With millions of cars owned by Americans, people rely on their vehicles to get to work and back. Nearly 76% of US commuters use their personal cars to travel home. Having said that, the more vehicles, the greater number of accidents, breakdowns, and car failures. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, approximately 13 car accidents occur in the United States every minute, determining that there are nearly 6.75 million accidents every year across the country along with breakdowns and sudden vehicle issues.
Whether your vehicle meets an accident, disruption, or, any kind of malfunction while traveling to your destination, it’s always frustrating. It can be more disturbing if you are stuck in the middle of nowhere with your family and kids. Here is when towing the car is the only choice and towing skills come in handy.
Towing is only possible using another vehicle. However, to pull your car from behind another truck, you will need to consider a few safety factors and take some precautions. After all, just the procedure of hitching and unhitching a car from a tow vehicle requires knowledge, and forgetting a single step can compromise safety.
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Risks Involved With Towing Your Own Car
1. Getting into an Accident
After being in an accident, your car is usually undrivable. Even if you know you shouldn’t drive, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
2. Running Out of Gas
Every driver has experienced this at least once. When you forget to put gas in the tank and there isn’t any gas station nearby, and you don’t have someone to bring you a container of the fuel as well, you’ll need a tow.
It’s possible for this to occur suddenly. You should get your car checked out by a mechanic right away by towing it if you suspect it has overheated.
4. Car Refuses to Start
In most cases, we blame a dead battery in this case. If your car won’t start, towing can be your option. It can jumpstart it for you, and if it doesn’t solve the problem, towing can definitely drive you to the mechanic.
Getting Ready for Towing
1. Inspect the vehicle’s tires
Many people check the tire pressures on their car but often overlook the towing vehicle’s wheels. Check for dry rot and cracking in the tires if it has been sitting idle for a while in the weather. Tire failure can occur even if there appears to be plenty of tread remaining due to the natural aging process. Your tow vehicle’s tires may also need a different air pressure for towing. Make sure that your car’s and tow vehicle’s wheel lug nuts are tightened to the correct torque.
2. Maintain A High Standard Of Service For Your Car
Experts recommend that before embarking on a towing road trip, drivers should ensure that their truck has recently had an oil and filter change; their brake pads still have plenty of life left on them; the engine coolant reservoir is filled to the proper level; and that their transmission fluid is topped off. Also, make sure the wheel bearings are always oiled and have the brakes tested and adjusted on your towing vehicle.
3. Find a Towing Vehicle with a Matching Hitch Ball
Experts also recommend matching the ball size of your tow hitch with the coupler size of your car. Incorrectly sized hitch balls are the most common cause of towing mishaps. Common diameters for hitch balls include 17/8 inches, 2 inches, and 2 5/16 inches in diameter. So, ensure finding the right size of hitch balls.
4. Don’t Break Down On the Highway
One of the experienced chief engineers, Rod Romain advises drivers to always carry a spare tire. In case drivers need to fix a flat tire on the side of the road, he advises bringing along a jack that is compatible with your towing vehicle and a lug nut wrench designed for your wheels.
In case drivers need to fix a flat tire on the side of the road, he advises bringing along a jack that is compatible with your car and a lug nut wrench designed for your wheels.
5. Make Sure You Use Vehicle Chains for Safety
Vehicles are required to have safety chains that attach to the hitch. crossing the safety chains on the car rather than running them straight. If the towing vehicle were to become detached from the towing vehicle, the tongue would not dig into the pavement but rather rest on the “cradle” formed by the crossed chains. Having slack in the chains allows for tighter spins without dragging.
6. Check the Lights
You should double-check the vehicle’s electrical wiring system’s connection to the tow vehicle before setting out on the road. Hand-check the wires to make sure they are loose enough to spin without snagging but not so loose that they touch the ground. Verify the operation of the vehicle’s running lights, brake lights, turn signals, and danger lights in conjunction with those of the towing vehicle with the help of a witness.
7. Put Tow Mirrors On Your Shopping List
To improve your vision while driving and backing up with a truck that is wider than your tow vehicle, you may want to invest in wider aftermarket or factory tow mirrors. When towing a vehicle, you need all the mirror width you can get. There are many new trucks and SUVs that include blind spot warning systems that not only aid with the truck’s blind areas but also give alerts for the whole length of the vehicle.
8. Put in Wheel Stops
Wheel chocks (strong, wedge-shaped blocks) should be placed in front of and behind your vehicle’s tires before unhitching it from the tow vehicle to prevent it from rolling away.
