The breakaway cable in Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland

17. September 2017 um 16:24

breakaway cableIt makes sure that even in the event of the trailer coming loose from the coupling towbar it will still decelerate. This is what we call the safety or breakaway cable. Anyone who drives a lot with a trailer is sure to be familiar with installing it – and probably also had many discussions about it. When travelling to our neighbouring countries, the Netherlands and Switzerland, if the breakaway cable is not correctly installed or you have no safety cable, this could lead to heavy fines. For this reason, we’ve put together the provisions given by the ADAC (German Automobile Association) regarding the correct installation and use of the cable.

Breakaway cable safety mechanisms when driving in Germany

In Germany trailers in the medium-weight class, i.e. with a permissible maximum weight of more than 750 kg and up to 3,500 kg, are generally equipped with inertia (overrun) brakes. This means that in the braking procedure the trailer overruns the towing vehicle and the resulting power is transmitted by lever transmission to the trailer brakes. In the event that the trailer becomes detached from the towbar, a safety cable should trigger the brakes and bring the trailer to a halt.

The use of a breakaway or safety cable is mandatory in Germany. Where exactly the cable should be installed is not specified. However, one thing is certain, the cable may not be looped over the towbar. As far as technically possible, the safety cable has to be fixed through an opening, drill hole or eyelet on the towbar, not on the ball head.

 

How to use a safety cable correctly in the Netherlands

In the Netherlands safety devices are foreseen for both braked and unbraked trailers. Trailers up to 1500 kg therefore require a safety feature and/or breakaway facility. With trailers without their own brakes a secondary coupling in the form of a cable or chain is compulsory. This also applies for unbraked trailers up to 750 kg. With larger trailers an ultimate (at break) braking provision must be in place, i.e. a steel cable between the vehicle and the braking system of the trailer. This is only available for vehicles (trailers) with brakes.

In any case, it is very important that in the Netherlands the specified safety cables must, in addition, be attached to the towbar for both unbraked and braked trailers.

This is done with special eyelets or clamps. Simply winding the cable round the knee-joint bar is not sufficient in the Netherlands.

 

How to use a safety cable correctly in Switzerland

In Switzerland with trailers up to a permissible total weight of 1,500 kg without a service brake system, an additional safety cable, e.g. a breakaway cable is required. The Federal Office for Roads has approved additional eyelets or special fixing holes on the towbar as suitable for mounting.

 

What requires special attention with a foreign/German trailer combination in the Netherlands and Switzerland?

In accordance with the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic, the brake systems of trailers must be equipped in such a way that the trailer, even in the case of a break in the coupling device when in motion, can come to a halt. This does not apply for single-axle trailers or double-axle trailers with a wheelbase of less than one metre and the trailer does not exceed the permissible total weight of 1,500 kg. Unbraked trailers up to a permissible total weight of 1,500 kg must be connected and secured to the towing vehicle via a safety cable, i.e. a breakaway cable. General information: Since the minimum requirements specified by the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic may not be exceeded, either in the Netherlands or in Switzerland, the national provisions shall in any case also apply for trailer combinations registered in Germany, insofar as these are active road users in the Netherlands or Switzerland.

 

Please note: Our towbars have either eyelets or a drill hole for fixing the breakaway cable. Read more about how to use the cable correctly in our report on this topic.

Using the breakaway cable correctly

28. Januar 2017 um 16:26

breakaway cableWhen driving with a trailer the breakaway cable already plays a major role when attaching the trailer. The breakaway cable is responsible for an emergency slowing-down process in case the trailer backs out the towbar. A new law concerning the transportation and use of trailers has been released in the Netherlands (Art. 5. 18. 34-2) claiming that the tear-off must be a fixed part of the vehicle itself. Therefore, an option must be  provided for the driver to fix the breakaway cable to the car.

How to use the breakaway cable correctly

Simply placing the breakaway cable around the towbar is not valid anymore. There are two alternatives:

You can rather fixate the breakaway cable using a special lug which is part of our towbars in series. The lug can be found in the vicinity of the housing. Further, a special retainer can be used which makes it possible to fixate the cable to the towbar as well and also accomplishes the same purpose as does the lug.

More information on the law in the Netherlands can be found at Algemene Nederlandse Wielrijdersbond.

Make your towbar fit for the upcoming winter month

19. Oktober 2016 um 14:53

WinterWhen the winter months are coming closer one has to prepare some of the tools used on a regular basis. Like the outdoor furniture the towbar must be prepared for the colder months as well. While a fixed towbar can not really be prepared, a detachable towbar should always be detached if not in use. Then, a cleaning is recommended as well as packing the towbar in the provided bag.
Especially during the winter months dirt as well as road salt badger the towbar, which is regularly fixed deep down under the car. Hence, the towbar will be better preserved in the provided bag than unused but still detached to the car on a regular basis. Please note that the towbar must be secured in the boot even if the bag is used. Hereby damages can be prevented.

Protective plug for the towbar

29. März 2016 um 10:47

protective plug Protective plugs used to be obligatory for towbars, those plugs used to be important parts of the towbar and prevented the pollution of the housing when the detachable towbar had been removed.

In the course of a product  innovation of our detachable towbar the housing H2 has been redeveloped. Housing H2 is responsible for the automatic locking device when fitting. Most characterizing for the housig H2 is that no protective plug is needed anymore. On the contrary, a protective plug would only promote the accumulation of dirt in the housing. Hence, the locking device would be disrupted.

How to recognize whether a protective plug is needed or not

If a protective plug is needed, a note will be published in the assembly instructions. All parts needed for your towbar are listed there. If no protective plug is listed there, none is needed for your towbar. Also, this can be seen in the operating instructions for the system 2020 and 2040 marked with a red cross.

Cut-outs for the towbar

29. März 2016 um 10:29

cut-outsBefore buying a towbar, a lot of research is done. In an ideal situation, one finds a towbar which is not only convenient but also easy in handling, and at the same time matches the design of the car and fits perfectly. Many towbars require encroachments in the design of the car, such as cut-outs in the bumper or the like. This is different with MVG-towbars.

 

Retrofitting without cut-outs

MVG-towbars are designed without any cut-outs and do not interfere with the car design or the bumpers. On the contrary, every knee-joint bar as well as the system are flexibely adjusted to the car and can be installed without cut-outs concerning the car in most cases. This in due to the fact that MVG-systems do not collidate with the bumper but are constructed around the bumper.

In our video you can see an example of one of the few cars where an irreducable cut-out is needed. Normally, cut-outs are not needed for MVG-towbars.

If a cut-out is thus needed, bumper cut-out covers are included in the delivery. Depending on the MVG-type there are different covers which unobtrusively match the design of your car.

All covers can be found in the onlineshop.

 

Your towbar in a package

29. März 2016 um 10:22

packageIn order to transport your new towbar from MVG without any damage, sufficient boxing is inevitable and, in our case, self-evident. Due to our accurate boxing system we can be sure that the towbars as well as all other products from our shop are well-hedged for transportation.

 

A package with your new towbar

Over all our towbars are secured at all edges: Not only is the towbar surrounded with a huge charge of carton, but also the towbar is protected within this charge on all six sides. Check out our video, it is shown how one of our colleagues packs a package.

 

If the rare case occurs that a package is damaged during transport and shipping, you can find a sticker on your package. A service number is printed on it where you can reach us any time. We will clearly take care of your package in case of any damage.