Safety Tips For Towing An Automobile
WHEN IS IT OK TO TOW ANOTHER Cars And Truck, AND WHAT DO I NEED TO UNDERSTAND PRIOR TO TOWING?
Don’t get in a knot with a towrope– follow these rules
TOWING another vehicle behind yours might seem like a simple operation, however it isn’t– if you’ve never ever towed another automobile, you’ll discover that it’s really rather tricky. Here, The Sunday Times Driving addresses a few of the more tough elements of towing.
When is it OK to tow another vehicle?
The most proper time to tow another car is when it has broken down and is either triggering an obstruction or is in a harmful area and needs to be hauled to a much safer area. Towing another vehicle has fundamental dangers and you actually ought to keep that journey to an absolute 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 very same as any other roadworthy lorry, implying that it needs to be insured and taxed with a valid MOT. In this instance, you’re going to require a trailer.
What kind 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 consequences of having a rope snap while towing another automobile range from the funny 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 anyhow, and automotive aftermarket outlets bring a wide range of tow ropes– a heavy-duty example ranked for 3.5 tonnes and meeting British Standards need to cover practically any towing possibility.
For how long should my tow rope be?
Legally, there’s no minimum length, but good sense determines that you leave enough distance between the two cars so that the one behind has a lot of time to respond to brakes and turns.
There is, however, 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 attach a flapping little bit of coloured fabric to the middle so other motorists spot the rope. Due to the fact that while you may think that a number of metres doesn’t represent an exploitable gap in traffic, experience teaches that many vehicle drivers do. Especially 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 generally come with an ‘On Tow’ indication, which you hang on the back of the vehicle being towed (obviously). If you don’t have one of those, the cops won’t be very delighted.
Does the ignition of the cars and truck being hauled need to be on?
Absolutely. If the ignition isn’t on, the guiding lock will still be engaged, which could have the tow cars and truck entering one instructions and the vehicle being hauled entering another at the first corner. And that’s not going to end well.
Do the lights on the automobile being pulled need to work?
Driving asked the cops about this and the response was an indisputable yes, especially if it’s dark. And even if it’s broad daytime, forget utilizing hand signals instead of indications– 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 cause all sorts of misunderstandings …
Can I tow a cars and truck with an automatic transmission?
If the driven wheels of an automatic transmission cars and truck touch with the roadway when the automobile 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 resolves towing, with some manufacturers enforcing a distance and speed limitation for automatic transmission cars. And just as with manual transmission vehicles, ensure that the transmission is in neutral.
How should the automobile doing the towing be driven?
Carefully. 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 unpleasant jerking action in the cars and truck being towed, and if your tow rope is going to snap, it’ll be on that occasion.
Also, brake lightly beforehand to set off brake lights so the towed car has plenty of notice that braking is imminent. And also, indicate well ahead of time so your partner behind has great deals of notice.
Watch on your temperature level gauge as your engine will be under a higher load than normal, so overheating is a possible problem. And since there’s lot more going on than throughout your usual journeys, it’s smart to have someone else in the tow car to keep a closer eye on what’s occurring behind.
Prevent any remarkable manoeuvres, unexpected braking or velocity– keep in mind, if the towed cars and truck doesn’t have a running engine, it likewise will not have actually power assisted steering or brakes. Which could result in two dead automobiles instead of one.
When you purchase a purpose-built tow rope they typically come with an ‘On Tow’ sign, which you hang on the back of the car being towed (obviously). If the ignition isn’t on, the steering lock will still be engaged, which might have the tow car going in one instructions and the cars and truck being towed 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 misconceptions …
Can I tow a car with an automatic cars and truck?
If the driven wheels of an automatic transmission car are in contact with the roadway when the automobile is under tow– and the engine isn’t running– there is a possibility of damage to the transmission. That’ll avoid a really unpleasant 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?
Much more carefully than the tow car– this is arguably the harder end of the operation. Off, the towed car might not have engine power, which indicates power assisted brakes and guiding will need much greater physical effort to run. Keep in mind to ensure the vehicle remains in neutral, too.
Keep an eagle eye out for brake lights and signs on the tow car, and be ready to collaborate your steering and braking actions. It’s also a great concept to keep stress in the towrope as much as possible by braking really gently while being hauled. This will prevent “taking” and will keep the rope from dragging along the road, which will shorten its life considerably.
If your Clarkson-obsessed 11-year-old kid enthusiastically volunteers to steer the towed cars and truck, that’s a no– the law says that chauffeur requires to be fully certified and licenced, too.
What if the towed chauffeur has a problem?
It’s a good idea to concur a couple of simple hand signals so that the towed chauffeur can rapidly interact messages like “slow down”, “stop” or “you’re driving like a complete ****”. It needs to 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.