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WHEN IS IT OK TO TOW ANOTHER VEHICLE, AND WHAT DO I REQUIRED TO UNDERSTAND PRIOR TO TOWING?
Don’t get in a knot with a towrope– follow these guidelines
TOWING another car behind yours may sound like a simple operation, however it isn’t– if you’ve never pulled another car, you’ll find that it’s really rather tricky. Here, The Sunday Times Driving addresses some of the more challenging aspects of towing.
When is it OK to tow another cars and truck?
The most proper time to tow another vehicle is when it has broken down and is either triggering an obstruction or remains in a hazardous location and requires to be hauled to a safer spot. Towing another car has inherent risks and you actually need to keep that journey to an absolute minimum distance.
I have actually purchased an ancient vintage car that’s on a SORN (Statutory Off Roadway Notification). Can I tow it to my garage where I prepare to restore it?
The law is pretty clear here– if the automobile being rope-towed has its four wheels on the ground, it’s treated the very same as any other roadworthy lorry, meaning that it must be insured and taxed with a legitimate MOT. In this circumstances, you’re going to require a trailer.
What type 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 do not do it. The repercussions of having a rope breeze while towing another vehicle range from the funny to the tragic, so do the right thing and purchase yourself a purpose-built rope.
It’ll be a helpful thing to have in your boot anyhow, and vehicle aftermarket outlets carry a wide variety of tow ropes– a sturdy example ranked for 3.5 tonnes and meeting British Standards ought to cover practically any towing possibility.
How long should my tow rope be?
Lawfully, there’s no minimum length, but sound judgment dictates that you leave enough distance in between the two automobiles so that the one behind has lots 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 states you need to attach a flapping little bit of coloured fabric to the middle so other chauffeurs find the rope. Experience teaches that many vehicle drivers do since while you may think that a couple of metres doesn’t represent an exploitable gap in traffic. Particularly in London. And particularly on the North Circular.
Do I need a sign 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 vehicle being hauled (undoubtedly). The authorities will not be extremely happy if you do not have among those.
Does the ignition of the car being pulled 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 entering one direction and the cars and truck being towed entering another at the very first corner. And that’s not going to end well.
Do the lights on the cars and truck being pulled have to work?
Driving asked the authorities about this and the answer was an indisputable yes, especially 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 lead to all sorts of misunderstandings …
Can I tow a vehicle with an automatic transmission?
If the driven wheels of an automatic transmission cars and truck touch 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. It is important that you consult your owners’ handbook as it will include a section that resolves towing, with some makers enforcing a distance and speed limit for automatic transmission vehicles. And just as with manual transmission automobiles, make sure that the transmission is in neutral.
How should the car doing the towing be driven?
Keep your speed as low as securely possible, and pull away as carefully as you can, modulating the clutch to prevent “snatching” the rope. That’ll prevent a truly undesirable jerking action in the car being towed, and if your tow rope is going to snap, it’ll be on that celebration.
Likewise, brake lightly beforehand to set off brake lights so the towed automobile has lots of notice that braking impends. And similarly, indicate well ahead of time so your partner behind has great deals of notice.
Watch on your temperature level gauge as your engine will be under a greater load than normal, so overheating is a prospective problem. And because there’s lot more going on than throughout your normal journeys, it’s smart to have another person in the tow vehicle to keep a better eye on what’s happening behind.
Prevent any dramatic manoeuvres, sudden braking or velocity– keep in mind, if the towed automobile does not have a running engine, it likewise won’t have actually power helped steering or brakes. Which could lead to 2 dead automobiles instead of one.
When you buy a purpose-built tow rope they generally come with an ‘On Tow’ indication, which you hang on the back of the vehicle being pulled (certainly). If the ignition isn’t on, the guiding lock will still be engaged, which might have the tow automobile going in one direction and the cars and truck being towed 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 vehicle?
If the driven wheels of an automated transmission automobile are in contact with the roadway when the automobile 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 occasion.
How should the car being hauled be driven?
Even more thoroughly than the tow cars and truck– this is perhaps the harder end of the operation. First of all, the towed automobile may not have engine power, which suggests power assisted brakes and steering will require much greater physical effort to run. Remember to ensure the vehicle remains in neutral, too.
Keep a watchful eye out for brake lights and signs on the tow automobile, and be ready to coordinate your steering and braking actions. It’s also a good idea to keep tension in the towrope as much as possible by braking very lightly while being towed. This will avoid “snatching” and will keep the rope from dragging along the roadway, which will reduce its life substantially.
Lastly, if your Clarkson-obsessed 11-year-old kid enthusiastically volunteers to steer the towed car, that’s a no– the law states that motorist needs to be completely qualified and licenced, too.
What if the towed driver has an issue?
It’s a great idea to concur a few basic hand signals so that the towed motorist can quickly interact messages like “decrease”, “stop” or “you’re driving like a complete ****”. It should 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.