5 Really Essential Security Tips For Car Towing
WHEN IS IT OK TO TOW ANOTHER VEHICLE, AND WHAT DO I NEED TO UNDERSTAND PRIOR TO TOWING?
Do not get in a knot with a towrope– follow these guidelines
TOWING another vehicle behind yours might seem like a simple operation, however it isn’t– if you have actually never ever pulled another automobile, you’ll discover that it’s actually rather challenging. Here, The Sunday Times Driving addresses some of the more challenging 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 triggering a blockage or is in a dangerous location and requires to be towed to a more secure spot. Towing another automobile has inherent threats and you actually should keep that journey to an outright minimum range.
I have actually bought an ancient vintage car that’s on a SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification). 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 vehicle, meaning that it should be guaranteed and taxed with a legitimate MOT. In this circumstances, you’re going to need a trailer. Or a bigger budget for a road-legal classic.
What type of tow rope should I have?
It might be tempting to root around in the back of your garage for any old bit of rope, however don’t do it. The repercussions of having a rope snap while towing another car variety from the comical to the terrible, so do the ideal thing and buy yourself a purpose-built rope.
It’ll be a convenient thing to have in your boot anyhow, and vehicle aftermarket outlets carry a vast array of tow ropes– a heavy-duty example rated for 3.5 tonnes and conference British Standards should cover almost any towing scenario.
For how long should my tow rope be?
Legally, there’s no minimum length, but common sense dictates that you leave enough distance between the two vehicles so that the one behind has plenty of time to respond to turns and brakes.
There is, however, an optimum permitted length of 4.5 metres, and if you’re utilizing 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 chauffeurs find the rope. Due to the fact that while you may think that a number of metres doesn’t represent an exploitable gap in traffic, experience teaches that lots of motorists do. Especially in London. And particularly on the North Circular.
Do I require an indication of any kind?
Yes you do. When you purchase a purpose-built tow rope they normally feature an ‘On Tow’ indication, which you hang on the back of the car being hauled (undoubtedly). The police won’t be extremely pleased if you don’t have among those.
Does the ignition of the cars and truck being towed requirement to be on?
Definitely. If the ignition isn’t on, the guiding lock will still be engaged, which might have the tow automobile entering one direction and the automobile being towed going in another at the first corner. And that’s not going to end well.
Do the lights on the car being pulled have to work?
Driving asked the authorities about this and the answer was an unquestionable yes, particularly if it’s dark. And even if it’s broad daylight, forget utilizing hand signals instead of indications– 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 vehicle with an automatic transmission?
If the driven wheels of an automatic transmission car touch with the road when the cars and truck 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’ manual as it will contain an area that addresses towing, with some producers enforcing a range and speed limitation for automatic transmission automobiles. And just as with manual transmission vehicles, make sure that the transmission is in neutral.
How should the car doing the towing be driven?
Thoroughly. Extremely carefully. Keep your speed as low as securely possible, and pull away as carefully as you can, modulating the clutch to avoid “taking” the rope. That’ll avoid a really unpleasant jerking action in the automobile being towed, and if your tow rope is going to snap, it’ll be on that occasion.
Brake lightly in advance to set off brake lights so the towed automobile has plenty of notification that braking is imminent. And similarly, indicate 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 higher load than typical, so overheating is a possible problem. And since there’s lot more going on than during your normal journeys, it’s smart to have someone else in the tow automobile to keep a better eye on what’s occurring behind.
Avoid any significant manoeuvres, sudden braking or acceleration– keep in mind, if the towed cars and truck doesn’t have a running engine, it likewise will not have power assisted steering or brakes. Which could result in two dead cars and trucks instead of one.
When you purchase a purpose-built tow rope they generally come with an ‘On Tow’ sign, which you hang on the back of the car being hauled (certainly). If the ignition isn’t on, the steering lock will still be engaged, which might have the tow vehicle going in one direction and the cars and truck being towed 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 misunderstandings …
Can I tow a car with an automatic vehicle?
If the driven wheels of an automated transmission vehicle are in contact with the road when the cars and truck is under tow– and the engine isn’t running– there is a possibility of damage to the transmission. That’ll avoid a really 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 vehicle being towed be driven?
Much more carefully than the tow vehicle– this is probably the tougher end of the operation. Off, the towed car might not have engine power, which implies power assisted brakes and steering will need much greater physical effort to run. Keep in mind to make sure the automobile is in neutral, too.
Keep an eagle eye out for brake lights and signs on the tow cars and truck, and be ready to coordinate your steering and braking actions. It’s also a good idea to keep tension in the towrope as much as possible by braking really gently while being hauled. This will prevent “nabbing” and will keep the rope from dragging along the roadway, which will reduce its life significantly.
Lastly, if your Clarkson-obsessed 11-year-old kid enthusiastically volunteers to guide the towed automobile, that’s a no– the law says that driver requires to be totally qualified and licenced, too.
What if the towed driver has an issue?
It’s a good idea to agree a couple of easy hand signals so that the towed driver can quickly interact messages like “slow down”, “stop” or “you’re driving like a total ****”. 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.