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A forum for discussing issues relating to trailers and towing MacGregor sailboats.

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puggsy
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MASTE CYLINDER/ BRAKE LINE

Post by puggsy » Wed Apr 16, 2008 9:54 am

You think you have problems... In Western Australia, the authorities consider the FACTORY FITTED MAC DESIGN BRAKE SYSTEM...UN-ACCEPTABLE....Why? i do not know...Its good enough for 300plus million Americans...
To get my :macm: trailer registered, i HAD
to completely remove the :macm: system and replace it with the ...other...sort...just because it is APPROVED.
At no small cost may I add.
For some unknown reason, the SOLE Australian agent has done nothing to have the very well designed American unit approved by Australian authorities. With more units being imported, it would be a good and sensible move...Come on Phil...do your thing!.

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Re: MASTE CYLINDER/ BRAKE LINE

Post by Paul S » Wed Apr 16, 2008 12:27 pm

puggsy wrote:You think you have problems... In Western Australia, the authorities consider the FACTORY FITTED MAC DESIGN BRAKE SYSTEM...UN-ACCEPTABLE....Why? i do not know...Its good enough for 300plus million Americans...
To get my :macm: trailer registered, i HAD
to completely remove the :macm: system and replace it with the ...other...sort...just because it is APPROVED.
At no small cost may I add.
For some unknown reason, the SOLE Australian agent has done nothing to have the very well designed American unit approved by Australian authorities. With more units being imported, it would be a good and sensible move...Come on Phil...do your thing!.
I would like to know the reason. the system is actually quite good.. unless they don't like surge brakes or something.

macgregor DOES sell the trailer without brakes..so that could be an option..if your importer takes advantage of that option

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RickJ
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Post by RickJ » Wed Apr 16, 2008 4:03 pm

In the UK, the US-made trailer is completely illegal for several reasons, brakes being one of them. Boats sold in the UK come with a locally-built replacement trailer. They still ship from the USA on the Mac trailer (because that's how they get them in and out of the containers) but AFAIK it's just dumped.

So the UK price is immediately increased by the cost of a trailer - one reason the price here is so much higher.

Hydraulic brakes aren't illegal as such, but the handbrake must be direct mechanical action, and must be the system activated by the breakaway cable. So if the overrun brakes are hydraulic the trailer needs two braking systems. This of course is too expensive, so all trailers here have rod/cable brakes.

Cheers, Rick

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Post by Phillip » Wed Apr 16, 2008 5:33 pm

The biggets issue in Aussie is not only the hitch/coupling itself, but the ball size too.
The hitch/coupling is, and fits, a 2" ball.
The Aussie is a 50mm ball.
The Aussies use a certification system called ADR
The US uses ISO.
All hitch must have an ADR.
To convert a US ISO to an ADR an engineer must certify the items are identical mechanically, and that can't happen.
When I drag a mac trailer to the local engineer for conversion, (it obviously has the US hitch at this point), take my word for it, it is not a good fit on my 50mm ball.
Now I have imported a box of 2" balls, thinking that would be an option, but once again the US ball has an ISO number on it, and the ADR states all balls will have an ADR number.
It is a standard "thing", and the 2 countries because of the metric vs imperial thing dosn't allow the 2 to = each other.
Yes there is a cost in conversion, but that's just part of the expence.
For those who have managed to get their trailers registered with the US hitch, be aware of a few things.
1. In the event of an insurance claim all cover for the boat and trailer, plus the tow vehicle, plus liabilty insurance is null and void. Insurance assessors are aware of this, because surprisingly the situation is massive with US caravans. They are coming in to the countries in big numbers.
2. Those who believe easch State in Aussie is different, then they are wrong. The law covering trailers is a Federal Law.
3. The Govt Dept is conducting a back Audit on all imported trailers, and they are going after the individual importers, not the business operators of size, as they know they are complying. There are 2 offences people are charged with, 1 comes under the Custom and excise act, because every imported vehicle has a certificate clearly stating what you must do and the cert is issued on the condition it will be done.
4. The reason for this is: the Dealerships are jack of complying and then seeing privately imported items not complying, and their Trade Assn's are continually making representation to Govt to enfore compliance and penalties.
Simply solution is, pay your bucks and have the conversion done properly. It is not a big job, nor is it big money, and it is the backyarders who will stuff it for the rest.

