Driving a heavy vehicle towing a trailer(s) requires special knowledge and skills.

Driver licences and how to get them

Follow the safe towing guidelines on these sections whenever you tow a trailer or another vehicle.

Note: the term ‘trailer’ includes caravans, boat and horse trailers, and heavy trailers.

Heavy combination vehicle definitions and specifications

Heavy combination vehicle types 


  • You must know how to couple and uncouple the trailer.
  • You must know how to position the towing vehicle when turning so the trailer wheels don’t encroach onto the kerb or over the centre line (swept path).
  • You must know how to load the trailer so it is stable when cornering.

Safe towing guidelines

  • You must be able to see behind the towed trailer or vehicle. If you can’t see behind with your rear-view mirrors, you may need to fit a special mirror.
  • There must be no more than 4 metres between your vehicle and the trailer or vehicle it is towing.
  • At night, the back of the trailer/towed vehicle must show a red light.
  • If you’re towing a disabled vehicle at night, its headlights must light up the towing connection.
  • Remember, you may be slower than other traffic when towing. Check behind often to see if other vehicles are held up behind you.
  • If the road is winding or narrow and vehicles can’t pass you, stop at a safe place and let them pass.
  • Leave more space than usual between your vehicle and the vehicle in front, so that others can pass you.
  • Remember that the added weight behind you means you will need more space to stop.
  • The towing connection and safety chain or cable that holds the trailer/vehicle must be safe and strong.
  • If you are towing another vehicle without a rigid towing system, eg with a rope or a strop, the maximum allowable speed is 50km/h.
  • If you are towing another vehicle with a rigid towing connection, the maximum is 90km/h.