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WHEN IS IT OK TO TOW ANOTHER Cars And Truck, 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 towed another car, you’ll discover that it’s in fact rather tricky. Here, The Sunday Times Driving addresses some of the more difficult elements of towing.
When is it OK to tow another automobile?
The most appropriate time to tow another vehicle is when it has broken down and is either causing an obstruction or remains in a dangerous location and needs to be hauled to a much safer area. Towing another automobile has inherent dangers and you actually must keep that journey to an outright minimum distance.
I have actually bought an ancient classic automobile that’s on a SORN (Statutory Off Roadway Alert). Can I tow it to my garage where I prepare to restore it?
In a word, no. The law is pretty clear here– if the cars and truck being rope-towed has its four wheels on the ground, it’s dealt with the same as any other roadworthy vehicle, implying that it needs to be guaranteed and taxed with a legitimate MOT. In this instance, you’re going to need a trailer. Or a bigger 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 bit of rope, however do not do it. The consequences of having a rope snap while towing another automobile range from the comical to the tragic, so do the best thing and purchase 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 sturdy example rated for 3.5 tonnes and meeting British Standards need to cover almost any towing possibility.
The length of time should my tow rope be?
Lawfully, there’s no minimum length, however sound judgment determines that you leave enough distance between the two cars so that the one behind has plenty of time to respond to brakes and turns.
There is, however, an optimum permitted length of 4.5 metres, and if you’re utilizing a rope that’s longer than 1.5 metres the law says you need to attach a flapping bit of coloured cloth to the middle so other chauffeurs identify the rope. Due to the fact that while you may think that a number of metres doesn’t represent an exploitable gap in traffic, experience teaches that many drivers do. Specifically in London. And especially on the North Circular.
Do I need an indication of any kind?
Yes you do. When you purchase a purpose-built tow rope they normally include an ‘On Tow’ indication, which you hold on the back of the automobile being towed (clearly). If you do not have one of those, the authorities will not be extremely pleased.
Does the ignition of the vehicle being hauled need to be on?
Absolutely. 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 cars and truck being towed entering another at the very first corner. And that’s not going to end well.
Do the lights on the car being hauled have to work?
Driving asked the police about this and the answer was an unquestionable 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 lead to all sorts of misconceptions …
Can I tow a cars and truck with an automatic transmission?
If the driven wheels of an automatic transmission cars and truck 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. 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 limitation for automatic transmission cars and trucks. And just as with manual transmission automobiles, make certain that the transmission remains in neutral.
How should the car doing the towing be driven?
Carefully. Very thoroughly. Keep your speed as low as securely possible, and retreat as gently as you can, modulating the clutch to avoid “nabbing” 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 celebration.
Brake lightly in advance to trigger brake lights so the towed car has plenty of notice that braking is impending. And likewise, indicate well ahead of time so your partner behind has lots of notice.
Keep an eye on your temperature level gauge as your engine will be under a greater load than usual, so overheating is a possible concern. And since there’s lot more going on than during your usual journeys, it’s wise to have somebody else in the tow cars and truck to keep a better eye on what’s happening behind.
Prevent any dramatic manoeuvres, sudden braking or acceleration– keep in mind, if the towed vehicle doesn’t have a running engine, it likewise will not have actually power helped steering or brakes. Which could lead to 2 dead cars 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 vehicle being towed (undoubtedly). If the ignition isn’t on, the guiding lock will still be engaged, which might have the tow automobile going in one direction and the vehicle 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 misconceptions …
Can I tow a car with an automatic vehicle?
If the driven wheels of an automated transmission vehicle are in contact with the roadway 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 really undesirable jerking action in the car being hauled, and if your tow rope is going to snap, it’ll be on that occasion.
How should the vehicle being towed be driven?
A lot more thoroughly than the tow vehicle– this is probably the harder end of the operation. Off, the towed cars and truck may not have engine power, which means power assisted brakes and guiding will require much greater physical effort to run. Keep in mind to ensure the car is in neutral, too.
Keep a watchful eye out for brake lights and indications on the tow cars and truck, and be ready to coordinate your steering and braking actions. It’s also a great concept to keep stress in the towrope as much as possible by braking extremely gently while being hauled. This will prevent “nabbing” 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 vehicle, that’s a no– the law states that chauffeur needs to be totally qualified and licenced, too.
What if the towed driver has a problem?
It’s a great concept to concur a few simple hand signals so that the towed chauffeur can rapidly communicate messages like “slow down”, “stop” or “you’re driving like a total ****”. It needs to 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.