Four Tips For Safer Towing – for Jul. 23, 2010

No doubt you’ve become intimately acquainted with your tow rope this spring. Our tow ropes were our constant companions in the trucks and tractors this spring. We use the three-inch flat strap that is rated at 27,000 pounds. They’re 20 feet long and two of them stow easily behind the seat of the tractor. Total cost: about $65.

I didn’t think they were really heavy until our neighbour used our tow ropes to pull out his 60-foot air drill. The chains and cables on hand had all broken so we used the tow strap. We wrapped it back and forth between the hitches so that there was five lengths attaching the tractor to the air drill and out it came.

Our own experiences this spring did bring up a few tips and safety reminders that I thought I’d share.

1. Never use tow straps/chains and cables together. Don’t use any metal hooks or clevises with tow ropes or straps. When they break the metal parts become deadly projectiles. Stay well back from the tow rope or cable when it is under tension. Attach it to the main frame of the unit.

2. If your tow strap breaks, just tie a knot in it. A reef knot or a bowline works fine.

3. Don’t give yourself a heart attack getting unstuck. A winter on the couch does not prepare a person for two hours of strenuous slogging through the muck and shovelling wet gumbo. Take your time and be patient.

4. Keep your tractor and equipment steps clean. Nothing will get your attention more than slipping off the steps, sliding down the steps on your backbone and landing in the mud. Again, take your time and be careful.

Enjoy the summer and let me know how much you miss the dust blowing and the grasshoppers.


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