Horsebox Owners & Users are you overloaded?
This guide has been produced by VBRA Commercial
With the changes in licences in 1996 that limited new drivers to 3500kg maximum there was a greater need for lightweight horseboxes.
These horseboxes have little margin for carrying additional equipment that you may require on your journey or at your destination. When you acquired your horsebox, it should have come with a mass declaration, which is a mass in running order. This is the manufacturers defined payload under BS1646-2 or MTPLM-MIRO maximum technical permitted legal mass minus mass in Running Order. This has up to 5% margin of error so for instance if the mass in running order is 3000Kg it could leave the factory weighing 3150 kg.
What remains is the user payload. This includes people animals and what else you deem necessary to carry apart from the driver which an allowance has been made in the declaration of 75Kg.
What is your Maximum weight?
The maximum that your vehicle can carry is on the VIN plate or stage 2 VIN plate that is usually marked as GVW or Gross Vehicle Weight not to be confused with GTW which is Gross Train Weight which includes towing capacity and is a larger figure.
The Problem with overloading is as follows.
Safety, Stresses to components, greater stopping distance etc.
Legal aspect if you are involved in an accident and are overweight you will not be insured!
Police and DVSA roadside checks, over 85% of small horseboxes, along with vans and motorhomes suspected of overloading and there is a 90% conviction rate. Fines are up to £5,000.
Next if you are overloaded on any axle the tyres may not be up to the additional weight / mass.
DVSA guidance on overloading fines
- Up to but not including 10% fixed penalty £100.
- 10% but not including 15% fixed penalty £200.
- 15% and over fixed penalty £300.
- Above 30% or other road safety concerns = court summons.
DVSA examiners should allow a 5% tolerance before fixed penalty or prohibition unless the weight has been exceeded by 1 tonne.
For peace of mind and to stay within the law weigh your horsebox fully laden, be aware what weight can be safely and legally carried