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WHEN IS IT OK TO TOW ANOTHER CAR, AND WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW BEFORE TOWING?
Don’t get in a knot with a towrope– follow these rules
TOWING another vehicle behind yours may sound like a basic operation, however it isn’t– if you have actually never ever hauled another vehicle, you’ll find that it’s in fact quite difficult. Here, The Sunday Times Driving addresses a few of the more tough elements of towing.
When is it OK to tow another automobile?
The most proper time to tow another car is when it has broken down and is either causing an obstruction or is in a hazardous area and requires to be towed to a more secure spot. Towing another vehicle has fundamental dangers and you really must keep that journey to an outright minimum range.
I have actually purchased an ancient classic automobile that’s on a SORN (Statutory Off Roadway Notice). Can I tow it to my garage where I plan to restore it?
In a word, no. The law is pretty clear here– if the automobile being rope-towed has its 4 wheels on the ground, it’s treated the same as any other roadworthy lorry, implying that it needs to be insured 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 type of tow rope should I have?
It might be tempting to root around in the back of your garage for any old little bit of rope, but don’t do it. The consequences of having a rope snap while towing another car 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 anyway, and automobile aftermarket outlets carry a wide variety of tow ropes– a durable example ranked for 3.5 tonnes and conference British Standards should cover just about any towing eventuality.
For how long should my tow rope be?
Lawfully, there’s no minimum length, however sound judgment dictates that you leave enough distance in between the two automobiles so that the one behind has plenty of time to react to brakes and turns.
There is, though, an optimum permitted 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 connect a flapping bit of coloured fabric to the middle so other chauffeurs spot the rope. Due to the fact that while you may believe that a number of metres doesn’t represent an exploitable gap in traffic, experience teaches that lots of drivers do. Especially in London. And particularly on the North Circular.
Do I need an indication of any kind?
Yes you do. When you buy a purpose-built tow rope they generally feature an ‘On Tow’ sign, which you hold on the back of the car being pulled (undoubtedly). If you don’t have one of those, the police won’t be extremely delighted.
Does the ignition of the vehicle being towed requirement to be on?
Absolutely. If the ignition isn’t on, the guiding lock will still be engaged, which might have the tow vehicle going in one instructions and the automobile being hauled entering another at the first corner. And that’s not going to end well.
Do the lights on the automobile being towed have to work?
Driving asked the authorities about this and the response was an indisputable yes, especially if it’s dark. And even if it’s broad daylight, forget utilizing 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 cause all sorts of misconceptions …
Can I tow a cars and truck with an automatic transmission?
If the driven wheels of an automatic transmission automobile touch with the road when the automobile is under tow– and the engine isn’t running– there is a possibility of damage to the transmission. It is essential that you consult your owners’ manual as it will consist of a section that attends to towing, with some producers enforcing a distance and speed limitation for automatic transmission vehicles. And just as with manual transmission vehicles, ensure that the transmission 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 carefully as you can, modulating the clutch to prevent “taking” the rope. That’ll avoid a really unpleasant jerking action in the cars and truck being towed, and if your tow rope is going to snap, it’ll be on that occasion.
Brake lightly in advance to activate brake lights so the towed cars and truck has plenty of notice that braking is imminent. And similarly, indicate well beforehand so your partner behind has great deals 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 because there’s lot more going on than during your normal journeys, it’s smart to have someone else in the tow cars and truck to keep a better eye on what’s occurring behind.
Avoid any dramatic manoeuvres, unexpected braking or velocity– remember, if the towed car does not have a running engine, it likewise will not have power helped steering or brakes. Which could result in 2 dead automobiles instead of one.
When you buy a purpose-built tow rope they typically come with an ‘On Tow’ indication, which you hang on the back of the automobile being hauled (obviously). If the ignition isn’t on, the guiding lock will still be engaged, which could have the tow automobile going in one instructions and the cars and truck being pulled 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 transmission?
If the driven wheels of an automatic transmission vehicle are in contact with the roadway 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 truly unpleasant jerking action in the automobile being towed, and if your tow rope is going to snap, it’ll be on that celebration.
How should the vehicle being hauled be driven?
Much more thoroughly than the tow vehicle– this is perhaps the tougher end of the operation. Off, the towed cars and truck might not have engine power, which implies power assisted brakes and steering will need much higher physical effort to run. Keep in mind to make sure the car is in neutral, too.
Keep a watchful eye out for brake lights and indicators on the tow car, and be ready to coordinate your steering and braking actions. It’s also a great concept to keep tension in the towrope as much as possible by braking really lightly while being pulled. This will prevent “taking” and will keep the rope from dragging along the roadway, which will reduce its life substantially.
Finally, 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 totally qualified and licenced, too.
What if the towed chauffeur has an issue?
It’s a good concept to agree a few easy hand signals so that the towed driver can quickly communicate messages like “decrease”, “stop” or “you’re driving like a complete ****”. It needs to be said, that last one’s a fairly 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.