Full Car Service – Towing
WHEN IS IT OK TO TOW ANOTHER AUTOMOBILE, AND WHAT DO I REQUIRED TO UNDERSTAND PRIOR TO TOWING?
Do not get in a knot with a towrope– follow these rules
TOWING another cars and truck behind yours may seem like a simple operation, however it isn’t– if you’ve never ever towed another vehicle, you’ll find that it’s really rather tricky. Here, The Sunday Times Driving addresses a few of the more difficult aspects of towing.
When is it OK to tow another cars and truck?
The most appropriate time to tow another car is when it has broken down and is either triggering an obstruction or remains in a dangerous location and requires to be pulled to a safer spot. Towing another automobile has inherent threats and you truly ought to keep that journey to an outright minimum distance.
I have actually purchased an ancient vintage 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 cars and truck being rope-towed has its four wheels on the ground, it’s treated the like any other roadworthy vehicle, implying that it must be guaranteed and taxed with a valid MOT. In this instance, 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 tempting to root around in the back of your garage for any old little bit of rope, but don’t do it. The effects of having a rope breeze while towing another cars and truck variety from the funny to the terrible, so do the best thing and purchase yourself a purpose-built rope.
It’ll be a handy thing to have in your boot anyhow, and vehicle aftermarket outlets carry a wide variety of tow ropes– a sturdy example ranked for 3.5 tonnes and conference British Standards need to cover almost 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 vehicles so that the one behind has a lot of time to respond to turns and brakes.
There is, however, a maximum allowable length of 4.5 metres, and if you’re utilizing a rope that’s longer than 1.5 metres the law says you need 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 believe that a couple of metres doesn’t represent an exploitable space in traffic. Specifically in London. And particularly on the North Circular.
Do I need an indication of any kind?
Yes you do. When you purchase a purpose-built tow rope they normally include an ‘On Tow’ sign, which you hold on the back of the car being hauled (certainly). If you do not have one of those, the authorities will not be extremely pleased.
Does the ignition of the cars and truck being hauled need to be on?
Definitely. If the ignition isn’t on, the guiding lock will still be engaged, which might have the tow cars and truck entering one instructions and the cars and truck being towed going in another at the first corner. Which’s not going to end well.
Do the lights on the cars and truck being pulled have to work?
Driving asked the police about this and the answer was an unequivocal yes, particularly 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 misconceptions …
Can I tow an automobile with an automatic transmission?
If the driven wheels of an automatic transmission vehicle are in contact with the road when the automobile 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’ manual as it will consist of an area that deals with towing, with some producers imposing a distance and speed limit for automatic transmission automobiles. And just as with manual transmission automobiles, make sure that the gearbox remains in neutral.
How should the cars and truck doing the towing be driven?
Carefully. Very carefully. Keep your speed as low as safely possible, and retreat as gently as you can, modulating the clutch to avoid “snatching” the rope. That’ll prevent an actually undesirable jerking action in the vehicle being towed, and if your tow rope is going to snap, it’ll be on that event.
Brake lightly in advance to set off brake lights so the towed cars and truck has plenty of notice that braking is imminent. And similarly, indicate well ahead of time so your partner behind has great deals of notice.
Keep an eye on your temperature level gauge as your engine will be under a greater load than usual, so overheating is a possible problem. And because there’s lot more going on than during your normal journeys, it’s wise to have another person in the tow vehicle to keep a better eye on what’s taking place behind.
Prevent any remarkable manoeuvres, sudden braking or acceleration– keep in mind, if the towed car does not have a running engine, it also will not have power assisted steering or brakes. Which could lead to 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 car being hauled (clearly). If the ignition isn’t on, the guiding lock will still be engaged, which might have the tow automobile going in one direction and the vehicle being pulled 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 misunderstandings …
Can I tow a car with an automatic transmission?
If the driven wheels of an automated transmission cars and truck are in contact with the roadway 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 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.
How should the cars and truck being hauled be driven?
A lot more carefully than the tow cars and truck– this is probably the harder end of the operation. Off, the towed cars and truck may not have engine power, which implies power assisted brakes and guiding will need much higher physical effort to run. Remember to guarantee the automobile is in neutral, too.
Keep a watchful 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 good concept to keep stress in the towrope as much as possible by braking very lightly while being towed. This will prevent “snatching” and will keep the rope from dragging along the road, which will shorten its life substantially.
Lastly, if your Clarkson-obsessed 11-year-old kid enthusiastically volunteers to steer the towed car, that’s a no– the law says that motorist requires to be fully certified and licenced, too.
What if the towed driver has a problem?
It’s a great idea to agree a couple of basic hand signals so that the towed chauffeur can quickly 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.