Towing smart car

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by LDV400, May 20, 2016.

  1. LDV400

    LDV400 Funster

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    Hi Funsters
    Have bought a 01 smart car and friend is going to tow it from A to B approximately 40 miles to my house. It will be towed on the back of a dolly which lifts the two front wheels off the road. Is this procedure OK for towing and in which position should the key be left in the ignition? At present car is not driveable. Any advice on towing would be much appreciated.

    Thanks
    Sammy
     
  2. Mikeco

    Mikeco Funster

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    Unless your friend is called RAC or AA then almost certain will not be legal on the road.
     
  3. Brian and Jo

    Brian and Jo Funster Life Member

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    If car is not drive able then the only legal option is a trailer:)
    Brian &Jo
     
  4. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    Not so in both cases.

    Worthwhile putting a trailer lighting board on the back though.....saves getting rear ended.
     
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  5. Mikeco

    Mikeco Funster

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    True in both cases, the car has not broken down it is not even on the road so it is illegal to tow on a dolly.
     
  6. Derbyshire wanderer

    Derbyshire wanderer Funster Life Member

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  7. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    The op states..

    If it's not drivable that's good enough broken down.
     
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  8. DanielFord

    DanielFord Funster

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    I think we need a definition of "not driveable", the road traffic act is very clear on vehicles that are not road legal, they may only be transported on a trailer that lifts them off of the road (search transporting unfit vehicles). If it is road legal, but simply doesn't work, that is a different matter.
     
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  9. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    When was the last time you saw a driver being questioned as to the condition of a car on a dolly.

    In four years of recovering cars for a living I was not asked once while towing with either a transit or an unmarked Hilux pickup.
     
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  10. DanielFord

    DanielFord Funster

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    I agree, but technically it isn't legal to transport an unroadworthy vehicle on a dolly. All it takes is a copper who's having a bad day!
     
  11. DanielFord

    DanielFord Funster

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    Time to inject a little off topic frivolity, because this thread has become way too serious I feel.
    On a similar note, I never once got stopped and questioned in my youth when I drove my Jag XJS at speeds in excess of 120mph on the A3, however that didn't make it legal.
    Also it didn't happen that often, because let's face it. It was an XJS, and its default mode was broken down! :-( I still loved it though!
     
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  12. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    Either Sammy has edited the op or there's no mention of it not being roadworthy....just undrivable.

    Anyway moving on....

    Ensure the box IS in neutral by turning on the ignition and selecting neutral then check the gear indicator on the dash clocks shows neutral.
    Turn the key off and leave in the ignition.
    Selecting neutral does not put it in neutral otherwise and gearbox damage is very expensive.

    If this isn't possible, lift the rear wheels, secure the steering wheel with straps in the straight ahead position and tow it backwards.
    Don't forget the lighting board.
     
  13. TheBig1

    TheBig1 Funster Life Member

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    a friend fetched a broken down smart car home to his farm inside his horsebox. the funniest parts was being pushed down the ramp backwards with teenage son steering but no brakes. like an oversized rollerskate
     
  14. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    Rear wheel bearings made of plastercine were one of the regular causes for breaking down.

    Way to serious, its only just begun.
    Wait until VWalan reads it. :LOL:
    He's an advocate of the recovery dolly.
     
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  15. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

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    Do the wavy video thing and come back in time with me to the early 70's.

    At that time I was racing stox and bangers.
    Strictly speaking they could be driven but were not exactly road legal..

    For about a year I used a dolly to take the cars to tracks
    The very week I got major sponsorship which included a car transporting lorry ( albeit only a poxy old BMC threepenny bit ) I was stopped by plod and told in no uncertain terms if I was seen again with the dolly I would get nicked..
    And yes, I did have the orange light on the roof and at the time had a small firm set up specifically for breakdown recovery.. even though it did not really exist as such but the name and insurances were all in place

    The following meet same plod on the gate and I turn up in the lorry.. He gave me a big smile and thanked me for listening to what he had said LOL !!!
     
  16. gus-lopez

    gus-lopez Funster

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    A dolly is far safer than an A frame.:whistle:
     
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  17. Charlie

    Charlie Funster

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    Just pull a plug lead off or swap two over and tow the damn thing... Dont worry ! Just do it safe take your time and you will be fine.
     
  18. Geo

    Geo Trader - Funster

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    To keep it extra simple anyone can use a dolly provided (different from the norm when using a dolly)

    1. That the relevant road speeds are adhered too
    2.The towing vehicle has the correct insurance to carry out recovery
    3. The recovered vehicle is being recovered and not Transported (Different insurance requirements for transporting)
    4. The said vehicle is fully road legal in terms of MoT. Tax and most importantly Insurance
    ps You do risk having both vehicles and dolly confiscated if insurance is not valid
    a trailer is the safest option as most policies will have trailer cover (note for the trailer and third parties only not the vehicle on it)
    G
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2016
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  19. LDV400

    LDV400 Funster

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    Hi funsters
    Firstly I would like to thank every one for there input.When I said the car is not driveable I should have been more clearer the last owner changed the battery, in the process fan belt broke now the dash is saying gearbox 3 lights ?Sorry for the sketchy story but not had a chance to have good look myself got to get it here first.
    So let,s get it on the dolly and get it here with all your help.
    Thanks and cheers.
     
  20. kevan

    kevan Funster Life Member

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    Tut Tut
     
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