The towing cable is one of the most important vehicle accessories that you may need at any time. It will help an experienced driver in a difficult situation:
- vehicle breakdown
- exit to the ditch
- to start the engine
- car jam
A small item should be in the trunk of any driver.
There are a large number of ropes on the market, which differ in size, type of fastening and material. The choice of such a product must be approached competently, paying attention to its characteristics.
If you are planning a trip on viscous soil, then it is better to purchase polypropylene models, since you will have to pull the car in jerks. Rope - will not work. For trucks and large crossovers - steel cable models.
Before choosing a cable, pay attention to the maximum load, which must correspond to the weight of the car. It is also important to take into account the load with a margin for trips with cargo or passengers. But the length of the product must correspond to the footage specified in the SDA.
Types of cables
Conventionally, all towing cables can be divided into two categories:
The first category includes:
- fabric tape;
- ship's rope;
- polypropylene rope;
- aviation nylon sling.
The second category includes metal cables of different sections.
Each rope category is designed for its own procedure. For example, some do a good job of towing a car over a considerable distance, others are effective in cases where the car is stuck in mud and needs help to move to the ground on which it can move independently. Some types of towing elements are considered universal.
Towing Line Specifications
Do not choose your tow lines at random. You must be sure of its reliability and strength. In order not to let the tractor down in an unforeseen situation, pay attention to the following characteristics:
- Length. It seems to be a simple characteristic, but not all drivers understand how much cable length they need to choose for their car. The best option is 4,5 meters. A short cable will lead to an accident, and a long one is inconvenient and unsafe;
- Material. Ropes are made not only of fabric, but also of metal. The first option is belt or rope. All types of materials are robust and reliable. The second type is made from strong wire.
- Maximum load. Machine ropes must be able to withstand static and dynamic loads. This means that the cable must withstand a load of 1,5 more than the weight of a car: for a passenger car: 2-4 tons, SUVs: 4-6 tons, trucks: 5-8 tons.
- Fastening. Sometimes with loops, carabiners or hooks. Most often, car drivers buy the version with hooks, as it is quickly attached. But for SUVs it is better to purchase a product with lavalier mounts.
How long should the cable be?
Let's return to the question of the length of the cable, because this is an important characteristic of the product. In different countries, road rules prescribe different cable lengths. In our country, this figure varies from 4 to 6 meters.
If the cable is too long, the vehicle will wobble from side to side during towing and the driver will not be able to control it. Too small a cable will reduce the distance between cars, in which case the risk of an accident increases.
When buying a cable, it is important to pay attention to the manufacturer, who may indicate incorrect information about the length of the product. Better to buy trusted manufacturers.
The material of the towing cable affects the load limit and the conditions under which it can be stored.
Metal ropes are very durable. However, they have many disadvantages:
- heavy weight;
- amenable to the oxidative process;
- requires a lot of storage space, since it cannot be folded to break;
- during operation it is easy to get injured (a burst vein can make a deep puncture or cut);
- in a gust during towing, it can cause harm to both vehicles and bystanders.
The advantages of such modifications include their strength. Unless the cable has succumbed to significant corrosion damage, it rarely breaks. They are mainly used for towing large-sized vehicles - trucks, full-fledged SUVs and during skidding operations.
Heavy trucks and passenger transport must be towed in accordance with the requirements described in the traffic rules.
The most popular type of towing ropes. It is in demand due to the following factors:
- it is easy to store - you can twist it tightly so that it does not take up much space in the trunk;
- the material is lightweight, so it is not problematic to constantly carry it in the car.
Since these cables are made of fabric, they do not tolerate storage in a humid environment. They are also suitable only for towing cars weighing up to 3000 kg. If the machine seriously "sits" in the mud, the fabric tape will fail and will quickly break. Basically, such towing cables are used for the smooth transportation of a stalled car to the place of repair or to the nearest gas station.
Ropes of this type are made of materials that do not deteriorate under the influence of moisture. Thanks to this, they are well preserved in any conditions. Recently, due to the availability of cheaper analogs, these products are rarely used for towing cars.
With frequent use, the rope stretches, which is why it ceases to cope with its functions (towing should take place without jerking, and when the rope is stretched, smoothness decreases). Considering these properties, the ship's rope is mainly used for towing light vehicles, and more often as an alternative option.
There are many advantages of this material:
- stored for a long time;
- not afraid of moisture;
- takes up little space in the trunk;
- such a cable has great elasticity, which makes it possible to tow and get out of the mud almost any car;
- ultimate breaking load - up to 5 kg;
- dampens jerks when towing.
When purchasing such a cable, you should pay attention to its structure. Professionals recommend buying a model with staggered fibers (flat ribbon) rather than braided like a rope. In the second case, the fibers will fray faster and the cable will break.
