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12 tips for safer towing on your holiday trip

Bear in mind that everything takes longer when you’re towing, so give yourself more room.

Johannesburg – Anybody who’s ever tried to reverse a trailer knows that towing is not as simple as it looks.

Yet if you have a Class B driving licence you can legally tow anything up to 750kg without any relevant training or qualifications.

Nevertheless, towing even a little ‘Ventertjie’ will affect the acceleration, braking and maneuverability of your car, and will magnify the effect of any mistakes you do make.

So we asked Masterdrive boss Eugene Herbert – who at one time held the world land speed record for towing a caravan, so he should know what he’s talking about – for his advice, and here are his tips for towing:


If you’ve never towed before, get some training; at the very least take the trailer down to an empty car park and get a feel for how your car accelerates, brakes and steers with it attached.

Check that the trailer is roadworthy; if it’s been standing long enough for the tyres to get really flat, their sidewalls may have cracked, and just pumping them up will just make them more dangerous.

Check that the bearings are well greased, especially on boat trailers or if you live near the sea. Then get one of the kids to stand behind the trailer while you check the tail-lights and indicators.

Weight – and weight distribution – are most important, especially the gross and tow bar weights. Incorrect weighting can cause sway, so distribute it evenly, with heavier items in front of the axle.

On a caravan, empty the water tanks before you leave and refill them when you get there – which will also ensure that the water is fresh!

Secure the hitch with a pin or lock and cross the safety chains under the tow-hitch in an X shape. That way, if the trailer or caravan comes off the hitch while towing, it should drop onto the chains, giving you a chance to stop the bus before it goes its own way.


Bear in mind that everything takes longer when you’re towing: accelerating, slowing down and overtaking, so give yourself more room and be aware of faster vehicles.

Take corners later and sharper to avoid clipping the curb with the inside wheel of the trailer.

Higher speeds increase wind resistance, stressing the car and and the trailer – and burning extra fuel. Moderate speeds give better control and reduce sway, so allow for extra time on the road and take it easy.

If the trailer does start to sway, don’t try to steer out of it; gradually slow down until everything is back in line. Sudden turns can cause more sway, and slamming on the brakes can cause the trailer to jackknife.If it happens again, stop and check the cause; you may have to repack the caravan or trailer to redistribute the weight.

Every time you stop for a break, walk around the trailer or caravan for problems. And every time you stop for fuel, check the tyre pressures; they will be higher than when you left because the tyres get hot while running, but they should be the same on each side. If not, you may have a slow leak, which will require careful monitoring.

Read more: http://www.iol.co.za/motoring/special-features/12-tips-for-safer-towing-on-your-holiday-trip-7128667

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Philadelphia city council approved a measure on Thursday aimed at cracking down down on 'rogue' tow truck drivers.

That legislation is designed to reign in an industry that, some say, steals cars off the street through various, unscrupulous tactics.

An Action News Investigation exposed a number of shady practices earlier this year.

The plan would make tow truck drivers wait until a vehicle has a parking ticket before they can remove it.

Earlier in the day, independent two truck drivers lined the streets outside City Hall with their vehicles, blocking a lane of traffic.

They were there to protest legislation that they consider to be unfair.

The bill's backers say it is a measure to crack down on rogue drivers, or private companies that remove cars that are not parked illegally.

"It's hard to legislate for bad actors and we know that and we're committed to working with the industry and, as a city, doing our part to come up with a better system. But in the interim, we've got to stop what we've blatantly seen, which is some folks stealing cars," said Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez.

The measure passed 15-1 despite the concerted opposition from legitimate drivers and a key council member.

"I understand her good intentions, but the devil's in the details, and these independent contractors who are tax paying, law abiding, non-predatory, are in business. As we try to fix something, they're going to put them out of business," said Councilman Curtis Jones.

"We do everything we need to do as far as paying L&I for our licenses, paying taxes, hiring people in the city of Philadelphia, and it's pretty much going totally against us," said Anthony Kitt of Kitt's Towing. "We have no say and no option."

Even high profile, long-established, big money tow truck operators were at City Hall to protest the towing industry reforms.

"How could those who do parking lot and driveway enforcement be predatory, when it's the property owner, or the management company, who is calling us to tow these vehicles," said Lew Blum of Lew Blum Towing. "They have us mixed-up with another part of the industry."

The new regulations will be implemented fully in 30 days.

