towing question; front wheels up

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Old 04-16-06, 04:01 PM
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towing question; front wheels up

Ford Taurus, front wheel drive

I had to tow this vehicle the other day on a tow dolly, front wheels sitting on the dolly. One person said I should leave the gear in NEUTRAL, another in PARK. Which way was the right way? The person who said PARK had a more convincing tone, so that's how I did. Thanks.
 
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Old 04-16-06, 04:15 PM
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as long that it was towed on dollies via the front wheels it really shouldn't make much differance.what did the guy who towed the car say, seeing that he had the most to lose liability wise, he would be the authority in this case. let us know, your info is important to all.

barry
 
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Old 04-16-06, 04:34 PM
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I towed the car myself. And I may have to tow again in the future. That's why I would like to know the right way.
 
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Old 04-16-06, 04:43 PM
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Makes no difference as long as the car is strapped to the dolly; the front wheels are stationery on the dolly.

FYI, if you had to tow it from the rear the limit is 35 mph and not to exceed a cummulative total of 50 miles over the life of the vehicle.
 
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Old 04-16-06, 05:06 PM
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Now I heard from a real pro. Thanks.
 
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Old 04-16-06, 10:56 PM
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I believe the thinking is that, when strapped to the dolly, the wheels move with the dolly. If left in park, the wheels may turn slighty as the elevation between the dolly and the rear wheels change and, locked in park, they won't be able to turn, potentially damaging the transmission.
 
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Old 04-17-06, 05:49 AM
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The dollies iv'e used have a swivel on the pad that the wheel sits on so wheels don't need to move. Here is why I always toe it in park. If a strap comes off going down the road and the car hits the highway!!!!!! if its in park it will more than likely stop or break the parking gear tooth in the transmission. If the car is in nuetral it is going to become a car with no driver and could roll into oncoming traffic and kill someone. and total two or more cars.
 
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Old 04-17-06, 10:35 AM
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You got it, chevy.
 
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Old 04-18-06, 06:12 PM
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After reading your posts, I see tow dolly is not as good as towing all 4 wheels off the ground. Thanks.
 
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Old 04-19-06, 03:03 AM
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If the vehicle did some how come off the dolly while going at any speed the parking pawl in the transmission is going to do very little to stop the vehicle and it probably wouldnt even damage the transmission either, they are generally spring loaded and will roll over the teeth easily.
 
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Old 04-19-06, 03:37 AM
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Towing a vehicle takes a certain amount of knoledge in TOWING. If your having to ask yourself and others WHAT IF this or that then its not a good idea for you to tow anything. Just think of it like this. How much do they charge to tow somthing? Around here its around 40 bucks or so for a short haul. That is cheap if you factor in what all could happen while towing somthing. 1) Reck both vehicles because your not use to towing 2) Kill yourself or somebody else because your not use to towing somthing. Having somebody sue the hell out of you because of your negligent TOWING. Its cheaper to let the insured professional do the towing IMO.
 
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Old 04-19-06, 05:39 AM
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My interest in towing is not to save money by hauling a disabled vehicle from my driveway to repair shop. I have a full time job in a neighboring city and cannot afford taking a day or half day off just to save $40-50.

The other day I bought a vehicle from another city and hauled it 50 miles on a tow dolly. I just want to know if I should have hauled it differently.

Thanks for the replies.
 
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Old 04-19-06, 05:41 AM
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Thanks for the kind words about the towing profession, chevy. Considering the cost of doing business, most tow jobs are a bargain, yet you would be amazed at the number of people who wrinkle their nose when they ask our rates. They then get a friend and tow rope and risk either an accident or destroying their transmission for the sake of a $40 or $50 tow bill. I'm alwasy temnpted to ask, "Well, exactly how much do you think I should charge to tow your vehicle with my $50,000 truck that burns $15,000 a year in gas and costs $4,000 a year to insure?".

Nothing wrong with towing a vehicle on a dolly, 'puter, if you have it properly secured. A car can come loose from a trailer just as easy. When a customer turns down a tow in favor of "just getting a tow dolly and doing it myself" we usually just say, "Have a nice day". They frequently discover it cost a lot more in time and effort (and $) than it was worth.
 
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Old 04-19-06, 05:42 AM
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Hi, 'puter, posted at the same time.

You did fine. A 50 mile tow would have run you about $150-200, so if you had the time and dolly available was probably not a bad choice.
 
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Old 04-19-06, 05:56 AM
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Yeah, we posted at the same time. By the way, I have a favorite mechanic, actually, mechanics (brothers), who check all my vehicles, 5 in total, including my children's. When I have a problem and the car is not driveable, I have it towed to his shop. The shop has a contract with a towing guy. It costs me $40, but I know the brothers will take care of my car without costing me a fortune. Once I had 2 vehicles towed at the same time, and I was charged twice as much. Shouldn't it cost less?
 
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Old 04-19-06, 06:02 AM
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When you say two at a time do you mean with a flatbed with one up top and one behind on a wheel lift or two separate trips with a wheel lift wrecker?

Either way it's fairly common to give the customer a break. We run wheel lift equipment and if we have two vehicles from the same customer we would normally knock $10 off the charge of the second one.

$40 would be a pretty good tow rate. I'm guesing you are getting a discounted wholesale/commercial rate that may be $10 or so below what the tow-er would charge the general public.
 
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Old 04-19-06, 09:20 AM
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you are right Tow Guy. The tow fellow has a contract with the repair shop and whoever gets his car towed to the shop gets the discounted rate. It's not a short hop, either. As far as I know, the discounted rate is $10 less. Also, I don't have to explain where to tow to, to show me the proof that he is a reputable business, etc. I just tell him to take it to Steve's shop, and he knows. I don't even have to pay to him. The tow fee is added to my repair bill. It's a convenient arrangement.

On the occasion I mentioned, he put one vehicle on the bed and lifted the other on the front wheels. So it was 2 cars in one trip. By the way, I am not complaining.
 
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Old 04-19-06, 05:13 PM
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You've pretty much described our operation. We tow routinely for about two dozen garages with similar arrangements and billing. A lot easier to toss the garage a copy of the bill, go on to the next tow, and see him at the end of the month to get one big check. The customers are frequently surprised that we do that, but it's much easier all the way around.

The two-for-one deal varies by location and company. If you are routinely getting a discount on towing that was probably a factor.
 
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