Cheers
Phillip

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puggsy
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TRAILER BRAKES

Post by puggsy » Wed Apr 16, 2008 8:54 pm

I bought my :macm: secondhand but only a year old...the trailer had been imported with the American system but never put through our registration system...For the whole year it had sat in a yacht club yard while the :macm: was in a pen. puggsy :macm:

Phillip...a good explanation but why cannot the factory fit the Australian approved system BEFORE shipping them to you. THATS what you should arrange...

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Post by Phillip » Wed Apr 16, 2008 9:10 pm

Good point pugsy.
I deal in 2nd hand, and the chap I work with in the States father has a reasonable sized engineering plant and does trailers.
Biggest issue is having to send them over there first.
Can't recall the cu meter cost of sea freight, but with heavy items it is a combination of cu capacity and weight (plus many incidental charges along the way)
Then there is the manner in which they are mounted.
It is certainly not an impossible situation, but one that just complicates a transaction.
Believe it or not, it is easy-ier and cheaper to just do the conversion here, and have the certification issued by the engineer (trailer shop) who does the work.
The 1st one is always the hardest.
I have issues with those who take short cuts....it is going to effect all in the end.
Cheers
Phillip

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Post by Catigale » Fri Apr 18, 2008 6:18 am

 ! Catigale:
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bastonjock
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Post by bastonjock » Fri Apr 18, 2008 6:32 am

over here we also have legal differences with europe regarding trailers,a lot of it is to do with the width of the boat/trailer.

for years odin/imexus sold their boats on trailers that were legal to be towed with an ordinary 4x4 vehicle in europe but not in the UK,the Uk law stated that you required a towing vehicle with a nose weight that was greater than 3.5 tons,that whittled the list down to Range Rovers and the big landcruiser,ordinary landrovers and shoguns did not fit the bill.

To remain legal you had two choices,one buy a range rover or a custom built 5 grand trailer.

The trailer tha came with my boat is a sturdy beast made by mersea,its galvanised so that helps with the rot from salt water

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Oskar 26M
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Post by Oskar 26M » Fri Apr 18, 2008 8:37 am

I'm facing similar problems to those related by puggsy here in Western Australia. Having finally solved the problem with back EMF from the reversing solenoid (thanks to all the help from this forum), I made the "mistake" of putting my 26M over a weighbridge. Came in at 2100 kg, way over the 1906 capacity of the trailer and I still haven't finished adding all the bits n pieces I want on board. :(
So, because I want to take Oskar to some fairly remote places, I decided on a trailer upgrade. Upgraded springs and bearings, dual axles, galvanising..., aiming for a durable, safe trailer with a capacity of around 2500kg.
BUT... even though my trailer HAD been registered here in West Oz with the 2" UFP coupling and surge brakes (must have got the inspectors on a good day), and even though the UFP A-60 Actuator has a GVWR of 6,000 lbs and maximum tongue load of 750 lbs, well within my target capacity, I'm now told I have to replace it with an electric over hydraulic disc system that can be manually controlled from within the tow vehicle ... megabucks of additional cost!!! :( :(
Anyone interested is a slightly used, back EMF protected A-60 actuator?

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Mistral
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Post by Mistral » Fri Apr 18, 2008 6:19 pm

When I received my trailer (2nd hand) it had to be modified to Australian Standards at a considerable cost. One of the reasons was that the brakes were totally corroded due to container rain as well.
Here in Victoria I have seen several Mac's with the USA manufactured trailers, and with an Australian compliance plate, so as usual every state here in Australia has different rules again. Would wonder what would happen if you had an accident in another state though.

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Post by Boblee » Fri Apr 18, 2008 6:21 pm

Haven't heard of the electric over hydraulic system but that doesn't mean much, maybe it's a WA rule.
Am surprised at your weighbridge reading but maybe I should check mine too.
Would your weight be with water etc on board as we travel with only minimum until actually launching.
Thought of macking a heavier trailer but then need a heavier tow vehicle etc.
Where are you planning on travelling to that requires the extra?

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Lease
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Post by Lease » Fri Apr 18, 2008 7:26 pm

I actually have the original US trailer on my X, and it was registered in Melbourne in 2005 as is/was. That includes the original 2" coupling by the way. As for the brakes, at a guess I would say that the disc diameter may be the problem. They're very small.