Read more: http://6abc.com/news/council-votes-to-crack-down-on-rogue-tow-truck-drivers/1646189/

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Excavator extraction lands Tomlinsons Towing on cover of Tow Times

Randy Harvey Photo With a network of cables extending to a trio of tow trucks a 120000 pound Caterpillar excavator is slowly brought up the banks of Trout Creek were it got stuck while working on the construction of a new bridge to replace a culvert washed out during last Julys flooding. The exploit won Tomlinson Towing a spot on the cover of Towing Times Magazine. In a career that spanned more than 60 years Bill Tomlinson has been called on many times to contend with recovery and tow jobs the likes of which most tow operations will never see. Our motto has been If it flies floats or rolls we can handle it said Tomlinson who retired from Tomlinsons Towing in January of 2014 after operating the business since 1966. He originally bought the business from his father who started it in 1946 and sold it to Dean Zifko who continues as the businesss current owner. During his tenure Tomlinson has an unmatched record of success in recovery and towing. We never turned any work down and we never came home empty he said with evident pride. We had a standing offer if we dont pull it we dont charge. But weve never done one for nothing. This summer as work proceeded at top speed to replace a pair of bridges on State Highway 13 south of Ashland that record was challenged by a difficult recovery that was literally one for the books. At about 10 a.m. on Aug. 30 Tomlinson Manager Brenda Hebert got a call from a road crew supervisor asking if the firm could assist in recovering a piece of equipment that had sunk in the mud at the construction site at Trout Brook near North York about 16 miles south of Ashland. I asked the usual questions Hebert said. Where is it whats the problem what type of equipment? When the supervisor told me it was a 120000 pound excavator I sat up straight in my chair Hebert asked how deep the excavator had sunk in the mud. Real deep was the reply. At first tow operator Brandon Bowers went to the scene to scope out the problem only to be told that the construction company would try using their own equipment to haul the stuck excavator out of a 12-foot hole. That didnt work real well said Tomlinson. The only thing they accomplished was sinking it two feet deeper.. At that point the contracting firm admitted defeat and called Tomlinson again. Just do what you have to; I need this out said the exasperated supervisor. Zifko began to assemble a recovery team and called on the grand old man of Ashland towing and recovery Bill Tomlinson and his son Bob to lend a hand. When the crew arrived at the scene one road crew worker looked at the trio of smaller wreckers and snorted derisively What are you going to do with those Tonka Trucks? Bob Tomlinson replied that he aimed to get the excavator out. The man laughed and told Bob he was wasting his time. Ive never walked away from a job I havent finished Bob replied. What Tomlinson knew and the construction crew didnt understand is that recovery isnt simply a matter of brute force yanking a vehicle out. Rather it is a symphony of applied pressure in the right spots. Its all about mechanical advantage Tomlinson said recalling the words of the Greek mathematician physicist and engineer Archimedes who said Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it and I shall move the world. Its true there are much larger trucks out there than what we had but if you dont know how to run them they are worthless Tomlinson said. Its knowing what to do. Leverage is the key. The block-and-tackle mechanism of a tow truck uses the law of leverage to increase the power applied to a recovery problem. When the force is spread out over key points smaller equipment can accomplish amazing results. At our annual tool show we took an empty tractor/trailer and laid it on its side and rigged it up using a block and tackle. Then we had 12 10-year-old kids six on each line and they pulled it over by hand Tomlinson said. In this case using a D-6 Bulldozer as an anchor point and an estimated 19 lines connecting the entire rig some 253000 pounds of force was exerted to slowly oh so slowly pull the enormous excavator up the hill. It was a demonstration of how to use applied physics to succeed but that didnt mean it was easy. In a grade like that with all that suction it pulled hard Tomlinson said. In the end despite a minor setback and some re-rigging the excavator was brought up out of the hole. Everybody was amazed Tomlinson said. The whole exercise had taken just four hours. Bill and Bob Tomlinson both said it was the biggest job they had ever undertaken. Word of the tour de force reached Tow Times magazine the International publication for the towing and recovery industry. They got the story and pictures of the recovery. Usually they put pictures of fancy towing trucks on the cover this time they put the excavator recovery on it Bill Tomlinson said. For a tow and recovery man getting the cover of Tow Times is akin to making the cover of the Rolling Stone for a rock star. I went to the post office and saw the envelope and I was anxious to see if they had the story in this month and there it was right on the cover he said. I was astonished to say the least. Weve been in Tow Times a number of times but never on the front cover. Material from Tow Times was used in the creation of this report. Read more:http://www.apg-wi.com/ashland_daily_press/news/excavator-extraction-lands-tomlinson-s-towing-on-cover-of-tow/article_3d7da9d6-b775-11e6-b03f-7b2949f137bb.html Call us if you need help towing your vehicle Excavator extraction lands Tomlinsons Towing on cover of Tow Times is available on Apex Towing - Galway Blog via Website Feeds http://galway.apextowing.ie/excavator-extraction-lands-tomlinsons-towing-cover-tow-times/

Nissan Motors Japan Introduces Fully-Automated Towing System At Oppama Plant

Nissan Motors Japan has successfully introduced Intelligent Vehicle Towing (IVT), a fully-automated towing system at its Oppama production plant.

