When towing cars, simple matters of security such as making the right connections and safely driving your tow vehicle are of immense importance. Car towing strategies can put your mind and everyone on the road, at ease. Before heading on the road with your car behind, you need to keep several things in mind. The most important aspect is to know how much your tow vehicle can pull.
All truck, car and SUV manufacturers give a towing limit for their vehicles. The limit ranges from few hundred pounds for SUVs and small cars to several thousands of pounds bigger SUVs and some big trucks. Before purchasing your tow vehicle always check with the manufacturer for particular weight ratings. It is also important for you to know how much you will be towing.
There are various ways to pull a car. The easiest solution is using a flatbed trailer. When using this method, you will hook the trailer to the tow vehicle. Drive your car to the trailer and tie it down by the suspension or chassis with axle and ratchet straps. While towing, the wheels of the car will not touch the ground making it easier to manage. Before hitting the road, ensure that the trailer is in good shape. Most trailers are often not used for extended periods of time and sometimes the tires can lose air pressure.
If you cannot afford a trailer, you may consider a tow bar or tow dolly. The tow bar is triangular in shape and will help you attach your car to the tow vehicle keeping in mind whether the car is a two-wheel or four-wheel drive. The bar will allow all the four wheels of the car being towed to roll on the ground.
When using a trailer, other drivers need to know when you will be slowing down or turning. For safety measures, the trailer needs parking lights, turning signals and brake lights that sync up with the tow vehicle. For extra security, you can decide to add reflectors. This measures will ensure road safety to you and other road users. A variety of braking systems such as surge and electric brakes can be used by drivers who tow.
The next step is proper driving skills. If it is your first time to pull a vehicle, then you may want to rehearse on an open space, for instance, a parking lot. Know crucial skills such as how to apply steady, even pressure on the gas pedal, turning, slowing down and backing up. Use a cautious speed while on the road. High rates may prove to be a challenge since it will be hard to control both the tow vehicle and the car behind. Also, driving faster can damage your tow vehicle in the long run.
Before you start driving, check your mirrors. Good mirrors will help you see behind your tow vehicle and also behind the trailer. You should be able to see the approaching cars on both sides, take turns and change lanes safely.
After driving for about 10 to 25 miles, it’s advisable to pull over and double check your connections. Ensure everything is secure and tight. If there are any free safety chains or ratchet straps, tighten them before going back to the road.
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