WHEN IS IT OK TO TOW ANOTHER Cars And Truck, AND WHAT DO I REQUIRED TO KNOW BEFORE TOWING?
Do not get in a knot with a towrope– follow these guidelines
TOWING another cars and truck behind yours might sound like a simple operation, but it isn’t– if you’ve never ever towed another vehicle, you’ll find that it’s in fact quite challenging. Here, The Sunday Times Driving addresses some of the more tough aspects of towing.
When is it OK to tow another car?
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 place and needs to be towed to a safer spot. Towing another car has fundamental threats and you actually ought to keep that journey to an outright minimum range.
I have actually bought an ancient classic car that’s on a SORN (Statutory Off Roadway Alert). Can I tow it to my garage where I plan to restore it?
In a word, no. The law is pretty clear here– if the car being rope-towed has its 4 wheels on the ground, it’s treated the like any other roadworthy vehicle, suggesting that it must be guaranteed and taxed with a legitimate MOT. So in this circumstances, you’re going to require a trailer. Or a bigger budget for a road-legal classic.
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 bit of rope, but do not do it. The repercussions of having a rope breeze while towing another car variety from the comical to the terrible, so do the right thing and buy yourself a purpose-built rope.
It’ll be an useful thing to have in your boot anyhow, and automobile aftermarket outlets bring a vast array 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?
Lawfully, there’s no minimum length, but good sense determines that you leave enough range in between the two cars and trucks so that the one behind has a lot of time to respond to turns and brakes.
There is, though, an optimum allowable 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 little bit of coloured fabric to the middle so other chauffeurs find the rope. Since while you may believe that a number of metres does not represent an exploitable space in traffic, experience teaches that numerous motorists do. Particularly in London. And especially on the North Circular.
Do I need a sign of any kind?
Yes you do. When you buy a purpose-built tow rope they usually feature an ‘On Tow’ sign, which you hang on the back of the automobile being hauled (clearly). If you do not have one of those, the cops will not be really pleased.
Does the ignition of the vehicle being hauled need to be on?
Definitely. If the ignition isn’t on, the steering lock will still be engaged, which could have the tow vehicle going in one direction and the automobile 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 towed have to work?
Driving asked the cops about this and the response was an unequivocal yes, particularly if it’s dark. And even if it’s broad daylight, 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 lead to all sorts of misunderstandings …
Can I tow a car with an automatic transmission?
If the driven wheels of an automatic transmission car touch with the roadway 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 vital that you consult your owners’ handbook as it will contain an area that attends to towing, with some manufacturers enforcing a distance and speed limit for automatic transmission cars. And just as with manual transmission cars, ensure that the transmission is in neutral.
How should the car doing the towing be driven?
Keep your speed as low as safely possible, and pull away as gently as you can, regulating the clutch to prevent “nabbing” the rope. That’ll avoid a truly unpleasant jerking action in the automobile being hauled, and if your tow rope is going to snap, it’ll be on that celebration.
Brake gently in advance to activate brake lights so the towed vehicle has plenty of notification that braking is impending. And similarly, show well beforehand so your partner behind has lots of notification.
Watch on your temperature level gauge as your engine will be under a greater load than usual, so overheating is a prospective issue. And since there’s lot more going on than throughout your normal journeys, it’s smart to have another person in the tow car to keep a closer eye on what’s happening behind.
Avoid any dramatic manoeuvres, abrupt braking or velocity– remember, if the towed car doesn’t have a running engine, it also won’t have actually power assisted steering or brakes. Which might result in two dead vehicles 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 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 car 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 transmission?
If the driven wheels of an automatic transmission cars and truck are in contact with the road when the vehicle is under tow– and the engine isn’t running– there is a possibility of damage to the transmission. That’ll prevent an actually unpleasant jerking action in the car being hauled, 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 thoroughly than the tow cars and truck– this is perhaps the tougher end of the operation. First off, the towed automobile might not have engine power, which means power assisted brakes and steering will need much greater physical effort to operate. Keep in mind to ensure the vehicle is in neutral, too.
Keep an eagle eye out for brake lights and signs on the tow vehicle, and be ready to coordinate your steering and braking actions. It’s likewise a great idea to keep stress in the towrope as much as possible by braking really gently while being hauled. This will avoid “taking” and will keep the rope from dragging along the roadway, which will shorten its life significantly.
If your Clarkson-obsessed 11-year-old kid enthusiastically volunteers to steer the towed cars and truck, that’s a no– the law states that motorist needs to be fully qualified and licenced, too.
What if the towed motorist has a problem?
It’s a great idea to agree a few basic hand signals so that the towed driver can rapidly communicate messages like “decrease”, “stop” or “you’re driving like a total ****”. It must be stated, 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.