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WHEN IS IT OK TO TOW ANOTHER AUTOMOBILE, AND WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW BEFORE TOWING?
Do not get in a knot with a towrope– follow these rules
TOWING another automobile behind yours might sound like a simple operation, however it isn’t– if you have actually never pulled another automobile, you’ll discover that it’s really quite tricky. Here, The Sunday Times Driving addresses some of the more difficult aspects of towing.
When is it OK to tow another car?
The most appropriate time to tow another cars and truck is when it has broken down and is either causing an obstruction or remains in a harmful area and requires to be hauled to a safer spot. Towing another cars and truck has inherent threats and you truly need to keep that journey to an outright minimum range.
I have actually purchased an ancient classic car that’s on a SORN (Statutory Off Roadway Notification). Can I tow it to my garage where I plan to restore it?
In a word, no. The law is pretty clear here– if the cars and truck being rope-towed has its 4 wheels on the ground, it’s treated the like any other roadworthy vehicle, implying that it must be insured and taxed with a legitimate MOT. So in this instance, you’re going to require a trailer. Or a larger budget for a road-legal classic.
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 rope, however do not do it. The repercussions of having a rope breeze while towing another automobile variety from the comical to the tragic, so do the right thing and purchase yourself a purpose-built rope.
It’ll be a convenient thing to have in your boot anyhow, and vehicle aftermarket outlets bring a wide variety of tow ropes– a heavy-duty example ranked for 3.5 tonnes and conference British Standards should cover just about any towing scenario.
For how long should my tow rope be?
Legally, there’s no minimum length, however common sense determines that you leave enough range in between the two cars and trucks so that the one behind has plenty of time to respond to brakes and turns.
There is, though, a maximum permitted length of 4.5 metres, and if you’re utilizing a rope that’s longer than 1.5 metres the law says you require to attach a flapping bit of coloured cloth to the middle so other drivers spot the rope. Since while you may believe that a number of metres does not represent an exploitable gap in traffic, experience teaches that numerous drivers do. Particularly in London. And especially on the North Circular.
Do I require a sign of any kind?
Yes you do. When you purchase a purpose-built tow rope they normally come with an ‘On Tow’ indication, which you hang on the back of the automobile being pulled (obviously). The authorities won’t be really delighted if you do not have among those.
Does the ignition of the cars and truck being pulled need to be on?
Definitely. If the ignition isn’t on, the guiding lock will still be engaged, which could have the tow car going in one direction and the vehicle being hauled going in another at the very first corner. Which’s not going to end well.
Do the lights on the automobile being pulled need to work?
Driving asked the cops about this and the answer was an indisputable yes, especially if it’s dark. And even if it’s broad daytime, 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 cause 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 roadway when the vehicle is under tow– and the engine isn’t running– there is a possibility of damage to the transmission. It is essential that you consult your owners’ manual as it will contain a section that attends to towing, with some manufacturers imposing a range and speed limit for automatic transmission cars and trucks. And just as with manual transmission cars, 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 prevent “snatching” the rope. That’ll avoid a really undesirable jerking action in the vehicle being towed, and if your tow rope is going to snap, it’ll be on that celebration.
Brake gently in advance to activate brake lights so the towed automobile has plenty of notice that braking is impending. And likewise, show well ahead of time 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 typical, so overheating is a potential issue. And since there’s lot more going on than during your typical journeys, it’s a good idea to have someone else in the tow car to keep a closer eye on what’s taking place behind.
Avoid any dramatic manoeuvres, unexpected braking or velocity– keep in mind, if the towed cars and truck doesn’t have a running engine, it likewise won’t have power assisted steering or brakes. Which could result in two dead automobiles instead of one.
When you purchase a purpose-built tow rope they generally come with an ‘On Tow’ indication, which you hang on the back of the cars and truck being hauled (obviously). If the ignition isn’t on, the guiding lock will still be engaged, which might have the tow car going in one instructions and the automobile being pulled 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 cars and truck is under tow– and the engine isn’t running– there is a possibility of damage to the transmission. That’ll prevent a truly undesirable jerking action in the car being hauled, and if your tow rope is going to snap, it’ll be on that celebration.
How should the cars and truck being pulled be driven?
Much more carefully than the tow cars and truck– this is perhaps the harder end of the operation. Off, the towed car might not have engine power, which implies power assisted brakes and guiding will require much greater physical effort to operate. Keep in mind to make sure the automobile remains in neutral, too.
Keep an eagle eye out for brake lights and indications on the tow vehicle, 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 extremely gently while being towed. This will avoid “nabbing” and will keep the rope from dragging along the road, which will reduce its life considerably.
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 driver requires to be completely qualified and licenced, too.
What if the towed motorist has an issue?
It’s a great concept to concur a few simple hand signals so that the towed driver can quickly communicate messages like “slow down”, “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.