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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 automobile behind yours may sound like an easy operation, but it isn’t– if you’ve never ever pulled another lorry, you’ll find that it’s actually rather difficult. Here, The Sunday Times Driving addresses some of the more tough elements of towing.
When is it OK to tow another cars and truck?
The most suitable time to tow another cars and truck is when it has broken down and is either triggering a blockage or is in a harmful area and requires to be pulled to a safer area. Towing another vehicle has inherent threats and you really should keep that journey to an outright minimum range.
I’ve 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 quite clear here– if the car being rope-towed has its four wheels on the ground, it’s treated the exact same as any other roadworthy vehicle, suggesting that it needs to be guaranteed and taxed with a legitimate MOT. In this circumstances, you’re going to require a trailer.
What sort 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, however don’t do it. The consequences of having a rope snap while towing another cars and truck variety from the funny to the awful, so do the ideal thing and buy yourself a purpose-built rope.
It’ll be a helpful thing to have in your boot anyhow, and automotive aftermarket outlets bring a vast array of tow ropes– a sturdy example ranked for 3.5 tonnes and meeting British Standards should cover just about any towing possibility.
The length of time should my tow rope be?
Lawfully, there’s no minimum length, but sound judgment dictates that you leave enough range in between the two cars and trucks so that the one behind has plenty of time to react to brakes and turns.
There is, however, an optimum allowed 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 attach a flapping little coloured fabric to the middle so other chauffeurs identify the rope. Experience teaches that numerous drivers do since while you might believe that a couple of metres does not represent an exploitable space in traffic. Specifically in London. And especially 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 feature an ‘On Tow’ sign, which you hold on the back of the car being pulled (certainly). If you don’t have one of those, the cops won’t be extremely delighted.
Does the ignition of the automobile being pulled requirement to be on?
Definitely. If the ignition isn’t on, the steering lock will still be engaged, which could have the tow car going in one instructions and the vehicle being hauled going in another at the very 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 cops about this and the response was an unquestionable yes, particularly if it’s dark. And even if it’s broad daylight, forget using 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 result in all sorts of misunderstandings …
Can I tow a cars and truck with an automatic transmission?
If the driven wheels of an automatic transmission automobile touch 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 vital that you consult your owners’ handbook as it will contain a section that attends to towing, with some producers imposing a distance and speed limit for automatic transmission cars. And just as with manual transmission automobiles, make certain that the gearbox remains in neutral.
How should the cars and truck doing the towing be driven?
Carefully. Really thoroughly. Keep your speed as low as safely possible, and retreat as gently as you can, regulating the clutch to avoid “snatching” the rope. That’ll prevent a really unpleasant jerking action in the car being towed, and if your tow rope is going to snap, it’ll be on that occasion.
Likewise, brake lightly ahead of time to set off brake lights so the towed automobile has plenty of notification that braking is imminent. And also, show well ahead of time so your partner behind has great deals of notice.
Keep an eye on your temperature gauge as your engine will be under a higher load than normal, so overheating is a prospective concern. And since there’s lot more going on than throughout your usual journeys, it’s a good idea to have another person in the tow cars and truck to keep a better eye on what’s taking place behind.
Avoid any dramatic manoeuvres, sudden braking or acceleration– remember, if the towed vehicle doesn’t have a running engine, it also will not have actually power helped steering or brakes. Which might result in two dead cars instead of one.
When you purchase a purpose-built tow rope they usually 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 steering 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 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 cars and truck?
If the driven wheels of an automated 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 prevent a really unpleasant jerking action in the vehicle being towed, and if your tow rope is going to snap, it’ll be on that event.
How should the cars and truck being hauled be driven?
Even more carefully than the tow automobile– this is probably the harder end of the operation. First off, the towed vehicle might not have engine power, which implies power assisted brakes and guiding will need much higher physical effort to operate. Keep in mind to guarantee the cars and truck is in neutral, too.
Keep a watchful eye out for brake lights and indicators on the tow car, and be ready to coordinate your steering and braking actions. It’s likewise an excellent concept to keep tension in the towrope as much as possible by braking really gently while being towed. This will prevent “taking” and will keep the rope from dragging along the road, which will reduce its life substantially.
If your Clarkson-obsessed 11-year-old kid enthusiastically volunteers to guide the towed car, that’s a no– the law says that motorist needs to be fully certified and licenced, too.
What if the towed chauffeur has an issue?
It’s a great idea to concur a couple of easy hand signals so that the towed driver can quickly communicate messages like “decrease”, “stop” or “you’re driving like a total ****”. It should be said, that last one’s a relatively 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.