The IVT system uses a modified Nissan Leaf electric vehicle to autonomously tow trollies which carry finished cars between designated loading and unloading areas within the plant.

Unlike conventional automatic guided vehicle systems for transporting parts, which often require the installation of rails or extensive use of magnetic tape, this system does not need any special infrastructure to operate.

The towing car is equipped with an array of cameras and laser scanners that detect lane markings, kerbs and potential obstacles or hazards around the vehicle. By cross-referencing this information with map data, the towing car calculates its own location, negotiating the route to its destination unaided. The towing car travels within the speed limits of the factory, and automatically stops if it detects an obstacle or hazard ahead, before setting off again when it has determined that the road ahead is clear.

The towing route can be altered to accommodate changes in production processes or vehicle transport routes. All driverless towing cars are connected to a central traffic control system, which can monitor the location, driving speed, remaining battery and operational status of each vehicle. When two driverless towing cars meet at an intersection, the control system’s algorithm determines which car should be given right-of-way, and in the case of emergency, the system can stop the vehicles remotely.

The Oppama Plant’s existing logistics system requires finished vehicles to be transported from the end of the production line to the facility’s dedicated wharf by a team of drivers, at which point they are loaded onto ships. With the introduction of the IVT system, Nissan hopes to improve production efficiency.

Trial operations of the system began roughly a year ago and more than 1,600 test runs have been carried out at the plant. The data acquired has been utilised to ensure that the system can operate reliably within the plant’s premises.

A safety system and a fail-safe system have been developed to counter potential risks or unexpected conditions the IVT system may face during autonomous driving, including adverse weather and low light conditions.

Nissan's continued testing at the Oppama Plant provides an effective testbed for further implementation at other manufacturing facilities both in and outside of Japan. This new project, which utilises mapping and communication technologies to link an intelligent, all-electric car to surrounding infrastructures and is a step towards realising Nissan’s Intelligent Integration aspirations.

Read more: https://www.carlist.my/news/nissan-motors-japan-introduces-fully-automated-towing-system-oppama-plant/43290

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Nissan demonstrates driverless cars towing other vehicles at plant in Japan

1Nissan testing self-driving cars at one of its plants in Japan (AP) Nissan is testing self-driving cars at one of its plants in Japan that can tow vehicles on a trailer to a wharf for loading on transport ships. The tests also can add to knowledge needed to take such autonomous driving onto public roads. Nissan executive Haruhiko Yoshimura said the company hoped to use the technology throughout the Oppama plant by 2019 and in overseas plants in the future. During a demonstration a Leaf car with no one inside drove along the road pulling a trailer with three other Leafs on it stopped properly for other vehicles and then veered into a car park. But one vehicle ran into trouble refused to move and was not able to take part in the demonstration. Kazuhiro Doi a Nissan vice-president acknowledged such glitches showed a challenge unique to the technology. "If there are drivers they can take action" he said. "Mechanical operations are all there is in a driverless car." People still had to get inside each of the towed vehicles to drive them to the proper wharf but Nissan hopes that as self-driving technology advances cars will drive themselves into the ships on their own. Driverless cars are still not allowed on regular public roads in Japan although major carmakers are all working on such technology. Driverless driving is legal within private facilities such as Nissan's. Nissan allied with Renault SA of France has been carrying out tests with driverless towing since last year. Read more:http://www.independent.ie/world-news/nissan-demonstrates-driverless-cars-towing-other-vehicles-at-plant-in-japan-35268844.html Call us if you need help towing your vehicle Nissan demonstrates driverless cars towing other vehicles at plant in Japan was originally seen on Apex Towing - Dublin via Website Feeds http://dublin.apextowing.ie/nissan-demonstrates-driverless-cars-towing-vehicles-plant-japan/