As it turns out, my trailer is getting close to being unservicable due to corrosion, so I am going to replace it after I recover the boat back to Canberra (we are doing a staged move - family in Melbourne & me in Canberra for the next six months).

Synergy in NSW sells a galvanised version of the original US trailer frame for $1800. I will then add the running gear, and hitch myself, and hopefully get out of it all for about $4,000 - $4,500. That will give a very reasonably priced alternative to any kind of trailer available.

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Post by Phillip » Fri Apr 18, 2008 7:56 pm

I have never bothered to check the regulations, but i THINK there is a change in construction standards once you move over 2,000kg.....axel/brakes/hitch.

(Federal Law has come in to effect; all electric brakes can no longer have the controller/adjuster on the trailer itself...got to be inside the tow vehicle...what a pain in the butt. Heard my Trailer engineer talking about it...causing them all sorts of drama....and there seem to be a lot of grey-comflicting areas at the moment).

A 2,500kg trailer is a totally different beast to a 1,900kg one.

When importing a Mac you should budget Aud$3,000 for refurbushing and bringing it up to Aussie Design Rules. That takes in to account all your own labour. It will not exceed that figure, and you will have change from it. Some you will do for $1,000, some you won't.

There is no difference in Regulations between the States here. Read the Federal Act of Parliment covering it.
If you have a trailer with the US Hitch, when the audit comes up, the person who imported it recieved a certificate and it stated clearly the conditions impossed on the importer....so he is the 1st one to get a fine.
Then the person who issued the Inspection Certificate (Roadworthy/Saftey cert etc) get a fine for not complying with instructions he has to allow him to operate his business.
The 3rd person who gets whacked is the current owner because he has an un-road-worthy vehicle.

Have an accident with your Mac on the back, and as soon as the assessors find critical components (like a hitch) with no ADR, that's it....no cover, because your Insurance Policy states the insured vehicle must comply with all ADR's. You can not insure anything that is not legal.

The problem increases, becasue all 3rd part liabilty cover for a trailer is carried by the tow veicle's insurance policy.
So worst case scenario is: you have an accident with one or more vehicles (and you have your Mac on the back). You are at fault, people are injured, and you have damaged yours and the other vehicles involved.

The Trade Group/Assn for Caravan Manufacturers have persued this scenario with the Insurance Council, and got them to make a ruling on it, and if you were in the above situation, you have a big problem $$$ on your plate.

Little Mac Trailers are not the problem in this country at the moment. It is imported Caravans, and the industry is jumping up and down about it and forcing the Authorities to move on illegal trailers, and Macs are getting caught up in it.

I can't stress the point to much. I have had 2 letters from the Govt Dept concerned, insisting I comply (which i do), and telling me all imports will be back audited. They are very good....they keep telling you what they want. They know it is the backyarders taking short cuts.

Cheers
Phillip

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Oskar 26M
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Post by Oskar 26M » Sat Apr 19, 2008 8:20 pm

Boblee:
I'm planning to head to the northwest of West Oz, where I could encounter some bad roads so I'd like to be sure that the trailer is up to standard (as well as legally compliant).

I'm also planning on using the 26M as a camper in some fairly out of the way places, so I'm keen to have it as self-contained as possible with food, water and other creature comforts as well as all the gear needed for use on the water.

My trailer goes in for modifications tomorrow and because Oskar will have to sit on an oversized trailer hired from my storage yard in the interim, I'll be spending today removing everything I can to keep his weight to a minimum.

I'll weigh each item before it goes back on board, so if anyone is interested I'll post an inventory with weights on the thread about rig weights.

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Post by Boblee » Sat Apr 19, 2008 11:26 pm

We've had ours on some fairly rough roads, but most of your coastal roads are pretty good unless you are thinking of heading to Kalumbaru and certainly wouldn't attempt going there by road but if you want company for a trip there by coast give me a bell.
We also use ours as a caravan probably 60-70% of the time but no matter how good the trailer going off road will knock the boat around too much I would imagine.
We have travelled a fair bit right round Aust in a camper and have seen some boats in strange places but not as big (long) as the Macs.
Wyndham to Kalumbaru would be a fantastic trip and have been tossing up to do that or the Gulf this year.
We have travelled in excess? of 15000klm with the standard trailer now but taking it fairly easy and we do have quite a few mods to carry with the standard trailer (updated this year).

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