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WHEN IS IT OK TO TOW ANOTHER CAR, AND WHAT DO I NEED TO UNDERSTAND BEFORE TOWING?
Do not get in a knot with a towrope– follow these rules
TOWING another automobile behind yours might seem like a basic operation, but it isn’t– if you have actually never hauled another automobile, you’ll discover that it’s in fact quite difficult. Here, The Sunday Times Driving addresses some of the more difficult aspects of towing.
When is it OK to tow another car?
The most suitable time to tow another cars and truck is when it has broken down and is either causing a blockage or is in a harmful place and requires to be hauled to a more secure area. Towing another vehicle has fundamental dangers and you truly need to keep that journey to an absolute minimum distance.
I’ve purchased an ancient classic automobile that’s on a SORN (Statutory Off Roadway Notice). Can I tow it to my garage where I prepare to restore it?
The law is quite clear here– if the car being rope-towed has its 4 wheels on the ground, it’s dealt with the same as any other roadworthy automobile, indicating that it should be guaranteed and taxed with a legitimate MOT. In this instance, you’re going to need a trailer.
What type of tow rope should I have?
It might be tempting to root around in the back of your garage for any old little rope, but do not do it. The effects of having a rope snap while towing another automobile range from the funny to the awful, so do the ideal thing and buy yourself a purpose-built rope.
It’ll be a convenient thing to have in your boot anyway, and automotive aftermarket outlets bring a wide range of tow ropes– a heavy-duty example rated for 3.5 tonnes and conference British Standards ought to cover almost any towing scenario.
For how long should my tow rope be?
Lawfully, 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 brakes and turns.
There is, however, a maximum 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 find the rope. Due to the fact that while you might think that a number of metres doesn’t represent an exploitable space in traffic, experience teaches that numerous vehicle drivers do. Specifically in London. And particularly on the North Circular.
Do I require a sign of any kind?
Yes you do. When you buy a purpose-built tow rope they normally include an ‘On Tow’ sign, which you hang on the back of the car being hauled (obviously). The police won’t be very pleased if you don’t have one of those.
Does the ignition of the car being pulled requirement to be on?
Definitely. If the ignition isn’t on, the steering lock will still be engaged, which could have the tow vehicle going in one direction and the car being pulled going in another at the first corner. And that’s not going to end well.
Do the lights on the automobile being pulled have to work?
Driving asked the police about this and the answer was an indisputable yes, especially if it’s dark. And even if it’s broad daylight, forget utilizing 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 result in all sorts of misunderstandings …
Can I tow a vehicle 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 vital that you consult your owners’ handbook as it will contain a section that deals with towing, with some makers imposing a distance and speed limit for automatic transmission vehicles. And just as with manual transmission cars and trucks, make certain that the gearbox is in neutral.
How should the car doing the towing be driven?
Thoroughly. Really carefully. Keep your speed as low as securely possible, and retreat as carefully as you can, modulating the clutch to prevent “snatching” the rope. That’ll prevent a truly undesirable jerking action in the cars and truck being pulled, and if your tow rope is going to snap, it’ll be on that event.
Brake lightly in advance to activate brake lights so the towed cars and truck has plenty of notice that braking is imminent. And similarly, suggest well beforehand so your partner behind has great deals of notification.
Keep an eye on your temperature level gauge as your engine will be under a greater load than normal, so overheating is a prospective problem. And since there’s lot more going on than during your typical journeys, it’s a good idea to have another person in the tow car to keep a closer eye on what’s happening behind.
Avoid any significant manoeuvres, abrupt braking or acceleration– remember, if the towed car doesn’t have a running engine, it likewise will not have power assisted steering or brakes. Which might lead to two dead cars and trucks instead of one.
When you purchase a purpose-built tow rope they normally come with an ‘On Tow’ sign, which you hang on the back of the vehicle being hauled (certainly). If the ignition isn’t on, the guiding lock will still be engaged, which could have the tow car going in one instructions and the vehicle being towed 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 vehicle?
If the driven wheels of an automatic transmission automobile are in contact with the roadway when the automobile 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 pulled, and if your tow rope is going to snap, it’ll be on that celebration.
How should the car being hauled be driven?
Even more carefully than the tow vehicle– this is perhaps the harder end of the operation. Off, the towed vehicle might not have engine power, which implies power assisted brakes and steering will require much greater physical effort to run. Remember to ensure the automobile remains in neutral, too.
Keep a watchful eye out for brake lights and signs on the tow automobile, and be ready to collaborate your steering and braking actions. It’s likewise an excellent concept to keep stress in the towrope as much as possible by braking extremely gently while being towed. This will avoid “taking” and will keep the rope from dragging along the road, which will reduce its life significantly.
If your Clarkson-obsessed 11-year-old kid enthusiastically volunteers to steer the towed car, that’s a no– the law says that motorist requires to be completely certified and licenced, too.
What if the towed driver has an issue?
It’s a great idea to agree a few easy hand signals so that the towed chauffeur can rapidly interact messages like “slow down”, “stop” or “you’re driving like a complete ****”. It needs to be said, 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.