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WHEN IS IT OK TO TOW ANOTHER AUTOMOBILE, AND WHAT DO I REQUIRED TO KNOW PRIOR TO TOWING?
Do not get in a knot with a towrope– follow these guidelines
TOWING another automobile behind yours may seem like a simple operation, however it isn’t– if you’ve never hauled another car, you’ll find that it’s actually quite tricky. Here, The Sunday Times Driving addresses some of the more challenging elements of towing.
When is it OK to tow another cars and truck?
The most suitable time to tow another cars and truck is when it has actually broken down and is either triggering a blockage or is in a harmful area and needs to be towed to a safer spot. Towing another vehicle has fundamental threats and you really must keep that journey to an absolute minimum distance.
I have actually bought an ancient classic automobile that’s on a SORN (Statutory Off Road Notice). Can I tow it to my garage where I plan to restore it?
The law is quite clear here– if the vehicle being rope-towed has its 4 wheels on the ground, it’s treated the exact same as any other roadworthy vehicle, implying that it needs to be guaranteed and taxed with a valid MOT. In this instance, you’re going to require a trailer.
What sort of tow rope should I have?
It might be appealing to root around in the back of your garage for any old bit of rope, but do not do it. The repercussions of having a rope snap while towing another car variety from the funny to the terrible, so do the ideal thing and buy yourself a purpose-built rope.
It’ll be an useful thing to have in your boot anyhow, and automotive aftermarket outlets bring a wide range of tow ropes– a sturdy example ranked for 3.5 tonnes and meeting British Standards need to cover almost any towing scenario.
For how long should my tow rope be?
Legally, there’s no minimum length, however good sense dictates that you leave enough range in between the two vehicles so that the one behind has plenty of time to respond to turns and brakes.
There is, though, an optimum allowable 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 connect a flapping bit of coloured fabric to the middle so other chauffeurs find the rope. Since while you may think that a couple of metres does not represent an exploitable space in traffic, experience teaches that lots of vehicle drivers do.
Do I require a sign of any kind?
Yes you do. When you purchase a purpose-built tow rope they normally feature an ‘On Tow’ sign, which you hang on the back of the cars and truck being pulled (undoubtedly). If you don’t have one of those, the police won’t be very happy.
Does the ignition of the vehicle being towed requirement to be on?
Definitely. 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 automobile being hauled going in another at the first corner. Which’s not going to end well.
Do the lights on the vehicle being hauled have to work?
Driving asked the authorities about this and the response was an unquestionable yes, particularly if it’s dark. And even if it’s broad daytime, forget utilizing hand signals instead of signs– does anyone 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 misunderstandings …
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 vehicle is under tow– and the engine isn’t running– there is a possibility of damage to the transmission. It is important that you consult your owners’ handbook as it will contain an area that deals with towing, with some producers enforcing a distance and speed limit for automatic transmission vehicles. And just as with manual transmission cars, make certain that the transmission is in neutral.
How should the automobile doing the towing be driven?
Keep your speed as low as securely possible, and pull away as gently as you can, modulating the clutch to avoid “taking” the rope. That’ll avoid an actually undesirable jerking action in the car being towed, and if your tow rope is going to snap, it’ll be on that event.
Also, brake lightly ahead of time to activate brake lights so the towed car has plenty of notification that braking is imminent. And likewise, suggest well in advance so your partner behind has great deals of notice.
Watch on your temperature level gauge as your engine will be under a higher load than usual, so overheating is a potential problem. And due to the fact that there’s lot more going on than throughout your typical journeys, it’s a good idea to have another person in the tow cars and truck to keep a closer eye on what’s happening behind.
Avoid any dramatic manoeuvres, unexpected braking or velocity– keep in mind, if the towed vehicle does not have a running engine, it likewise won’t have power assisted steering or brakes. Which could result in 2 dead cars and trucks instead of one.
When you purchase a purpose-built tow rope they usually come with an ‘On Tow’ indication, which you hang on the back of the cars and truck being towed (certainly). If the ignition isn’t on, the guiding lock will still be engaged, which might have the tow cars and truck going in one direction and the vehicle being hauled 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 misunderstandings …
Can I tow a car with an automatic automobile?
If the driven wheels of an automatic transmission automobile 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 avoid an actually undesirable jerking action in the cars and truck being towed, and if your tow rope is going to snap, it’ll be on that celebration.
How should the car being towed be driven?
Much more carefully than the tow car– this is perhaps the harder end of the operation. To begin with, the towed cars and truck might not have engine power, which suggests power assisted brakes and steering will need much greater physical effort to run. Remember to make sure the cars and truck remains in neutral, too.
Keep a watchful eye out for brake lights and indications on the tow automobile, and be ready to coordinate your steering and braking actions. It’s likewise a good idea to keep tension in the towrope as much as possible by braking really lightly while being hauled. This will avoid “snatching” and will keep the rope from dragging along the road, which will shorten its life substantially.
Lastly, 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 needs to be completely certified and licenced, too.
What if the towed chauffeur has a problem?
It’s a great concept to concur a couple of simple 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 stated, that last one’s a relatively apparent 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.