Towing Speeds in NSW

Submitted: Wednesday, Nov 27, 2019 at 17:17
ThreadID: 139359 Views:1917 Replies:7 FollowUps:27
Following on from the now locked thread 139341 about towing speeds in WA and which drifted into other areas and other states rules, I emailed NSW RMS. I pointed out that in their Road Users Handbook the speed advice for towing vehicles was inconsistent with the legislation. (The handbook said there was no specific speed limit for towing vehicles, whereas the legislation says there is a limit of 100kph if the GCM of the combination is over 4500kg - see Thread 139341, Follow-up 903317).

FYI, I received the following reply today:


"Good afternoon Frank
I acknowledge and agree that the Road Users Handbook is misleading and does cause confusion as you correctly stated that it does not mention a towing speed.
The Road Rule 2014 clearly states that a vehicle and trailer combination with a GCM of over 4.5 tonnes must not exceed a maximum speed of 100 km/h.
Your suggestion has been noted and your concern will be escalated and referred to the appropriate department to be modified or amended.
Regards

Colin JOSEPH
Technical Enquiries
Enrolment | Safety, Environment and Regulation
T 1300137302 F8837-0037
www.rms.nsw.gov.au"
Back Reply Expand Un-Read 14 Moderator

Reply By: IvanTheTerrible - Wednesday, Nov 27, 2019 at 18:55

Wednesday, Nov 27, 2019 at 18:55
Thread gets locked so just open another one.
AnswerID: 628822

Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Wednesday, Nov 27, 2019 at 19:20

Wednesday, Nov 27, 2019 at 19:20
And your point is ????

I'm not looking for the crap that the other thread descended into.

I just wanted to post the NSW authority's confirmation of what I posted in that thread.

Do you have a problem with that?
25
FollowupID: 903369

Reply By: eaglefree - Wednesday, Nov 27, 2019 at 21:46

Wednesday, Nov 27, 2019 at 21:46
Very good information Frank following on from the post you’ve previously made.
Clarifying these regulations is most worthwhile.
Tony
AnswerID: 628823

Reply By: sastra - Wednesday, Nov 27, 2019 at 22:28

Wednesday, Nov 27, 2019 at 22:28
Good work Frank.
The ambiguity which seems to exist in some transport safety documents is in need of clarification.
My original post was prompted by the emergence of some cavalier attitudes from some contributors with respect to towing speed.
AnswerID: 628824

Reply By: Member - McLaren3030 - Thursday, Nov 28, 2019 at 07:12

Thursday, Nov 28, 2019 at 07:12
Hi Guys,

It still does not completely make it clear. Does it mean that if the GCM of the combination is capable of weighing over 4.5 Tonne, or does it mean if it actually weighs over 4.5 Tonne. As an example, a 200 series landcruiser towing 1.5 Tonne van would have a “theoretical” GCM of over 5.0 Tonne, but might actually only weigh 4.3 Tonne, (empty van with tare weight of 800 kgs, actual car weight of 3.5 Tonne). It is my understanding that the intent is the actual GCM, not the “theoretical” GCM.

Macca.
Macca.

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Position  Send Message

AnswerID: 628825

Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Thursday, Nov 28, 2019 at 08:23

Thursday, Nov 28, 2019 at 08:23
.
You are quite right Macca.

The terms GVM, GCM etc. are frequently mis-interpreted.
In all cases the various legislations refer to the mass limit of the laden vehicle.
Unladen, it is the "tare" mass or weight.

Alas, we tend to descend into shorthand for convenience. When people say... "My vehicle has a GVM of xxx" they really mean that it has a GVM 'LIMIT' of xxx. Unfortunately this same shorthand sometimes appears in publications of information that have been written in popular, rather than legal, style. And in most cases, the public is informed by these popular publications rather than the original documents of legislation.


