ADRs) and licensing details.

In addition, the industry circular below outlines the standards and requirements for trailer safety chains. A suitable safety chain must be used with trailers even trailers under 2,500 kg must be fitted with at least one chain.

Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications, and the Arts: Vehicle Standards Bulletins (VSB)

  Motorcycle trailers

Before you attach a trailer to your motorcycle, you need to understand the rules that apply to your vehicle. It's also important that you know how to equip your motorcycle, as well as how to fit and load what you intend to tow. Read the information bulletin below for details.

  Tilt trays

Following a number of serious crashes involving tilt tray vehicles, a range of regulations are now in place for tilt trays to address the need for greater awareness by road users of the chisel point at the rear of tilt trays.

This has been achieved by requiring the rear of a tilt tray vehicle to be made more conspicuous and by providing measures to reduce the risk of serious injury should a collision occur.

You can find out more about the rules and regulations regarding tilt trays in the industry circular below, which includes details about under run protection bars, wheel lifts and making your tilt tray more conspicuous.

  Towing agricultural implements

If you are planning on towing agricultural implements, there are specific rules and regulations in place governing how to do so.

The guide below provides a broad range of information about towing agricultural equipment and escorting vehicles that are towing agricultural implement, including:

  • What constitutes agricultural equipment.
  • Permits and vehicle licence requirements.
  • Lighting requirements.
  • Warning signs and signals.
  • The operation of pilot vehicles.

  Towing trailers and caravans

Before towing a trailer or caravan, you need to understand your vehicle's towing capabilities, otherwise you risk costly damage and accidents.

Tare weight

The tare weight of a vehicle is the weight of a vehicle when it is un-laden. The tare weight includes all necessary oils, water, coolants, 10 litres of fuel and any equipment required to operate the vehicle.

Gross Combination Mass (GCM)

GCM is the maximum allowed loaded weight of the towing vehicle plus the maximum allowed loaded weight of the trailer/s or caravan.

The maximum allowed loaded weights are specified by the vehicle manufacturer and include all luggage, passengers, fuel, equipment, etc. that may be in the vehicle.

Tow ball down weight

Tow ball down weight is the weight applied down onto the tow bar. The maximum tow ball down weight should not be exceeded.

How to equip your vehicle

It's also important that you understand how to equip your vehicle, as well as how to fit and load what you intend to tow.

Read the document below to find out more on the subject, including:

  • How much you can safely tow.
  • Laws that you need to be aware of.
  • Overtaking rules.
  • Towbar and trailer safety requirements.
  • Safe driving and loading tips.

  Towing using an A-frame

An A-frame can be used to tow another vehicle which has its front wheels on the road and is connected to the towbar of the towing vehicle by a triangular shaped frame.

You need to complete and submit the A-frame Towing Application Form E182 below to apply to tow a motor vehicle using an A-frame.

An A-frame attachment is considered a modification. The brochure below provides information on:

  • Regulations and requirements.
  • Australian road rules.
  • Coupling and chain design.
  • Towing capacity.
  • Braking requirements.
  • Lighting and steering requirements.
Page last updated: Thu May 4 2023 1:43:03 PM