How to tow a car
Understanding how to tow a car can get you out of a sticky spot. We explain how to master this tricky ability
It is something that has occurred to a number of us; that sickening feeling when you understand you’ve run out of fuel, or that fault you believed was fixed rears its ugly head and you break down in the middle of nowhere. It’s then you understand that your breakdown cover has expired, leaving you marooned. When a friend or family member then provides to tow you home, it feels like something of a godsend.
Well, it certainly can be, but just if the vehicle is pulled legally and in a way that’s safe both for you and your vehicle and other road users. It should likewise just ever be tried over a short range and as a last resort. You must likewise never ever tow on a freeway.
If, when you’ve read the following guide, you don’t feel confident about towing, it’s recommended that you call a towing business. This may not be cheap, but most popular breakdown business will organize instant membership and arrange a recovery professional immediately.
If you’ve never ever hauled a vehicle previously, or even if you might use a refresher, the following guide covers the important elements that you should pay attention to when towing.
Towing a vehicle: what you’ll need
Aside from a willing and relied on volunteer, you’ll need 4 crucial pieces of kit prior to you can tow your cars and truck.
An automobile ideal for towing with. You can utilize good sense to identify the fundamental suitability of a tow car based on how big it is. You must never attempt to tow an automobile that’s substantially heavier than vehicle doing the towing. Using a MINI to tow a Bentley will just end terribly. The weight– and safe towing limitation– will be published in the handbook for each car.A tow rope or towing bar. Some petrol stations keep these in stock, but many are bought from motoring providers like Halfords. The rope or bar will have a weight limit– ensure the automobile being pulled doesn’t exceed this limit.Two towing ‘eyes’. These are the metal brackets that a tow-rope attaches to. On some older vehicles, they’re structural and discovered under the front or back of the automobile, while more contemporary automobiles normally have a metal ring that screws into a sockets at the front or back of the car. The ring will usually be found with the vehicle’s tool set or spare wheel.An ‘On Tow’ sign. Most tow ropes or bars will consist of among these. It needs to be hung from the rear of the vehicle where it’s clearly visible, to alert vehicle drivers following behind that you’ll be travelling slowly.
How to set up a vehicle for towing
The tow rope or towing bar ought to only ever be connected to the main towing points for each car, the location of which will be given in the owner’s handbook. If you discover that the towing-eye accessories are missing for either vehicle, do not attempt to attach the rope or bar elsewhere, as this might lead to considerable damage or injury.
The mounting for the towing eyes is typically hidden behind a plastic cover in the front or rear bumper and you may require a screwdriver to prise this open. Eliminate the covers and screw the towing eye firmly into the socket, utilizing a wheel brace or similar execute from the tool package to tighten it.
Now, clip completions of the tow rope or towing bar to the rear towing eye of the tow car and the front towing eye of the automobile being pulled. Note that a towing bar will be significantly shorter than a tow rope. , if you’re utilizing a towing bar you’ll need to thoroughly reverse the tow vehicle until the bar reaches between the 2 towing eyes.
Hang the ‘On Tow’ warning indication at the rear of the car being pulled in a position where it’s plainly noticeable to following traffic.
How to tow
Depending on whether you remain in the tow vehicle or the cars and truck being hauled, the cars will act differently and both drivers should bear this in mind. Both motorists require to be mindful that towing eyes, instead of being installed along the centreline of the automobile, are normally offset to the left or right. This has a big effect on how the vehicle will steer and behave– specifically when pulling away, however also once both automobiles are on the move.
The motorist of the vehicle being towed will require to make extra steering inputs to properly follow the tow car. They’ll also discover that the steering feels really different to typical.
For the motorist of the lead vehicle:
Organize a set of signals in advance with the other driver to help interaction while on the move. If they have an issue or do not feel comfy, agree prior to you set off that repeated beeping of the horn means slow down and a long strong beep suggests you require to pull over.
While tow bars are the best technique for towing an automobile, many people will utilize a tow rope, as these are considerably cheaper. If this is the case, among the essential things to prevent is pulling on the rope suddenly. This can trigger uncomfortable jolts, which can snap the rope or damage one or both of the vehicles.
If your automobile has an automated transmission, utilize the ‘creep’ function (take your foot off the brake, but do not push the accelerator) till you feel the rope tighten up. Make sure there’s plenty of area when pulling out, as other roadway users may not immediately discover you’re towing another automobile.
When on the move, you’ll wish to offer lots of cautioning for any manoeuvre you make; remember that tow ropes are only a few metres long, so the driver of the cars and truck being pulled will have extremely little time to react. Suggest in plenty of time and when braking, push the brake pedal really carefully to illuminate the brake lights prior to slowing progressively.
Take corners slowly, carefully and broader than you would generally. If you take them too tightly, the tow rope or bar could posture a threat to pedestrians or cut across the brink.
Watch the lead vehicle extremely closely. You’re going to be braking and guiding according to what they’re doing. With just a few metres of rope between the two vehicles and no power assistance, responses are essential. If you’re using a tow bar, bear in mind that these aren’t created to serve as a brake. Attempt to keep this tight at all times if you’re utilizing a rope. If it ends up being slack, very mild braking can tighten it up once again.
Although ultimate responsibility lives with the chauffeur doing the towing, you have to collaborate your braking and guiding with their movements.
Watch out for brake lights and indications beginning, and be prepared to act gently yet decisively. If you’re uncomfortable with being pulled, utilize the prearranged signals so the lead automobile can pull over.
You also need to be mindful that particular legal limitations exist with regard to how heavy a load you can tow. While these vary depending upon when you passed your driving test, the crucial thing to keep in mind is that there are exceptions for towing broken-down lorries, however just to a location of safety. Towing a cars and truck is tough, potentially unsafe and need to only ever be done over brief distances.
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.