The quality of cars being manufactured today has improved greatly compared to a few decades ago. Nevertheless, cars are bound to break down. If you’ve owned a car for several years now, you’ve probably had to tow your car at least once. Although towing services are readily available in most places today, they don’t cover every single area. What happens if your car breaks down in a remote area? This is one of the main reasons every car owner/driver should familiarize themselves with towing basics. Understanding how to tow your car makes the process easier and safer. Here are the most crucial towing tips to know.
1. Understand towing capacity
To tow a car safely, you must understand the capabilities of the vehicle pulling you. Cars with towing capabilities have a towing capacity which is simply; the maximum amount of weight the vehicle is supposed to tow. You can find this information in a vehicle manual or vehicle manufacturer website. Ideally, the towing vehicle should be heavier and more powerful than the car being towed otherwise; the vehicle will be unable to tow or be susceptible to damage during the process. For this reason, you should ask for help from a motorist who has a heavier and more powerful vehicle than yours.
2. Have your towing and safety equipment ready at all times
You should have a tow rope and warning triangles in your car. Investing in a good tow rope is important for your own safety. You can find high-quality tow ropes in gas stations, garages and local car stores. A high-quality rope will not snap and endanger your life or the life of other motorists. Warning triangles are necessary for warning other drivers of an accident/stalled vehicle/s ahead.
3. Leave a distance of at least 2 meters between your car and tow vehicle
When attaching your car to the tow vehicle, leave 2 to 3 meters space to ensure other motorists see the tow rope. Leaving enough distance also avoids collisions when the tow vehicle slows down suddenly. A 2-3 meter tow rope will also avoid sudden jerks when the tow truck/vehicle increases speed.
4. Use your hazard lights and a warning sign
Hazard lights are important for warning other motorists of an ongoing hazardous situation ahead. For this reason, your hazard lights have to be on when your car is being towed. A sign is equally important for letting other motorists know the type of hazardous situation you are dealing with. You can create a warning sign with the words ''BEING TOWED'' and place it on your back window.
5. Steer, accelerate and brake in synchrony
While on the road, you should get your driving cues from the driver pulling you. Steering, accelerating and braking in harmony is crucial for maintaining the right kind of tension on the tow rope. This tip will help you minimize jerking/jolting. It’s important to discuss driving conditions and routes in advance to make this tip more effective.
There you go! Knowing the above car towing tips can help you tow your car faster, better and safer. There's, however, more to what is discussed above. Ideally, towing should be left to professionals. You should tow your vehicle in emergencies only i.e. when you can’t find towing company near you.