Tow a Vehicle using a tow dolly

DIYBikeRepair

You may need to tow a vehicle for a number of reasons, including moving, taking your vehicle along on a trip, or transporting it to another location. Whatever your reason for towing a vehicle, you need to know how to properly tow it.

Method by Using a tow dolly

A tow dolly lets you to tow a vehicle while allowing the towed vehicle to take some of the load off the towing vehicle. This is accomplished by letting the rear wheels rest on the ground while you tow the vehicle. This works better when towing is front wheel drive vehicle, since a rear wheel drive, or four wheel drive, requires you to disconnect the drive shaft while traveling long distances.

hitch ball

Step 1: Connect the tow dolly. Attach the tow dolly coupler to the hitch ball on the towing vehicle.

This requires you to properly seat the coupler on the hitch ball and hand tighten the coupler until you have a tight and secure connection.

Check that the coupler is securely fastened by moving the tow vehicle forward slightly or pushing the dolly to the rear.

Attach the safety chains from the dolly to the tow vehicle. This keeps the dolly connected to the tow vehicle even if the coupler comes off the hitch ball.

Step 2: Load the towed vehicle. Drive the towed vehicle onto the dolly ramp facing forward.

close up of drivers side on tow dolly

Ensure that the entire width of the towed vehicle fit on the ramps. Also, check all clearances, such as for spoilers, air dams, and other vehicle parts while loading.

Step 3: Secure the towed vehicle. Continue driving onto the dolly until both the front tires are firmly against the wheel stops.

Using the tire straps on the tow dolly, secure both front tires.

Loop the towed vehicle security chains around a frame member on the towed vehicle. Keep the chains away from fuel and brake lines to prevent damage to these components.

Step 4: Disconnect the driveshaft. On rear-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive vehicles, you need to disconnect the driveshaft to keep from damaging the transmission of the towed vehicle.

You need to crawl underneath the vehicle and locate where the driveshaft connects to the differential.

Once you have found the connection point of the driveshaft and differential, look for the u-joint that holds the driveshaft to the differential housing.

Secure the driveshaft to the undercarriage of the towed vehicle using a strap or bungee cord. Make sure it is secured to a firm part of the frame, but not the exhaust pipes.

Remove the four bolts at the u-joint. Next, push the drive shaft up as far as possible, adjusting the strap or bungee cord as needed.

Screw the bolts back into the yoke on the differential housing. Alternatively, you can place them in a baggie in the glove box until needed again.

Repeat the above steps for the other axle , such as on a four wheel drive, if needed..

Call an expert mechanic to disconnect the driveshaft if you do not feel confident in doing the task yourself.

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