Do I Required A Licence To Tow A Trailer In Ireland?
WHEN IS IT OK TO TOW ANOTHER CAR, AND WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW PRIOR TO TOWING?
Don’t get in a knot with a towrope– follow these guidelines
TOWING another vehicle behind yours might sound like an easy operation, but it isn’t– if you’ve never pulled another car, you’ll find that it’s actually quite tricky. Here, The Sunday Times Driving addresses some of the more difficult elements of towing.
When is it OK to tow another car?
The most proper time to tow another car is when it has broken down and is either causing a blockage or is in a hazardous location and needs to be pulled to a safer area. Towing another car has fundamental dangers and you really ought to keep that journey to an absolute minimum distance.
I’ve bought an ancient classic car that’s on a SORN (Statutory Off Roadway Alert). Can I tow it to my garage where I plan to restore it?
The law is quite clear here– if the cars and truck being rope-towed has its 4 wheels on the ground, it’s treated the very same as any other roadworthy automobile, implying that it needs to be insured and taxed with a legitimate MOT. In this instance, you’re going to need a trailer.
What kind 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 consequences of having a rope breeze while towing another car range from the humorous to the terrible, so do the ideal thing and buy yourself a purpose-built rope.
It’ll be a helpful thing to have in your boot anyhow, and automobile aftermarket outlets carry a wide range of tow ropes– a durable example rated for 3.5 tonnes and meeting British Standards must cover almost any towing possibility.
For how long should my tow rope be?
Legally, there’s no minimum length, however common sense determines that you leave enough distance in between the two vehicles so that the one behind has a lot of time to react to turns and brakes.
There is, though, 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 require to connect a flapping little bit of coloured fabric to the middle so other motorists spot the rope. Experience teaches that numerous vehicle drivers do since while you may believe that a couple of metres doesn’t represent an exploitable space in traffic. 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 usually come with an ‘On Tow’ indication, which you hang on the back of the vehicle being pulled (undoubtedly). The police will not be extremely delighted if you do not have among those.
Does the ignition of the car being towed need to be on?
Definitely. If the ignition isn’t on, the guiding lock will still be engaged, which might have the tow car going in one direction and the vehicle being towed going in another at the very first corner. Which’s not going to end well.
Do the lights on the car being pulled need to work?
Driving asked the cops about this and the response was an unequivocal yes, especially if it’s dark. And even if it’s broad daytime, forget utilizing 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 lead to all sorts of misunderstandings …
Can I tow an automobile with an automatic transmission?
If the driven wheels of an automatic 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. It is important that you consult your owners’ handbook as it will consist of an area that resolves towing, with some makers enforcing a distance and speed limit for automatic transmission cars and trucks. And just as with manual transmission automobiles, make sure that the transmission is in neutral.
How should the car doing the towing be driven?
Thoroughly. Very carefully. Keep your speed as low as safely possible, and retreat as carefully as you can, regulating the clutch to avoid “taking” the rope. That’ll avoid a truly undesirable jerking action in the car being pulled, and if your tow rope is going to snap, it’ll be on that celebration.
Also, brake gently in advance to trigger brake lights so the towed cars and truck has plenty of notification that braking is imminent. And also, show well ahead of time so your partner behind has lots of notice.
Keep an eye on your temperature gauge as your engine will be under a greater load than normal, so overheating is a potential problem. And since there’s lot more going on than during your normal journeys, it’s wise to have someone else in the tow car to keep a more detailed eye on what’s occurring behind.
Prevent any dramatic manoeuvres, abrupt braking or acceleration– keep in mind, if the towed car doesn’t have a running engine, it likewise won’t have actually power assisted steering or brakes. Which might result in 2 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 pulled (certainly). If the ignition isn’t on, the steering lock will still be engaged, which might have the tow car going in one instructions and the cars and truck being hauled 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 automobile?
If the driven wheels of an automated transmission cars and truck are in contact with the roadway when the car is under tow– and the engine isn’t running– there is a possibility of damage to the transmission. That’ll prevent a truly unpleasant jerking action in the cars and truck being pulled, and if your tow rope is going to snap, it’ll be on that event.
How should the cars and truck being pulled be driven?
Even more thoroughly than the tow automobile– this is perhaps the tougher end of the operation. Off, the towed cars and truck might not have engine power, which suggests power assisted brakes and steering will require much higher physical effort to operate. Remember to guarantee the vehicle is in neutral, too.
Keep an eagle eye out for brake lights and signs on the tow car, and be ready to collaborate your steering and braking actions. It’s also a good idea to keep tension in the towrope as much as possible by braking very lightly while being pulled. This will avoid “taking” and will keep the rope from dragging along the road, which will shorten 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 states that chauffeur needs to be fully certified and licenced, too.
What if the towed motorist has a problem?
It’s a good concept to agree a few easy hand signals so that the towed driver can quickly interact messages like “slow down”, “stop” or “you’re driving like a complete ****”. It needs to be said, 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.