Towing cable tips: how to safely tow your car!

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There are various tow cables and tow ribbons for the car. Which is the best for your car depends on a number of factors, we will zoom in this articlewe will zoom in this article. And, last but not least, how do you safely tow a car?

Types of tow ropes

There are UV, water and mud resistant tow cables. The difference is mainly in the pulling power, calculated on the basis of the total weight of your car. For a safe towline you should assume about five times the total weight of your car (not the license plate weight!). 

If your car has sunk in the mud, a force of about three times the total car weight is required to pull it off. It is therefore important that there is sufficient stretch to absorb the impact of the pull. 

Out of the mud?

In addition, sufficient stretch is also important to transmit the pulling force, without losing that pulling force. Different and much better equipment is available for towing cars out of the mud. You only use a tow rope to move a car with a breakdown over a short distance. The standard hooks make it easy to connect a tow rope to a towing eye.

Tip: avoid knots in the rope, you will never get a tightened knot from a tow rope.

Tow rope or tow ribbon

If you are unable to gently pull your car out, it is advisable to take a run-up and pull your car out with an appropriate jerk. However, a drag ribbon is not suitable for this. Drag ribbons are originally strong lifting ribbons with little stretch. This will hit the car, the ribbon and passengers extra hard. 

Your car is not built for this. The jerk, which releases your car, creates a peak load that can increase up to five times the total weight of your car. This can also cause the towing eyes to break or tear out of the chassis.

Tow ribbon as tow rope? Yes!

For the real draft work in the terrain, the use of a towing tape, such as you can buy in the 4WD accessories store, is definitely recommended! It is actually part of the standard equipment of an all-terrain vehicle. Such a towing cable is made of an elastic synthetic fiber, can have particularly high peak tensions and, moreover, has a very long service life.

Drag ribbon

A properly usable towing tape is 9 meters long and can withstand peak loads of up to 10 tons in good condition. The length of such a drag ribbon is only convenient. If a car is stuck in the mud, there is usually a dry or hard spot at a distance of 9 meters, from which it can be towed. If it is also close, you can always double the ribbon and still stay 4.5 meters away from the stuck vehicle.  

Own car

Only use your tow rope or tow ribbon to pull your own car. The towing cable is based on the weight of your car in terms of breaking strength. Pulling out a heavier car with your tow rope or tow rope can cause irreparable damage to your tow rope or tow rope. And that is your least problem, but you can count that the chassis also gets a lot of thunder if you start towing heavy cars. Use your common sense.

Securely fasten the tow rope

• Attach both ends of the tow rope to the designated point on the car: not to the bumper. The correct mounting points are described in the instruction booklet of your car.

• Do not tow a car if it has defective lights, brakes and steering.

• In cars with power steering and servo-assistance unit (hydraulic support), you will need more force to steer and brake when the engine is off.

Driving with a tow rope

• Turn on the warning lights of the car you are towing.

• Turn the ignition key on the car you are towing without starting. This will unlock the steering wheel lock.

• Drive slowly and carefully. Indicate in time when you want to leave the road.

• The driver of the towed vehicle must ensure that there is always tension on the tow rope. Brake gently if necessary to keep the towline tensioned.

Towing your car yourself?

If you decide to tow your car yourself, you should take the following points into account:

• Connect the tow rope between the breakdown and assistance vehicle. Use the towing eye for this;

• If you cannot find the towing eye, please refer to your instruction booklet. In some cars the eye is loose in the car (often by the spare wheel);

• Screw this eye into the appropriate hole in the bumper. Sometimes there is a cap on this hole. Give it a try, so that you are not faced with surprises;

• When towing your car, make sure that you keep the tow rope taut;

• Keep in mind that if the engine is not running, you need more power to brake and steer;

• Always switch on the ignition so that the steering lock cannot just jump on it.

Tow rope must remain taut

The towing cable must always remain taut, otherwise towing will be very difficult. As a result, there is a risk that the tow rope will break. So make sure you keep a close eye on the traffic situation in front of the tow truck, so you can estimate in time when you need to slow down a bit. If the tow rope accidentally hits the ground, you may run over it.