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WHEN IS IT OK TO TOW ANOTHER AUTOMOBILE, AND WHAT DO I REQUIRED TO KNOW PRIOR TO TOWING?
Do not get in a knot with a towrope– follow these rules
TOWING another car behind yours might seem like an easy operation, however it isn’t– if you’ve never ever towed another car, you’ll discover that it’s really quite challenging. Here, The Sunday Times Driving addresses some of the more challenging elements of towing.
When is it OK to tow another cars and truck?
The most proper time to tow another vehicle is when it has actually broken down and is either triggering a blockage or remains in a harmful place and requires to be hauled to a more secure spot. Towing another cars and truck has fundamental risks and you really need to keep that journey to an absolute minimum range.
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 quite clear here– if the vehicle being rope-towed has its 4 wheels on the ground, it’s dealt with the same as any other roadworthy vehicle, indicating that it should be insured and taxed with a legitimate MOT. So in this circumstances, you’re going to need a trailer. Or a bigger budget for a road-legal classic.
What kind of tow rope should I have?
It might be appealing to root around in the back of your garage for any old little bit of rope, but do not do it. The consequences of having a rope breeze while towing another automobile variety from the humorous to the awful, so do the ideal thing and purchase yourself a purpose-built rope.
It’ll be a handy thing to have in your boot anyhow, and automotive aftermarket outlets bring a wide range of tow ropes– a durable example ranked for 3.5 tonnes and conference British Standards need to cover just about any towing scenario.
How long should my tow rope be?
Lawfully, there’s no minimum length, however good sense dictates that you leave enough range between the two cars and trucks so that the one behind has lots of time to react to brakes and turns.
There is, though, an optimum allowable length of 4.5 metres, and if you’re using a rope that’s longer than 1.5 metres the law states you require to connect a flapping bit of coloured cloth to the middle so other motorists find the rope. Experience teaches that many vehicle drivers do due to the fact that while you may think that a couple of metres doesn’t represent an exploitable gap in traffic. Specifically in London. And particularly 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 feature an ‘On Tow’ indication, which you hang on the back of the cars and truck being pulled (obviously). The police won’t be extremely delighted if you don’t have one of those.
Does the ignition of the vehicle being towed requirement to be on?
Definitely. If the ignition isn’t on, the steering lock will still be engaged, which could have the tow vehicle going in one instructions and the cars and truck being towed going in another at the very first corner. And that’s not going to end well.
Do the lights on the vehicle being hauled have to work?
Driving asked the cops 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 a cars and truck with an automatic transmission?
If the driven wheels of an automatic 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. It is vital that you consult your owners’ manual as it will contain an area that resolves towing, with some manufacturers enforcing a range and speed limitation for automatic transmission cars. And just as with manual transmission cars and trucks, make sure that the transmission is in neutral.
How should the car doing the towing be driven?
Keep your speed as low as safely possible, and pull away as carefully as you can, regulating the clutch to avoid “nabbing” the rope. That’ll avoid a truly unpleasant jerking action in the automobile being pulled, and if your tow rope is going to snap, it’ll be on that occasion.
Likewise, brake gently in advance to activate brake lights so the towed vehicle has lots of notification that braking impends. And likewise, suggest well ahead of time so your partner behind has lots of notification.
Watch on your temperature gauge as your engine will be under a higher load than normal, so overheating is a possible problem. And since there’s lot more going on than throughout your normal journeys, it’s a good idea to have somebody else in the tow cars and truck to keep a more detailed eye on what’s occurring behind.
Avoid any significant manoeuvres, sudden braking or velocity– remember, if the towed vehicle doesn’t have a running engine, it likewise will not have power assisted steering or brakes. Which could lead to two dead cars 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 cars and truck being pulled (obviously). 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 automobile 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 misconceptions …
Can I tow a car with an automatic cars and truck?
If the driven wheels of an automatic transmission automobile 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 really undesirable jerking action in the cars and truck being pulled, and if your tow rope is going to snap, it’ll be on that celebration.
How should the vehicle being hauled be driven?
A lot more thoroughly than the tow vehicle– this is arguably the tougher end of the operation. Off, the towed automobile might not have engine power, which implies power assisted brakes and guiding will need much greater physical effort to operate. Remember to guarantee the car is in neutral, too.
Keep a watchful eye out for brake lights and indicators on the tow cars and truck, and be ready to collaborate your steering and braking actions. It’s also a great idea to keep stress in the towrope as much as possible by braking very gently while being towed. This will prevent “snatching” and will keep the rope from dragging along the road, which will shorten its life significantly.
If your Clarkson-obsessed 11-year-old kid enthusiastically volunteers to guide the towed automobile, that’s a no– the law states that motorist requires to be completely qualified and licenced, too.
What if the towed chauffeur has a problem?
It’s an excellent concept to agree a few simple hand signals so that the towed motorist can quickly communicate messages like “slow down”, “stop” or “you’re driving like a complete ****”. It needs to 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.