A Frame. Towing a non road legal vehicle.

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Mudde1
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A Frame. Towing a non road legal vehicle.

Postby Mudde1 » Thu Nov 20, 2014 7:55 am

As a result of an issue that has been raised, I am trying to find out how many people are A Framing as a method of transporting their vehicle from place to place. This is only in regard to vehicles that are not otherwise road legal. If you regularly or sometimes tow a non road legal vehicle on an A Frame, can you post a replay to this thread to say roughly how often in a year you do this, and roughly how far you travel, and if you have ever had any problems with accidents or traffic tickets.
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Re: A Frame. Towing a non road legal vehicle.

Postby stovanovich » Thu Nov 20, 2014 8:05 am

My Cousin A-Frames his Zook everywhere (generally between Tokoroa & Pureora) approx 5-6 times a year?
Throw trips to Porters in the mix etc it's closer to 10. Never any worries with tickets, his old man & my old man both towed theirs on an a frame in the 90s too.
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Ralfie
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Re: A Frame. Towing a non road legal vehicle.

Postby Ralfie » Thu Nov 20, 2014 9:02 am

yep, do so a few times a year.

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Re: A Frame. Towing a non road legal vehicle.

Postby nzhunter » Thu Nov 20, 2014 9:59 am

I used to do it once a month for the last couple of years, but got caught out once or twice with the vehicle unable to be towed so bought a trailer instead
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Re: A Frame. Towing a non road legal vehicle.

Postby PeteP » Sat Jan 24, 2015 4:33 pm

We tow our Suzuki (see the Susan thread in the mods/builds section) with an A frame from West Auckland to Woodhill 4wd park several times a year. To make sure the Suzuki does not obscure the towing vehicles rear lights, we rig a light bar across the Suzuki roll cage.

We have passed stationary police cars only twice that I can recall, and have never been stopped.

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Re: A Frame. Towing a non road legal vehicle.

Postby DMcCready » Sat Jan 24, 2015 7:32 pm

I have in the past towed a highly modified zuk around the wellington area. We had a farm reg and trailer lights hooked up same as you would a trailer.

While it worked to get the truck to where we were going it was hell to tow. The caster was way out so past about 70k it had a mind of its own.
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Re: A Frame. Towing a non road legal vehicle.

Postby Taz » Sat Jan 24, 2015 8:59 pm

Only a few times for a 4 hour round trip. Slapped a set of magnetic tail lights on and no drama.

That said the vehicles were in reasonable nick, I could safely tow at the speed limit and a professional welder did the frame to chassis mounts. If someone was done for hauling a heap of shit crabbing all over the road or clearly mounted dangerously then tough fuckin titty.
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Re: A Frame. Towing a non road legal vehicle.

Postby H2OLOVA » Sun Jan 25, 2015 12:16 pm

I have a MWB Landcruiser that I have towed on an A Frame everywhere over the last couple of years. Have gone from here (ChCH) to west coast a couple of times and regularly tow it locally. Have a light bar on the back for safety. The truck is in decent nick mechanically but has had a fairly hard life if you just look at the body lol.
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Re: A Frame. Towing a non road legal vehicle.

Postby monstr » Mon Jan 26, 2015 7:45 am

Hi Tony ,I know of one member of the Auck club that was stopped while A framing a Hi lux behind a 80 series ,was given a ticket for towing a non road legal vehicle ,was not allowed to continue and had to organise a trailer ,it appears that information that ltsa were giving out was wrong and according to the police the TOWED truck has to be road legal and they treat it as a trailer ,might pay to check with the police first to know where you stand

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Re: A Frame. Towing a non road legal vehicle.

