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Trailer Regulations
  |  First Published: November 2003



QUINTREX has recently taken on an educational role with its dealers in regard to the existing trailer regulations across Australia. The regulations cover many points that are broadly applicable to boat owners and to those thinking of becoming boat owners. Brendon Tait, a Quintrex engineer and designer, took us through some of the more important aspects of the regulations.

“Current Australian Design Rule (ADR) regulations dictate trailer capacity categories and these must be adhered to,” said Tait. “It’s something very few boat owners take notice of, but they should certainly be aware of.

“Any BMT (boat, motor, trailer) package sold with an under-capacity trailer is actually un-roadworthy and could have serious legal implications in the advent of an accident. We [Quintrex] have reminded our dealers that, although not illegal in some states, it is extremely unethical to sell a BMT package with an under capacity trailer.”

Boat weights stated in brochures and on websites are usually dry weights for the standard model that includes only standard features. Motor(s), controls, larger fuel capacities, optional extras like livewells and electronics, safety gear and of course cargo all add to this dry weight. This is without mentioning additional trailer options. All these extras add significant weight to the BMT package.

TRAILER CAPACITY

The required trailer capacity or ATM (Aggregate Trailer Mass) should be calculated as follows:

ATM = Standard boat weight + optional extras fitted + maximum rated engine weight + extra motors, controls and batteries + full fuel load + safety gear + cargo/gear allowance.

Because many modifications are made after sale, it’s extremely important that owners perform this calculation on their rig to ensure it is legal. If you have just purchased a BMT package, make sure the dealer has done these calculations because an un-roadworthy trailer becomes your problem as soon as the package leaves the dealership. Of course, a reputable dealer will do these calculations for you and ensure you’re not towing around an illegal trailer.

Lastly, remember that stacking a boat full of camping and holiday gear is not what your boat trailer was designed for. It’s important to know the legal limitations of your trailer and abide by the maximum weight allowable. – Quintrex

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