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WHEN IS IT OK TO TOW ANOTHER Cars And Truck, AND WHAT DO I NEED TO UNDERSTAND PRIOR TO TOWING?
Do not get in a knot with a towrope– follow these guidelines
TOWING another car behind yours might seem like a basic operation, however it isn’t– if you’ve never pulled another automobile, you’ll discover that it’s actually quite tricky. Here, The Sunday Times Driving addresses a few of the more tough elements of towing.
When is it OK to tow another car?
The most proper time to tow another vehicle is when it has broken down and is either causing an obstruction or remains in a dangerous area and needs to be towed to a more secure spot. Towing another vehicle has inherent risks and you really need to keep that journey to an outright minimum range.
I’ve bought an ancient vintage car that’s on a SORN (Statutory Off Road Notice). 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 automobile being rope-towed has its 4 wheels on the ground, it’s treated the same as any other roadworthy automobile, suggesting that it needs to be guaranteed and taxed with a valid MOT. In this instance, you’re going to need a trailer. Or a larger 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 bit of rope, however do not do it. The repercussions of having a rope breeze while towing another vehicle range from the comical to the awful, so do the right 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 variety of tow ropes– a heavy-duty example ranked for 3.5 tonnes and meeting British Standards must cover almost any towing possibility.
How long should my tow rope be?
Lawfully, there’s no minimum length, but sound judgment dictates that you leave enough distance in between the two vehicles so that the one behind has lots of time to react to turns and brakes.
There is, though, a maximum allowable 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 attach a flapping bit of coloured fabric to the middle so other drivers find the rope. Because while you may believe that a number of metres does not represent an exploitable space in traffic, experience teaches that many motorists do. Specifically in London. And particularly on the North Circular.
Do I need a sign of any kind?
Yes you do. When you purchase a purpose-built tow rope they normally come with an ‘On Tow’ sign, which you hold on the back of the car being towed (undoubtedly). The police won’t be very happy if you do not have one of those.
Does the ignition of the cars and truck being towed need to be on?
Definitely. If the ignition isn’t on, the steering lock will still be engaged, which might have the tow car entering one direction and the vehicle being towed going in another at the very first corner. And that’s not going to end well.
Do the lights on the cars and truck being hauled need to work?
Driving asked the authorities about this and the response was an unquestionable yes, especially if it’s dark. And even if it’s broad daytime, 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 misunderstandings …
Can I tow a vehicle 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. It is necessary that you consult your owners’ handbook as it will consist of a section that resolves towing, with some manufacturers enforcing a range and speed limit for automatic transmission automobiles. And just as with manual transmission automobiles, make sure that the transmission remains in neutral.
How should the automobile doing the towing be driven?
Carefully. Extremely carefully. Keep your speed as low as safely possible, and pull away as gently as you can, regulating the clutch to avoid “nabbing” the rope. That’ll prevent a truly unpleasant jerking action in the cars and truck being pulled, and if your tow rope is going to snap, it’ll be on that celebration.
Brake gently in advance to trigger brake lights so the towed car has plenty of notice that braking is imminent. And similarly, indicate well ahead of time so your partner behind has great deals of notification.
Keep an eye on your temperature gauge as your engine will be under a higher load than typical, so overheating is a potential issue. And because there’s lot more going on than during your usual journeys, it’s a good idea to have someone else in the tow automobile to keep a closer eye on what’s taking place behind.
Prevent any significant manoeuvres, unexpected braking or velocity– remember, if the towed car does not have a running engine, it likewise will not have actually power helped steering or brakes. Which could result in two dead cars instead of one.
When you purchase a purpose-built tow rope they typically 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 steering lock will still be engaged, which could have the tow automobile going in one direction and the car 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 misconceptions …
Can I tow a car with an automatic cars and truck?
If the driven wheels of an automatic transmission vehicle are in contact with the road when the cars and truck is under tow– and the engine isn’t running– there is a possibility of damage to the transmission. That’ll prevent a really unpleasant jerking action in the cars and truck being pulled, and if your tow rope is going to snap, it’ll be on that occasion.
How should the cars and truck being hauled be driven?
Even more carefully than the tow automobile– this is perhaps the harder end of the operation. First of all, the towed car may not have engine power, which indicates power assisted brakes and guiding will need much greater physical effort to operate. Keep in mind to make sure the automobile is in neutral, too.
Keep a watchful eye out for brake lights and signs on the tow vehicle, and be ready to collaborate your steering and braking actions. It’s also a good idea to keep tension in the towrope as much as possible by braking extremely gently while being hauled. This will prevent “snatching” 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 guide the towed cars and truck, that’s a no– the law states that motorist needs to be completely certified and licenced, too.
What if the towed chauffeur has a problem?
It’s a good concept to concur a couple of easy hand signals so that the towed motorist can rapidly interact messages like “decrease”, “stop” or “you’re driving like a complete ****”. It should be stated, 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.