Does Towed Vehicle Requirement Accredited Motorist?
WHEN IS IT OK TO TOW ANOTHER VEHICLE, AND WHAT DO I NEED TO UNDERSTAND PRIOR TO TOWING?
Don’t get in a knot with a towrope– follow these rules
TOWING another cars and truck behind yours may sound like a simple operation, however it isn’t– if you’ve never ever towed another vehicle, you’ll find that it’s in fact quite challenging. Here, The Sunday Times Driving addresses a few of the more difficult aspects of towing.
When is it OK to tow another cars and truck?
The most suitable time to tow another cars and truck is when it has actually broken down and is either causing a blockage or remains in a hazardous place and requires to be pulled to a more secure spot. Towing another car has intrinsic risks and you really ought to keep that journey to an absolute minimum distance.
I have actually bought 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 quite clear here– if the vehicle being rope-towed has its four wheels on the ground, it’s dealt with the exact same as any other roadworthy automobile, implying that it should be guaranteed and taxed with a valid 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, however don’t do it. The consequences of having a rope breeze while towing another automobile variety from the funny to the awful, so do the best thing and purchase yourself a purpose-built rope.
It’ll be an useful thing to have in your boot anyhow, and automobile aftermarket outlets bring a vast array of tow ropes– a durable example ranked for 3.5 tonnes and conference British Standards must cover practically any towing scenario.
The length of time should my tow rope be?
Lawfully, there’s no minimum length, however common sense dictates that you leave enough distance in between the two cars and trucks so that the one behind has a lot of time to respond to brakes and turns.
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 says you require to attach a flapping bit of coloured fabric to the middle so other chauffeurs identify the rope. Because while you might think that a couple of metres doesn’t represent an exploitable space in traffic, experience teaches that many vehicle drivers do.
Do I require a sign of any kind?
Yes you do. When you purchase a purpose-built tow rope they generally come with an ‘On Tow’ sign, which you hang on the back of the car being towed (undoubtedly). If you don’t have one of those, the authorities won’t be very delighted.
Does the ignition of the car being pulled requirement to be on?
Absolutely. 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 cars and truck being towed entering another at the first corner. Which’s not going to end well.
Do the lights on the cars and truck being towed have 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 daylight, forget using hand signals instead of indications– 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 lead to all sorts of misunderstandings …
Can I tow a cars and truck with an automatic transmission?
If the driven wheels of an automatic transmission car are in contact with the road when the car is under tow– and the engine isn’t running– there is a possibility of damage to the transmission. It is necessary that you consult your owners’ manual as it will contain a section that deals with towing, with some producers enforcing a range and speed limit for automatic transmission cars. And just as with manual transmission cars and trucks, make sure that the gearbox remains in neutral.
How should the automobile doing the towing be driven?
Keep your speed as low as securely possible, and pull away as carefully as you can, modulating the clutch to prevent “snatching” the rope. That’ll avoid a really undesirable jerking action in the vehicle being towed, and if your tow rope is going to snap, it’ll be on that event.
Likewise, brake gently in advance to set off brake lights so the towed cars and truck has lots of notification that braking impends. And similarly, suggest well in advance so your partner behind has lots of notice.
Keep an eye on your temperature gauge as your engine will be under a higher load than normal, so overheating is a possible problem. And since there’s lot more going on than during your typical journeys, it’s a good idea to have somebody else in the tow vehicle to keep a closer eye on what’s happening behind.
Prevent any remarkable manoeuvres, sudden braking or velocity– keep in mind, if the towed cars and truck doesn’t have a running engine, it likewise won’t have actually power helped steering or brakes. Which might lead to two dead cars instead of one.
When you buy a purpose-built tow rope they usually come with an ‘On Tow’ sign, which you hang on the back of the car being towed (undoubtedly). If the ignition isn’t on, the guiding lock will still be engaged, which could have the tow automobile going in one direction and the automobile 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 misunderstandings …
Can I tow a car with an automatic vehicle?
If the driven wheels of an automatic transmission car are in contact with the road 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 really unpleasant jerking action in the car being towed, and if your tow rope is going to snap, it’ll be on that event.
How should the cars and truck being towed be driven?
Much more carefully than the tow cars and truck– this is arguably the tougher end of the operation. First off, the towed car might not have engine power, which suggests power assisted brakes and guiding will require much greater physical effort to run. Remember to ensure the automobile is in neutral, too.
Keep an eagle eye out for brake lights and indications on the tow vehicle, and be ready to collaborate your steering and braking actions. It’s likewise an excellent idea to keep tension in the towrope as much as possible by braking very lightly while being pulled. This will prevent “snatching” and will keep the rope from dragging along the road, which will shorten its life considerably.
Finally, if your Clarkson-obsessed 11-year-old kid enthusiastically volunteers to steer the towed cars and truck, that’s a no– the law says that motorist needs to be totally qualified and licenced, too.
What if the towed driver has an issue?
It’s a great concept to concur a couple of simple hand signals so that the towed chauffeur can rapidly communicate messages like “slow down”, “stop” or “you’re driving like a complete ****”. It must be said, 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.