24 Hr Tow Truck
WHEN IS IT OK TO TOW ANOTHER Cars And Truck, AND WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW BEFORE TOWING?
Don’t get in a knot with a towrope– follow these guidelines
TOWING another car behind yours might seem like a basic operation, however it isn’t– if you’ve never ever towed another lorry, you’ll discover that it’s really quite difficult. Here, The Sunday Times Driving addresses a few of the more tough aspects of towing.
When is it OK to tow another vehicle?
The most suitable time to tow another car is when it has broken down and is either causing a blockage or is in a dangerous area and requires to be hauled to a safer area. Towing another cars and truck has inherent dangers and you actually must keep that journey to an outright minimum distance.
I have actually bought an ancient classic automobile that’s on a SORN (Statutory Off Road Alert). Can I tow it to my garage where I plan 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 treated the same as any other roadworthy car, meaning that it should be guaranteed and taxed with a valid MOT. In this circumstances, you’re going to require a trailer. Or a bigger budget for a road-legal classic.
What type 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 consequences of having a rope breeze while towing another automobile range from the funny to the terrible, so do the best thing and buy yourself a purpose-built rope.
It’ll be an useful thing to have in your boot anyhow, and automobile aftermarket outlets bring a wide range of tow ropes– a heavy-duty example rated for 3.5 tonnes and conference British Standards should cover almost any towing eventuality.
How long should my tow rope be?
Legally, there’s no minimum length, however common sense dictates that you leave enough distance in between the two vehicles so that the one behind has a lot of time to respond to turns and brakes.
There is, however, an optimum allowed length of 4.5 metres, and if you’re using a rope that’s longer than 1.5 metres the law states you require to connect a flapping bit of coloured cloth to the middle so other motorists identify the rope. Because while you might think that a couple of metres does not represent an exploitable gap in traffic, experience teaches that many vehicle drivers do.
Do I need an indication of any kind?
Yes you do. When you purchase a purpose-built tow rope they generally feature an ‘On Tow’ sign, which you hang on the back of the cars and truck being towed (obviously). The authorities will not be extremely delighted if you don’t have one of those.
Does the ignition of the cars and truck being towed requirement to be on?
Absolutely. If the ignition isn’t on, the guiding lock will still be engaged, which could have the tow cars and truck going in one instructions and the car being hauled entering another at the very first corner. Which’s not going to end well.
Do the lights on the cars and truck being hauled have to work?
Driving asked the authorities about this and the answer was an unequivocal yes, particularly if it’s dark. And even if it’s broad daytime, forget utilizing 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 lead to all sorts of misconceptions …
Can I tow a car with an automatic transmission?
If the driven wheels of an automatic transmission cars and truck touch with the road when the car is under tow– and the engine isn’t running– there is a possibility of damage to the transmission. It is necessary that you consult your owners’ handbook as it will contain an area that attends to towing, with some makers imposing a distance and speed limit for automatic transmission vehicles. And just as with manual transmission cars, ensure that the gearbox is in neutral.
How should the cars and truck doing the towing be driven?
Thoroughly. Really carefully. Keep your speed as low as safely possible, and pull away as gently as you can, modulating the clutch to prevent “snatching” the rope. That’ll avoid a truly unpleasant jerking action in the cars and truck being hauled, and if your tow rope is going to snap, it’ll be on that event.
Brake gently in advance to set off brake lights so the towed vehicle has plenty of notification that braking is imminent. And likewise, indicate well in advance so your partner behind has great deals of notice.
Keep an eye on your temperature level gauge as your engine will be under a higher load than typical, so overheating is a possible issue. And since there’s lot more going on than during your typical journeys, it’s smart to have someone else in the tow automobile to keep a more detailed eye on what’s occurring behind.
Prevent any significant manoeuvres, unexpected braking or velocity– keep in mind, if the towed cars and truck does not have a running engine, it likewise will not have power helped steering or brakes. Which might lead to two dead cars and trucks instead of one.
When you purchase a purpose-built tow rope they typically come with an ‘On Tow’ indication, which you hang on the back of the car being pulled (certainly). If the ignition isn’t on, the guiding lock will still be engaged, which might have the tow automobile going in one instructions and the automobile being hauled going in another at the 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 car are in contact with the road when the car is under tow– and the engine isn’t running– there is a possibility of damage to the transmission. That’ll prevent an actually unpleasant jerking action in the cars and truck being hauled, and if your tow rope is going to snap, it’ll be on that event.
How should the car being towed be driven?
Even more thoroughly than the tow car– this is arguably the harder end of the operation. First of all, the towed automobile might not have engine power, which implies power assisted brakes and steering will need much higher physical effort to run. Remember to make sure the vehicle remains in neutral, too.
Keep a watchful eye out for brake lights and indications on the tow cars and truck, and be ready to coordinate your steering and braking actions. It’s likewise an excellent concept to keep stress in the towrope as much as possible by braking very lightly while being hauled. This will avoid “taking” and will keep the rope from dragging along the roadway, which will shorten its life substantially.
If your Clarkson-obsessed 11-year-old kid enthusiastically volunteers to steer the towed cars and truck, that’s a no– the law states that chauffeur requires to be fully qualified and licenced, too.
What if the towed driver has an issue?
It’s an excellent concept to agree a few easy hand signals so that the towed motorist can quickly communicate messages like “slow down”, “stop” or “you’re driving like a total ****”. It should be said, that last one’s a fairly 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.