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Old 22nd April 2016, 00:49   #16
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Default Re: Buying a Towing Rope

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Originally Posted by bblost View Post
I can imagine this like a scene from some comedy movie.
He was very, very, very grateful to the police!
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Old 1st November 2016, 17:48   #17
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Default Re: Buying a Towing Rope

Those considering buying cheaper tow ropes from Amazon/eBay/Flipkart like this one, my advice would be to get something of a better quality. It says 3 tons as specification, but it snapped while pulling a 650 kg Nano! Throughout the way I made sure to not exceed 15 kmph, and avoided sudden braking or strong acceleration.

Buying a Towing Rope-fullsizerender-8.jpg

I bought this for like 200 rupees ages ago, but never had to use it until today. The Nano had to be towed to a Tata workshop 4 km from home. (here's why (TATA nano - List of ALL issues))

The cable snapped into two, but right at the gate of the workshop, thankfully:
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Another gripe I had with this cable was that it didn't fit the tow hooks of the Nano or the GV. I had to force the spring clip out in order to secure the cable.
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Last edited by Tanmay K : 1st November 2016 at 17:49.
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Old 2nd November 2016, 00:06   #18
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Seriously, 200 rupees and you are surprised it broke?
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Old 2nd November 2016, 01:28   #19
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Default Re: Buying a Towing Rope

Towing on a short line is difficult, dangerous, and hair-raising for the driver of the towed car. Perfect recipe for a DIY rear-ending!
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Old 2nd November 2016, 06:41   #20
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Default Re: Buying a Towing Rope

For Towing, it is always better to use a Rigid Rod type thing rather than these ropes.

The few times Ive had to tow other vehicles, sadly I never had this rigid rod type thing so I did use simple, strong, coir rope more usually used for cows.

But it wasn't a very long rope - no more than 8 feet in length.

And the towing speed was extremely slow. No more than 20kmph.

All professional tow rig jobs, use only a rigid link.

With all these electronics loaded new vehicles which become like dead bricks the moment the battery dies or the engine dies and one can't start them, the only solution is a low loader, because with a dead power steering and a locked up set of wheels, there is no way they can be towed.

The only vehicles that are "tow friendly" so to say are those older gen vehicles which are not loaded with too many electronics.
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Old 2nd November 2016, 09:08   #21
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Default Re: Buying a Towing Rope

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Perfect recipe for a DIY rear-ending!
Yes, "driving" a towed car is certainly not something trivial, even though it might appear so. I specifically instructed the person in the Nano to keep a close eye on my brake lights. Surely needs some good coordination.

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Originally Posted by shankar.balan View Post
with a dead power steering and a locked up set of wheels, there is no way they can be towed.
Good point. This Nano does not have a PS anyway so it didn't make a difference but towing other cars would have been a royal pain.



This particular case was certainly not an emergency but I went ahead and thought I should give this cable a shot in a non-pressure situation, so to say.
Given the number of people talking about having a tow strap in their cars on this thread (Must-Have Items in the boot of your car), I figured the quality of the strap needs to be kept in mind.

For now I've arranged for someone to bring a decent strap and D-ring shackles from Amazon US, totaling $40 (numerous good reviews). Hopefully I wouldn't have to buy this again.
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Old 2nd November 2016, 09:36   #22
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Default Re: Buying a Towing Rope

I have the same tow rope and it did snap when I towed a heavy Fiat.
But we still managed to put a knot and continued.

The tow hooks are actually decent. Just go to a good harware store and replace the band with a proper rope.

You don't need to worry too much about something which you will be using once in a blue moon and only as the last option.
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Old 2nd November 2016, 13:14   #23
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Default Re: Buying a Towing Rope

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Originally Posted by shankar.balan View Post
All professional tow rig jobs, use only a rigid link.
It's the only thing one can really safely put an inexperienced tow-ee behind, unless one is going to stick to walking speeds.

I've been towed on a British motorway with a rigid link. You still have to concentrate on the steering, but I soon got over the initial jitters. Even so, the tow distance was only to the nearest place they could load the car on a truck.

The material for a towing line should have a little springiness to avoid the jerks that are so potentially potentially bad for both vehicles and the line itself. Someone who currently sails would know what to use --- but my out-of-date experience would specify nylon. But what's the point when the sellers probably don't know what the material is, and would probably call any synthetic fibre "nylon." Jeroen?

There are also thick rubber anti-snatch devices, made for anchor lines, that could serve a useful purpose.

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Old 3rd November 2016, 06:50   #24
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Default Re: Buying a Towing Rope

My Dad taught me how to tow a vehicle long ago in the old Mahindra Jeep. I learned to tow a trailer with a rigid trailer hook and tackle.
I also learned to tow a trailer behind a tractor. The tougher part was the reversing, because one has to turn the steering in the opposite direction to where one wants the trailer to go.
I was lucky to have lots of space to practice this technique since we lived on a tea estate.
But that was long ago - more than 20 years. So Im not sure I will still have retained the skill.