Aviation nylon is inferior in strength to its steel analog, but in other respects such a cable is better, therefore this option is considered one of the best in this category.
The material is not afraid of moisture. It is as easy to store as its polypropylene and fabric counterparts. It can withstand heavy loads perfectly.
While these tow lines are considered one of the best options, they have a significant drawback. Capron does not have elasticity, so it is only suitable for towing a car on a flat road. To help a stuck car get out of the mud, you need to use a polypropylene analogue due to frequent jerks.
Most of the parameters for towing ropes are not regulated by traffic rules. Requirements concern the length of these elements, as well as the towing method on serpentine and slippery roads.
The choice of the color of the cable remains at the discretion of the motorist. The main factor to be considered is safety during towing. In addition to the activated alarm, the cable must be clearly visible to other road users. It is not uncommon for a gray rope to cause traffic accidents. Sometimes the alarm in the form of red cloth bands did not help.
The color of the towing cable at night is especially important, which is why most motorists prefer a color that has a reflective effect.
Rating of the best manufacturers of towing ropes
On the shelves of many car dealerships, you can see towing cables of different quality. Some of them turn out to be disposable. Since the quality of these products is not regulated by the rules of the road, the choice is made difficult by the fact that a large number of goods do not correspond to the characteristics indicated on the packaging.
The TOP manufacturers who have gained a good reputation for quality products include:
- Skif - cables of Ukrainian origin, with high elasticity and strength. They are often used in construction as well as in ports. The company's website has a detailed description of each position.
- Ukrkecoproduct is a manufacturer that manufactures a wide variety of cables for towing large vehicles. The material from which the products are made has sufficient elasticity, which allows damping jerks when evacuating a car from swamp or sand.
- Belavto is a Belarusian manufacturer that has been manufacturing towing elements for over 20 years. Most of the items cannot be attributed to budget products, but its quality deserves attention.
- Stels is a Russian company specializing in the production of ATVs and snowmobiles. Additional products - quality towing belts at an affordable price.
- Lavita is a Taiwanese company whose products are worthy of the attention of any car enthusiast. Products undergo a two-stage quality control: first on the production line, and then on the territory of the country of sale. This gives confidence that the product fully meets the declared characteristics.
- The Dutch company Vitol manufactures car accessories, including towing cables, which can be confidently classified as reliable products.
How tow lines are checked
All reputable manufacturers test their products in two ways:
- Static load indicator. This parameter is necessary for prolonged towing, during which the cable is slowly stretched (for example, when driving uphill). For urban mode, you can use any textile option, since during such transportation sharp and frequent jerks are excluded (if the driver of the towing car is able to perform the procedure properly).
- Dynamic load indicator. This parameter is very important for evacuation work. The cable is checked by sharp jerks. Polypropylene modifications are ideal for pulling the car out of a snowdrift or deep mud.
As strong and reliable as the towing rope is, the rope carabiner and the car's hook are an important element. In case of sudden jerks, they may not withstand, so the towing process should be as smooth as possible.
How to attach the tow rope
Most car models, in the rear of the body, have a special point for attaching the cable. Most often, this place is located under the bumper or inside it. It is more difficult when the "point" is inside the bumper, then it is necessary to have a special extension cord, which is twisted in place for attaching the cable.
In case your car needs help, you need to look for an attachment point in the front of the body. She can also be, both under the bumper and inside it. Car manufacturers try to hide unnecessary parts of the car and make hooks to fix the belt inside the bumper. So it is better to study the service book of your car in advance.
The process of installing the cable to the attachment loop is simple and logical. Experienced drivers attach a carabiner or a hitch loop to the left eye of the tractor and to the right of the towed vehicle. A very good option is with a towbar for a trailer at a tractor - if this towbar, of course, is available.
If the vehicle being towed does not have an eyelet, experienced drivers attach the cable to rigid body parts. However, if you are not sure what you can and what you cannot attach the hitch to, you better do not try it yourself: it is likely that you attach the cable to something not strong enough.
How to ride in a bundle
When the cable is already attached, it is important to follow the traffic rules:
- agree with the second driver the route and the conventional signals
- you cannot tow a car without a driver
- when towing, drive slowly and carefully
- you need to move smoothly, without sudden movements, so that the cable does not break at the wrong moment
- travel speed should not exceed 50 km / h
- the driver of the tractor must turn on the dipped beam, and the driver of the faulty car must turn on the alarm
- the fighter of the tractor must change gears meleno
- the cable between the cars must be stretched
So, a properly selected towing cable will help you get out of a difficult situation without additional worries about a broken car due to a broken towing.