How to choose the right tow-cable for your car

5 principles of towing: choose the right rope

The cable in a luggage carrier is the nearest relative of aid kit and fire extinguisher, with all their dissimilarity… When everything is all right, they irritate by obvious uselessness. But if suddenly “it is too much”, the picture changes on the opposite: the “idler” calls for help – rescue!

1. Do you want to tow or pull?

What is the difference? At least the price difference: the so-called jerk ropes are much more expensive than their “normal” colleagues. Of course, you can use them for towing, but it’s not rational: they are designed for something else. When the tow vehicle starts to move, the jerk rope first stretches to then sharply “shoot”, shrinking in size. An experienced tow vehicle driver, sensing this moment, usually presses the brake: the energy of the shrinking rope is almost entirely transferred to the towed vehicle, pulling it out of the impassable area. In practice, if a jerk rope is used for towing, it is folded in half.

A dynamic sling (4.5 t, 5 m) from Ufa company “Takelazh+” is optimal for vehicles with a weight of up to 1.5 tons. The width of the tape used is 5.5 cm. Type of coupling – “loop/loop”.

A dynamic sling (4.5 t, 5 m) from Ufa company “Takelazh+” is optimal for vehicles with a weight of up to 1.5 tons. The width of the tape used is 5.5 cm. Type of coupling – “loop/loop”.

Reflective flags: these must be placed at least two pieces. Type of fixation: double-sided Velcro. Flag size: visible – 200×200 mm, full – 400×200 mm.

Reflective flags: these must be placed at least two pieces. Type of fixation: double-sided Velcro. Flag size: visible – 200×200 mm, full – 400×200 mm.

2. Length and load?

There is no need to bother with the length of the tow rope: its value is specified in the traffic regulations. It should be from 4 to 6 meters. It is worse: the rope must be marked with flags or shields of established form… It is very likely that you will have to buy these flags separately: otherwise, you may be punished. As for the force indicated on the cable package, in practice the most common are 5-ton cables, which are suitable for towing almost any passenger car.

Pay special attention to the length. If the rope is too short, at the first braking the towing person will regret his kindness: the towed will drive into the loin of the body. But also too long rope is not a present: think, how are you going to turn into an alley or, even worse, into a back alley? The tow-bar will easily go around the corner, but the long rope will pull you aside, aggravating your troubles.

What shock absorbers are better: gas or oil

An example of a tow strap with a working load of 4 tons and a minimum breaking load of 6 tons. Ideal for a vehicle with a curb weight of up to 2 tons. Material of the belt is polyester, execution: “hook/hook”.

An example of a tow strap with a working load of 4 tons and a minimum breaking load of 6 tons. Ideal for a vehicle with a curb weight of up to 2 tons. Material of the belt is polyester, execution: “hook/hook”.

The “DorNabor” dynamic rope (12 tons, 9 meters) is designed for vehicles weighing from 2,000 to 3,500 kg. This one should be able to cope with almost any off-road vehicle stuck in the mud. By the way, the sling is made in Russia.

The “DorNabor” dynamic rope (12 tons, 9 meters) is designed for vehicles weighing from 2,000 to 3,500 kg. This one should be able to cope with almost any off-road vehicle stuck in the mud. By the way, the sling is made in Russia.

A jerk rope requires a slightly different approach. Products with the specified load of 4.5-4.6 tons can be used to pull out stuck snowmobiles, quad bikes and cars. For cars weighing no more than two tons (and this is practically all cars) ropes with a load of 8-9 tons will do. But if we are talking about such “cross-country vehicles” as Land Rover Defender 110, Land Cruiser 100/110, etc., then you need cables with 11-14 tons of load. As for the products with the declared load of 15-18 tons, they will be suitable for Hummers and their fellows.

The length of jerk ropes usually ranges from 5 to 12 meters. In the average case, it is better to focus on a length of 9 meters. As for the price, the cheaper products will suit, in general, everyone who is not going to specially climb into some jungle. And the more expensive ones are for those who are going somewhere specially.

What are they made of?

Here, too, everything is simple: ropes can be metallic and non-metallic. Steel, of course, is respectable, but not everyone can use such a rope. Yes, it is firm, but it almost doesn’t soften jerks, inevitable while towing. And you are almost certainly guaranteed splinters and abrasions because of thin steel wires, making a body of such rope. Such rope will not be ceremonious with a body too: it suited perfectly for ZIL-130, but not so well for soft modern cars. It is rather problematic to compactly place such a product in the trunk: a big rusty coil is not a present. Finally, because of the same rust the rope can simply burst under the load.