Cheers
Allan

Member
My Profile  My Blog  Send Message

3
FollowupID: 903376

Follow Up By: Athol W1 - Thursday, Nov 28, 2019 at 08:25

Thursday, Nov 28, 2019 at 08:25
Macca

To quote the reply that came from the RMS

"The Road Rule 2014 clearly states that a vehicle and trailer combination with a GCM of over 4.5 tonnes must not exceed a maximum speed of 100 km/h."

This reply clearly states that if the vehicle in combination has a GCM of over 4.5t then the rule applies, it does NOT say or imply that the vehicle has to have an OPERATING weight of over 4.5 t, so it is the RATED mass that is the pertinent mass that has to be applied.

So your example of the LC200 carrying no lad except the driver and towing an empty box or boat trailer WOULD be subject to this rule, even though the actual operating mass could be considerably less than the 4.5 tonnes.

Regards
Athol
6
FollowupID: 903377

Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Thursday, Nov 28, 2019 at 08:43

Thursday, Nov 28, 2019 at 08:43
Macca

The GCM that RMS uses is defined in law. The rule points you to that definition. It is what you term the "theoretical" GCM - ie, it is not based on the weight on the day of the combination.

If you go back to my posts in the locked topic you will find the links to the legislation and you can follow them to the definitions. It is quite clear, and was confirmed in the RMS reply I quoted above.

It raises an anomaly, though, which I will pursue with RMS:

An empty Ford Ranger or the like towing an empty box trailer is limited to 100kph because of GCM. But a much lighter and, under the circumstances, arguably less stable Toyota Corolla towing the same trailer, or even a loaded one, is not speed limited. Go figure!

I'm with you - it would make more sense if the rule was based on actual weight, not the maximum but it would appear that is not the case.
1
FollowupID: 903378

Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Thursday, Nov 28, 2019 at 08:45

Thursday, Nov 28, 2019 at 08:45
.
Athol,

Misinterpretations often come from using terms which are not contained within the actual specifications (or legal Acts).
I don't think that the terms "OPERATING" and "RATED" appear in such legislative documents.
A direct cut-and-paste from the ADR definitions is...."GROSS VEHICLE MASS (GVM) - the maximum laden mass of a motor vehicle as specified by the ‘Manufacturer’." Note the term "laden mass".
I don't think your interpretation is valid.

A link to the Federal Registrar of Legislation which contains the ADR definitions is here.
Cheers
Allan

Member
My Profile  My Blog  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 903379

Follow Up By: Athol W1 - Thursday, Nov 28, 2019 at 09:36

Thursday, Nov 28, 2019 at 09:36
Allan B

AS one who has spent well over two decades involving reading Acts and Regulations, and also the enforcement of those Acts and Regulations, and preparing documents for the Courts of Law, I can tell you that the words Operating, Operated and Rated were often used when preparing those documents.

These words were always used to define the vehicles RATED limits (GVM or GCM) and the condition in which the vehicle was found to be OPERATED under.

I am fully aware of the legal definition of both the GVM and GCM, both of these being the RATED mass of the vehicle, or vehicle in combination.

I stand by my interpretation.

Regards
Athol
1
FollowupID: 903380

Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Thursday, Nov 28, 2019 at 11:06

Thursday, Nov 28, 2019 at 11:06
.
Atoll W1,

Sorry if I touched a nerve. It was not my intention.

My point was that if we are to abide by the legislation then we should understand and use the words and definitions of that legislation. I cannot imagine you disagreeing with that?
Accordingly, in the current conversation, we are talking of the definitions of GVM, GCM etc and the application of those terms. I would think that the document I referenced, the Australian Government Federal Register of Legislation and its content of Definitions would be a trustworthy source and I did not find the words "operating" and "rated" within the definitions of our subject terms. Even though they may have been "often used when preparing "documents for the Law Courts".

