24 Hr Breakdown & Towing Service.
WHEN IS IT OK TO TOW ANOTHER AUTOMOBILE, AND WHAT DO I NEED TO UNDERSTAND BEFORE TOWING?
Do not get in a knot with a towrope– follow these guidelines
TOWING another automobile behind yours might seem like a basic operation, but it isn’t– if you’ve never pulled another vehicle, you’ll find that it’s really rather challenging. Here, The Sunday Times Driving addresses a few of the more difficult elements of towing.
When is it OK to tow another cars and truck?
The most proper time to tow another car is when it has broken down and is either triggering an obstruction or remains in a hazardous location and needs to be towed to a more secure spot. Towing another car has inherent dangers and you truly should keep that journey to an absolute minimum range.
I have actually bought an ancient classic car that’s on a SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification). Can I tow it to my garage where I prepare to restore it?
In a word, no. The law is quite clear here– if the vehicle being rope-towed has its four wheels on the ground, it’s dealt with the same as any other roadworthy lorry, implying that it needs to be insured and taxed with a valid MOT. So in this instance, you’re going to need a trailer. Or a bigger budget for a road-legal classic.
What sort of tow rope should I have?
It might be appealing to root around in the back of your garage for any old little rope, however do not do it. The effects of having a rope snap while towing another cars and truck range from the funny to the tragic, so do the ideal thing and purchase yourself a purpose-built rope.
It’ll be an useful thing to have in your boot anyhow, and automotive aftermarket outlets bring a wide variety of tow ropes– a durable example ranked for 3.5 tonnes and meeting British Standards ought to cover almost any towing scenario.
The length of time should my tow rope be?
Lawfully, there’s no minimum length, but sound judgment determines that you leave enough distance in between the two cars so that the one behind has lots of time to react to turns and brakes.
There is, though, an optimum allowed length of 4.5 metres, and if you’re using a rope that’s longer than 1.5 metres the law says you require to attach a flapping little coloured cloth to the middle so other motorists identify the rope. Experience teaches that lots of motorists do since while you may think that a couple of metres does not represent an exploitable gap in traffic. Particularly in London. And particularly on the North Circular.
Do I require an indication of any kind?
Yes you do. When you buy a purpose-built tow rope they generally come with an ‘On Tow’ indication, which you hang on the back of the vehicle being towed (undoubtedly). If you do not have one of those, the cops won’t be extremely happy.
Does the ignition of the car being towed requirement to be on?
Definitely. If the ignition isn’t on, the guiding lock will still be engaged, which could have the tow cars and truck entering one direction and the car being pulled entering another at the first corner. And that’s not going to end well.
Do the lights on the automobile being towed need to work?
Driving asked the cops about this and the response was an indisputable yes, especially if it’s dark. And even if it’s broad daytime, forget using hand signals instead of signs– does anybody even remember what the hand signal for a left turn is? According to the Highway Code, it’s a counter-clockwise rotation of your right arm, which could result in all sorts of misconceptions …
Can I tow an automobile with an automatic transmission?
If the driven wheels of an automatic transmission cars and truck touch with the roadway when the vehicle is under tow– and the engine isn’t running– there is a possibility of damage to the transmission. It is vital that you consult your owners’ manual as it will contain an area that addresses towing, with some makers enforcing a range and speed limitation for automatic transmission vehicles. And just as with manual transmission cars and trucks, make certain that the transmission remains in neutral.
How should the vehicle doing the towing be driven?
Keep your speed as low as safely possible, and pull away as carefully as you can, regulating the clutch to prevent “nabbing” the rope. That’ll prevent an actually unpleasant jerking action in the car being pulled, and if your tow rope is going to snap, it’ll be on that celebration.
Brake gently in advance to trigger brake lights so the towed vehicle has plenty of notice that braking is imminent. And similarly, show well in advance so your partner behind has lots of notice.
Keep an eye on your temperature gauge as your engine will be under a greater load than normal, so overheating is a prospective issue. And due to the fact that there’s lot more going on than throughout your normal journeys, it’s a good idea to have somebody else in the tow cars and truck to keep a closer eye on what’s occurring behind.
Prevent any significant manoeuvres, sudden braking or acceleration– keep in mind, if the towed automobile doesn’t have a running engine, it likewise won’t have power helped steering or brakes. Which could lead to two dead vehicles instead of one.
When you purchase a purpose-built tow rope they generally come with an ‘On Tow’ indication, which you hang on the back of the automobile being pulled (clearly). If the ignition isn’t on, the guiding lock will still be engaged, which could have the tow automobile going in one direction and the car being pulled going in another at the very first corner. According to the Highway Code, it’s a counter-clockwise rotation of your right arm, which could lead to all sorts of misconceptions …
Can I tow a car with an automatic cars and truck?
If the driven wheels of an automatic transmission cars and truck are in contact with the roadway when the automobile is under tow– and the engine isn’t running– there is a possibility of damage to the transmission. That’ll prevent a truly undesirable jerking action in the cars and truck being hauled, and if your tow rope is going to snap, it’ll be on that occasion.
How should the car being hauled be driven?
A lot more thoroughly than the tow car– this is arguably the tougher end of the operation. Off, the towed automobile may not have engine power, which means power assisted brakes and steering will require much greater physical effort to run. Keep in mind to guarantee the cars and truck remains in neutral, too.
Keep a watchful eye out for brake lights and signs on the tow cars and truck, and be ready to collaborate your steering and braking actions. It’s likewise a great concept to keep stress in the towrope as much as possible by braking extremely lightly while being pulled. This will avoid “snatching” and will keep the rope from dragging along the roadway, which will reduce its life substantially.
Finally, if your Clarkson-obsessed 11-year-old kid enthusiastically volunteers to steer the towed automobile, that’s a no– the law states that driver requires to be completely certified and licenced, too.
What if the towed driver has an issue?
It’s an excellent concept to concur a couple of simple hand signals so that the towed driver can quickly interact messages like “slow down”, “stop” or “you’re driving like a complete ****”. It must be stated, that last one’s a relatively obvious hand signal.
Towing is coupling two or more objects together so that they may be pulled by a designated power source or sources. The towing source may be a motorized land vehicle, vessel, animal, or human, and the load being anything that can be pulled. These may be joined by a chain, rope, bar, hitch, three-point, fifth wheel, coupling, drawbar, integrated platform, or other means of keeping the objects together while in motion.
Towing may be as simple as a tractor pulling a tree stump. The most familiar form is the transport of disabled or otherwise indisposed vehicles by a tow truck or “wrecker.” Other familiar forms are the tractor-trailer combination, and cargo or leisure vehicles coupled via ball or pintle and gudgeon trailer hitches to smaller trucks and cars. In the opposite extreme are extremely heavy duty tank recovery vehicles, and enormous ballast tractors involved in heavy hauling towing loads stretching into the millions of pounds.
Necessarily, government and industry standards have been developed for carriers, lighting, and coupling to ensure safety and interoperability of towing equipment.
Historically, barges were hauled along rivers or canals using tow ropes drawn by men or draught animals walking along towpaths on the banks. Later came chain boats. Today, tug boats are used to maneuver larger vessels and barges. Over thousands of years the maritime industry has refined towing to a science.
Aircraft can tow other aircraft as well. Troop and cargo-carrying gliders are towed behind powered aircraft, which remains a popular means of getting modern leisure gliders aloft.