Englewood unveils revisions to towing ordinance

ENGLEWOOD The City Council unanimously introduced an amendmentto its towing ordinance Tuesday setting higher tow fees for some vehicles andrequiring minimum lot sizes for tow operatorson city business. Under the proposal city-licensed operatorsmust respond to calls within 20 minutes; three missed or late calls makes the towersubject to losing its license. The amendment also says towers must have a secure lot big enough to house 25 cars. The amendment also changes the fee schedule so that towing companies can charge: a single flat fee of$120 up from $95for Class 1 vehicles up to 6000 pounds; a single flat fee of $160for Class 2 vehicles between 6001 and 12000 pounds; $300 per hour for heavy-duty vehicles between 12001 and 26000 pounds; $400 per hour for vehicles larger than 26001 pounds. The City Council discussing amending an ordinance on towing.(Photo: Viorel Florescu/NorthJersey.com) The amendment adjusts a measureadopted in November which set a 20-minute limit but a minimum lot size to hold 10 cars. The ordinance was based on recommendations made in May. Amore recent proposalby Police Chief Lawrence Suffern and Sgt. Robert Zimmerman which stipulated a 15-minute limit and a lot size for 50 cars was not received by the clerk in time for the November action. During a Nov. 30 special meeting to discuss the amendment the council tweaked the minimum lot size to allow for 25 cars so as not to exclude one of the borough's six applicants. Read more:http://www.northjersey.com/story/news/bergen/englewood/2016/12/06/englewood-unveils-revisions-towing-ordinance/95048144/ Call us if you need help towing a car Englewood unveils revisions to towing ordinance is courtesy of Apex Towing - Cork via Website Feeds http://cork.apextowing.ie/englewood-unveils-revisions-towing-ordinance/

Learn About The Dangers Of Towing

If you’re thinking about doing some towing, and you also think that all the concern over weight distribution on the trailer is a load of crap perpetrated by the weight-distribution lobby, then I really suggest you watch this little video. Because what’s funny with toys is terrifying in reality.

This demonstration, which seems to come from the Ontario Police Commercial Vehicle Committee, is so wonderfully simple and effective. The little Mustang (the tow vehicle of choice for most discriminating towers) is pulling a trailer with two sets of weights: one at the front, one at the rear.

When more of the weight is at the front, things remain quite stable. Even a shove at the rear of the trailer by a massive Hand of God can’t really do all that much to discombobulate the trailer.

But once more weight is placed at the rear, that little lateral shove starts all kinds of pendulum-like swinging and trouble; it’s amazing how rapidly the system gets uncontrollable.

This is even likely less bad than a full-scale, real-world situation would be, because that conveyer belt is going at a steady, constant speed, and the car’s front wheels remain rigidly straight. In reality, once the swinging starts, the Mustang driver would likely be alternating cranking the wheel in a panic while jamming on the brakes, taking some time between these two acts to lavishly soil their pants.

So, take it from some toys on a conveyer belt: be careful how you distribute the weight of what you tow!

Also, it’s probably good there weren’t a bunch of Lego minifigs on the side of that conveyer belt, or that toy Mustang would have tried to plow them down.

Read more: http://jalopnik.com/learn-about-the-dangers-of-towing-from-a-toy-mustang-on-1787401437

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Ohio Bill Targets Abusive Practices of Tow Truck Operators

An Ohio insurer trade groups says a bill introduced into the General Assembly would help rein in the predatory practices of some towing business operators in the state.

The primary focus of House Bill 341, introduced by Reps. Ron Young and Martin Sweeney, was to provide towing businesses and storage facilities the ability to more easily obtain the titles of abandoned vehicles in order to sell them, according to the Ohio Insurance Institute.

However, the House State Government Committee amended HB 341 to include a number of consumer protections, several of which were part of HB 382 from last session, the OII said.

According to the OII, House Bill 341 includes the following provisions for the protection of Ohio consumers:

No towing service can remove a vehicle from a private tow-away zone without a contract.

Towers must accept credit cards for drop fees. Drop fees are applied when a tower hooks up a car, prior to its actual removal. Under this bill, the operator is to release the car for half the cost of the tow and accept credit card payment.

Tow companies must conduct an Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicle vehicle search for the owner of a towed vehicle within five business days of the car being towed. Upon identification of the vehicle owner or lienholder, the tow truck entity would then have five days to notify them of the location of their vehicle. This protects consumers by prohibiting tow companies from storing cars for weeks at a time, racking up storage fees against the vehicle owner.

Vehicle owners would have the option to take a towing company to civil court for any major or minor violation the tower has committed against them, such as charging more than is statutorily allowed.

The OII said that some Ohio tow truck operators have instituted the practice of padding their bill when an insurance company is known to be involved in the recovery process.

To counter these practices, HB 341 was also amended by the House State Government Committee to create the “Towing and Quick Clear Board,” which would have authority to hear and rule on towing-related invoice disputes between an auto insurer and a tow truck operator.