Once you’ve got your car hitched up to your tow vehicle, it’s time to go on the open road and start your journey. However, towing with the help of the car demands experience, expertise, and even more driving attention than what most people are accustomed to. Therefore, here are some key pointers to keep in mind while you tow your vehicle:
Safety Factors to Consider for Towing Vehicle
1. Educate yourself on what you’re pulling
The car often outweighs the vehicle The truck’s stopping distance and maneuverability will suffer greatly with all that additional weight trailing behind it. Keep clearances in mind while going into gas stations or under low bridges, as the height may also be a concern since towing vehicles can be considerably higher than the car.
2. Turn a little wider on bends and curves
The tugging vehicle tires are more likely to hit or ride up over curbs since they will finish up closer to the inside of a turn than the wheels of your tow vehicle. Giving more room than normal around corners is essential for safe towing.
3. Permit for longer stopping distances
The extra weight of the truck will make it such that your tow vehicle needs more stopping distance than it would otherwise need. Towing requires you to be more aware of cars stopping quickly in front of you and to use the brakes earlier than normal.
4. If you’re driving on a highway, stick to the right lane
Experts recommend always staying in the right lane so you have additional space on the right shoulder in case of an emergency stop. When you’re in the right lane, you may easily pull over to the shoulder in the event of a flat tire.
5. Brake the trailer down with the appropriate load
With an available in-vehicle truck brake controller system, a truck driver may regulate the stopping force of the vehicle equipped with electronic brakes and emphasize the need of fine-tuning the truck’s braking force. When pulling a big boat, for instance, the trailer’s brakes should be adjusted to provide significant force. However, the truck’s brakes need to be readjusted for that lesser weight while the boat is not on the truck to prevent the tires from locking up and sliding.
6. Avoid riding a truck on long downhills
Reduce the load on the truck’s brakes by shifting the powertrain into a lower gear. When the driver activates the tow/haul mode on many of today’s pickup trucks, the gearbox will downshift on its own if the vehicle detects a lengthy downhill. The best way to prevent the brakes from overheating is to use them intermittently to maintain a safe pace rather than holding down the brake pedal continuously.
7. When reversing, always look around
When reversing the truck, it’s always a good idea to have a second person standing behind, if possible. Mirrors, even large tow mirrors, sometimes don’t allow as much sight as is needed, especially when there are other cars, objects, or people in close vicinity.
8. Practise driving with a truck
Experts recommend that before you hit the road, it’s better to practice maneuvers like starting off quickly, slowing down, braking, turning wide, and checking your blind spot. This is vital if you are a beginner at the skill of pulling a truck behind a car.
Make sure you’ve double-checked your directions in advance. There are some roads that don’t allow trucks or certain vehicles on them, and some highways also have weight, height, and width limitations. To avoid the bother of having to double back and locate routes that are suitable for your rig, it is important to plan your route in advance.
Risks Involved in Towing Vehicle on Your Own
Like any other thing, towing also requires an ample amount of practice. No matter how carefully you tow the car and ensure precautionary measures, there are several risks involved.
1. Inadequate Tools
To properly tow a car, requires the drivers’ expertise, skills, and use of high-quality towing equipment. The safety of your car might be at risk if you are not experienced enough to tow the truck, or do not have enough machinery, and other equipment tools. Once both cars are out on the road, you may have major issues if the equipment is unsuitable. Therefore, beware of these risks and consider hiring a towing service professional instead that has all the essential equipment tools.
2. Potential Damage to the Towing Vehicle
If the car being towed is not properly secured, it might be damaged during the towing process. In addition to damages like scratches and dents, this may also affect the vehicle’s suspension and alignment.
3. Higher Number Of Accidents
Towing a car increases the length and weight of the combination, which might make it more difficult to handle, particularly for inexperienced drivers. More accidents may occur as a result of this, especially on roads with heavy traffic and on days with low visibility.
4. Risks to Health & Safety
It’s important to keep in mind that towing a car might be dangerous if the pulled vehicle isn’t properly secured or if it doesn’t have working lights and brakes as it can lead to physical injury as well as vehicular damage.
5. Legal Considerations
In certain locations, you need special licenses and equipment to legally tow an automobile. Furthermore, you may be held liable for any damages caused by an accident in which you are engaged while towing a vehicle, regardless of who was at fault. This is true whether or not you were towing the car at the time.
Find a Reliable Towing Partner in Less Than a Minute with Towgrace
When it comes to finding a reliable towing service provider in your vicinity, Towgrace’s website can assist. The site helps you find a credible towing company that you can contact when your vehicle breaks down and leaves you stranded.
Enter the following data into the appropriate fields on the Towgrace site and you will find various companies.
- Pick-up location
- Drop-off location
- The vehicle’s make and model
While you can tow your vehicle keeping the listed safety factors in mind, you must also understand that there are several risks involved. Therefore, hiring a professional towing service is always a wise decision.
Hire a credible towing service professional today using the Towgrace website and your vehicle will be safely and economically recovered by a reputable towing service and put back on the road in no time.