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Important Steps to Ensure a Safe Emergency Tow

Traveling long distances is never easy. Questions of doubt and fear can be overwhelming like if you would take my car and when engine failure happens, how can you tow my car? If hiring a towing company, can they provide a professional towing service for your precious car investment?     

Whether you are a professional or a greenhorn driver, learning to know about the fundamentals of towing is important and essential for any person who drives behind the wheel. We share below some basics of towing and steps on how to make sure you have a safe emergency towing method to use while traveling.

What is towing?

Towing is a process of hauling or pulling behind a line, chain, or other forms of connection. Commonly seen and performed on cars, trailers, tractors, waterborne vessels, and all sorts of transport vehicles.

What are the three different types of towing methods and how to use them?

There are three methods used in towing a transport vehicle namely the tow dolly method, trailer method, and tow bar method:

Emergency Towing Services


1. Tow Dolly Method

This method is performed by lifting the front wheels of the vehicle and allowing the rear wheels on the road while being towed. It is one of the budget-friendly and safest towing options for your vehicle.  

What are the steps in using the tow dolly?

Step No. 1:

Manually connect the tow dolly by attaching the coupler to the hitch ball on the towing vehicle. To ensure the coupler is tightly secured, slowly move the vehicle and the dolly in the opposite direction. Next anchor the chains from the dolly to the towing vehicle. This is to ensure the dolly will not detach from the car if the coupler comes off the hitch ball.

Step No. 2:

Load the towed vehicle by driving the car onto the dolly ramp facing forward. Remember, first make sure that the width fits the ramp, and do not forget to check the other parts while loading.

Step No. 3:

Secure the towed vehicle by driving into the dolly with both front tires against the wheel stops. Tire straps should be used by locking them with front tires. Stay safe by keeping the chains away from the fuel and brake lines.

Step No. 4:

Lastly, disconnect the driveshaft by going underneath the towed vehicle. Look for the U-joint, holding the driveshaft to the differential component. Use a strap cord to lock the driveshaft into the undercarriage and secure it to a frame, not the exhaust pipes. Next, exit the four bolts at U-joint and push the driveshaft in an upward motion. Then get the bolts back(yoke) on the differential component. Do again the same steps with another axle. If you find yourself having difficulty in doing it, better call in the professionals.

2. Trailer Method

A trailer method is a towing process where a towed vehicle hauls or moves a trailer, sometimes the trailer is a massive transport vehicle while the towed vehicle is much smaller in size. It is recommendable to know beforehand the tow rating of the towing vehicle, rated enough to haul the weight of the car and trailer as well.

What are the steps in using the trailer method?

Step No. 1:

First, connect the trailer. Make sure to attach the trailer to the hitch ball of the towing vehicle and move the vehicle slightly forward (same as the tow dolly). The trailer coupler should be connected to the hitch. Next, the safety chains should be connected from the trailer to the towing vehicle, and make sure to attach the trailer wiring to the towing vehicle’s socket.

Step No. 2:

Ramp the transport vehicle. The trailer ramps should be extended by then you can drive the towed vehicle onto the trailer. Remember to maintain the center point while driving slowly upwards. Next, set the vehicle in parking gear and place it with brakes.

Step No. 3:

Secure the vehicle to the trailer. By using the nets or straps, placed them over the center of the front tires. Then ratchet the strap down to make sure they are secured, tight, and safe.

Trailer Method

3. Tow Bar Method

A tow bar method is a towing method where all the wheels of the towed vehicle are on the ground while moving. A safety warning in using this method is that beforehand you need to detach the driveshaft to avoid damaging the transmission and always connect the brackets to the front frame of the towed vehicle.

What are the steps in using the tow bar method?

Step No. 1:

Position firmly the bracket frame. By using the tow bar as a guide, check the hardest part of the vehicle frame in order to join the bracket on each side of the front of the towed vehicle (requiring you to drill into the frame component of your vehicle).

Step No. 2:

Next, examine the brake lights if it is in good condition. Do not touch them during the towing process.

Step No. 3:

Connect the tow bar to the towing vehicle by joining the tow bar bracket to the towed vehicle. This can be done by sliding the bolts through both ends of the tow bar (connecting to the brackets).

Next, make sure the bolts are tight by using washers and nuts of the same bolt size. Tighten it by using a ratchet. Then, use the bolt, nut, and washers (together with the tow bar) in attaching the two tow bars coming from the bracket end on the towed vehicle to the pivot brackets.

Lastly, attach the chains from the towed vehicle to the pivot bracket from the base plate to the towed vehicle.

Additional Important Towing Tips:

Below are some extra driving safety suggestions to avoid accidents from happening during your towing operation:

What to do if in need of assistance?

If you find towing complicated and dangerous that would risk your safety and of your family, better call the professional towing company near you. Cape Coral Towing and Recovery Services Inc., Southwest Florida’s towing expert company has the resources, experience, and equipped with highly trained Cape Coral emergency towing experts in Florida. 

Contact us at  (239) 458-3333/ (239)656-4030, or you can make a Service Request at, for all your towing needs, whenever and wherever near Cape CoralFlorida.

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Learn to know why we are Southwest Florida’s Towing Expert Company, by checking us out at