Cars And Truck Towing Security Tips
WHEN IS IT OK TO TOW ANOTHER CAR, AND WHAT DO I REQUIRED TO KNOW PRIOR TO TOWING?
Don’t get in a knot with a towrope– follow these rules
TOWING another cars and truck behind yours might sound like an easy operation, however it isn’t– if you’ve never towed another automobile, you’ll discover that it’s actually rather challenging. Here, The Sunday Times Driving addresses some of the more tough aspects of towing.
When is it OK to tow another car?
The most suitable time to tow another vehicle is when it has actually broken down and is either causing a blockage or remains in an unsafe location and needs to be hauled to a more secure spot. Towing another automobile has intrinsic risks and you actually must keep that journey to an outright minimum distance.
I’ve purchased an ancient classic car that’s on a SORN (Statutory Off Road Notice). Can I tow it to my garage where I plan to restore it?
In a word, no. The law is quite clear here– if the automobile being rope-towed has its four wheels on the ground, it’s treated the like any other roadworthy automobile, suggesting that it should be guaranteed and taxed with a legitimate MOT. In this circumstances, you’re going to need a trailer. Or a larger budget for a road-legal classic.
What sort of tow rope should I have?
It might be tempting to root around in the back of your garage for any old bit of rope, however do not do it. The repercussions of having a rope breeze while towing another vehicle range from the comical to the tragic, so do the right thing and buy yourself a purpose-built rope.
It’ll be a convenient thing to have in your boot anyway, and automotive aftermarket outlets carry a vast array of tow ropes– a durable example rated for 3.5 tonnes and conference British Standards need to cover almost any towing eventuality.
How long should my tow rope be?
Legally, there’s no minimum length, but sound judgment determines that you leave enough range in between the two automobiles so that the one behind has a lot of time to respond to turns and brakes.
There is, however, a maximum allowed 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 attach a flapping little coloured cloth to the middle so other motorists spot 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. Specifically 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 usually feature an ‘On Tow’ indication, which you hold on the back of the cars and truck being towed (certainly). The police will not be very delighted if you do not have one of those.
Does the ignition of the automobile being pulled need to be on?
Absolutely. If the ignition isn’t on, the steering lock will still be engaged, which might have the tow car going in one direction and the cars and truck being hauled going in another at the very first corner. And that’s not going to end well.
Do the lights on the cars and truck being towed need to work?
Driving asked the authorities about this and the response was an unquestionable yes, especially if it’s dark. And even if it’s broad daytime, forget using hand signals instead of indicators– does anyone 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 car with an automatic transmission?
If the driven wheels of an automatic transmission automobile 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’ manual as it will consist of a section that deals with towing, with some manufacturers enforcing a range and speed limitation for automatic transmission vehicles. And just as with manual transmission automobiles, make certain that the transmission is in neutral.
How should the automobile doing the towing be driven?
Keep your speed as low as safely possible, and pull away as gently as you can, regulating the clutch to prevent “taking” the rope. That’ll avoid a really undesirable jerking action in the cars and truck being towed, and if your tow rope is going to snap, it’ll be on that occasion.
Also, brake lightly in advance to set off brake lights so the towed automobile has plenty of notification that braking looms. And also, show well beforehand so your partner behind has lots of notice.
Watch on your temperature level gauge as your engine will be under a higher load than typical, so overheating is a prospective concern. And because there’s lot more going on than throughout your usual journeys, it’s smart to have another person in the tow car to keep a more detailed eye on what’s taking place behind.
Prevent any remarkable manoeuvres, unexpected braking or velocity– keep in mind, if the towed car does not have a running engine, it likewise will not have power helped steering or brakes. Which might result in 2 dead automobiles instead of one.
When you buy 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 pulled (undoubtedly). If the ignition isn’t on, the steering lock will still be engaged, which could have the tow car going in one direction and the car being towed 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 transmission?
If the driven wheels of an automated transmission vehicle are in contact with the road 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 unpleasant jerking action in the cars and truck being hauled, and if your tow rope is going to snap, it’ll be on that event.
How should the automobile being hauled be driven?
Much more carefully than the tow automobile– this is perhaps the tougher end of the operation. Off, the towed cars and truck may not have engine power, which implies power assisted brakes and guiding will need much higher physical effort to operate. Keep in mind to guarantee the cars and truck is in neutral, too.
Keep an eagle eye out for brake lights and indications on the tow cars and truck, and be ready to collaborate your steering and braking actions. It’s likewise a good concept to keep tension in the towrope as much as possible by braking really lightly while being pulled. This will avoid “snatching” and will keep the rope from dragging along the roadway, which will reduce its life substantially.
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 motorist needs to be fully certified and licenced, too.
What if the towed driver has a problem?
It’s a great idea to concur a few basic hand signals so that the towed motorist can quickly communicate messages like “slow down”, “stop” or “you’re driving like a complete ****”. It needs to be stated, that last one’s a relatively obvious 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.