WHEN IS IT OK TO TOW ANOTHER Cars And Truck, AND WHAT DO I REQUIRED TO UNDERSTAND BEFORE TOWING?
Don’t get in a knot with a towrope– follow these guidelines
TOWING another automobile behind yours may sound like an easy operation, but it isn’t– if you’ve never hauled another lorry, you’ll discover that it’s actually rather tricky. Here, The Sunday Times Driving addresses some of the more tough elements of towing.
When is it OK to tow another automobile?
The most proper time to tow another car is when it has broken down and is either triggering a blockage or remains in a dangerous location and requires to be towed to a much safer spot. Towing another automobile has inherent risks and you really need to keep that journey to an absolute minimum distance.
I’ve purchased an ancient classic automobile that’s on a SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification). Can I tow it to my garage where I prepare to restore it?
In a word, no. The law is pretty clear here– if the car being rope-towed has its four wheels on the ground, it’s dealt with the same as any other roadworthy automobile, suggesting that it needs to be insured and taxed with a valid MOT. So in this instance, you’re going to need a trailer. Or a bigger budget for a road-legal classic.
What sort of tow rope should I have?
It might be tempting to root around in the back of your garage for any old bit of rope, but don’t do it. The repercussions of having a rope breeze while towing another vehicle range from the comical to the terrible, so do the ideal thing and purchase yourself a purpose-built rope.
It’ll be a handy thing to have in your boot anyway, and automotive aftermarket outlets carry a large range of tow ropes– a sturdy example ranked for 3.5 tonnes and meeting British Standards must cover almost any towing eventuality.
The length of time should my tow rope be?
Lawfully, there’s no minimum length, but good sense determines that you leave enough distance between the two vehicles so that the one behind has a lot of time to react to brakes and turns.
There is, however, a maximum allowable length of 4.5 metres, and if you’re using a rope that’s longer than 1.5 metres the law says you require to connect a flapping bit of coloured cloth to the middle so other drivers spot the rope. Due to the fact that while you may believe that a couple of metres doesn’t represent an exploitable gap in traffic, experience teaches that lots of drivers do.
Do I require an indication of any kind?
Yes you do. When you purchase a purpose-built tow rope they typically come with an ‘On Tow’ indication, which you hold on the back of the cars and truck being hauled (certainly). If you do not have one of those, the authorities won’t be really delighted.
Does the ignition of the cars and truck being towed requirement to be on?
Absolutely. If the ignition isn’t on, the guiding lock will still be engaged, which might have the tow cars and truck going in one direction and the vehicle being pulled going in another at the very first corner. Which’s not going to end well.
Do the lights on the car being towed need 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 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 cause all sorts of misconceptions …
Can I tow a car with an automatic transmission?
If the driven wheels of an automatic transmission automobile touch with the roadway when the vehicle is under tow– and the engine isn’t running– there is a possibility of damage to the transmission. It is essential that you consult your owners’ handbook as it will include an area that resolves towing, with some manufacturers imposing a distance and speed limitation for automatic transmission automobiles. And just as with manual transmission vehicles, ensure that the transmission remains in neutral.
How should the vehicle doing the towing be driven?
Carefully. Extremely carefully. Keep your speed as low as securely possible, and retreat as gently as you can, modulating the clutch to prevent “nabbing” the rope. That’ll prevent a truly undesirable jerking action in the automobile being pulled, and if your tow rope is going to snap, it’ll be on that celebration.
Likewise, brake lightly in advance to activate brake lights so the towed cars and truck has plenty of notification that braking looms. And likewise, show well in advance so your partner behind has lots of notification.
Watch on your temperature level gauge as your engine will be under a higher load than normal, so overheating is a possible problem. And due to the fact that there’s lot more going on than throughout your normal journeys, it’s wise to have someone else in the tow cars and truck to keep a better eye on what’s taking place behind.
Prevent any significant manoeuvres, abrupt braking or acceleration– remember, if the towed vehicle does not have a running engine, it also will not have power assisted steering or brakes. Which could result in 2 dead cars instead of one.
When you buy a purpose-built tow rope they usually come with an ‘On Tow’ indication, which you hang on the back of the automobile being towed (certainly). 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 vehicle being pulled 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 automobile 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 automobile being pulled, and if your tow rope is going to snap, it’ll be on that occasion.
How should the car being hauled be driven?
A lot more carefully than the tow cars and truck– this is arguably the harder end of the operation. To begin with, the towed car may not have engine power, which means power assisted brakes and steering will require much higher physical effort to operate. Keep in mind to ensure the cars and truck remains in neutral, too.
Keep a watchful eye out for brake lights and indicators on the tow cars and truck, and be ready to collaborate your steering and braking actions. It’s likewise a good idea to keep tension in the towrope as much as possible by braking very gently while being pulled. This will prevent “nabbing” and will keep the rope from dragging along the road, which will reduce its life significantly.
Lastly, if your Clarkson-obsessed 11-year-old kid enthusiastically volunteers to steer the towed vehicle, that’s a no– the law states that driver requires to be totally certified and licenced, too.
What if the towed motorist has a problem?
It’s a great concept to agree a few simple hand signals so that the towed driver can rapidly interact messages like “slow down”, “stop” or “you’re driving like a total ****”. It needs to 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.