Auto Automobile & Towing.
WHEN IS IT OK TO TOW ANOTHER AUTOMOBILE, AND WHAT DO I REQUIRED TO UNDERSTAND BEFORE TOWING?
Don’t get in a knot with a towrope– follow these rules
TOWING another vehicle behind yours may seem like a simple operation, but it isn’t– if you’ve never pulled another automobile, you’ll find that it’s in fact quite challenging. Here, The Sunday Times Driving addresses a few of the more tough elements of towing.
When is it OK to tow another cars and truck?
The most proper time to tow another cars and truck is when it has actually broken down and is either triggering an obstruction or remains in a hazardous area and needs to be pulled to a much safer spot. Towing another automobile has fundamental risks and you really must keep that journey to an absolute minimum range.
I’ve purchased an ancient classic automobile that’s on a SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification). Can I tow it to my garage where I prepare to restore it?
The law is pretty clear here– if the automobile being rope-towed has its four wheels on the ground, it’s dealt with the same as any other roadworthy automobile, meaning that it needs to be guaranteed and taxed with a valid MOT. In this circumstances, you’re going to require a trailer.
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 repercussions of having a rope breeze 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 a helpful thing to have in your boot anyhow, and automotive aftermarket outlets carry a large range of tow ropes– a heavy-duty example rated for 3.5 tonnes and meeting British Standards must cover almost any towing possibility.
The length of time should my tow rope be?
Lawfully, there’s no minimum length, however good sense determines that you leave enough distance in between the two cars and trucks so that the one behind has lots of time to react to brakes and turns.
There is, though, a maximum allowable length of 4.5 metres, and if you’re using a rope that’s longer than 1.5 metres the law states you need to connect a flapping little bit of coloured fabric to the middle so other motorists spot the rope. Because while you might think that a number of metres doesn’t represent an exploitable gap in traffic, experience teaches that numerous vehicle drivers do. Particularly in London. And particularly on the North Circular.
Do I need a sign of any kind?
Yes you do. When you purchase a purpose-built tow rope they usually include an ‘On Tow’ sign, which you hold on the back of the car being hauled (certainly). The authorities won’t be really delighted if you do not have one of those.
Does the ignition of the automobile being pulled requirement to be on?
Absolutely. If the ignition isn’t on, the steering lock will still be engaged, which could have the tow automobile entering one instructions and the automobile being pulled entering another at the very first corner. And that’s not going to end well.
Do the lights on the automobile being hauled need to work?
Driving asked the authorities 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 cause all sorts of misconceptions …
Can I tow an automobile with an automatic transmission?
If the driven wheels of an automatic transmission car 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 vital that you consult your owners’ handbook as it will contain an area that deals with towing, with some producers enforcing a range and speed limit for automatic transmission automobiles. And just as with manual transmission cars and trucks, make sure that the gearbox is 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 prevent “nabbing” the rope. That’ll avoid a truly unpleasant jerking action in the automobile being hauled, and if your tow rope is going to snap, it’ll be on that occasion.
Brake gently in advance to activate brake lights so the towed car has plenty of notice that braking is imminent. And likewise, suggest well in advance so your partner behind has great deals of notification.
Watch on your temperature level gauge as your engine will be under a greater load than usual, so overheating is a prospective concern. And due to the fact that there’s lot more going on than during your normal journeys, it’s wise to have someone else in the tow car to keep a more detailed eye on what’s occurring behind.
Avoid any remarkable manoeuvres, abrupt braking or velocity– keep in mind, if the towed cars and truck doesn’t have a running engine, it also won’t have power assisted steering or brakes. Which could lead to two dead cars and trucks instead of one.
When you buy a purpose-built tow rope they normally come with an ‘On Tow’ sign, which you hang on the back of the automobile being hauled (obviously). 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 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 misconceptions …
Can I tow a car with an automatic automobile?
If the driven wheels of an automated 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 avoid a really unpleasant jerking action in the cars and truck being pulled, and if your tow rope is going to snap, it’ll be on that event.
How should the cars and truck being pulled be driven?
A lot more thoroughly than the tow cars and truck– this is perhaps the harder end of the operation. First of all, the towed cars and truck might not have engine power, which indicates power assisted brakes and guiding will require much greater physical effort to run. Keep in mind to make sure the automobile is in neutral, too.
Keep a watchful eye out for brake lights and indicators on the tow vehicle, and be ready to collaborate your steering and braking actions. It’s likewise an excellent idea to keep stress in the towrope as much as possible by braking extremely lightly while being hauled. This will avoid “snatching” and will keep the rope from dragging along the roadway, which will reduce its life significantly.
If your Clarkson-obsessed 11-year-old kid enthusiastically volunteers to guide the towed vehicle, that’s a no– the law states that motorist needs to be completely qualified and licenced, too.
What if the towed driver has a problem?
It’s a great idea to concur a couple of basic hand signals so that the towed driver can quickly communicate messages like “decrease”, “stop” or “you’re driving like a total ****”. It must be stated, that last one’s a fairly 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.