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WHEN IS IT OK TO TOW ANOTHER AUTOMOBILE, AND WHAT DO I REQUIRED TO KNOW PRIOR TO TOWING?
Don’t get in a knot with a towrope– follow these rules
TOWING another car behind yours might seem like a simple operation, but it isn’t– if you have actually never ever hauled another lorry, you’ll find that it’s in fact quite challenging. Here, The Sunday Times Driving addresses a few of the more tough aspects of towing.
When is it OK to tow another car?
The most appropriate time to tow another car is when it has broken down and is either triggering an obstruction or remains in a harmful area and requires to be hauled to a much safer spot. Towing another cars and truck has fundamental dangers and you really should keep that journey to an absolute minimum distance.
I’ve purchased an ancient classic car that’s on a SORN (Statutory Off Roadway Alert). Can I tow it to my garage where I prepare to restore it?
In a word, no. The law is pretty clear here– if the cars and truck being rope-towed has its 4 wheels on the ground, it’s treated the same as any other roadworthy lorry, 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 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 don’t do it. The effects of having a rope snap while towing another vehicle variety from the funny to the awful, so do the ideal thing and buy yourself a purpose-built rope.
It’ll be a convenient thing to have in your boot anyhow, and vehicle aftermarket outlets bring a vast array of tow ropes– a heavy-duty example ranked for 3.5 tonnes and meeting British Standards ought to cover just about any towing eventuality.
The length of time should my tow rope be?
Legally, there’s no minimum length, but sound judgment determines that you leave enough range in between the two cars and trucks so that the one behind has lots of time to respond to turns and brakes.
There is, though, an optimum allowed length of 4.5 metres, and if you’re utilizing 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 drivers find the rope. Due to the fact that while you may think that a couple of metres does not represent an exploitable gap in traffic, experience teaches that lots of motorists do.
Do I require an indication of any kind?
Yes you do. When you purchase a purpose-built tow rope they typically feature an ‘On Tow’ sign, which you hold on the back of the car being towed (clearly). If you don’t have one of those, the cops will not be extremely happy.
Does the ignition of the cars and truck 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 vehicle entering 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 vehicle being hauled need to work?
Driving asked the cops about this and the answer was an indisputable yes, especially if it’s dark. And even if it’s broad daytime, forget utilizing 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 an automobile with an automatic transmission?
If the driven wheels of an automatic transmission vehicle touch with the roadway when the automobile 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’ handbook as it will contain an area that deals with towing, with some manufacturers enforcing a distance and speed limitation for automatic transmission cars. And just as with manual transmission cars, ensure that the gearbox is in neutral.
How should the car doing the towing be driven?
Keep your speed as low as safely possible, and pull away as gently as you can, modulating the clutch to prevent “snatching” the rope. That’ll avoid a truly undesirable jerking action in the cars and truck being hauled, and if your tow rope is going to snap, it’ll be on that event.
Also, brake gently in advance to trigger brake lights so the towed cars and truck has plenty of notice that braking impends. And also, show well in advance so your partner behind has lots of notice.
Watch on your temperature gauge as your engine will be under a higher load than typical, so overheating is a possible issue. And since there’s lot more going on than throughout your usual journeys, it’s a good idea to have someone else in the tow vehicle to keep a more detailed eye on what’s occurring behind.
Prevent any significant manoeuvres, unexpected braking or velocity– remember, if the towed vehicle does not have a running engine, it also will not have actually power assisted steering or brakes. Which might result in 2 dead vehicles 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 car being pulled (undoubtedly). If the ignition isn’t on, the guiding lock will still be engaged, which might have the tow automobile going in one instructions and the cars and truck being towed 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 misconceptions …
Can I tow a car with an automatic automobile?
If the driven wheels of an automated transmission cars and truck 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 avoid an actually 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 car being hauled be driven?
A lot more carefully than the tow vehicle– this is perhaps the tougher end of the operation. First of all, the towed vehicle may not have engine power, which means power assisted brakes and steering will require much greater physical effort to run. Keep in mind to ensure the cars and truck is in neutral, too.
Keep a watchful eye out for brake lights and signs on the tow automobile, and be ready to collaborate your steering and braking actions. It’s likewise a good concept to keep stress in the towrope as much as possible by braking really lightly while being towed. This will prevent “taking” and will keep the rope from dragging along the roadway, which will reduce its life substantially.
If your Clarkson-obsessed 11-year-old kid enthusiastically volunteers to steer the towed automobile, that’s a no– the law states that driver requires to be completely certified and licenced, too.
What if the towed driver has a problem?
It’s a good idea to agree a couple of simple hand signals so that the towed chauffeur can rapidly interact messages like “decrease”, “stop” or “you’re driving like a total ****”. It must be said, that last one’s a relatively 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.