Postby wjw » Mon Jan 26, 2015 8:44 am

monstr wrote:Hi Tony ,I know of one member of the Auck club that was stopped while A framing a Hi lux behind a 80 series ,was given a ticket for towing a non road legal vehicle ,was not allowed to continue and had to organise a trailer ,it appears that information that ltsa were giving out was wrong and according to the police the TOWED truck has to be road legal and they treat it as a trailer ,might pay to check with the police first to know where you stand


Wonder what would happen if you registered your A-Frame vehicle as a trailer and took it into a Wof place and asked them to do a trailer warrant on it?
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Re: A Frame. Towing a non road legal vehicle.

Postby mudlva » Mon Jan 26, 2015 9:38 am

Could always call it a

horseless carage :lol: :lol:

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Re: A Frame. Towing a non road legal vehicle.

Postby Checkerhead » Mon Jan 26, 2015 10:27 am

Only A framed once, Rotorua to Christchurch.

Had the rear brakes of the towed vehicle plumbed up to a braked trailer coupling and had brake and indictor lights on the vehicle wired to a trailer plug (Tail lights were also wired but tow vehicle had an issue such that towed vehicle tail lights didn't work). Painted "under tow, will pull over asap" on the back. Vehicle was loaded to the hilt and had rego on hold (no wof).

Obviously this was a "premeditated" a-framing event.

Stopped by a cop in Taupo at dusk, pulled me over to tell me I couldn't tow at night with no lights, but noticed I had brake and indicator as I pulled over for him. Asked me how far I was going (I told him) and let me carry on my way (even though I had no tail lights. (GC!)

Followed for about 3km through so small town out of Wellington by another cop (covered the brake the whole time, hoping he would think they were tail lights). Never pulled me over.
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Re: A Frame. Towing a non road legal vehicle.

Postby Mudde1 » Mon Jan 26, 2015 12:05 pm

As a result of the incident with the auckland club member, NZFWDA have looked at this very closely, including detailed legal advice, . The bottom line is that if you want to A frame a vehicle, it has to be Wof and Rego, that same as any other vehicle, and there is a court decision to support that view.
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Re: A Frame. Towing a non road legal vehicle.

Postby PeteP » Tue Jan 27, 2015 8:15 am

If we accept that it's no longer legal (or even no longer a "grey area") to tow an unregistered vehicle with an A frame, then what are the options?

The obvious answer is to use a trailer, but this means more towing mass (trailer PLUS 4x4 vehicle) which means some towbars will not be certified unless the trailer is also braked. It also means that the trailer will have to be left in a secure place while we go off-roading.

The 3 other options I can think of are: Registering the 4x4 as a vehicle, registering the 4x4 as a trailer, or even registering the 4x4 as a farm vehicle, but some of them would not be worth the trouble.

For example, registering a highly modified 4x4 as a normal vehicle would probably not be worthwhile because of the difficulty in having it certified, not to mention having to add lights, horn, and all the other crap we ripped off it in the first place.

Registering it as a some sort of farm vehicle may have advantages, and here I'm presuming it can be registered without lights, etc. for daylight hours only. Anyone have any experience in this area???

And as for registering it as a trailer, this this may not be an option because the 4x4 is capable of moving under it's own power, and this probably won't fit the legal description of a trailer.

That concludes my thinking out loud, and it looks like a new trailer will be the option, but I'd still be keen to hear what others think.

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Re: A Frame. Towing a non road legal vehicle.

Postby Sausager » Tue Jan 27, 2015 10:27 am

I'm with Pete. If this is a definite no, then I'm out of options. I don't have/can't afford/can't tow (due to the extra weight) a trailer capable of holding my Zuk. So this means hassling someone else with a heavier vehicle/higher rated towbar to tow me to where I want to go.

Is there any way we can get around this? Change the law/create a new one? Sounds like mission impossible to me...

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Re: A Frame. Towing a non road legal vehicle.

Postby mudlva » Tue Jan 27, 2015 10:38 am

Sausager wrote:I'm with Pete. If this is a definite no, then I'm out of options. I don't have/can't afford/can't tow (due to the extra weight) a trailer capable of holding my Zuk. So this means hassling someone else with a heavier vehicle/higher rated towbar to tow me to where I want to go.