OII members and the Association of Professional Towers Ohio support the Towing and Quick Clear Board solution as a means to challenge unreasonable towing and storage fees and facilitate timely release of a vehicle to its owner or repair shop.

OII has commended the towing industry for their desire to weed-out the few operators who give the entire industry a black eye.

Read more: http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/midwest/2016/06/24/418331.htm

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Thieves use stolen tow truck to plow through gate

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A west side business owner is asking every driver to be on the lookout for a stolen, one-of-a-kind tow truck.

Monday morning, when Ted Green showed up to work he noticed that the fence in front of his car shop was destroyed; pieces were even thrown into 16th Street.

“This section here is bent, which actually has to go back to the third pole. This one has to go all the way back to the 5th pole. I mean it just destroyed my whole front row here,” said Ted Green, town truck owner.

Green quickly noticed how the gate was damaged. Thieves used his tow truck to plow through and take off.

“For someone to just come and take that from us, that’s just a punch in the face,” said Green.

The tow truck is black with neon green lettering that says "Ted’s Auto Care" on each side. Green says this tow truck is the only one that looks like this.

“Even if you’re standing a mile away and seen it coming. You’re going to look, I mean it’s a big truck and it’s noticeable,” said Green.

Within a matter of minutes this car shop is out more than $20,000. The stolen tow truck cuts their fleet in half.

“We’re losing anywhere from $300-$600 a day from the tow truck,” said Green.

Green told us he has security cameras, but the thieves actually turned the one that would’ve captured the crime.

“I don’t know what they took the truck for. I don’t know if they took it for parts. I don’t know if they’re out trying to steal each other’s vehicles. It could be anything,” said Green.

Green does know all it takes is for the thieves to make one wrong turn and for someone to see it and to turn them in.

“It’s just an honest thing to do for somebody to call and report that,” said Green.

If you do happen to see the "Ted’s Auto Care" truck, call IMPD.

Read more: http://fox59.com/2016/08/02/thieves-use-stolen-tow-truck-to-plow-through-gate/

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Surrey man’s beloved car badly damaged during tow-truck ride

A Surrey man is fuming after ICBC refused to cover the damage a tow truck caused to his beloved 1992 Buick Roadmaster.

Fabian Galick, who works in security in the film business, was driving to Hope to meet up with a friend on Aug. 2, when his prized 24-year-old car with a 350-cubic-inch V8 engine blew a transmission line, which left him stranded at the side of the highway about 11 kilometres out of Hope.

Galick, 48, called his brother and asked him to call a tow truck to pick up to take it back to Surrey for repairs.

When the car arrived home, Galick was stunned to see extensive damage to the undercarriage, sides and bumper. Most perplexing, a wheel had fallen off.

“He did a lot of damage,” Galick said of the tow-truck operator. “It will be in the thousands to fix.”

Galick suspects the wheel fell off when the car was hooked up backwards and the driver began to head to Surrey. “”You do not tow a car backwards that has knock-off rims,” he said. “He hooked it up backwards and destroyed it.”

Once he figured out the extent of the damage, Galick said he made a claim with ICBC.

But he was later told his policy did not cover the damage from the tow truck.

He was told he would have to go after tow-truck company Bear Paws Towing and Recovery Ltd., in a civil action, despite his understanding he was covered if there was damage to the car when it was being towed.

“They said I have no coverage and I’ll have to sue,” Galick said of the claim.

But the big thing he said is the danger motorists faced when the self-tightening wheel fell off while the car was in tow. “Every tow truck driver is supposed to know how knock-off wheels work,” he said.

Jeff Potts, part-owner of Bear Paws Towing and Recovery Ltd., said he takes full responsibility for the damage in the tow.

“We’re going to pay him,” Potts said. “It was a bad judgment call on my part, “ said Potts of the tow.

“It is not his fault. I will square up with him.”

An ICBC official would not discuss the case, but instead pointed out people need to do their research when they call a tow-truck company. ICBC recommends hiring a tow-truck company that is one of their “suppliers."

In B.C., it is mandatory for towing companies to purchase a “garage policy” from ICBC.

If there isn’t negligence by the tow-truck operator, the customer’s own optional insurance coverage could cover damages.

And if the damage isn’t covered under an ICBC policy, the driver can pursue a legal claim with the tow company.

Galick said after a month he has yet to see any financial compensation and wants to warn other motorists to check their ICBC policy and the tow truck’s standing with ICBC before hiring them.

“There are so many things going on here,” Galick said of the problems he encountered with what he thought was a routine tow.

Read more: http://www.theprovince.com/news/local+news/surrey+beloved+badly+damaged+during+truck+ride/12171873/story.html

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