How to Use a Tow Strap
Firstly, I want to give a brief description of a tow strap. If you have never heard of this term, it might sound vague. A tow strap is basically a strap with hooks on each end allowing you to pull your vehicle and it is made from tough nylon material. When would you ever need one? Well, if your car breaks down in an undesirable location at an undesirable moment (sounds familiar?), you can use a tow strap to move your car to a safer location. However, improper usage of a tow strap would likely damage your vehicle if not worse. So take note of the following steps:
- For vehicle doing the pulling, look for a solid point in the rear of it for mounting. You would generally find it near by or attached to the bumper mounting point. In the case of a trailer hitch, you can mount a hook on steel loops. After locating the mounting point, attach the hook of one end of the tow strap to it. Do not try to attach it anywhere else, especially the bumper itself. Modern bumpers tend to be made of plastic and can easily come off with the force of a pulling vehicle.
- The next step is to look for a corresponding mounting point on the front of the vehicle that requires assistance. It is usually a tow hook or a strong steel loop, which may some times be covered with a plastic covering. If you are unsure, you can refer to your owners’ manual for the car to double check. Once located, attach the hook on the other end of the tow trap to this loop. Again, avoid attaching the hook anywhere else.
- Assuming that both ends of the tow strap is securely hooked, all there is left to do is to pull. This is where caution needs to be exercised. Firstly, both vehicles need to be manned. The car in trouble being pulled should not be left unattended. The vehicle doing the pulling should move forward very slowly until the tow strap is taut. After this stage, you can gradually increase your speed but note that a tow strap is not designed to tow at highway speeds. All movements should remain smooth and gradual (e.g. during accelerations) as suppose to being jerky. Thanks to the law of physics, since the tow strap is not stiff, the vehicle being pulled is subject to momentum. Abrupt movements of any kind will be felt doubly by the vehicle in tow.