However, over the last 20 odd years, in my Gypsy, Bolero and even the Scorpio, I have had occasional need to tow other vehicles out of trouble now and then. I ve just used a standard cow rope since the distances were not long. And mostly emergency scenarios - battery dead or flooded road or car stuck in a deep pothole during the floods or once the Tata Sierra who got stuck in sand on the beach etc.

Saying that, I wouldn't make a habit of it!

Abroad, one requires an endorsement on one's license to be legally allowed to tow another vehicle or trailer. I don't think this rule applies in India. But it really ought to because of the potential hazards that come with inadequate knowledge.
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Old 3rd November 2016, 22:00   #25
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Default Re: Buying a Towing Rope

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Abroad, one requires an endorsement on one's license to be legally allowed to tow another vehicle or trailer. I don't think this rule applies in India. But it really ought to because of the potential hazards that come with inadequate knowledge.
I have never heard of that for UK, not for non-commercial towing, at any rate. But I am over a decade out of touch.
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Old 3rd November 2016, 22:39   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
I have never heard of that for UK, not for non-commercial towing, at any rate. But I am over a decade out of touch.

Most European countries require you to carry, mandatory, a towing rope. One can assume you are allowed to use it.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comp...n_traffic_laws

There are several European countries which have explicitly forbidden the use of fixed towing contraptions, e.g. Triangle, towing bar etc. for instance Spain I believe.

Jeroen
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Old 4th November 2016, 21:15   #27
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Default Re: Buying a Towing Rope

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There are several European countries which have explicitly forbidden the use of fixed towing contraptions, e.g. Triangle, towing bar etc. for instance Spain I believe.
Why is that, Jeroen? I had the idea that such kit would be a lot safer? Is that it encourages faster towing speeds? Please give us the up-to-date low-down from Europe on this

(Oh wait... I hadn't clicked on your link! Going there now...)
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Old 5th November 2016, 00:19   #28
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Default Re: Buying a Towing Rope

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Why is that, Jeroen? I had the idea that such kit would be a lot safer? Is that it encourages faster towing speeds? Please give us the up-to-date low-down from Europe on this
Despite the EU and a lot of common legislation this is actually in area where a lot of differences exist between the various EU countries. As you will see in the table I provided in my previous post, it is mandatory to have a towing rope with you in most European countries. But how and where you are allowed to use it differs. For instance the Netherlands has no restrictions, you can use it for any reason on all roads. In quite a few European countries you are not allowed to use tow ropes on the motorway (other then to pull a vehicle of the motorway). In quite a few countries you are only allowed to tow a broken down car to a garage to get it fixed. You are not allowed to tow for instance a car with no engine from you home to anotherís friends home to fit an engine. So it is purely for emergency use. Several countries have severe speed restrictions in place as soon as you tow. (another reason you canít go on the motorway as the max towing speed is considerably lower then the minimum motorway speed!

When it comes to towing there are roughly speaking three different methods, in random order

1) Towing rope / sling
2) Towing bar
3) Triangle

The Triangle is a bit special. It is typically used to tow a small car behind a caravan or a big SUV / Motorhome.

Have a look:



As you will see, this is not for emergencies. The car is steered through the triangle and brakes as well. As far as I know this system is legal in the Netherlands and the UK and nowhere else in Europe. Having said that I have never seen one in the Netherlands or the UK. I saw lots of these in the USA. Lots of Motorhome owners pull a regular car with them all over the USA.

The towing bar is the worst way to tow a car. It puts a lot of undue strain on both vehicle. More importantly safety wise is that the towed vehicle could start pushing the towing vehicle which can lead to dangerous situations very quickly.

All in all, I would say, towing isnít really that big a deal. But it is important to have a proper towing rope or sling. Proper size, proper length. Exercise caution, make sure to move fluidly, avoid sharp acceleration/braking and the towed car driver needs to try and avoid the towing cable going slack. Thatís all. no big deal, my wife has done it and she doesnít eve like driving a regular car let alone a towed one, but she did fine

Jeroen
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Old 5th November 2016, 01:40   #29
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Default Re: Buying a Towing Rope

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
Despite the EU and a lot of common legislation this is actually in area where a lot of differences exist between the various EU countries. As you will see in the table I provided in my previous post, it is mandatory to have a towing rope with you in most European countries. But how and where you are allowed to use it differs.
And whether or not one has to hoist diamond shapes?

Really head-scratching stuff!

I never heard of the triangle, or of the idea of towing cars in the way, and for the purpose, that you describe as being common in USA. A new one to me!

I'm still surprised that the rigid link is considered so dangerous, but I see your point about the transfer of stresses, and the possibility of the tow turning into a push.

All you practical hints make sense. Slow and Smooth would be my motto.

Thank you for your detailed reply!
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Old 5th November 2016, 06:55   #30
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Default Re: Buying a Towing Rope

Perhaps a combination of a rigid link coupled with the flexibility of a rope or strap? I have often wondered if a strong nylon rope coiled over a few times and passed through a hollow metal pipe would be a better combination. At each end of the pipe the length of the rope that protrudes out of the pipe would give flexibility, while the pipe itself could act as a rigid link to prevent "DIY Rear Ending".
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