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WHEN IS IT OK TO TOW ANOTHER AUTOMOBILE, AND WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW PRIOR TO TOWING?
Do not get in a knot with a towrope– follow these rules
TOWING another cars and truck behind yours may sound like a simple operation, but it isn’t– if you’ve never ever pulled another car, you’ll discover that it’s really rather difficult. Here, The Sunday Times Driving addresses a few of the more tough elements of towing.
When is it OK to tow another cars and truck?
The most proper time to tow another cars and truck is when it has broken down and is either causing a blockage or remains in a dangerous location and requires to be hauled to a safer area. Towing another vehicle has inherent risks and you actually need to keep that journey to an outright minimum range.
I have actually purchased an ancient classic car that’s on a SORN (Statutory Off Roadway Notification). 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 four wheels on the ground, it’s dealt with the like any other roadworthy lorry, implying that it must be insured and taxed with a legitimate MOT. So in this instance, you’re going to require a trailer. Or a larger budget for a road-legal classic.
What type of tow rope should I have?
It might be appealing to root around in the back of your garage for any old bit of rope, however don’t do it. The effects of having a rope breeze while towing another cars and truck range from the comical to the terrible, so do the ideal thing and purchase yourself a purpose-built rope.
It’ll be a helpful thing to have in your boot anyway, and automobile aftermarket outlets carry a vast array of tow ropes– a sturdy example rated for 3.5 tonnes and conference British Standards must cover just about any towing eventuality.
How long should my tow rope be?
Legally, there’s no minimum length, but sound judgment 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 permitted length of 4.5 metres, and if you’re utilizing a rope that’s longer than 1.5 metres the law states you require to attach a flapping bit of coloured cloth to the middle so other motorists identify 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 vehicle drivers do.
Do I require a sign of any kind?
Yes you do. When you purchase a purpose-built tow rope they normally include an ‘On Tow’ indication, which you hold on the back of the automobile being towed (obviously). If you do not have one of those, the police will not be really delighted.
Does the ignition of the car being hauled need to be on?
Absolutely. If the ignition isn’t on, the steering lock will still be engaged, which could have the tow car entering one direction and the cars and truck being pulled going in another at the very 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 cops about this and the answer was an indisputable yes, particularly if it’s dark. And even if it’s broad daytime, forget using hand signals instead of signs– 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 an automobile with an automatic transmission?
If the driven wheels of an automatic transmission vehicle 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 important that you consult your owners’ manual as it will contain a section that addresses towing, with some makers enforcing a range and speed limit for automatic transmission cars. And just as with manual transmission cars, make sure that the gearbox remains in neutral.
How should the vehicle doing the towing be driven?
Keep your speed as low as securely possible, and pull away as gently as you can, modulating the clutch to prevent “snatching” the rope. That’ll avoid a really unpleasant jerking action in the car being hauled, and if your tow rope is going to snap, it’ll be on that occasion.
Brake gently in advance to trigger brake lights so the towed automobile has plenty of notice that braking is impending. And also, indicate well beforehand so your partner behind has great deals of notification.
Keep an eye on your temperature level gauge as your engine will be under a greater load than typical, so overheating is a potential concern. And due to the fact that there’s lot more going on than during your usual journeys, it’s smart to have someone else in the tow cars and truck to keep a better eye on what’s occurring behind.
Prevent any significant manoeuvres, abrupt braking or velocity– keep in mind, if the towed car does not have a running engine, it likewise will not have power assisted steering or brakes. Which could lead to 2 dead cars instead of one.
When you purchase a purpose-built tow rope they usually come with an ‘On Tow’ sign, which you hang on the back of the automobile being hauled (undoubtedly). If the ignition isn’t on, the guiding lock will still be engaged, which might have the tow cars and truck going in one instructions 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 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 an actually unpleasant jerking action in the cars and truck being towed, and if your tow rope is going to snap, it’ll be on that celebration.
How should the car being pulled be driven?
A lot more thoroughly than the tow vehicle– this is arguably the tougher end of the operation. Off, the towed cars and truck might not have engine power, which indicates power assisted brakes and guiding will need much greater physical effort to operate. Remember to ensure the car remains in neutral, too.
Keep a watchful eye out for brake lights and signs on the tow cars and truck, 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 gently while being hauled. This will prevent “snatching” and will keep the rope from dragging along the roadway, which will shorten its life significantly.
Finally, if your Clarkson-obsessed 11-year-old kid enthusiastically volunteers to steer the towed car, that’s a no– the law says that chauffeur needs to be fully qualified and licenced, too.
What if the towed motorist has an issue?
It’s an excellent concept to agree a couple of basic hand signals so that the towed motorist can quickly communicate messages like “slow down”, “stop” or “you’re driving like a complete ****”. It must be stated, 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.