b'INTRODUCTION TO TOWING DEFINITIONSKnowing how to tow should be mandatory for those Gross Vehicle Mass orsetting off around Australia with a caravan or camping Weight (GVM/GVW)Thetrailer hitched behind. Similarly anyone that tows, be it a maximum laden weight of thehorse float, or a trailer load of trash destined for the tip, vehicle, including the kerbneeds to have additional driving skills and to have a weight of the vehicle plusvehicle that is fully prepared to tow. driver, passengers, luggage,tow bar, bull bar, winch andThe popular vehicle of choice seems to be turbo any otheraccessories andcharged diesel four wheel drives that offer low down the tow ball down load.grunt for moving off, cruising economy and a low range Kerb Mass or Weight: -for hauling trailers, vans and boats out of awkward The weight of the vehiclespots. including all options, fluidsAutomatic gearboxes assist smoothing out gear and full fuel tank, but notchanges, absorbing driveline shock and save clutches. including accessories.Self-shifting transmissions are preferred, but manual Tare Mass or Weight: -gearboxes may be a better choice, depending on the Is the same as Kerb Weightsize of the towing vehicle. but with only 10 litres of fuelin the tank instead of a fullIf towing is a big part of your intended vehicle usage, tank.then you need to select carefully, based on use, towingcapacity and tow-ball load limit. There are a number of Gross Vehicle Axle Massor Weight: - The maximumvehicles that tick these boxes. load on either the front orCaravans are growing in size as we crave more and rear axle resulting from themore luxury items, ensuites, more storage, etc. When distribution of the GVM.choosing a tow vehicle be aware that you may not be Gross Trailer Masscovered for insurance or warranty if a manufacturers (GTM): - Is the massspecifications are not observed. transmitted to the ground byWeight ratings on tow balls remain an issue, with the the tyres of the trailer whencoupled to a vehicle anddownforce on the tow ball able to unsettle a vehicle. carrying the maximum loadAdd too much weight at the ball and the tow bar could recommended by the manu-fail, or a tow vehicles front wheels even lift, affecting facturer or importer, with thehandling and braking. weight uniformly distributedA tail heavy trailer accentuates any sway, hence a over the load bearing areasload equalising hitch, which helps transfer weight to the (Generally 9%-11% less thanthe ATM or GTW).front of the vehicle, can assist in solving weightdistribution problems. Tow ball ratings are limited by Gross Combinationrear-axle capacity, vehicle mass and strength, plus the Mass or Weight: - Themaximum allowable mass ortow bars strength.weight of a towing vehicleIt is a good idea to check a trailers nose down force, and its trailer.by placing the loaded van or trailer on a weighbridge Aggregate Trailer Massand record the weight. Then couple the trailer to the (ATM) or Gross Trailertow vehiclewhich is not on the weighbridgeand the Weight (GTW):Thedifference between the two, is the weigh on the maximum allowable mass orvehicles tow bar. weight of the trailer specifiedby the manufacturer. ATM isThere are many issues to consider when towing, and the sum of GTM plus the towthis overview will assist you in towing safely and ball download.responsibly.55'