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WHEN IS IT OK TO TOW ANOTHER CAR, 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 might seem like a basic operation, however it isn’t– if you’ve never ever hauled another vehicle, you’ll discover that it’s really quite difficult. 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 vehicle is when it has broken down and is either causing an obstruction or is in a harmful location and requires to be pulled to a safer spot. Towing another car has intrinsic risks and you truly ought to keep that journey to an outright minimum distance.
I’ve purchased an ancient classic car that’s on a SORN (Statutory Off Roadway Notification). 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 car being rope-towed has its four wheels on the ground, it’s dealt with the like any other roadworthy car, indicating that it needs to be insured and taxed with a legitimate MOT. In this circumstances, you’re going to require 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 effects of having a rope breeze while towing another cars and truck range from the funny to the awful, so do the ideal thing and buy yourself a purpose-built rope.
It’ll be a handy thing to have in your boot anyway, and vehicle aftermarket outlets bring a wide range of tow ropes– a sturdy example rated for 3.5 tonnes and meeting British Standards should cover just about any towing possibility.
For how long should my tow rope be?
Legally, there’s no minimum length, however sound judgment determines that you leave enough range between the two vehicles so that the one behind has lots of time to react to brakes and turns.
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 says you need to connect a flapping little bit of coloured fabric to the middle so other motorists identify the rope. Experience teaches that many vehicle drivers do because while you may believe that a couple of metres doesn’t represent an exploitable gap in traffic. Especially in London. And particularly on the North Circular.
Do I require a sign of any kind?
Yes you do. When you buy a purpose-built tow rope they normally feature an ‘On Tow’ sign, which you hang on the back of the vehicle being pulled (certainly). If you do not have one of those, the cops will not be extremely pleased.
Does the ignition of the automobile being towed requirement to be on?
Absolutely. If the ignition isn’t on, the steering lock will still be engaged, which could have the tow automobile going in 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 vehicle being towed have to work?
Driving asked the cops about this and the answer was an unquestionable yes, especially 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 misunderstandings …
Can I tow a cars and truck with an automatic transmission?
If the driven wheels of an automatic transmission vehicle touch 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. It is necessary that you consult your owners’ manual as it will consist of a section that deals with towing, with some manufacturers imposing a range and speed limit for automatic transmission cars. And just as with manual transmission cars and trucks, make sure that the gearbox remains in neutral.
How should the vehicle doing the towing be driven?
Keep your speed as low as securely possible, and pull away as gently as you can, regulating the clutch to avoid “taking” the rope. That’ll prevent a really undesirable jerking action in the automobile being hauled, and if your tow rope is going to snap, it’ll be on that event.
Also, brake gently ahead of time to activate brake lights so the towed car has lots of notification 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 usual, so overheating is a prospective problem. And because there’s lot more going on than during your usual journeys, it’s a good idea to have somebody else in the tow automobile to keep a better eye on what’s taking place behind.
Avoid any significant manoeuvres, sudden braking or velocity– keep in mind, if the towed car doesn’t have a running engine, it likewise will not have actually power assisted steering or brakes. Which might lead to two dead cars instead of one.
When you purchase a purpose-built tow rope they normally come with an ‘On Tow’ indication, which you hang on the back of the cars and truck being pulled (undoubtedly). If the ignition isn’t on, the guiding lock will still be engaged, which might have the tow vehicle going in one direction and the vehicle being hauled 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 misconceptions …
Can I tow a car with an automatic vehicle?
If the driven wheels of an automatic transmission automobile 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. That’ll avoid an actually undesirable jerking action in the vehicle being pulled, and if your tow rope is going to snap, it’ll be on that occasion.
How should the car being towed be driven?
A lot more thoroughly than the tow automobile– this is arguably the tougher end of the operation. First of all, the towed vehicle might not have engine power, which indicates power assisted brakes and steering will need much higher physical effort to operate. Keep in mind to guarantee the automobile is in neutral, too.
Keep an eagle eye out for brake lights and indications on the tow car, and be ready to coordinate your steering and braking actions. It’s likewise an excellent idea to keep stress in the towrope as much as possible by braking very lightly while being towed. This will avoid “taking” and will keep the rope from dragging along the roadway, which will reduce its life significantly.
If your Clarkson-obsessed 11-year-old kid enthusiastically volunteers to steer the towed car, that’s a no– the law says that chauffeur needs to be fully qualified and licenced, too.
What if the towed driver has a problem?
It’s a good concept to concur a couple of simple hand signals so that the towed motorist can rapidly interact messages like “decrease”, “stop” or “you’re driving like a complete ****”. It should 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.