Important Safety Notice: Towing a Site Trailer with a Forklift or Telehandler.

In order to tow a load over 750kg with a machine which isn’t primarily designed for towing (such as a forklift), the following criteria must be met:

1. HSE Guidance 144: “Trailers with maximum gross weights (trailer weight + load) between 0.75t and 3.5t should have at least an overrun brake (ie an inertia brake), while trailers over 3.5t should be fitted with braking systems linked to the towing unit.”

2.  PUWER (regulation 9: training): Every employer shall ensure that all persons who use work equipment have received adequate training for purposes of health and safety, including training in the methods which may be adopted when using the work equipment, any risks which such use may entail and precautions to be taken.”

The driver must have training to be able to tow a trailer, over and above the licence needed to operate the towing vehicle.

3. Vehicle Selection: Most telehandlers don’t have the capability to tow a trailer. The vehicle’s recovery hitch must never be used for towing. A proper towing hitch should be used in combination with independent hydraulic or air braking systems. The vehicle, if it can tow, will have displayed a maximum gross vehicle weight (GVW) and this mustn’t be exceeded. Always refer to the Operators’ Handbook before using the machine.

To find out more, follow this link and download a free copy of the HSE regulations for vehicle safety:

HSG144 (Section 31. Vehicle Selection)

PUWER (regulation 9: training)

Do you have any questions for us? We’d be happy to help.

Talk to us about what equipment you need, conditions you’ll be working in and your drivers’ training.

Call: (01469) 540428 or email