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WHEN IS IT OK TO TOW ANOTHER Cars And Truck, AND WHAT DO I NEED TO UNDERSTAND BEFORE TOWING?
Do not get in a knot with a towrope– follow these rules
TOWING another cars and truck behind yours may seem like a basic operation, but it isn’t– if you’ve never pulled another automobile, you’ll find that it’s in fact quite challenging. Here, The Sunday Times Driving addresses some of the more tough aspects of towing.
When is it OK to tow another car?
The most suitable time to tow another automobile is when it has actually broken down and is either causing an obstruction or is in an unsafe place and needs to be towed to a safer spot. Towing another cars and truck has intrinsic dangers and you really need to keep that journey to an outright 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 car being rope-towed has its 4 wheels on the ground, it’s dealt with the like any other roadworthy car, implying that it should be insured and taxed with a valid MOT. So in this circumstances, you’re going to require a trailer. Or a bigger 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 little rope, however do not do it. The consequences of having a rope breeze while towing another automobile range from the humorous to the awful, so do the right thing and purchase yourself a purpose-built rope.
It’ll be an useful thing to have in your boot anyhow, and vehicle aftermarket outlets carry a wide variety of tow ropes– a durable example ranked for 3.5 tonnes and meeting British Standards should cover just about any towing eventuality.
The length of time should my tow rope be?
Lawfully, there’s no minimum length, but good sense determines that you leave enough distance in between the two cars so that the one behind has plenty of time to react to brakes and turns.
There is, however, an optimum allowed 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 attach a flapping bit of coloured cloth to the middle so other drivers identify the rope. Because while you may believe that a couple of metres doesn’t represent an exploitable gap in traffic, experience teaches that lots of motorists do.
Do I need an indication of any kind?
Yes you do. 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 (clearly). The police won’t be really delighted if you do not have among those.
Does the ignition of the automobile being hauled requirement to be on?
Absolutely. If the ignition isn’t on, the guiding lock will still be engaged, which could have the tow cars and truck going in one instructions and the cars and truck being hauled entering another at the first corner. Which’s not going to end well.
Do the lights on the car being hauled have to work?
Driving asked the police about this and the answer was an unequivocal yes, especially if it’s dark. And even if it’s broad daylight, forget utilizing 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 result in all sorts of misunderstandings …
Can I tow a cars and truck with an automatic transmission?
If the driven wheels of an automatic 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. It is important that you consult your owners’ handbook as it will contain an area that attends to towing, with some producers enforcing a range and speed limit for automatic transmission automobiles. And just as with manual transmission cars, make sure that the gearbox is in neutral.
How should the vehicle doing the towing be driven?
Carefully. Very thoroughly. Keep your speed as low as safely possible, and retreat as gently as you can, regulating the clutch to avoid “snatching” the rope. That’ll prevent a truly unpleasant jerking action in the car being towed, and if your tow rope is going to snap, it’ll be on that celebration.
Also, brake lightly in advance to activate brake lights so the towed vehicle has lots of notification that braking looms. And similarly, suggest well in advance so your partner behind has great deals of notice.
Watch on your temperature level gauge as your engine will be under a higher load than typical, so overheating is a prospective problem. And because there’s lot more going on than during your normal journeys, it’s smart to have somebody else in the tow automobile to keep a more detailed eye on what’s occurring behind.
Prevent any significant manoeuvres, abrupt braking or velocity– keep in mind, if the towed car doesn’t have a running engine, it likewise will not have actually power helped steering or brakes. Which might result in two dead vehicles instead of one.
When you purchase a purpose-built tow rope they generally come with an ‘On Tow’ sign, which you hang on the back of the vehicle being towed (undoubtedly). If the ignition isn’t on, the steering lock will still be engaged, which could have the tow car going in one instructions and the car 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 misunderstandings …
Can I tow a car with an automatic transmission?
If the driven wheels of an automatic 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 an actually unpleasant jerking action in the automobile being pulled, and if your tow rope is going to snap, it’ll be on that event.
How should the automobile being hauled be driven?
Much more carefully than the tow vehicle– this is probably the harder end of the operation. Off, the towed automobile might not have engine power, which suggests power assisted brakes and steering will require much higher physical effort to operate. Remember to make sure the vehicle remains in neutral, too.
Keep an eagle eye out for brake lights and indicators on the tow vehicle, and be ready to collaborate your steering and braking actions. It’s likewise a great idea to keep tension in the towrope as much as possible by braking very lightly while being towed. This will prevent “nabbing” 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 guide the towed automobile, that’s a no– the law says that motorist requires to be totally certified and licenced, too.
What if the towed motorist has a problem?
It’s a good idea to concur a couple of simple hand signals so that the towed motorist can rapidly communicate messages like “slow down”, “stop” or “you’re driving like a complete ****”. It should 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.