Once again, sorry. But let us not descend into the mire of the earlier "locked" thread.
Cheers
Allan

Member
My Profile  My Blog  Send Message

2
FollowupID: 903384

Follow Up By: Athol W1 - Thursday, Nov 28, 2019 at 11:36

Thursday, Nov 28, 2019 at 11:36
Allan B

Your apologies accepted, and I agree that we do never want these threads descend into mire.

Whilst there is normally a Dictionary attached to Legislation, it does not give the meaning of all words used, but the meaning of words used that will have a specific meaning within that legislation only, and no other legislation.

Words that are used that are not listed in that dictionary to the legislation will have a common English language meaning, and that is taken to be the meaning listed in the Concise Oxford Dictionary (at least in Queensland, other states may use a different commercial Dictionary).

My use of those words was never intended to replace the wording of the Legislation, but more to describe the circumstances of the occasion.

I trust that we can now understand each other.
Regards
Athol
1
FollowupID: 903385

Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Thursday, Nov 28, 2019 at 11:44

Thursday, Nov 28, 2019 at 11:44
.
Yes, fine Athol. And Oops, I just noticed my misspelling your name above. Just shows how easy it is to get something wrong, eh?
Cheers
Allan

Member
My Profile  My Blog  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 903386

Follow Up By: Member - McLaren3030 - Thursday, Nov 28, 2019 at 11:53

Thursday, Nov 28, 2019 at 11:53
Hi Guys,

I was not looking for this to end in a $&*# fight, just trying to get a clear understanding of the law.

Athol, your interpretation could well be argued, however, my interpretation i.e. that the laden combination at the time of the "offence" did not weigh in excess of 4.5 Tonne could also be argued. Using your interpretation, as stated by Frank, in my case, my 200 Series landcruiser towing anything, even an empty 6x4 box trailer is speed limited to 100 kph. I just do not think that this is the "intent" of the law. I would humbly suggest that the intent is to restrict "heavy" vehicle/combinations to a maximum of 100 kph.

I have been involved in writing complex training manuals and operating instructions that can be used in a court of law. Many times I have had to rewrite documents or training manuals that have been written by others because they have used words such as "should" instead of "must". "should" implies that you have a choice, "must" leaves no ambiguity. It may sound pedantic, but when in a coroners court or even a work safe enquiry, there cannot be any ambiguity with regard to instructions.

Similar in this case where the wording is open to an interpretation. If the words "if the laden GCM of the vehicle or vehicle combination at the time of the offence" were included in the legislation or law, then there can be no ambiguity.

Macca.
Macca.

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Position  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 903387

Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Thursday, Nov 28, 2019 at 12:12

Thursday, Nov 28, 2019 at 12:12
.
Macca, well I remember at the Woomera Range that the parking signs said "Vehicles WILL not park here". Even beyond "should" or "must", the word "will" left absolutely no alternative, it just aint gunna happen is it soldier?
Cheers
Allan

Member
My Profile  My Blog  Send Message

1
FollowupID: 903388

Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Thursday, Nov 28, 2019 at 12:15

Thursday, Nov 28, 2019 at 12:15
Athol wrote

"Whilst there is normally a Dictionary attached to Legislation, "

Because this discussion is about definitions, here is the chain of links that gets to the definitions.

First, the rule itself.

"(2) However, if the number on the speed limit sign is over 100 and the driver is driving a vehicle with a GVM over 4.5 tonnes or a vehicle and trailer combination with a GCM over 4.5 tonnes, the speed limit applying to the driver for the length of road is 100 kilometres per hour.
Note 1. Combination and trailer are defined in the Dictionary, vehicle is defined in rule 15, and GCM and GVM are defined in the Act.
Note 2. This subrule is not uniform with the corresponding subrule in rule 21 of the Australian Road Rules. Different rules may apply in other Australian jurisdictions."

Note 1 refers to the Dictionary, which, if you follow the links on the page containing the rule, can be found
here.

The definitions in the Act can be found here.

