WHEN IS IT OK TO TOW ANOTHER CAR, AND WHAT DO I NEED TO UNDERSTAND BEFORE TOWING?
Do not get in a knot with a towrope– follow these rules
TOWING another cars and truck behind yours may sound like an easy operation, however it isn’t– if you have actually never towed another automobile, you’ll discover that it’s in fact rather difficult. Here, The Sunday Times Driving addresses a few of the more tough aspects of towing.
When is it OK to tow another automobile?
The most proper time to tow another automobile is when it has broken down and is either causing a blockage or remains in a harmful location and requires to be towed to a much safer area. Towing another automobile has intrinsic dangers and you really should keep that journey to an absolute minimum distance.
I’ve purchased an ancient classic automobile that’s on a SORN (Statutory Off Road Alert). Can I tow it to my garage where I plan to restore it?
The law is quite clear here– if the vehicle being rope-towed has its 4 wheels on the ground, it’s treated the very same as any other roadworthy automobile, implying that it must be insured 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 appealing 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 snap while towing another cars and truck variety from the comical to the awful, so do the right thing and buy yourself a purpose-built rope.
It’ll be a handy thing to have in your boot anyhow, and automotive aftermarket outlets bring a large range of tow ropes– a durable example rated for 3.5 tonnes and conference British Standards should cover just about any towing possibility.
How long should my tow rope be?
Legally, there’s no minimum length, but common sense determines that you leave enough distance in between the two cars and trucks so that the one behind has plenty of time to react to turns and brakes.
There is, however, an optimum permitted 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 attach a flapping bit of coloured fabric to the middle so other chauffeurs identify the rope. Since while you may believe that a couple of metres doesn’t represent an exploitable gap in traffic, experience teaches that lots of vehicle drivers do.
Do I require an indication of any kind?
Yes you do. When you buy a purpose-built tow rope they typically feature an ‘On Tow’ sign, which you hang on the back of the vehicle being pulled (obviously). If you don’t have one of those, the authorities won’t be very delighted.
Does the ignition of the car being pulled requirement to be on?
Absolutely. If the ignition isn’t on, the steering lock will still be engaged, which might have the tow car going in one direction and the cars and truck being pulled going in another at the first corner. Which’s not going to end well.
Do the lights on the car being towed need to work?
Driving asked the authorities about this and the response was an unquestionable yes, particularly if it’s dark. And even if it’s broad daylight, 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 result in all sorts of misconceptions …
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 automobile 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’ handbook as it will contain a section that resolves towing, with some producers enforcing a distance and speed limitation for automatic transmission cars and trucks. And just as with manual transmission cars, make certain that the transmission remains in neutral.
How should the automobile 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 “snatching” the rope. That’ll avoid a really unpleasant jerking action in the automobile being towed, and if your tow rope is going to snap, it’ll be on that event.
Likewise, brake lightly beforehand to trigger brake lights so the towed vehicle has a lot of notice that braking is imminent. And similarly, suggest well beforehand so your partner behind has great deals of notice.
Watch on your temperature gauge as your engine will be under a higher load than typical, so overheating is a potential issue. And since there’s lot more going on than during your typical journeys, it’s a good idea to have someone else in the tow cars and truck to keep a better eye on what’s occurring behind.
Avoid any significant manoeuvres, unexpected braking or acceleration– remember, if the towed vehicle does not have a running engine, it also will not have actually power assisted steering or brakes. Which might result in two dead vehicles 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 automobile being towed (undoubtedly). If the ignition isn’t on, the guiding lock will still be engaged, which could have the tow car going in one instructions and the cars and truck 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 misconceptions …
Can I tow a car with an automatic cars and truck?
If the driven wheels of an automatic 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 avoid an actually undesirable 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 automobile being towed be driven?
Much more thoroughly than the tow vehicle– this is arguably the harder end of the operation. Off, the towed vehicle might not have engine power, which implies power assisted brakes and steering will need much greater physical effort to operate. Remember to guarantee the car is in neutral, too.
Keep a watchful eye out for brake lights and indicators on the tow cars and truck, and be ready to coordinate your steering and braking actions. It’s also a great idea to keep stress in the towrope as much as possible by braking really lightly while being towed. This will avoid “nabbing” and will keep the rope from dragging along the roadway, which will shorten its life significantly.
Finally, if your Clarkson-obsessed 11-year-old kid enthusiastically volunteers to guide the towed car, that’s a no– the law says that motorist requires to be completely qualified and licenced, too.
What if the towed motorist has an issue?
It’s a good concept to agree a couple of easy hand signals so that the towed driver can quickly communicate messages like “decrease”, “stop” or “you’re driving like a complete ****”. It should be stated, that last one’s a fairly 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.