UNLADEN WEIGHT OF HEAVY MOTORS
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The Effect of the Recent Amending Order Increasing the Maximum Unladen Weight Explained by the Solicitor to the C.M.U.A
Article 3 of the Heavy Motor Car Order 1904 provided that a heavy motorcar might be used on a highway if the weight of the heavy motorcar unladen did not exceed 5 tons, or if the weight of the heavy motorcar unladen with the weight of an unladen vehicle drawn by it did not exceed 61 tens. That Order has been amended by the Heavy Motor Car (Amendment) Order, 1921, dated May 19th, 1921, by substituting the words "sevenand a 9uarter tons" for -the words "five tons ' and the words "nine and three-quarter tons" for the words "six and a half tons."
Under Article 4 of the Order of 1904 the owner of a heavy motorcar must paint the registered weight of the car unladen on the off side. The registered weight is the ,unladen weight which was declared when application was made for the licence for the ear. The weight which is painted on the off side of the car must therefore correspond with the weight which is shown on the licence.
Where the unladen weight of a car exceeds four tone, and the maximum duty of Lao is therefore payable, there appears to be no objeetion to the owner declaring that the unladen weight is 74 tons, and thereby saving any, question being raised as to whether the unladen weight has, been sufficiently declared. The only cases in which it would seem to be necessary to declare the actual unladen weight or a weight less than 7i
024 tons are (a) where the unladen weight is less than 4 tons and the maximum duty is therefore not payable, and (b) where it is desired to draw a trailer the unladen weight of which is more than 2i. tons.
Unladen Weight of Trailers.
There is no definite unladen weight for a trailer, but the unladen weight, when added to the unladen weight of the heavy motorcar, meet not exceed 9a tons. If the registered unladen weight of the heavy motorcar is 7i tons, the unladen weight of the trailer, as painted on the off-side of the trailer, must not exceed 2i tons. If the registered unladen weight of the car is less than .4 tons, the unladen weight of the trailer may be proportionately increased. For example, if the registered unladen weight of the car is 6 tons, the unladen weight of the trailer may be 3s1 tons.
Definition of Unladen Weight..
Section 7 (6) of the Roads Act, 1920, provides that the weight unladen of any vehicle shall be taken to be the weight of the vehicle, inclusive of the body and all parts (the heavier being taken where alternative bodies or parts are used), which are necessary to or ordinarily used with the vehicle when working on a road, but exclusive of the weight of water, fuel or accumulators (other than boilers) used
for the purpose of propulsion, and of loose tools or loose equipment.
The above section also provides that in the case of a vehicle. which weighs more than tons, and is ipecially constructed so that all or part of the superstructure is a. permanent, ot essentially permanent, fixture, and the axle weights of which do not exceed the maximum axle weight prescribed under the Motor Car Act, 1903, or any Act amending that Act, the weight unladen of the vehicle Shall be deemed to be 7i tons.
No alteration has at present been made in the maximum axle weights, which, therefore, remain as follow :—
Heavy'motorcars.—The total axle weight must riot exceed 12 tons, and the weight of any one axle must not exceed 8 tons. If the car is registered with a maximum speed of 12 miles per hour, the weight of any one axle must not exceed. 6 tons.
Trailers :—The axle weight of any one axle must not exceed 4 tons. • The question of increasing the maximum axle weights is being considered by the Ministry of Transport, but it appears unlikely that any alteration will be made until the whole of the regulations relating to motor vehicles are dealt with.