Car accidents and damages are common and you’ll never know when and where it will happen. Understanding the basics of the entire towing process works can help you save time and money. But it can be a tedious task, especially if you’ve no prior experience. Tow trucks have their own varied purposes, and each vehicle is designed accordingly. Some are used to tow heavy things such as properties, construction materials, and military equipment. While others tow vehicles for illegal parking and for moving abandoned cars. The services may vary across regions and districts. In this guide, we will explore the process of towing a car. We will also discuss why tow trucks are necessary and also understand the importance of consulting a towing company.
Step 1: Collect all the Equipment
Gather all the necessary equipment before you begin with the towing process. We have mentioned a list of the crucial items you’ll need:
- A tow truck: This is the vehicle that will do the towing. Make sure that the hired tow truck is large in size and powerful. A large tow truck will tow your vehicle without much difficulty.
- A tow bar/trailer hitch: Most commonly, a tow bar or trailer hitch does the job. However, various factors can come in to influence your choices. Either it can be your own preferences or the type of towing you need. A tow bar function is to connect the two vehicles directly. While a trailer hitch requires a trailer to carry the towed vehicle.
- Safety chains: These provide an additional layer of security by connecting the towed vehicle to the tow vehicle.
- Tow straps or tow ropes: These are used to connect the two vehicles securely.
- Trailer lights and wiring (if using a trailer): Ensure that the towed vehicle’s lights are synchronized with the tow vehicle’s lights for safe driving.
- Braking system (if required): Some states require an additional braking system for towed vehicles.
Step 2: Check Vehicle Compatibility
Before getting underway with the towing process, make sure that the towed vehicle is compatible with the tow truck in terms of weight and towing capacity.
Step 3: Prepare the Towed Vehicle
Before towing, you should prepare the towed vehicle:
- Ensure the towed vehicle is in neutral (for manual transmissions) or in park (for automatic transmissions).
- Release the parking brake.
- Remove the key once you have turned off the engine, this will prevent the steering wheel from locking.
- Secure loose items inside the towed vehicle to prevent them from shifting during transport.
Step 4: Connect the Vehicles If you’re using a tow bar:
- Follow the manufacturer’s manual and carefully attach the tow bar to the rear of the towed vehicle.
- In order to ensure maximum stability, consider crisscrossing by connecting the safety chains from the towed vehicle to the tow vehicle.
- Attach tow straps or tow ropes to the designated points on both vehicles.
If you’re using a trailer:
- Back the tow vehicle up to the trailer hitch.
- Secure the trailer hitch to the tow vehicle’s hitch receiver, ensuring it’s properly locked in place.
- Connect the trailer’s wiring to the tow vehicle’s electrical system, including lights and brakes.
Step 5: Perform Safety Checks
Before hitting the road, perform these essential safety checks:
- Test the brake lights, turn signals, and running lights to ensure they are functioning correctly.
- Check the tire pressure on both the towed and tow vehicles.
- Ensure that all connections and attachments are secure.
- Verify that the towed vehicle’s steering is free and not locked.
Step 7: Monitor the Towed Vehicle
While towing, periodically check the towed vehicle through your rear-view mirrors to ensure it is tracking straight and not swaying.
Step 6: Start Towing
When you’re ready to start towing, follow these guidelines:
- Drive slowly and cautiously, especially when accelerating, braking, and turning.
- Keep a safe following distance from other vehicles.
- Be prepared for longer stopping distances, as towing adds weight to the tow vehicle.
- Pay attention to signs and signals, and obey speed limits and traffic rules.
Step 8: Parking and Unloading When you reach your destination:
- Park in a safe, level area.
- Disconnect the towed vehicle by reversing the connection process, ensuring everything is securely detached.
- If using a trailer, carefully drive the towed vehicle off the trailer.
Why are tow trucks necessary?
Apart from turning overturned cars and pulling along damaged cars and buses, industries and construction companies require towing vehicles for specific operations. We saw how these trucks are used in moving heavy construction equipment, large houses, military equipment, machinery, and abandoned cars. There’s no limitation on how it’s going to be used. Besides, there are several tow trucks that are made for specific tasks. Some of these are vastly used in the recovery process, and others are used in accidents. In case, you want to consult a reputed towing company, then contact a professional and enquire about the different options available.
A tow truck is not just about towing cars but it serves many other purposes. Aside from that, towing a vehicle may seem like a complex task. Follow each step mentioned in this guide and you will easily tow your car without any difficulty. At the same time, adhering to safety precautions can help you successfully tow a vehicle with confidence. It’s always a good idea to practice in a controlled environment before attempting bigger cases. If, however, you need to consult a professional then consult a reputed towing company and ask about the services and further regulations and guidelines.