Lying in bed on the weekend, trawling social media, I happened upon another raging debate about the questioned requirement for towing licences for caravan owners. As many of these exchanges do, it kicked off with a confused comment and thus the experts came out to play; some with a balanced rationale, and some firmly positioned in their armchair. It’s amazing that despite the availability of information in magazines, and dare I say on the internet, that people still manage to confuse matters. Like GVM and GCM for example, the acronyms involved in my topic de jour above. Social media, however, is no yardstick with which to measure information absorption. Anyway, the point I wanted to make is this. Among all the opinions about towing licences there’s a theme: unquestioned belief in your own abilities. Still, you can be licenced up the wazoo, but it doesn’t make you infallible. You can have driven trucks all your life, or maybe up until a ‘few’ years ago, or you ‘used to’ go caravanning all the time when you were younger but you knew what you were doing. I’m sure you did. If you leave an untreated bit of metal out in the elements, what will happen to it? It’ll rust. And so, metaphorically, will you. And me. In my misspent youth I was a motorcycle courier in London, running blood and organs around the UK. Now, if there was ever a high-speed, high-stakes adrenaline test of riding ability that was it and I did it for a decade. Some didn’t last a month. My bike was an extension of me and while loudly blowing my own trumpet I was bloody fast and bloody good. A couple of years ago, in my late 40s, after a lengthy gap out of the saddle, I bought a bike. I went to my insurer – the ones who look after my ‘classic car’ – and they wouldn’t give me a quote! They understood my experience level but too many blokes my age were rekindling their youth and wrapping themselves around power poles. I was affronted. Me! I was a despatch-riding legend; a filthy, cashed-up noise in the bar named Nobrot (a long story). A year later, insured elsewhere, with some ‘regular’ riding experience under the belt around my expanded waistline, they offered me insurance. And they’d had a point too. I’d slowed down, I made rookie errors, reaction times were vastly reduced and I had dropped from my self-imposed legend status. The truth is, you probably have too. Do not be so arrogant to believe that you cannot benefit from training, or a skills refresh. I am not advocating state-imposed licencing but I am advocating self analysis and regulation. So in the interests of towing education…
Coming Soon: The RV Daily Practical Guide to Modern Towing (CLICK HERE for a preview).
Editor – RV Daily