Towing Cars | What you need to know

Vital Facts About Towing Vehicles

Whether you are the tow truck company, tower, or the person being towed you need to know what laws are applicable when towing a vehicle. Not knowing them could cost you dearly. This article will inform you of the laws applicable and also give you tips to make the experience easier.

Any vehicle towing another must comply with the relevant road traffic laws governing it. Therefore it must have tax, insurance and be roadworthy. It should also be large enough to be capable of towing the load and the combined weight of the vehicle and trailer/other vehicle plus their load (passengers, driver, luggage etc) must not exceed certain limits. The limits vary from place to place, so do check the local city of Chicago rules.

Another point to take into consideration is that the size of some vehicles and trailers may require a different type of driving license. The vehicle/trailer being towed should also be connected to the one doing the towing by a proper tow hitch, either an integral part of the vehicle’s structure, or on a recommended tow bar.

In an emergency this may be impractical. Most vehicles nowadays have at least one tow bracket at both the front and rear. These should be connected to the other vehicle with a rigid metal tow bar, rather than rope.

To prevent ‘snaking’ or swaying from side to side of the vehicle/trailer being towed the weight on the tow hitch has to be considered. The more weight on this the better, as it helps the stability of the load. However too much weight here can affect the handling of the leading vehicle.

This can be achieved by taking care when loading the trailer/towed vehicle. The heavier articles should be put towards the front and kept close to the floor. If you are towing a caravan with bottles of gas for cooking, make sure they are turned off and disconnected.

You will need to have a number plate, brakes and lights on the towed vehicle. The number plate should be the same as the towing vehicle and the lights and brakes should be synchronous with the front vehicle. Most trailers have a connection to fit to the front vehicle to do this, but you may have to make your own connections. If so, check the wiring carefully to ensure that the connections are made correctly.

If you are being towed in an emergency situation, you may find that you need to sit in your vehicle to steer it and operate the bakes and lights when necessary. The person in the lead should keep to a low speed and your vehicle should have a placard at the rear to the effect that it is being towed. This helps to alert other drivers to the fact that you may need extra time when manoeuvring. Your vehicle should be in neutral gear with the handbrake off, whilst being towed.

There is training available nowadays for those who have never towed before. These courses are well worth doing, as they cover many of the legalities and things one needs to be aware of. They also advise how to avoid certain difficulties with towing and teach you to reverse! Easily done when you have been shown, but horrendously difficult if you haven’t.

By following all these points and tips you should find your experience as a tower enjoyable.

Are you looking for a towing company in Chicago? Then make sure to visit qualified North Shore Towing & Semi Truck Heavy Wrecker.