towing disabled cars

Submitted: Friday, Mar 27, 2009 at 22:23
ThreadID: 67272 Views:15782 Replies:9 FollowUps:13
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I have heard it is now illegal to tow a vehicle with a tow rope. And that a rigid towing bar must now be used. Has anyone made one up? I am in Qld.

regards Kc
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Reply By: DaveO*ST-R - Friday, Mar 27, 2009 at 22:51

Friday, Mar 27, 2009 at 22:51
KC

Victoria Road Rules certainly allow a vehicle to be towed by another via a tow rope, chain or strap etc, even if the vehicle is unregistered. (must be safe to use on a road though) There are specific requirements, such as the driver of the towed vehicle must be licenced to drive it in the first place and must be able to have control over the steering and braking. Tow ropes etc cannot exceed 4 metres.

A quick search of Queensland Road Rules brought this up:

Towing another vehicle:

"When towing another vehicle by means of an “A” frame, rigid drawbar or rope, the drivers of the towing and towed vehicles must hold a current driver’s licence that includes the classes of vehicles being utilised. An “A” frame may also be used to tow another vehicle that has no driver if the specific conditions on the "A" frame towing page are met in addition to the general requirements for drivers and towing vehicles described so far."

Also mentions "If you are towing a car with a towline, the towline must not be more than 4 m long."

Cheers

Dave
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Follow Up By: Member - Doug T (NT) - Friday, Mar 27, 2009 at 23:18

Friday, Mar 27, 2009 at 23:18
Dave
I have been thinking about making a "Stiff Bar" (truckies term) with a ball coupling on one end ,basicly it would look like a V shape collapsible A-Frame that could be fixed/bolted to the tow eyelets on the bullbar , so instead of pulling a car you could push it....providing that car had a towbar, it could also be used to pull as well,
Or just the straight bar would work to .

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Follow Up By: Skippy In The GU - Friday, Mar 27, 2009 at 23:30

Friday, Mar 27, 2009 at 23:30
Does the towed vehicle need brakes like trailer do if over 750kgs

Here in SA a stiff bar can only be used to safely tow a vehicle

(mainly trucks and buses ) to the next Truck Stop / Rest Area for safetly reasons
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Follow Up By: Member - Doug T (NT) - Friday, Mar 27, 2009 at 23:34

Friday, Mar 27, 2009 at 23:34
Skippy
This idea of mine would be the same as for trucks being pushed/pulled, there would be someone in it, would you tow a car on a rope without anyone in it...???
I'm not reffering to A-Framing as like a Motor home towing a small car.

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Follow Up By: Member - Malcolm (Townsville) - Friday, Mar 27, 2009 at 23:49

Friday, Mar 27, 2009 at 23:49
I remember in the early 60's the army had 'A' frames for the Mk 3's. One solid bar and another hinged to form the 'A'. Conditions (at that time) were that a driver had to be sitting in the towed vehicle. I can remember doing it once. Damn hard to resist trying to steer the vehicle. The 'Ackerman's Principle' looked after all the steering automatically and the towed vehicle just followed the vehicle in front.

About the same time I went out to Olive Downs Stn on holidays and welded one up for them so the truck, loaded with hay, could hook on the landrover and take out to the stock. Park the truck and drive back in the towed vehicle.

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Follow Up By: Member - Warfer (VIC) - Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 at 01:47

Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 at 01:47
Hiya Dave

I was told by a mechanic quite recently (just out of conversation) that it was Illegal to tow a vehicle with rope in Victoria...

A lot of mixed messages getting about..

Cheers
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Follow Up By: DaveO*ST-R - Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 at 07:40

Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 at 07:40
Doug

Interesting concept, but the rules say you can tow, no mention whatsoever about pushing !! Not ever having tried it before, I can only imagine the chaos out there (if it was permitted) trying to work out the steering processes involved.

Dave
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Follow Up By: Member - Doug T (NT) - Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 at 08:50

Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 at 08:50
Dave
The steering process of the vehicle being pushed is performed by a human sitting in the drivers seat with his hands on the steering wheel, this concept could be adapted for very sticky situations by connecting 3 or 4 4x4s together, as the roadtrains did many years ago in NQ , although these days that practice is not allowed on the roads because of the damage caused to the roads, I've seen photo's from the 50s amd 60s of up to 4 roadtrains push/pulling through creeks between Winton and Cloncurry,

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Follow Up By: Shaver - Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 08:25

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 08:25
Doug.

As a former Army Recy Mech from the 60's era, the towing thing you want to make up was called a "Hollibone". "A Frames" were used for lift towing & the other Hollies for flat towing without anyone in the towed vehicle. Safety chains were used between vehicles. In the 6 years I was in I used the Hollies once on a Landrover which was towed by a "Dinky Toy" (another Landrover Recy Vehicle). I never trusted the Hollibone setup on heavy tows & always went for a partial lift tow on a "A" Frame.
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Reply By: Geoff (Newcastle, NSW) - Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 at 00:00

Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 at 00:00
Coupling a pair of 4wd's via an A-Frame makes one formidable off road vehicle in mud, snow and sand.

