What Can My Vehicle Tow?
WHEN IS IT OK TO TOW ANOTHER CAR, AND WHAT DO I REQUIRED TO KNOW BEFORE TOWING?
Don’t get in a knot with a towrope– follow these guidelines
TOWING another car behind yours might sound like a basic operation, but it isn’t– if you have actually never ever hauled another car, you’ll discover that it’s actually quite challenging. Here, The Sunday Times Driving addresses some of the more challenging aspects of towing.
When is it OK to tow another car?
The most proper time to tow another vehicle is when it has broken down and is either causing an obstruction or is in a dangerous location and needs to be hauled to a more secure area. Towing another cars and truck has intrinsic threats and you really should keep that journey to an outright minimum range.
I have actually 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?
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 very same as any other roadworthy car, implying that it should be guaranteed and taxed with a legitimate MOT. In this circumstances, you’re going to need a trailer.
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 rope, but do not do it. The effects of having a rope breeze while towing another vehicle range from the funny to the terrible, so do the right thing and buy yourself a purpose-built rope.
It’ll be a handy thing to have in your boot anyhow, and automobile aftermarket outlets bring a large range of tow ropes– a durable example ranked for 3.5 tonnes and meeting British Standards ought to cover practically any towing scenario.
The length of time should my tow rope be?
Lawfully, there’s no minimum length, but common sense determines that you leave enough distance in between the two cars so that the one behind has lots of time to respond to turns and brakes.
There is, though, an optimum permitted length of 4.5 metres, and if you’re using a rope that’s longer than 1.5 metres the law states you require to connect a flapping bit of coloured fabric to the middle so other drivers identify the rope. Because while you may believe that a couple of metres doesn’t represent an exploitable gap in traffic, experience teaches that numerous vehicle drivers do.
Do I require an indication of any kind?
Yes you do. When you buy a purpose-built tow rope they normally include an ‘On Tow’ indication, which you hang on the back of the vehicle being pulled (undoubtedly). The cops won’t be very happy if you don’t have one of those.
Does the ignition of the vehicle being pulled requirement to be on?
Definitely. If the ignition isn’t on, the steering lock will still be engaged, which might have the tow cars and truck entering one instructions and the car being towed going in another at the first corner. Which’s not going to end well.
Do the lights on the vehicle being pulled have to work?
Driving asked the authorities about this and the response was an indisputable yes, particularly if it’s dark. And even if it’s broad daylight, forget utilizing hand signals instead of indicators– 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 result in all sorts of misunderstandings …
Can I tow a cars and truck with an automatic transmission?
If the driven wheels of an automatic transmission vehicle 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 vital that you consult your owners’ handbook as it will contain a section that attends to towing, with some producers enforcing a range and speed limitation for automatic transmission cars and trucks. And just as with manual transmission automobiles, make certain that the transmission remains in neutral.
How should the automobile doing the towing be driven?
Keep your speed as low as safely possible, and pull away as carefully as you can, regulating the clutch to prevent “taking” the rope. That’ll prevent an actually undesirable jerking action in the vehicle being hauled, and if your tow rope is going to snap, it’ll be on that occasion.
Brake lightly in advance to activate brake lights so the towed car has plenty of notification that braking is impending. And similarly, show well in advance so your partner behind has lots of notice.
Keep an eye on your temperature gauge as your engine will be under a higher load than typical, so overheating is a potential issue. And because there’s lot more going on than throughout your normal journeys, it’s wise to have another person in the tow automobile to keep a more detailed eye on what’s taking place behind.
Prevent any dramatic manoeuvres, abrupt braking or acceleration– remember, if the towed automobile does not have a running engine, it likewise will not have power assisted steering or brakes. Which could lead to two dead cars instead of one.
When you buy a purpose-built tow rope they normally come with an ‘On Tow’ indication, which you hang on the back of the car being hauled (clearly). If the ignition isn’t on, the guiding lock will still be engaged, which could have the tow vehicle going in one instructions and the automobile being towed 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 misunderstandings …
Can I tow a car with an automatic transmission?
If the driven wheels of an automatic transmission automobile are in contact with the road when the automobile 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 pulled be driven?
A lot more carefully than the tow cars and truck– this is perhaps the tougher end of the operation. First off, the towed vehicle may not have engine power, which indicates power assisted brakes and steering will require much greater physical effort to run. Keep in mind to ensure the automobile remains in neutral, too.
Keep an eagle 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 also a great idea to keep tension in the towrope as much as possible by braking extremely lightly while being towed. This will prevent “nabbing” and will keep the rope from dragging along the roadway, which will shorten its life significantly.
Lastly, if your Clarkson-obsessed 11-year-old kid enthusiastically volunteers to guide the towed vehicle, that’s a no– the law states that motorist requires to be fully certified and licenced, too.
What if the towed motorist has an issue?
It’s a great idea to concur a few easy hand signals so that the towed driver can quickly communicate messages like “slow down”, “stop” or “you’re driving like a total ****”. It needs to 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.