Monday, 7 February 2005

trailering to events

Over the years I have noticed competitors becoming more reluctant  to drive their steeds to events, preferring to trailer instead. Not so long ago this practice was frowned upon....and indeed, MCC events make little or no provision for those who trailer their vehicles.
The pro's to trailering are obvious, especially with bikes and older cars.....even if only to recover the steed once bust.
However, I have come across an even more compelling reason for trailering to events.....namely, insurance proviso's.
Like all honest trails car operators, I have declared all my modifications.....recieved the usual stunned silence from my  usual insurer, and been compelled to look elsewhere to even get a reasonable level of understanding, let alone premium.
So I took out cover with a well-known advertiser in Restart, expensive, but I can do more-or-less what I like, tuning-wise.......competition cover, such as it is, is included........BUT.....there is an annual mileage limit of 5000 miles.
Although I have negotiated an agreement that this does not include actual event mileage, that still leaves very little leeway with travelling to and from events.
Living as I do sort of north east, attending events down in the heartland of trialling soon clocks up the miles......I used to allow, for  a Land's End trial, fuel for 1500miles, including event.....
this also limits other uses of the car.....all my trials irons have had to do service getting me to work as well...if only to justify their existance on the driveway, to other houshold members, especially the "handbrake!"
Do other competitors have these insurance limitations?
Do they find it a handicap?


  1. We've sort of already discussed this.   Have a look at:- and some of the related idscussions from around that time.

  2. sorry, Simon.....didn't trawl that far back.....but the restricted mileage clause does seem to figure more and more...   and it IS possible to fall asleep in a driving rain on a M/way....   so have attitudes changed over recent years?

  3. Just thought I would put my six pennyworth in for
    good measure on this one seeing as I am a relative newcomer. My closest ACTC
    type trial is the Ilkley, 1 1/5 hour drive to get there. What delight. How many
    can say that their closest trial is that close (apart from their own club
    trial)?  My next closest trial, MCC, is the Edinburgh which is 190
    miles away. Then my next  ACTC trial must be all of a 5 to
    6 hour drive away in the Skoda bus. Drive down on Saturday, B&B then
    compete and a return home by, say, 11 or 12 or even 1 depending on the traffic.
    Work on Monday morning with a box of matches handy for the eye lids. Sorry, but
    if you want competitors from all corners of the country (and lets face it,
    that's what we want for the Northern!) please don't resurrect the idea of
    only driving to all trials. I will keep traillering or
    towing Baldrick when I decide. By all means give some extra incentive to those
    who do drive to trials but don't consider excluding those who do not. If it can
    be proved, how about an award for the competitor who drives to all
    trials and comes out on top?
    Whilst I am here, very many thanks to all who
    have entered the Northern. We have the largest entry this year since our first
    competition. It is nice to see some competitors returning from previous years
    also.  With the trial a month earlier than usual the sections are in fine
    form, plenty of the wet stuff, and with some new ones to test all. All
    the organising team and marshals look forward to welcoming everyone and hope you
    have an enjoyable and competitive day. Even at this time of year the scenery is
    still spectacular ( and that comes from a converted
    Myke Pocock. 

  4. Surely the main point is that life in general, and motoring in particular, has changed dramatically since "everyone drove to events"? Driving a trials-geared cars on the motorway is not only tedious, but also potentially dangerous (particularly at night), when most lorries are doing at least 10mph more than you are. This is compounded by the fact that most current trials events are stretched-out along the M5/M6 corridor meaning that trying to avoid motorways is difficult and adds hours to the journey. Over the years I've devised routes back from the three main MCC events that avoid motorways for most of the way but then, of course, we've got all of Sunday to do it. For ACTC events over 50-ish miles from home, trailering is the only way to get home safely and in time to go to work on Monday. I know that we all admire Dudley for always driving to and from events, but the roads between the New Forest and most West Country trials are much more pleasurable to drive than the M5.   And if you turn back to Wheelspin, you'll read that Austen May would often leave a broken car in a garage somewhere, go home by train, then return by train to collect it after repair and before the next event. I can't see that happening in 2005!   Andrew

  5. On insurance, I have an annual mileage limit on my Troll insurance that limits me to just 1500 miles a year. But this is fine by me as the premium is very low and other than the Kyrle or Cotswold Clouds I always trailer to events. I use the Alexander Forbes scheme for insurance on events. Trailers, are great, especially if you have a company car with petrol provided as I have. That may sound selfish but its a fact of life. I also agree with Andrew Brown, most lorries overtake me when I am on a motorway or dual carriageway. This happens when driving my Troll or Morgan 4/4, driving open cars fast on this type of road is very tireing with all the wind noise and buffeting. So sorry, for me it will be a trailer whenever I have a distance to go on dual carriageways or motorways. Stuart Harrold

  6. From a non special view point Dad's Imp probably goes better now on the motorway then when new as it is on its standard gearing with no option to change and cruises very happily @ 65mph. My Escort is happy at the same speed too but then again I have a 4.1 cwp to make life easier. Mind you a 5 speed box would be nice!!   Then again most of the driving on motorways is bordering on dangerous whatever car you are in.   Mark

  7. Hi Mark   Good to see you out on Sunday with your dad.  Although driving on motorways (especially around the M25) may not feel very safe sometimes, if you look at the Government stats (  you'll find that Motorways are in fact by far the safest roads in the UK in terms of accidents/injuries per mile travelled.  But of course what then comes into play is whether you're keeping up with the traffic (at a legal speed or not) or whether you're creeping along in the slow lane hoping that all of the other traffic rushes past you and not into the back of you. Personally I feel far safer towing at an illegal speed on the motorway than driving up & down roads like the A303/A34 at any speed in any vehicle.   I did therefore follow Andrew Brown's philosophy of driving to 'local' events where there's an interesting route and towing when a long stretch of motorway is required.  Last year I drove to 8 of the 15 events I did.  BUT  I broke the diff on the last event I drove to (The Allen).  The car was un-driveable and the RAC did not want to bring me home. And their local recovery contractor was even less willing when he saw the car covered in Birch Hill clay.  In the end it took 6 hours and lots of phone calls before we eventually got home (at 90 miles this is just about my most local ACTC round).  Not a pleasant experience.  So until I can afford a bullet proof transmission I'll be towing to most events this year.       An added bonus is that my Mondeo does more miles to the gallon towing my buggy than the buggy does under its own power so I'm saving money into the bargain!