Not so good on big snotty rutted hills though!

With 8 wheels and 4 drive axles there'll almost always be something with a bit of grip!

Similar formula to the one Caterpillar and Terex scrapers use when coupled together.

Geoff

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Follow Up By: Ozhumvee - Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 at 07:42

Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 at 07:42
I can remember doing that with three vehicles back in the 70's to get them up a very wet hill on the Carters Brush track. Very scary when you are in the middle and all you can do is brake and accelerate.
But like you said something always had traction and it kept going. Not many winches around in those days and most 4wd's were shortys.
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Reply By: DaveO*ST-R - Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 at 07:07

Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 at 07:07
Warfer,

That's half the battle sometimes with a lot of misinformation floating around. Quite legal to tow another vehicle in Victoria by rope etc, provided the nominated conditions are met. The relevant Road Rule No. is 295.
http://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/NR/rdonlyres/4C0E08C5-D7C1-4301-AEFA-3A984D7C2761/0/part_18.pdf

Also - An excerpt from the Vic Roads website - relating to moving an unregistered vehicle from place to place:

"Tow behind a registered vehicle:
You can tow the unregistered vehicle behind a registered vehicle. Road Rules Victoria 1999 (no. 295) apply when towing. They are:

* you must safely control the towed vehicle (you can be on a probationary licence)
* the brakes on the towed vehicle must be working when you are using rope, chain or wire
* the maximum space between the vehicles is 4 metres (if either vehicle is a motor cycle, the maximum is 2.5 metres)
* you must display a flag (minimum 30cm square) attached to the rope, chain or wire."

Regards,

Dave
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Follow Up By: Member - Warfer (VIC) - Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 at 23:00

Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 at 23:00
Thanks a lot Dave for the extra info to mate,Not that i plan on doing it myself, R.A.C.V. But someone may not be in it and need my help and I'd feel comfortable doing it knowing the correct rules. !

Cheers
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Reply By: Member - JohnR (Vic) - Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 at 09:52

Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 at 09:52
Not completely off topic to towing, did you see the Google Street Level car being pulled through by the Patrol Bourke Wilcannia Road? It took me a couple of minutes to find it, but a Patrol with a snorkel, roof top tent and an HF radio pulling the car along a sticky section. Person off to the side with a brownie orange jumper
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Follow Up By: Member - JohnR (Vic) - Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 at 10:07

Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 at 10:07
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Reply By: ross - Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 at 09:56

Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 at 09:56
Its ok to tow in WA but Im sure the towed vehicle has to be registered. I dont think temporary movement permits apply.
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Reply By: Member - Smiley Bill - Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 at 18:46

Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 at 18:46
Hi kcandco,

Forget about pushing vehicles, this is only done in specific circumstances.

Tow ropes are fine as well as solid frames but you would have to check with your state traffic authorities for the specifics as all the states have minor differences.

Snatch straps are only used to get bogged vehicles out of trouble, not tow anything further than necessary.

SB
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Follow Up By: D200Dug- Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 at 22:28

Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 at 22:28
Back in the good old days ..................

On occasion I found it useful to push other vehicles either to jump start them or to get them out of bogs when you could not get a tow vehicle past the bogged vehicle.

I would strap my bull bag firmly to the bull bar to provide a cushion between the vehicles and just nudge up behind the car.


It worked well quite a few times.
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Reply By: Dion - Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 at 21:31

Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 at 21:31
I have a 2m stiff bar with a 50mm ball coupling on each end. Dad's Slolux has a 50mm ball on the front of it, primarily for pushing the boat and caravan about.
The stiff bar has been used to pull the Slolux, and the Slolux has also been used to push around our other vehicles if required as we do maintenence on them.

In the QLD channel country, McIvers would stiff bar together five SAR KW triple cattle crates to make it through some creek crossings. As the lead prime mover would be slipping as it exited the creek until the drive got onto dry ground, the four behind were still pushing. By the time the 5th SAR was exiting the creek, the other prime movers were well and truly on dry gound and able to pull the last one out with ease.
It must have been an amazing spectacle what they did in the 70's, five GM powered two strokes double shuffling through the gears together with 30 decks of cattle!!

Cheers,
Dion.
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Follow Up By: kcandco - Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 20:14

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 20:14
Hi Dion

I was thinking 50 mm trailer coupling + approx 2 m bar as you have but not sure about end attached to vehicle being towed. Any suggestons? As each vehicle may have different places to attach, ie bull bar, ??

regards Kc
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Reply By: Member - Axle - Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 at 22:45

Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 at 22:45
Not sure whats legal?, what i do know is if towing with a rope, and the steerer in the towed vehicle is not up to scratch on knowing how to keep tension on the rope all the time , then your in for one hell of a ride!, bit like sitting on a bucking bull!!....LOL.


Cheers Axle.
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Reply By: DCTriton - Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 01:49

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 01:49
It was a long time ago but when I was in the army, "A" framing was the preferred tow method, legally(at the time) the towed vehicle was NOT allowed to be occupied - vehicles towed with a rope must (for obvious reasons) be occupied...
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