B+E Trailer Training

Trailer Training

The SmartLearner Driving School offers B+E towing training for vehicles, health & safety duty of care training and trailer test conducted by a DSA Approved Driving Instructor to individuals, companies or organisations that require the B+E category added to their licence. At SmartLearner, we are proud to say the we have a proven track record and we a guaranteed high first time pass rate.

For Individuals who passed their driving test or even a re-tests, after January 1, 1997, you are required to pass a practical category B+E test to be able to tow a trailer which exceeds 750kg on a vehicle weighing 3,500kg; or combination of vehicle and trailer/caravan/horsebox weighing over 3,500kg.

With the standard “B” licence will be able to tow a combination (vehicle and trailer) with a Gross Train Weight (GTW) weighing under 3,500kg providing that the MAM (Maximum Authorised Mass) of the trailer doesn’t surpass the unladen mass of the towing vehicle.

All learners taking B+E courses from SmartLearner will be able to use any of our vehicles and trailer for B+E training and test purposes. We also have our own private full size training area to where training for the test exercises is conducted .

Our B+E trailer towing test is based on the LGV driving test and will take approximately 75 minutes.

The B+E test includes the following requirements:

  • The ability to execute safety checks on your vehicle and trailer
  • The reversing exercise
  • The drive
  • Uncoupling and recoupling

Most learners who fail the B+E Test do so due to the fact that their road driving skills do not meet the required standard.

Crucial Legislative Information:

B+E entitlement rules from January 2013

There are new rules for towing trailers with a car or small vehicle (cat B) were set for January 19th 2013. Essentially, when you pass the B+E test from this date, the trailer you tow cannot be heavier than 3500kg. This pertains to the plated weight (MAM) of the trailer, irrespective of the Actual Laden Weight (ALW) when being towed, visit this link for more information

Hence if the trailer you tow has a Maximum Authorised Mass (plated weight) exceeding 3500kg, you will require a category C1+E (7.5t plus trailer) to legally be able tow this trailer with a cat B vehicle.

For a large majority of B+E drivers this is not an issue as there are no cat B vehicles we are aware of that can legally tow over 3500kg, and the trailer, caravan or horsebox that most people use will not be played over 3500kg. For cases where the trailer being used is plated at over 3500kg like for example a cattle trailer being towed by a cat B vehicle, considerations are needed to be made for it to be down-rated and fitted with a new weight plate for anyone passing their B+E test after 19th January 2013.

Anybody who passes the B+E test prior to this date will be able to tow under the current rules (within the manufacturers stated towing limits for that vehicle) there are no consideration needed regarding the plated weight (MAM) of the trailer provided that the Actual Laden Weight (ALW) does not go over the limit of the towing capabilities of the vehicle.

Operator licence rules

The rules regarding towing small trailers changed from the 4th December 2011 with regards to requiring an Operators Licence. Previously, unloading trailers weighing less than 1020kg behind a cat B 3500kg vehicle does not fall under Operator Licence rules even though the combination of vehicle and trailer went over 3500kg.

This has changed in any vehicle and trailer combination exceeding 3500kg used for Hire or Reward, with the following exemptions:

If you are not operating for Hire or Reward

If you are using a dual purpose vehicle for example a 4×4, car, estate or pickup truck, with a second row of seats or an unladen weight under 2040kg

For further information on the above legislation download an information leaflet from here..

Tachograph Rules

For category B vehicle and trailer combinations weighing over 3500kg as a Train Weight, used for Hire or Reward, consideration must be made according to drivers’ hours and Tachograph rules.

There are several exemptions under the domestic rules with regards to equipment and materials for the drivers personal use and used within a 50km distance from the base of operations, providing that driving is not the drivers main activity.

For further clarification and/or more information where you fall under the Tachograph rules can be obtained by downloading the VOSA publication by following this link