Towing and A-frames

A-frame tow mass ratio and braking

The unladen mass of the towing vehicle must be 3.5 times the laden mass of an un-braked vehicle being towed.

If you want to use a towing vehicle that is less than 3.5 times the mass, you must have control of the brakes on the towed vehicle. You will need approval from the MVR.

The towing limits specified by the vehicle manufacturer must not be exceeded.

The loaded mass of the towed vehicle must not exceed the towing capacity of any component in the combination, including the A-frame, tow bar, coupling and tow ball.

Loads in towed vehicle

You can tow a vehicle that is carrying a load but you must ensure you follow all of the below:

  • the unladen mass of the towing vehicle must remain greater than 3.5 times the laden mass of the towed vehicle when the vehicle is loaded
  • the loaded mass of the towed vehicle doesn't exceed the capacity of any component in the combination
  • that any load carried in the towed vehicle is placed as low as possible and toward the rear of the vehicle to reduce the load on the front axle.

Braking guide 

  Stopping distance when brakes applied at 35km/h Average deceleration rate from any legal speed Peak deceleration rate from any legal speed
Vehicle combination gross mass under 2.5 tonnes 12.5m 3.8m/s2 5.8m/s2
Vehicle combination gross mass 2.5 tonnes or over 16.5m 2.8m/s2 4.4m/s2

The parking brake of the towing vehicle must be able to hold the vehicle combination stationary on a 12% gradient.

More information

For more information get a copy of V65 Northern Territory requirements for A-frame towing of vehicles (201.1 kb)

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Last updated: 27 June 2017