Types Of Tow Trucks
WHEN IS IT OK TO TOW ANOTHER CAR, AND WHAT DO I REQUIRED TO UNDERSTAND PRIOR TO TOWING?
Do not get in a knot with a towrope– follow these rules
TOWING another cars and truck behind yours may sound like a basic operation, but it isn’t– if you have actually never hauled another vehicle, you’ll discover that it’s actually quite challenging. Here, The Sunday Times Driving addresses some of the more challenging elements of towing.
When is it OK to tow another car?
The most proper time to tow another car is when it has broken down and is either triggering an obstruction or remains in a harmful location and requires to be towed to a safer spot. Towing another automobile has intrinsic threats and you actually must keep that journey to an outright minimum range.
I have actually bought an ancient classic automobile that’s on a SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification). Can I tow it to my garage where I plan to restore it?
In a word, no. The law is quite clear here– if the cars and truck being rope-towed has its four wheels on the ground, it’s dealt with the same as any other roadworthy automobile, implying that it must be guaranteed and taxed with a legitimate MOT. So in this instance, you’re going to need a trailer. Or a bigger budget for a road-legal classic.
What kind of tow rope should I have?
It might be tempting to root around in the back of your garage for any old little bit of rope, but don’t do it. The consequences of having a rope snap while towing another vehicle range from the humorous to the terrible, so do the ideal thing and purchase yourself a purpose-built rope.
It’ll be an useful thing to have in your boot anyway, and vehicle aftermarket outlets carry a wide range of tow ropes– a durable 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 dictates that you leave enough distance in between the two automobiles so that the one behind has a lot of time to react to turns and brakes.
There is, though, a maximum allowed 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 chauffeurs identify the rope. Because 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. Especially in London. And particularly on the North Circular.
Do I require a sign of any kind?
Yes you do. When you purchase a purpose-built tow rope they normally include an ‘On Tow’ indication, which you hold on the back of the cars and truck being hauled (clearly). The police will not be very delighted if you don’t have one of those.
Does the ignition of the cars and truck being hauled requirement to be on?
Definitely. If the ignition isn’t on, the steering lock will still be engaged, which could have the tow cars and truck entering one instructions and the vehicle being towed going in another at the very first corner. And that’s not going to end well.
Do the lights on the vehicle being hauled need to work?
Driving asked the police about this and the answer was an indisputable yes, especially if it’s dark. And even if it’s broad daylight, forget using hand signals instead of indicators– 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 lead to all sorts of misconceptions …
Can I tow a cars and truck with an automatic transmission?
If the driven wheels of an automatic transmission car are in contact with the road when the car 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 consist of an area that deals with towing, with some makers enforcing a distance and speed limit for automatic transmission automobiles. And just as with manual transmission vehicles, make certain that the transmission is in neutral.
How should the vehicle doing the towing be driven?
Keep your speed as low as securely possible, and pull away as carefully as you can, regulating the clutch to prevent “snatching” 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 occasion.
Likewise, brake gently beforehand to set off brake lights so the towed car has lots of notification that braking looms. And likewise, suggest well in advance so your partner behind has great deals of notice.
Watch on your temperature 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 usual journeys, it’s smart to have someone else in the tow vehicle to keep a closer eye on what’s happening behind.
Avoid any remarkable manoeuvres, abrupt braking or velocity– remember, if the towed vehicle does not have a running engine, it likewise will not have power helped steering or brakes. Which might result in 2 dead cars instead of one.
When you purchase a purpose-built tow rope they typically come with an ‘On Tow’ indication, which you hang on the back of the vehicle being hauled (clearly). If the ignition isn’t on, the guiding lock will still be engaged, which could have the tow automobile going in one direction and the cars and truck being hauled 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 automobile?
If the driven wheels of an automatic transmission vehicle are in contact with the road when the cars and truck is under tow– and the engine isn’t running– there is a possibility of damage to the transmission. That’ll prevent a really unpleasant jerking action in the car being hauled, and if your tow rope is going to snap, it’ll be on that celebration.
How should the automobile being towed be driven?
Even more thoroughly than the tow vehicle– this is perhaps the tougher end of the operation. Off, the towed vehicle might not have engine power, which indicates power assisted brakes and guiding will require much greater physical effort to operate. Keep in mind to ensure the cars and truck is in neutral, too.
Keep a watchful eye out for brake lights and signs on the tow cars and truck, and be ready to coordinate your steering and braking actions. It’s also a good idea to keep stress in the towrope as much as possible by braking extremely lightly while being pulled. This will avoid “nabbing” and will keep the rope from dragging along the roadway, which will shorten its life substantially.
Finally, if your Clarkson-obsessed 11-year-old kid enthusiastically volunteers to steer the towed automobile, that’s a no– the law says that motorist requires to be completely certified and licenced, too.
What if the towed driver has a problem?
It’s a good idea to concur a few basic hand signals so that the towed driver can quickly interact messages like “decrease”, “stop” or “you’re driving like a total ****”. It must be said, that last one’s a relatively 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.