What To Know Prior To Towing A Trailer.
WHEN IS IT OK TO TOW ANOTHER CAR, AND WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW BEFORE TOWING?
Don’t get in a knot with a towrope– follow these guidelines
TOWING another car behind yours might sound like an easy operation, but it isn’t– if you have actually never ever hauled another vehicle, you’ll find that it’s actually rather difficult. Here, The Sunday Times Driving addresses a few of the more challenging elements of towing.
When is it OK to tow another vehicle?
The most appropriate time to tow another automobile is when it has actually broken down and is either triggering an obstruction or is in a hazardous location and requires to be towed to a more secure spot. Towing another automobile has inherent dangers and you really ought to keep that journey to an outright minimum distance.
I’ve purchased an ancient vintage car that’s on a SORN (Statutory Off Roadway Alert). Can I tow it to my garage where I prepare to restore it?
In a word, no. The law is quite clear here– if the automobile being rope-towed has its 4 wheels on the ground, it’s dealt with the like any other roadworthy lorry, meaning that it needs to be insured and taxed with a legitimate MOT. 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 rope, however do not do it. The effects of having a rope snap while towing another automobile variety from the humorous to the terrible, so do the right thing and buy yourself a purpose-built rope.
It’ll be a helpful thing to have in your boot anyhow, and vehicle aftermarket outlets bring a large range of tow ropes– a durable example ranked for 3.5 tonnes and conference British Standards need to cover almost any towing eventuality.
How long should my tow rope be?
Lawfully, there’s no minimum length, however sound judgment dictates that you leave enough distance in between the two vehicles so that the one behind has lots of time to react to turns and brakes.
There is, however, a maximum allowed 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 attach a flapping bit of coloured fabric to the middle so other drivers find the rope. Since while you might think that a couple of metres does not represent an exploitable gap in traffic, experience teaches that numerous vehicle drivers do.
Do I require a sign of any kind?
Yes you do. When you buy a purpose-built tow rope they typically come with an ‘On Tow’ sign, which you hold on the back of the car being towed (undoubtedly). If you do not have one of those, the cops will not be really delighted.
Does the ignition of the automobile being towed requirement to be on?
Definitely. If the ignition isn’t on, the guiding lock will still be engaged, which could have the tow automobile entering one direction and the car 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 towed have to work?
Driving asked the authorities about this and the answer was an unequivocal yes, particularly if it’s dark. And even if it’s broad daytime, forget using hand signals instead of signs– 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 vehicle with an automatic transmission?
If the driven wheels of an automatic 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. It is essential that you consult your owners’ handbook as it will include a section that deals with towing, with some producers enforcing a distance and speed limitation for automatic transmission automobiles. And just as with manual transmission cars, ensure that the gearbox remains in neutral.
How should the cars and truck doing the towing be driven?
Carefully. Really carefully. Keep your speed as low as safely possible, and retreat as gently as you can, regulating the clutch to prevent “nabbing” the rope. That’ll prevent an actually undesirable jerking action in the car being towed, and if your tow rope is going to snap, it’ll be on that event.
Also, brake gently in advance to activate brake lights so the towed car has a lot of notification that braking impends. And also, indicate well ahead of time so your partner behind has great deals of notification.
Watch on your temperature gauge as your engine will be under a greater load than normal, so overheating is a possible problem. And because there’s lot more going on than throughout your typical journeys, it’s smart to have somebody else in the tow car to keep a more detailed eye on what’s taking place behind.
Avoid any remarkable manoeuvres, sudden braking or acceleration– keep in mind, if the towed car does not have a running engine, it likewise will not have actually power helped steering or brakes. Which might lead to 2 dead vehicles instead of one.
When you purchase a purpose-built tow rope they normally come with an ‘On Tow’ indication, which you hang on the back of the vehicle being towed (obviously). If the ignition isn’t on, the steering lock will still be engaged, which could have the tow automobile going in one instructions and the automobile 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 misunderstandings …
Can I tow a car with an automatic cars and truck?
If the driven wheels of an automated transmission cars and truck 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 a truly unpleasant jerking action in the cars and truck being towed, and if your tow rope is going to snap, it’ll be on that celebration.
How should the car being towed be driven?
Even more thoroughly than the tow vehicle– this is probably the harder end of the operation. Off, the towed cars and truck may not have engine power, which means power assisted brakes and steering will need much greater physical effort to operate. Keep in mind to ensure the automobile is in neutral, too.
Keep an eagle eye out for brake lights and indicators on the tow cars and truck, and be ready to coordinate your steering and braking actions. It’s likewise a great concept to keep stress in the towrope as much as possible by braking extremely gently while being hauled. This will prevent “nabbing” and will keep the rope from dragging along the road, which will reduce its life considerably.
If your Clarkson-obsessed 11-year-old kid enthusiastically volunteers to steer the towed vehicle, that’s a no– the law states that motorist requires to be completely qualified and licenced, too.
What if the towed driver has a problem?
It’s a great idea to concur a few simple hand signals so that the towed driver can quickly interact messages like “decrease”, “stop” or “you’re driving like a total ****”. It should be said, 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.