With non-metallic cables everything is easier: they are compact, lightweight, aesthetic and do not rust. These are the kinds of cables that are mostly sold today. But you should not miss the load: you have to choose it taking into consideration the weight of the towed car and at least with double margin. For example, if your car weighs about two tons, then the cable should be designed for about 5 tons.

How to choose and install a cargo box on the roof of the car

4. What to clamp where?

As for attachment, there are two main types – a loop and a hook. And here you need to keep in mind the troubles that can generate poorly chosen fasteners.

Let’s start with the hook. It’s easy to use: hook and go… But there is a serious danger: broken or bad hook turns into a weapon: freeing rope is compressed like a spring, and a hook is ready to break anything – from car’s glass to somebody’s head… Just in case, we advise all rope possessors with hooks: attaching it to tow eye, at first extend a rope folded near a hook in half and then insert a hook into the created loop. You will get a kind of polyspast that, firstly, will reduce the load on the hook, and secondly, even if it breaks, will not allow it to “bombard” the brothers in mind.

Pull-pull: how to choose a towing rope

Yes, nowadays the store shelves are literally jammed with different ropes. There are steel ones, kapron ones, braided, tape ones, and there is even a tether-rope. So how do you choose a tow rope for your car?


how to choose a tow rope for your car

Let’s start with the fact that the traffic regulations clearly regulate: the length of the cable should be 4 to 6 meters, and it should have at least two red and white flags of size 20 by 20 cm in order to indicate the coupling. It is by these parameters that the rope should be chosen in the first place. The thing is that many manufacturers, especially Chinese craftsmen practice it, indicate one meterage, but in practice the rope turns out to be much shorter. So be sure to measure it before you buy. A cable with the length less than 4 meters will make the towing person a lot more difficult, because the probability to drive into the tow truck because of the short distance will be quite high. However, an excessively long rope is not much more comfortable. If it is longer than 6 meters, it causes a lot of inconvenience when maneuvering and especially when cornering in cramped conditions.


choose a tow rope

Steel is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a solid cable. But don’t assume you can always use a steel wire. Yes, it is really much stronger than its kapron analogs, because it is woven from a lot of steel wires, but just they sometimes make it not very convenient to use as a towing device. Firstly, such rope practically does not cushion the jerks, which are inevitable while towing, and this causes additional loads on the coupling device of both the towing and the towed. Secondly, it is much stiffer than the kapron one, and because of this it is not very convenient to use. Thirdly, steel is known to be corroded and so is a cable made of steel wires. Therefore, to make it serve you a long time faithfully, it should be protected from rust, otherwise one day it will simply burst under the load. And now ask yourself the question, what is more pleasant to take in your hands, a dry kapron rope or an oily steel rope? The answer seems to be obvious.

What is the difference between subrogation and recourse in auto insurance

tow rope

Then what kind of kapron rope should we take, a ribbon rope or one that is woven out of many kapron ropes in a pigtail? Ribbon version is usually the most popular among car enthusiasts. First, it is very easy to store. Coiled it up in a roll, and no problem. Secondly, it is usually brightly colored, which, even in the absence of the necessary flags for marking makes it more noticeable on the road. Thirdly, its price is usually within the bounds of decency and quite in line with the price-quality ratio. However, choosing such a rope, be sure to look at its characteristics. In addition to the length, you should be interested in the breaking load. It should be at least twice the weight of the car. Only in this case it is possible to say that the rope will be strong enough and even allow you to pull the car out of captivity with a jerk if necessary. But you should not abuse it, because the rope is primarily designed for towing.

kapron tow rope

But for towing and pulling the car out of captivity with a jerk there are kapron ropes, usually braided. Their cost is much higher than the cost of the ribbon cable, but they are worth it. The fact that energy does not come from anywhere and does not disappear anywhere has been known since high school physics. This is the principle on which the jerk rope is based. Accumulating tensile energy, the kapron rope at a certain point converts it into compression energy, which leads to the fact that the objects attached on different sides, in our case cars, begin to tend to each other. The driver of the towing truck, having exactly caught this moment, simply presses the brake, and the towed car is gently pulled out of captivity. By the way, many people mistakenly think that the jerk rope cannot be used for towing a car. They say it stretches a lot, and it is very disturbing when driving “on a tie”. Actually, such rope is pulling only with extreme loads, i.e. with jerk; in usual conditions its length does not increase more than the length of a tether rope.

