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Tow Ropes

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Tow ropes or poles are not part of mandatory car equipment, but it’s generally a good idea to have them in the trunk just in case. If your car ever breaks down or gets stuck in deep snow, salvaging it will be much easier.

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To tow a vehicle, you can use a tow rope or tow pole

Tažné lano

Tow rope 

When using a tow rope, the distance between the vehicles must be 2.5 to 6.0 m. The rope must be clearly marked, for example with a red cloth measuring at least 30 × 30 cm. Unlike a tow pole, a tow rope is compact and can be stored away in the trunk. You can find tow ropes made of artificial fibre or steel; both types are sufficiently strong and durable.

Tažná tyč

Tow pole

Must be longer than 1 m and shorter than 6 m. If you are planning to use a tow pole, keep in mind that if the towed vehicle doesn’t have a properly working braking system, it must be lighter than the pulling vehicle. The primary downside of the tow pole is its size–it’s not nearly as compact as a tow rope and takes up more space in the trunk.

 

   

How do I attach a tow rope or pole to my car?

Every car has a tow hitch at the front and rear; in some cases they are stored in the trunk, among the mandatory car equipment, and you have to mount them first. Tow ropes are equipped with a hook that you secure to the hitch. Repeat the process with the second vehicle. If your tow rope doesn’t have a hook, wrap the rope around the hitch and secure it with a pin shackle. When mounting a tow pole, first attach the centre part to the two end parts and secure it with a pin shackle. Then secure the end hooks to the hitches of both cars and rotate the pole until the hooks snap into position. 

Warning: Never attach a tow rope or pole to the axles or any parts of the vehicle frame!

Tips for towing a vehicle

  • The maximum towing speed is 50 km/h.
  • Towing on the motorway is prohibited in some countries; in others, you can only tow until the nearest highway exit.
  • Only a registered vehicle or a vehicle with a valid MOT test may be towed.
  • The towed vehicle must have properly working brakes and steering.
  • Mark the towed vehicle visibly with a warning triangle, ideally behind the rear window.
  • The towed vehicle should be braked and put in neutral.
  • Establish proper communication and signals with the other driver.
  • The more experienced driver should sit in the towed vehicle, because driving it is more difficult.
  • Usage of hazard lights may differ depending on the country; in some countries, the hazard lights on the towed vehicle must stay off.

 

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