Trailers: a weighty issue

LAST week I had an epiphany. It was about the trusty old boat trailer.

The old boat trailer, that thing under the boat that most people forget about, or think any old trailer will do …unfortunately this is not the case.

I have seen some medium to big sized boats on some very light weight trailers and this is just asking for trouble.

A little bit of insight on trailers, all trailers have a GVM or GTM (gross vehicle/total mass) and this is the MAXIMUM operating weight/mass of a vehicle or trailer as specified by the manufacturer and this includes the trailer and whatever it is carrying – boat, motor, fuel, batteries, electric motors, camping equipment, etc.

For example let’s look at a four metre tinnie as these are a very common package in the Riverina.

Let’s assume that aboat with floors and decks will weighs about265kg; a 30hp 2 stroke motor 65kg; 25-litre fuel tank with fuel 25kg; a basic trailer190kg –all this equals 545kg. So on a trailer with 13-inch wheels, which will be rated to about750kg, leaves you with 205kg for extras.

What I haven’t included in this “basic” package is a spare wheel – 15kg, battery – 10kg, safety equipment including anchor – 15kg, electric motor and battery 50kg, fishing gear 10kg, console 30kg, travel cover 10kg, and we will say 5kg of extras that will travel in the boat and that brings a grand total of 690kg, 60kg below the GTM.

Just remember that the GTM is the maximum or total weight on that trailer, so adding another 25+kg of anything will put you over.

I am not trying to scare anyone or to sell trailers or anything like that, I am simply saying that not all trailers are the same; you may not have a problem until you have a problem.

For peace, of mind the easiest way to check if you comply with the GTM is to have your package weighed as you would travel with it normally with all options, gear, etc and if it falls within the GTM of your particular trailer, you have no issue, you only have to be below the GTM.

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