Another day, another towing question. This time it’s a Mazda BT-50 and a horse float…

Hi Robert,
I am looking at either purchasing a either a 2013 or a 2015 Mazda BT-50, 5 seat, manual, diesel, 4×4. The 2013 model has a Gross Vehicle Mass Maximum of 3200 (kg) and a Gross Combination Mass of 6000 (kg), with a Tare Mass of 1884 (kg) from what I’ve found. The 2015 model has a Gross Combination Mass of 6000 (kg) and a Gross Vehicle Mass of 3200 (kg), with a Tare Mass 1884 (kg). I would also like to buy a horse float (2000kg) to tow behind it, what would be the most my float can weigh?

My horses are 550kg and 650kg (at most) if that makes a difference, and if I can also put anything else in with them.

Thank you heaps,
 Hello JR
All this is explained in our All You Need to Know About Towing article, but using your specific vehicle as an example (all weights in kg):
Weight of vehicle1959
Max tow weight3500
Trailer tare weight2000
Estimated total trailer weight3200
Towball mass320kg
To explain; the BT-50 weighs 1884kg, with you in it (assuming 75kg) so that’s 1959kg. The float and horses weigh 3200kg.  Combined, that’s 5159kg, a healthy 841kg less than the 6000kg GCM. That’s a good start but not the whole story. 
Next, we need to look at the max tow weight. That’s 3500kg, and again we’re within limits at 3200kg for your loaded trailer.
So we have a 6000kg GCM and a 3200kg trailer. You could add 300kg to your trailer, assuming it can handle the extra. Assuming you don’t, this leaves: 6000 – 3200 = 2800kg, the most the BT-50 can weigh. The weight of the BT-50 is 1959kg, so you can take 841kg of payload in the BT-50…except we need to think about the towball mass.
The towball mass is tricky. That doesn’t count as part of the GCM as the towball mass is already accounted for as part of the trailer. However, the towball mass does count towards the towcar’s GVM. So, if we add 320kg to towcar’s mass we get 2800kg + 320kg = 3120kg, a bit less than the GVM of 3200kg. This means you can have your 841kg payload, account for the towball mass and still be within limits.
So the answer is yes the BT-50 you describe would do the job.
The key things to check:
  • total weight of BT-50, float and horses must not exceed 6000kg
  • total weight of float, horses and whatever else in the trailer must not exceed 3500kg (3200kg in our example)
  • total weight of the BT-50 must not exceed 3200kg, including towball mass
However, all the above are approximate and you need to double-check all figures once you’ve decided exactly what towcar and trailer you’ll get, and determine precisely your extra load. This answer is just a guide.

Reader help: where are the technical specifications?


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