Am I Covered To Tow A Trailer Or Caravan?
WHEN IS IT OK TO TOW ANOTHER CAR, AND WHAT DO I REQUIRED TO KNOW BEFORE TOWING?
Don’t get in a knot with a towrope– follow these rules
TOWING another cars and truck behind yours may sound like an easy operation, however it isn’t– if you have actually never ever hauled another automobile, you’ll discover that it’s actually quite tricky. Here, The Sunday Times Driving addresses some of the more challenging aspects of towing.
When is it OK to tow another vehicle?
The most appropriate time to tow another vehicle is when it has actually broken down and is either triggering an obstruction or remains in a hazardous location and requires to be towed to a much safer area. Towing another cars and truck has inherent risks and you really must keep that journey to an absolute minimum range.
I have actually bought an ancient vintage car that’s on a SORN (Statutory Off Road Alert). Can I tow it to my garage where I plan to restore it?
The law is quite clear here– if the cars and truck being rope-towed has its 4 wheels on the ground, it’s dealt with the exact same as any other roadworthy lorry, suggesting that it needs to be guaranteed and taxed with a valid MOT. In this instance, you’re going to require a trailer.
What kind of tow rope should I have?
It might be appealing to root around in the back of your garage for any old little bit of rope, but do not do it. The consequences of having a rope snap while towing another car range from the humorous to the terrible, so do the ideal thing and buy yourself a purpose-built rope.
It’ll be a handy thing to have in your boot anyway, and vehicle aftermarket outlets bring a vast array of tow ropes– a sturdy example ranked for 3.5 tonnes and conference British Standards must cover almost any towing possibility.
For how long should my tow rope be?
Lawfully, there’s no minimum length, but sound judgment determines that you leave enough distance between the two vehicles so that the one behind has plenty of time to react to brakes and turns.
There is, though, an optimum allowed 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 attach a flapping bit of coloured fabric to the middle so other chauffeurs spot the rope. Due to the fact that while you may believe that a couple of metres does not represent an exploitable space in traffic, experience teaches that many motorists do.
Do I require a sign 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 automobile being pulled (clearly). If you don’t have one of those, the police won’t be extremely pleased.
Does the ignition of the cars and truck being towed need to be on?
Absolutely. If the ignition isn’t on, the steering lock will still be engaged, which might have the tow automobile going in one direction and the vehicle being pulled entering another at the very first corner. Which’s not going to end well.
Do the lights on the car being towed have to work?
Driving asked the cops about this and the response was an unquestionable yes, especially if it’s dark. And even if it’s broad daytime, forget using 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 cause all sorts of misunderstandings …
Can I tow a cars and truck with an automatic transmission?
If the driven wheels of an automatic transmission cars and truck 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 important that you consult your owners’ manual as it will contain an area that deals with towing, with some producers imposing a range and speed limit for automatic transmission cars. And just as with manual transmission automobiles, make certain that the gearbox remains in neutral.
How should the cars and truck 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 “snatching” the rope. That’ll avoid an actually unpleasant jerking action in the vehicle being hauled, and if your tow rope is going to snap, it’ll be on that event.
Also, brake lightly in advance to activate brake lights so the towed vehicle has a lot of notification that braking looms. 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 greater load than normal, so overheating is a prospective problem. And because there’s lot more going on than during your typical journeys, it’s a good idea to have another person in the tow automobile to keep a better eye on what’s happening behind.
Prevent any remarkable manoeuvres, abrupt braking or velocity– remember, if the towed car does not have a running engine, it likewise will not have power helped 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 automobile being pulled (undoubtedly). If the ignition isn’t on, the steering lock will still be engaged, which might have the tow cars and truck going in one direction and the automobile being pulled 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 automatic transmission cars and truck are in contact with the roadway when the car is under tow– and the engine isn’t running– there is a possibility of damage to the transmission. That’ll prevent a really undesirable jerking action in the automobile being towed, and if your tow rope is going to snap, it’ll be on that celebration.
How should the cars and truck being towed be driven?
Even more carefully than the tow cars and truck– this is perhaps the tougher end of the operation. To begin with, the towed automobile may not have engine power, which suggests power assisted brakes and guiding will need much greater physical effort to operate. Remember to make sure the cars and truck is in neutral, too.
Keep a watchful eye out for brake lights and indicators on the tow vehicle, and be ready to coordinate your steering and braking actions. It’s likewise a good concept to keep stress in the towrope as much as possible by braking extremely lightly while being towed. This will avoid “snatching” and will keep the rope from dragging along the roadway, which will reduce its life considerably.
If your Clarkson-obsessed 11-year-old kid enthusiastically volunteers to steer the towed vehicle, that’s a no– the law states that driver needs to be fully qualified and licenced, too.
What if the towed chauffeur has a problem?
It’s a great idea to agree a few basic hand signals so that the towed chauffeur can rapidly communicate messages like “decrease”, “stop” or “you’re driving like a total ****”. It needs to 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.