Towing a Vehicle: 5 Tips to Prevent or Reduce Damage

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If you need to tow your vehicle to a mechanic, if you have bought a fixer-upper vehicle and need to tow it to your home or if you need to tow a vehicle for any other reason, you want to figure out how to tow your vehicle without damaging it. Luckily, that is possible. Just keep the following five tips in mind.

1. Put your vehicle in neutral

One of the reasons illegally parked cars may get damaged when they are towed is because their parking brakes are on. However, if you are towing your own vehicle, you don't need to worry about this threat. Put your vehicle in neutral so that its wheels will roll easily as it is towed.

2. Use the right cables with ample weight bearing capacity

Whether you are towing a small car with a large SUV or using an actual tow truck, you need to make sure you are using the right towing chains or cables. If your cables aren't strong enough to hold your load, they may snap, releasing the towed vehicle into traffic and potentially causing an accident.

3. Shorten the distance between the two vehicles

Regardless of the type of chains or cables you use, you don't want your towed vehicle flailing several metres behind the vehicle doing the towing. Having too much distance between your vehicles makes it more dangerous to go through intersections, and it can make other basic maneuvers more dangerous as well.

4. Remember to light up your towed vehicle

If you are towing a vehicle at night, you need to take steps to make it visible. If the battery on the vehicle you are towing works, just turn on its lights. If you have a person in the towed vehicle to help steer it, they can also activate the brake lights as needed by tapping the brake pedal.

If the battery doesn't work, you can put the towed vehicle on a trailer that has lights that can be wired to your towing vehicle. Alternatively, you can attach battery-operated lights or reflectors to the vehicle you plan to tow, but for real safety, you should only tow during the day if you have issues with lights.

5. Consider using a tilt tray truck

If you don't think you can tow your vehicle safely with its wheels on the ground, consider using a tilt tray towing vehicle instead. When you use a tilt tray recovery vehicle, the vehicle being towed sits on top of the tilt tray and its wheels are not on the road. If you don't have a tilt tray truck, you can hire one, or you can hire a company to do the towing for you.