In each case you will have to scroll to find the one you're looking for.

Note 2 is NSW's disclaimer, stating that its rule on this matter may not be the same as in other states. In that it is certainly correct :-)
1
FollowupID: 903389

Follow Up By: eaglefree - Thursday, Nov 28, 2019 at 12:15

Thursday, Nov 28, 2019 at 12:15
Don’t know about other members but this thread is really educational and enjoyable with mutual respect
3
FollowupID: 903390

Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Thursday, Nov 28, 2019 at 13:07

Thursday, Nov 28, 2019 at 13:07
.
Eaglefree, what it does show is the difficulty in getting any rule, instruction, or legislation totally unambiguous.
If it were so then there would be no need of lawyers and judges, a computer would quickly determine guilt or innocence with no opportunity for appeal. lol
Cheers
Allan

Member
My Profile  My Blog  Send Message

3
FollowupID: 903393

Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Thursday, Nov 28, 2019 at 13:10

Thursday, Nov 28, 2019 at 13:10
Macca wrote

" If the words "if the laden GCM of the vehicle or vehicle combination at the time of the offence" were included in the legislation or law, then there can be no ambiguity."

I don't think there is ambiguity in the current wording, Macca. GCM is defined. It cannot be anything other than what it is - the MAXIMUM allowable mass of a combination. The term GCM should not appear in any other context, such as a partial load, nor can it be interpreted as such given its current definition. So to me, the NSW rule as it is written is perfectly clear, though admittedly restrictive in the case of a lightly laden combination.

Like you, I'm not sure the intent was to capture the empty LC200/Ford Ranger towing an empty box trailer, and I don't know how to get around that, but it does very well capture what are probably the most important scenarios - the heavy vehicles (heavy by definition, ie above 4.5 tonnes GVM) and the heavily laden "light" vehicles that are towing - in particular the average touring rig (towing), which is where the whole topic began in the locked thread.

I haven't missed your point about the empty LC200 towing an empty box trailer, and pursuing that point, the rule as it is currently worded allows an opposite anomaly where a small sedan towing the same box trailer, laden or unladen, is not speed restricted by virtue of its light GCM, when in fact the physics of the situation suggest that it probably should be!!

Cheers

4
FollowupID: 903394

Follow Up By: Athol W1 - Thursday, Nov 28, 2019 at 18:47

Thursday, Nov 28, 2019 at 18:47
Macca

Also the use of the word 'Shall' implies that you have an option, (as in shall I go left as directed, but the road does not look good/or does not exist. so I will go straight), but when used in Legislation the use of the word 'Shall' has the meaning of "Will", and no option to the contrary.

I was once told by a person involved in writing Legislation that there was more time spent on writing in the ambiguities than writing to attain the spirit and/or intent of the article. If it was written in plain English without any ambiguity then we would not require the Lawyers and the Courts.

Regards
Athol
1
FollowupID: 903399

Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Thursday, Nov 28, 2019 at 20:17

Thursday, Nov 28, 2019 at 20:17
Basically, an empty truck with GVM over 4.5 tonne has to do 100 even if it only weighs 3 tonne at the time. And a ute with trailer has to do 100 even if they're both empty if the GCM is over 4.5 tonne. I reckon they have it like that because there's no way to easily tell how heavy vehicles actually are on a day to day basis. The GCM rule would be making a butt load of people unknowingly illegal in my opinion.
2
FollowupID: 903405

Follow Up By: Gbc.. - Thursday, Nov 28, 2019 at 20:33

Thursday, Nov 28, 2019 at 20:33
That’s it. Wallopers who hand out speeding fines don’t carry scales, they read compliance plates. Scales are the domain of transport compliance officers.
2
FollowupID: 903406

Reply By: sastra - Thursday, Nov 28, 2019 at 18:23

Thursday, Nov 28, 2019 at 18:23
This is the WA sign I observed and obeyed on recent trip.
It is not confusing to me.


