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WHEN IS IT OK TO TOW ANOTHER VEHICLE, AND WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW PRIOR TO TOWING?
Do not get in a knot with a towrope– follow these rules
TOWING another car behind yours might seem like a basic operation, however it isn’t– if you have actually never ever hauled another automobile, you’ll discover that it’s really rather challenging. Here, The Sunday Times Driving addresses a few of the more tough aspects of towing.
When is it OK to tow another cars and truck?
The most appropriate time to tow another car is when it has broken down and is either triggering an obstruction or is in a dangerous location and requires to be hauled to a safer area. Towing another cars and truck has fundamental dangers and you truly must keep that journey to an absolute minimum distance.
I’ve purchased an ancient vintage car that’s on a SORN (Statutory Off Road Alert). Can I tow it to my garage where I prepare to restore it?
The law is pretty clear here– if the vehicle being rope-towed has its four wheels on the ground, it’s dealt with the very same as any other roadworthy lorry, meaning that it needs to be guaranteed and taxed with a legitimate MOT. In this circumstances, you’re going to need a trailer.
What sort 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 don’t do it. The repercussions of having a rope breeze while towing another automobile variety from the funny to the awful, so do the best thing and buy yourself a purpose-built rope.
It’ll be a handy thing to have in your boot anyway, and automobile aftermarket outlets carry a vast array of tow ropes– a sturdy example rated for 3.5 tonnes and meeting British Standards need to cover almost any towing eventuality.
How long should my tow rope be?
Lawfully, there’s no minimum length, but good sense determines that you leave enough range between the two vehicles so that the one behind has a lot of time to respond to turns and brakes.
There is, however, an optimum permitted length of 4.5 metres, and if you’re using a rope that’s longer than 1.5 metres the law states you require to attach a flapping bit of coloured cloth to the middle so other motorists identify the rope. Since while you may think that a couple of metres doesn’t represent an exploitable space in traffic, experience teaches that lots of motorists do.
Do I need an indication of any kind?
Yes you do. When you buy a purpose-built tow rope they usually feature an ‘On Tow’ sign, which you hold on the back of the cars and truck being pulled (undoubtedly). If you don’t have one of those, the cops will not be extremely delighted.
Does the ignition of the cars and truck being pulled need to be on?
Absolutely. If the ignition isn’t on, the guiding lock will still be engaged, which might have the tow automobile going in one instructions and the cars and truck being towed going in another at the first corner. Which’s not going to end well.
Do the lights on the cars and truck being hauled have to work?
Driving asked the police about this and the answer was an indisputable yes, particularly if it’s dark. And even if it’s broad daylight, forget using hand signals instead of indicators– 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 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 include an area that deals with towing, with some makers enforcing a range and speed limitation for automatic transmission vehicles. And just as with manual transmission automobiles, ensure that the transmission remains in neutral.
How should the vehicle doing the towing be driven?
Keep your speed as low as safely possible, and pull away as carefully as you can, regulating the clutch to prevent “nabbing” the rope. That’ll avoid a really undesirable jerking action in the cars and truck being hauled, and if your tow rope is going to snap, it’ll be on that event.
Also, brake gently in advance to activate brake lights so the towed automobile has lots of notification that braking is imminent. And also, suggest 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 higher load than normal, so overheating is a prospective concern. And since there’s lot more going on than during your typical journeys, it’s wise to have another person in the tow vehicle to keep a more detailed eye on what’s occurring behind.
Avoid any dramatic manoeuvres, sudden braking or acceleration– remember, if the towed vehicle does not have a running engine, it likewise won’t have actually power assisted steering or brakes. Which might result in 2 dead vehicles instead of one.
When you buy a purpose-built tow rope they generally come with an ‘On Tow’ sign, which you hang on the back of the automobile being hauled (undoubtedly). If the ignition isn’t on, the steering lock will still be engaged, which could have the tow vehicle going in one instructions and the cars and truck 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 cars and truck?
If the driven wheels of an automatic transmission vehicle are in contact with the road when the vehicle 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 vehicle being towed, and if your tow rope is going to snap, it’ll be on that occasion.
How should the automobile being towed be driven?
A lot more carefully than the tow automobile– this is probably the harder end of the operation. First of all, the towed car might not have engine power, which means power assisted brakes and steering will require much greater physical effort to run. Remember to guarantee the vehicle is in neutral, too.
Keep a watchful eye out for brake lights and indications on the tow vehicle, and be ready to collaborate your steering and braking actions. It’s also a great concept to keep stress in the towrope as much as possible by braking really gently while being towed. This will avoid “nabbing” 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 cars and truck, that’s a no– the law says that chauffeur needs to be fully qualified and licenced, too.
What if the towed motorist has a problem?
It’s a great idea to agree a couple of simple hand signals so that the towed chauffeur can rapidly interact messages like “slow down”, “stop” or “you’re driving like a complete ****”. 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.