Getting Up To Speed With Trailer Towing Regulations 13 May 2020 Premium.
WHEN IS IT OK TO TOW ANOTHER VEHICLE, AND WHAT DO I REQUIRED TO UNDERSTAND BEFORE TOWING?
Don’t get in a knot with a towrope– follow these rules
TOWING another cars and truck behind yours might sound like a simple operation, however it isn’t– if you have actually never ever pulled another vehicle, you’ll find that it’s really rather challenging. Here, The Sunday Times Driving addresses some of the more tough aspects of towing.
When is it OK to tow another cars and truck?
The most proper time to tow another car is when it has actually broken down and is either triggering a blockage or is in a hazardous area and needs to be hauled to a more secure area. Towing another vehicle has fundamental dangers and you actually need to keep that journey to an outright minimum range.
I have actually purchased an ancient classic automobile that’s on a SORN (Statutory Off Roadway Notice). Can I tow it to my garage where I plan to restore it?
The law is pretty clear here– if the car being rope-towed has its four wheels on the ground, it’s treated the same as any other roadworthy vehicle, implying that it must be insured and taxed with a valid MOT. In this circumstances, you’re going to require a trailer.
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, but do not do it. The consequences of having a rope breeze while towing another vehicle range from the comical to the tragic, so do the best thing and purchase yourself a purpose-built rope.
It’ll be a helpful thing to have in your boot anyhow, and automobile aftermarket outlets bring a wide range of tow ropes– a sturdy example ranked for 3.5 tonnes and conference British Standards ought to cover just about any towing eventuality.
The length of time should my tow rope be?
Lawfully, there’s no minimum length, however sound judgment dictates that you leave enough range in between the two vehicles so that the one behind has plenty of time to respond to brakes and turns.
There is, however, a maximum allowed length of 4.5 metres, and if you’re utilizing a rope that’s longer than 1.5 metres the law says you require to connect a flapping bit of coloured fabric to the middle so other chauffeurs identify the rope. Since while you may think that a couple of metres doesn’t represent an exploitable gap in traffic, experience teaches that numerous motorists do.
Do I need a sign of any kind?
Yes you do. When you purchase a purpose-built tow rope they generally come with an ‘On Tow’ indication, which you hang on the back of the vehicle being pulled (clearly). The police won’t be very pleased if you don’t have among those.
Does the ignition of the car being hauled need to be on?
Definitely. If the ignition isn’t on, the steering lock will still be engaged, which might have the tow vehicle entering one direction and the car being pulled entering another at the very first corner. Which’s not going to end well.
Do the lights on the car being towed need to work?
Driving asked the police about this and the response was an unquestionable yes, especially if it’s dark. And even if it’s broad daytime, forget using 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 result in all sorts of misconceptions …
Can I tow a car with an automatic transmission?
If the driven wheels of an automatic transmission vehicle are in contact with the roadway when the car is under tow– and the engine isn’t running– there is a possibility of damage to the transmission. It is important that you consult your owners’ manual as it will contain an area that addresses towing, with some manufacturers enforcing a range and speed limit for automatic transmission vehicles. And just as with manual transmission cars, ensure that the transmission is in neutral.
How should the vehicle doing the towing be driven?
Carefully. Really thoroughly. Keep your speed as low as safely possible, and retreat as gently as you can, modulating the clutch to avoid “nabbing” the rope. That’ll prevent a truly undesirable jerking action in the vehicle being hauled, and if your tow rope is going to snap, it’ll be on that celebration.
Brake lightly in advance to set off brake lights so the towed cars and truck has plenty of notice that braking is imminent. And also, indicate well beforehand so your partner behind has lots of notification.
Keep an eye on your temperature level gauge as your engine will be under a greater load than typical, so overheating is a potential problem. And due to the fact that there’s lot more going on than during your typical journeys, it’s wise to have somebody else in the tow automobile to keep a more detailed eye on what’s taking place behind.
Avoid any dramatic manoeuvres, sudden braking or velocity– remember, if the towed cars and truck does not have a running engine, it likewise will not have actually power assisted steering or brakes. Which could lead to two dead automobiles instead of one.
When you buy a purpose-built tow rope they usually come with an ‘On Tow’ sign, which you hang on the back of the vehicle being pulled (clearly). 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 vehicle 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 misunderstandings …
Can I tow a car with an automatic cars and truck?
If the driven wheels of an automated transmission automobile are in contact with the roadway when the car is under tow– and the engine isn’t running– there is a possibility of damage to the transmission. That’ll avoid a truly unpleasant jerking action in the cars and truck being towed, and if your tow rope is going to snap, it’ll be on that event.
How should the vehicle being towed be driven?
Much more thoroughly than the tow vehicle– this is perhaps the harder end of the operation. Off, the towed vehicle may not have engine power, which suggests power assisted brakes and guiding will need much greater physical effort to run. Keep in mind to ensure the automobile is in neutral, too.
Keep a watchful eye out for brake lights and indicators on the tow car, 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 very lightly while being towed. This will avoid “snatching” and will keep the rope from dragging along the road, which will shorten its life substantially.
If your Clarkson-obsessed 11-year-old kid enthusiastically volunteers to guide the towed vehicle, that’s a no– the law says that motorist needs to be completely qualified and licenced, too.
What if the towed driver has an issue?
It’s a great idea to agree a couple of simple hand signals so that the towed driver can rapidly communicate messages like “decrease”, “stop” or “you’re driving like a complete ****”. It must 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.