Minibus Roof Rack Use

The district Minibus has been provided with a roof rack for your added convenience but must be carefully used. The Minibus is not designed to carry a full load of adult passengers along with any significant amount of kit and if you are going away for any period of time you must carefully consider how to use the bus and what additional transport is required.

The driver is legally responsible for the safe loading of a Minibus and may face prosecution if the roof rack is loaded insecurely, the aisles or doors are blocked or the Minibus is overloaded. Please note that VOSA have a legal right to inspect a Minibus at a roadside checkpoint.

Please don’t let this put you off! It’s no different to driving a car it just need a little bit of thought and planning.

Our minibus has a Gross Vehicle Weight of 4.1 Tonnes meaning it can weigh no more than 4.1 Tonnes when fully loaded. Some examples are given to help you understand what this means and how it may impact your use of the bus.

When using the roof rack please consider all of the following points:

Loading the roof rack safely

  • Under no circumstances must a young person use the roof rack ladder or access the roof.
  • A maximum of one person is permitted on the roof rack
  • Somebody must be designated to ensure the back doors are not opened when the ladder is in use.
  • Sensible footwear must be used when using the ladder and roof rack
  • If access to the roof rack is necessary stay away from the edge
  • Never access the roof rack in very windy weather
  • Never lean over the edge of the roof rack
  • The load must be evenly distributed and very securely held down
  • The roof rack should only be used when other space in the bus is not available.
  • The Maximum load on the roof rack must not exceed 200KG
  • Under no circumstances should heavy items like Patrol tents be lifted onto the roof

Driving with a loaded roof rack

  • The bus should be driven more conservatively.
  • The centre of gravity will be higher so take more care when cornering
  • Guidance can be found on the RoSPA website

If you are unsure or worried about any aspect of loading the roof rack or driving the mini bus with the roof rack loaded then make alternative arrangements.

Examples of Loading

Our bus has a Gross Vehicle Weight of 4100kg, the unladen weight of the vehicle is 2859kg (including the roof rack) and this means that the load that can be carried is 1241kg.

Under most circumstance this will not be an issue but in some it could be:

Example 1 – Scouts going to camp for the weekend:

Number Individual Weight Weight kg
Minibus 1 2859 2859
Driver 1 75 75
Leaders 2 73 146
Scouts 14 60 840
Baggage 17 10 170
Total Load 4090kg

Outcome: The minibus will be right on its legal limit.

Example 2 – A full load of Adults:

Number Individual Weight Weight kg
Minibus 1 2859 2859
Driver 1 75 75
Adults 16 73 1168
Total Load 4102kg

Outcome: The minibus will be right on its legal limit. THERE IS NO ROOM FOR ANY USE OF THE ROOF RACK OR LUGGAGE

The times to consider are when all seats on the bus are occupied by people and specifically if they are all adults.

In most circumstances involving Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers, providing the roof rack has no more than 200kg loaded and only minimal bags are carried on board you will not have a problem.

Put your phone down and what are you left with? Just teamwork, courage and the skills to succeed.’
Bear Grylls, Chief Scout Bear Grylls