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WHEN IS IT OK TO TOW ANOTHER Cars And Truck, AND WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW BEFORE TOWING?
Don’t get in a knot with a towrope– follow these guidelines
TOWING another car behind yours might sound like a simple operation, however it isn’t– if you have actually never hauled another car, you’ll find that it’s actually rather tricky. Here, The Sunday Times Driving addresses some of the more tough aspects of towing.
When is it OK to tow another car?
The most appropriate time to tow another vehicle is when it has broken down and is either triggering an obstruction or remains in an unsafe area and requires to be pulled to a safer spot. Towing another car has inherent threats and you really ought to keep that journey to an absolute minimum distance.
I have actually purchased an ancient vintage car that’s on a SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification). 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 4 wheels on the ground, it’s treated the like any other roadworthy car, implying that it must be guaranteed and taxed with a valid MOT. In this instance, 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, but do not do it. The consequences of having a rope snap while towing another vehicle variety from the funny to the tragic, so do the ideal thing and buy yourself a purpose-built rope.
It’ll be a handy thing to have in your boot anyway, and automotive aftermarket outlets carry a vast array of tow ropes– a heavy-duty example rated for 3.5 tonnes and conference British Standards must cover just about any towing scenario.
How long should my tow rope be?
Lawfully, there’s no minimum length, however common sense determines that you leave enough distance between the two vehicles so that the one behind has lots of time to respond to brakes and turns.
There is, however, an optimum allowable length of 4.5 metres, and if you’re using 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 motorists identify the rope. Due to the fact that while you might believe that a couple of metres does not represent an exploitable space in traffic, experience teaches that numerous motorists do. Particularly in London. And especially on the North Circular.
Do I require an indication of any kind?
Yes you do. When you purchase a purpose-built tow rope they generally include an ‘On Tow’ sign, which you hold on the back of the cars and truck being towed (certainly). If you don’t have one of those, the cops will not be extremely delighted.
Does the ignition of the car being pulled need to be on?
Absolutely. If the ignition isn’t on, the guiding lock will still be engaged, which could have the tow vehicle going in one direction and the cars and truck being towed going in another at the first corner. And that’s not going to end well.
Do the lights on the car being hauled need to work?
Driving asked the authorities about this and the response was an unquestionable yes, particularly 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 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 vital that you consult your owners’ handbook as it will contain an area that resolves towing, with some makers enforcing a distance and speed limit for automatic transmission cars. And just as with manual transmission cars, ensure that the gearbox remains in neutral.
How should the cars and truck doing the towing be driven?
Keep your speed as low as securely possible, and pull away as gently as you can, regulating the clutch to prevent “nabbing” the rope. That’ll avoid a really undesirable jerking action in the vehicle being hauled, and if your tow rope is going to snap, it’ll be on that occasion.
Brake gently in advance to activate brake lights so the towed cars and truck has plenty of notice that braking is impending. And likewise, suggest well beforehand so your partner behind has lots of notification.
Keep an eye on your temperature level gauge as your engine will be under a higher load than normal, so overheating is a possible issue. And because there’s lot more going on than throughout your typical journeys, it’s a good idea to have another person in the tow vehicle to keep a better eye on what’s taking place behind.
Prevent any dramatic manoeuvres, abrupt braking or velocity– keep in mind, if the towed vehicle doesn’t have a running engine, it likewise won’t have power helped steering or brakes. Which might lead to 2 dead automobiles instead of one.
When you buy a purpose-built tow rope they usually come with an ‘On Tow’ indication, which you hang on the back of the cars and truck being towed (certainly). 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 hauled 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 vehicle?
If the driven wheels of an automatic transmission car 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 hauled, and if your tow rope is going to snap, it’ll be on that occasion.
How should the vehicle being hauled be driven?
Even more carefully than the tow vehicle– this is perhaps the harder end of the operation. Off, the towed car may not have engine power, which implies power assisted brakes and guiding will need much greater physical effort to run. Keep in mind to guarantee the automobile remains 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 likewise a good idea to keep tension in the towrope as much as possible by braking very gently while being towed. This will avoid “snatching” 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 automobile, that’s a no– the law states that chauffeur needs to be completely qualified and licenced, too.
What if the towed driver has an issue?
It’s an excellent concept to concur a couple of basic hand signals so that the towed driver can quickly interact messages like “decrease”, “stop” or “you’re driving like a total ****”. It should 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.