AnswerID: 628835

Follow Up By: OzzieCruiser - Thursday, Nov 28, 2019 at 19:50

Thursday, Nov 28, 2019 at 19:50
But the thread is about NSW towing speeds not WA towing speeds so this post is not relevant.
0
FollowupID: 903402

Follow Up By: eaglefree - Thursday, Nov 28, 2019 at 20:00

Thursday, Nov 28, 2019 at 20:00
That's clear, maybe NSW can adopt that same sign? Thanks SASTRA
3
FollowupID: 903403

Follow Up By: sastra - Thursday, Nov 28, 2019 at 20:15

Thursday, Nov 28, 2019 at 20:15
Quite true Ozziecruiser however the fact that WA has a blanket speed limit for ALL towing vehicles ,indicates to me that possibly WA road safety authorities are on the right track in not only limiting the max. towing speed but also eliminating any doubt regarding GVM/GCM etc. etc.

100kph towing max from my experience is prudent and as a West Aussie I am proud to know that WA is ahead of the game.
The wise men and women from the East should take note and demystify their literature.

Would spoil the forum discussion on the topic though! ha ha.

The sign above does work well.
4
FollowupID: 903404

Follow Up By: Gronk - Thursday, Nov 28, 2019 at 21:31

Thursday, Nov 28, 2019 at 21:31
So, nearly every 4x4 towing something should be under 100 k/ph ??

So, one would assume the cops are fully aware of the rule ? Maybe a lot of people are ignorant of the rule ( including me ) because except for big vans, most are sitting on 110 k/ph.
1
FollowupID: 903408

Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Thursday, Nov 28, 2019 at 21:44

Thursday, Nov 28, 2019 at 21:44
Yes, Gronk, that's pretty much how I read it now. In NSW, that is.

Cheers
1
FollowupID: 903409

Follow Up By: Member - McLaren3030 - Friday, Nov 29, 2019 at 06:45

Friday, Nov 29, 2019 at 06:45
No ambiguity with that sign.

Macca
Macca.

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Position  Send Message

1
FollowupID: 903415

Reply By: CSeaJay - Friday, Nov 29, 2019 at 11:26

Friday, Nov 29, 2019 at 11:26
For what it is worth, I am not sure this rule is enforced much. I dive to the 110 speed limit with my van (please this thread is not about the wisdom of that, my setup is well balanced) and never get pulled over.
And that is gps speed so no speedo error etc.
Not saying the rules aint rules, just that it does not appear to be enforced.
AnswerID: 628846

Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Friday, Nov 29, 2019 at 11:28

Friday, Nov 29, 2019 at 11:28
'

...... "does not appear to be enforced."............ Yet! lol
Cheers
Allan

Member
My Profile  My Blog  Send Message

2
FollowupID: 903423

Reply By: Blown4by - Saturday, Nov 30, 2019 at 00:37

Saturday, Nov 30, 2019 at 00:37
I agree interesting and informative mutually respectful thread. Pardon my ignorance however, but as I understand it NSW has a blanket maximum speed limit of 100kph (which the Feds are doing their best to enforce in WA by stealth) Given the 100kph maximum (unless I am mistaken), what is the point of the question?
Am I missing something here?
AnswerID: 628863

Follow Up By: eaglefree - Saturday, Nov 30, 2019 at 00:42

Saturday, Nov 30, 2019 at 00:42
Yes, you’ve assumed NSW speed limits is100kph, some are 110kph

https://www.driverknowledgetests.com/resources/new-south-wales-speed-limits/
1
FollowupID: 903432

Follow Up By: OzzieCruiser - Saturday, Nov 30, 2019 at 09:40

Saturday, Nov 30, 2019 at 09:40
100kph applies if there is no other limit - most of the other main roads (not necessarily motorways) outside residential areas are 110kph.
1
FollowupID: 903436

Popular Content

Popular Products (13)