For Towing Business.
WHEN IS IT OK TO TOW ANOTHER VEHICLE, AND WHAT DO I REQUIRED TO KNOW PRIOR TO TOWING?
Don’t get in a knot with a towrope– follow these rules
TOWING another cars and truck behind yours might sound like a basic operation, but it isn’t– if you have actually never ever hauled another vehicle, you’ll find 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 cars and truck is when it has broken down and is either triggering an obstruction or remains in a dangerous place and requires to be hauled to a safer area. Towing another cars and truck has inherent threats and you actually should keep that journey to an absolute minimum range.
I’ve bought 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 cars and truck being rope-towed has its four wheels on the ground, it’s dealt with the like any other roadworthy automobile, suggesting that it needs to be insured and taxed with a valid MOT. In this circumstances, you’re going to need 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 don’t do it. The effects of having a rope snap while towing another automobile variety from the humorous to the terrible, so do the best thing and purchase yourself a purpose-built rope.
It’ll be an useful thing to have in your boot anyway, and automobile aftermarket outlets bring a vast array of tow ropes– a sturdy example ranked for 3.5 tonnes and meeting British Standards ought to cover just about any towing scenario.
How long should my tow rope be?
Legally, there’s no minimum length, however good sense determines that you leave enough distance between the two vehicles so that the one behind has plenty of time to respond to turns and brakes.
There is, though, an optimum permitted 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 connect a flapping little bit of coloured cloth to the middle so other chauffeurs find the rope. Since while you might think that a couple of metres does not represent an exploitable space in traffic, experience teaches that many drivers do. Specifically in London. And particularly on the North Circular.
Do I need an indication of any kind?
Yes you do. When you buy a purpose-built tow rope they usually include an ‘On Tow’ indication, which you hang on the back of the car being towed (certainly). The cops will not be extremely pleased if you don’t have among those.
Does the ignition of the cars and truck being towed requirement to be on?
Absolutely. If the ignition isn’t on, the steering lock will still be engaged, which might have the tow cars and truck going in one direction and the automobile being pulled entering another at the very first corner. And that’s not going to end well.
Do the lights on the automobile being pulled need to work?
Driving asked the police about this and the answer was an unquestionable yes, particularly 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 misconceptions …
Can I tow a car with an automatic transmission?
If the driven wheels of an automatic transmission automobile touch with the roadway when the cars and truck is under tow– and the engine isn’t running– there is a possibility of damage to the transmission. It is essential that you consult your owners’ handbook as it will contain an area that attends to towing, with some producers enforcing a range and speed limitation for automatic transmission automobiles. And just as with manual transmission automobiles, ensure that the transmission remains in neutral.
How should the automobile doing the towing be driven?
Thoroughly. Extremely carefully. Keep your speed as low as safely possible, and retreat as carefully as you can, regulating the clutch to prevent “taking” the rope. That’ll prevent a truly undesirable jerking action in the cars and truck being pulled, and if your tow rope is going to snap, it’ll be on that occasion.
Likewise, brake gently ahead of time to set off brake lights so the towed vehicle has plenty of notification that braking impends. And also, suggest well beforehand so your partner behind has great deals of notice.
Watch on your temperature gauge as your engine will be under a higher load than normal, so overheating is a possible concern. And since there’s lot more going on than during your usual journeys, it’s a good idea to have somebody else in the tow car to keep a closer eye on what’s taking place behind.
Avoid any significant manoeuvres, abrupt braking or velocity– keep in mind, if the towed car doesn’t have a running engine, it also will not have actually power assisted steering or brakes. Which might result in 2 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 automobile being towed (obviously). 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 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 misunderstandings …
Can I tow a car with an automatic transmission?
If the driven wheels of an automated transmission car are in contact with the roadway 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 an actually undesirable jerking action in the car being pulled, 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 probably the harder end of the operation. First off, the towed vehicle may not have engine power, which means power assisted brakes and guiding will require much greater physical effort to run. Remember to ensure the car remains in neutral, too.
Keep a watchful eye out for brake lights and indications on the tow automobile, and be ready to collaborate your steering and braking actions. It’s also a great concept to keep tension in the towrope as much as possible by braking very lightly while being towed. This will avoid “snatching” and will keep the rope from dragging along the roadway, which will reduce its life considerably.
Lastly, if your Clarkson-obsessed 11-year-old kid enthusiastically volunteers to guide the towed automobile, that’s a no– the law says that chauffeur requires to be totally certified and licenced, too.
What if the towed chauffeur has a problem?
It’s an excellent idea to concur a few easy hand signals so that the towed driver can rapidly communicate messages like “slow down”, “stop” or “you’re driving like a complete ****”. It should 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.