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University Calendar

Outline Code of Practice for Boat Towing

Note:  This Code does not include detailed procedures and forms for reports, checks etc.  These will be devised using such material as "The ARA Guide to Towing Boat Trailers", and the "University Health and Safety Manual" etc.

The Outline Code covers four areas of Boat Trailer operations:-


A.      A designated member of the Health and Safety Group for Sport shall approve and oversee all notified boat trailer operations.  He or she shall report to the Group at each meeting of the Group and shall compile the Annual Return.

B.      President/Captain of DUBC, DUWBC and Captain of Colleges (on behalf of all University College boat clubs, including those of St John's and St Chad's Colleges) shall notify on a form "NOTIFICATION OF BOAT TRAILER MOVEMENT" the Group Member responsible and the planned journey shall not normally take place without the "journey approved" section completed by the Group Member.  Very urgent journeys may be given verbal agreement, provided that the form is completed and signed.  An outline of each Club's proposed movements shall be given to the Group Member by the end of October each year.

The Group Member may approve, verbally, short unladen journeys, for example, for trailer maintenance or for temporary trailer storage in preparation for an authorised journey.

The Group member may accept 'block' bookings on a term by term basis for regular short-journey trips (eg to Newcastle or to the Tees).

C.      The driver shall complete and sign an "INSPECTION SHEET" checklist report before any journey which covers the towing vehicle, trailer and load.  This sheet shall be sent to the designated Group  Member with D.

D.      The driver shall complete and sign a "POST JOURNEY REPORT" outlining the duration and length of movement, any problems encountered, any immediate repairs or maintenance required and any other recommendations.  This shall also be given to the Group member who shall require any necessary action to be taken and reported back, cancelling, if necessary, approval for journeys until necessary work is completed.

2.      DRIVERS

The Group Member and the Director of Sport shall arrange for a pool of at least three drivers, who shall be trained and shall carry out all approved transport.  Appropriate training may be via such organisations as the AA, RAC, Institute of Advanced Motorists, the Police and the ARA.  Training must include towing safety, trailer safety and checks, load safety and checks.

The Group member may allow one pool driver for journeys not exceeding 80 miles or 2 hours' travel from Durham.

All journeys exceeding 80 miles or 2 hours' travel from Durham (whichever is the least) shall carry two pool drivers.

In planning journeys, drivers should not assume an average speed exceeding 40 mph under tow, and should not exceed 50 mph at any time under tow.

In line with University policy, all drivers must stop every 2 hours for at least 10 minutes and perform a check of the vehicle, trailer and load.

As the driver has responsibility for the safety of vehicle, trailer and load, the driver(s) have the right to refuse to make any journey which they consider could be unsafe, eg weather conditions, trailer load, condition of vehicle or trailer or load.

3.    The Group shall require all Rowing Clubs to commit such expenditure as is necessary to ensure safety of vehicles and trailers as a priority.

4.    The Group shall require the use of an appropriate vehicle to tow boat trailers.  This shall normally be a "heavy" four-wheel drive vehicle, such as a Land-Rover.  Any proposal to use another type of vehicle (ie a light 4x4 or Transit/LDV van) must be accompanied by a calculation of gross and trailer weights so that the vehicle is not overloaded.  Passengers shall normally be limited to the number which can be accommodated in the front seats fitted with seat belts in the towing vehicle.

The Group shall check that appropriate insurance is arranged for the towing vehicle.  A hired vehicle must comply with all relevant legislation and manufacturer's service requirements.  A University-owned or privately-owned towing vehicle must also comply with the above and the servicing record, MOT Certificate etc shown to the Group Member before use.

The trailer must be inspected and maintained twice per year (October and May suggested) by a competent person and the inspection record given to the Group Member for safe keeping on each occasion.

The trailer must have unladen weight and maximum laden weight clearly indicated.  Early in each academic year, the towing vehicle expected to be used, and the trailer laden to expected maximum load, shall be taken to a weighbridge and the individual and gross weights determined, so that the drivers and the Group Member know that overloading will not take place.  The Group Member shall retain the weighing tickets.