How to issue an electronic policy of MTPL insurance


And what about a tether rope? This cable belongs to the category of ribbon cables, and its main advantage over the others is that it does not sag when towing. A special mechanism monitors the situation by pulling the cable back onto the drum if the distance is reduced for some reason, e.g. by braking at a traffic light, and retracts it to the 4.3 meters length when the towing process is resumed. So there is no need to make sure you don’t run into a sagging cable, as with conventional cables. The only disadvantage is that the breaking load is not very high compared to the jerk rope, which limits its use with heavy vehicles – SUVs or vans.


How to fasten a tow rope

Attachment, of course, should be in the regular towing eyelets. Previously, it was recommended to mount the cable diagonally, that is, to the right eyelet of the towed vehicle and the left tow. In this way, the towed vehicle walked with some offset, which allowed the towed vehicle to have some control over the road situation in front of the towing vehicle and thereby react quickly to possible braking and overbuilding. It is almost impossible to meet this requirement today, as there is only one towing lug at the front and one at the back of modern cars, and they are situated in different places at different models. Even the lugs themselves have seriously changed – it is often a screwed in secret place towing eye. By the way, it is necessary to screw in completely, and in order to avoid its jamming under load, after it will be screwed in up to the stop, unscrew half-turn. The rope itself to the eye is usually attached by the hooks included with the rope. It is better if they are not cast, but forged.

Let's pull: how to choose a tow rope

Even better if instead of hooks there are pins on the end – loops with screwed-in pins. Just such holder will guarantee you that rope will not come off the car under any conditions.

Let's pull: how to choose a tow rope

And it is pretty convenient to fix a rope to a car with the help of a shackle. If there is no hook or shackle, you can tie a rope with a knot. Not a usual one, most likely, you will not untie it after towing, but a special one. It is called a bowline, or a bowline knot.

How to choose the best car vacuum cleaner

Let's pull: how to choose a tow rope

In order not to learn how to tie it immediately before towing, try to do it several times in a quiet environment, bringing the actions if not to automatism, then to understanding of the process exactly.


How to properly tow your car

The first thing to do is to agree on a driving route and signs and conventions. Of course, everyone has a cell phone today, but, believe me, the situation can sometimes develop so quickly that you do not even have time to take your phone out of your pocket. But the fact that to flash your headlights or honk a conditional number of times, not a lot of time.

Nowadays it is not possible to light the tractor with dipped beam, the headlights should always be on, so it is recommended to turn on the emergency signal, just like the towed. In this case, your motorcade will be more visible on the road, both from the front and from behind.

The key in the ignition of the towed vehicle must always be turned to a position that prevents the steering wheel from locking.

The towing person must always move off very gently to avoid jerking the cable length and the towed person must try to keep such a distance and slow down so that the cable is taut when the towing vehicle comes to a complete stop. That is, the towed person should always brake first. In theory, it would be ideal if the towing person would stop the “bundle”.

In corners, especially at right angles, the towing person should take a small swing, so that the towed has an opportunity not to “cut” corners too much, which is inevitable while towing.

If you need a rope only to pull somebody out of snow captivity, be sure to put either a jacket or a car mat on it. If the kapron or steel will not withstand the jerk, the end of the rope will immediately fall on the ground, and not whip the car or, what’s worse, the people standing nearby. They, by the way, should not be nearby at the moment of pulling.

Let's pull: how to choose a tow rope

If you are trying to start the car with a tow, remember that in winter it is much more difficult to do because of the slippery road. In second gear, the wheels of towed can just go with you, so first try to do it in third, and even in fourth gear, and then if crankshaft rpm will not be enough, try to go down to second. Using first gear to start the engine with a tow, especially in winter, is extremely undesirable.

( No ratings yet )
Like this post? Please share to your friends:
Leave a Reply

;-) :| :x :twisted: :smile: :shock: :sad: :roll: :razz: :oops: :o :mrgreen: :lol: :idea: :grin: :evil: :cry: :cool: :arrow: :???: :?: :!: