West Coast Towbars’ Safety Guide: Car Roof Racks

October 11 2018

When going on a road trip, it is always a blast to enjoy good music, conversations and amazing sights while on your way. But being packed inside a tight vehicle for hours isn’t fun at all. That is why having a car roof rack where you can store your travel gear and accessories can be very useful. It not only helps spread out the passengers inside, but it also helps everyone enjoy their trip.

But there are some risks that you need to consider when you decide to add extra load on top of your vehicle. If you don’t want to be that person chasing down your belongings on the road, then it is best that you read and follow the safety tips we’ve provided in this guide.


It is important that you make sure you’re not going past legal limits for the total height, length, width and rear overhang of your trailer or vehicle. The load that you have is taken into account when you total these dimensions.

This would mean:

Dimensions of trailer or vehicle + dimensions of projecting load = total dimensions

The total dimension limits are important because it will help you keep safe from power lines, overhead bridges and other roadside objects. It also ensures that you can safely turn while saying in a single lane. Remember that you may not carry additional projecting load if your trailer or vehicle is built to its maximum dimensions.

Load Capacity

There are a number of factors to consider when deciding to carry items on a car bike rack. It is generally considered to not load your roof rack with a load that would exceed 50kg in total. However, it would be possible to carry more than this amount if a roof rack manufacturer has done strength tests on a specific kind of rack and as long as it doesn’t exceed the recommended capacity.

It’s important to keep in mind that the load fitted onto a roof rack needs to be secured correctly and should comply with all the requirements of the “Load Restraint Guide”. There are provisions found in the Road Traffic (Vehicles) Regulations 2014 and the Road Traffic Code 2000 for the location, restraint and placement of loads depending on the performance requirements mentioned in the “Load Restraint Guide”.

Restraining the Load

Lastly, it is important that the loads you have on your car roof racks are restrained securely as per Western Australian legislation. There are fines that can be given out for loads that fall of trailers and vehicles or for those that are considered to be a danger. Keep in mind that if your risky load becomes the cause of injury to people or damage to property, the penalties that you will incur is going to be considerably higher.

If you are looking for car roof racks in Perth that are of good quality and are safe to use, then you should check us out at West Coast Towbars right now!

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