Is there any way we can get around this? Change the law/create a new one? Sounds like mission impossible to me...


Good luck as what you are saying is you want to have a "non road legal vehicle" on the road. Cant see anybody pushing that barrow.

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Re: A Frame. Towing a non road legal vehicle.

Postby monstr » Tue Jan 27, 2015 2:45 pm

Just to add more fuel on the fire ,the last time I hired a trailer I had to sign a form saying I would not exceed 1500kg .that pputs most trucks out .

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Re: A Frame. Towing a non road legal vehicle.

Postby Taz » Tue Jan 27, 2015 3:04 pm

Sausager wrote:I'm with Pete. If this is a definite no, then I'm out of options. I don't have/can't afford/can't tow (due to the extra weight) a trailer capable of holding my Zuk. So this means hassling someone else with a heavier vehicle/higher rated towbar to tow me to where I want to go.

Is there any way we can get around this? Change the law/create a new one? Sounds like mission impossible to me...


Just use a tow dolly.
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Re: A Frame. Towing a non road legal vehicle.

Postby PeteP » Tue Jan 27, 2015 4:06 pm

Taz wrote:
Just use a tow dolly.


Taz, by "Tow Dolly" do you mean one of those things that are registered as a trailer, and on which you place the front wheels of your 4x4 and tie it down while leaving the rear wheels of the 4x4 on the ground? If so, then they are banned in Britain because they are too dangerous. The problem is that when you go around a corner there is no steering action on the dolly, and instead it wants to go straight ahead so you end up dragging the dolly sideways. I looked into this before I built our A frame, and they are not a practical solution. The only way to make one steer properly would be to have the front wheels of your 4x4 sit on a platform that is free to pivot above the dolly axle, and I've never seen one designed along these lines. That's why A frames work so well - they allow the 4x4 front wheels to steer by castoring.

On the other hand, are you describing something else?

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Re: A Frame. Towing a non road legal vehicle.

Postby Team Tonka » Tue Jan 27, 2015 4:24 pm

lots of trailers are self powered (cherry pickers are a good example) so I can't see that stopping you registering your truck as a trailer for towing purposes. Headaches would be getting a warrant. Because brakes are fitted they would have to work for a start.

The other thing really is risk v cost. very low risk of getting a ticket I would have thought and the fine is probably less than the cost of making and keeping the truck road legal. I don't think we should let one keen plod who was probably down on his quota for the day hold us all back. Maybe he was the one sat at the end of the beach access road with a speed gun that was too busy to investigate a body found on the beach. Just my personal opinion of course.
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Re: A Frame. Towing a non road legal vehicle.

Postby Smurf » Tue Jan 27, 2015 4:50 pm

PeteP wrote:
Taz wrote:
Just use a tow dolly.


Taz, by "Tow Dolly" do you mean one of those things that are registered as a trailer, and on which you place the front wheels of your 4x4 and tie it down while leaving the rear wheels of the 4x4 on the ground? If so, then they are banned in Britain because they are too dangerous. The problem is that when you go around a corner there is no steering action on the dolly, and instead it wants to go straight ahead so you end up dragging the dolly sideways. I looked into this before I built our A frame, and they are not a practical solution. The only way to make one steer properly would be to have the front wheels of your 4x4 sit on a platform that is free to pivot above the dolly axle, and I've never seen one designed along these lines. That's why A frames work so well - they allow the 4x4 front wheels to steer by castoring.

On the other hand, are you describing something else?


Dollys are commonly used to transport cars etc. behind motorhomes and buses, the steering is fine as long as you don't engage the steering lock by removing the keys. You strap the front wheels down, leaving the steering able to turn as you corner. II used to tow wrecked cars on a regular basis like this, never had any turning issues, Could even reverse them after a bit of practise

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