Guide to Safe Towing

August 20 2018

There are two types of tow bars that can be bought today: the flange and swan neck styles. The most widely used kind of tow bar is the flange which possesses a tow ball that is secured to the flange plate by using bolts. This plate will always be attached to the vehicle. The swan neck tow bars are starting to become popular due to their slimmer designer. They often aren’t a cause of obstruction for parking sensors and can be bought as both fixed and removable tow bars. Swan neck tow bars have a narrow neck and will find its mount underneath the vehicle.

Choosing the Right Towbar

Your car manual will have an outline as to the capacity your vehicle is capable of towing. This is going to be your basis for the type of tow bar that will fit your needs. There is simply no point in choosing a heavier type of towbar on a vehicle that isn’t capable of towing a lot. If you happen to own a small hatchback that can tow only a thousand kilograms, you won’t get additional benefits for choosing a heavy-duty towing type over a light-duty tow bar.

Meanwhile, there are some vehicles that only work with the higher towbar classes available. An SUV, for example, has a maximum towing capacity of 3500kg but would have a class four towbar as their only option since no one wants or needs a light-duty type normally. Make sure that you choose the right tow bar for your capacity. Check what your vehicle is capable of and compare that to what you need to town. After making sure that your vehicle has the ability to carry such a load, you can then choose the right class of towbar afterward.

Safe-Towing Practices and Speed Limits

100km/h is the maximum open road speed that light vehicles can take when towing trailers or other motor vehicles, given that you’re using the appropriate towbar, drawbeam or drawbar. If you plan to use a rope or other non-rigid link, don’t, this is unsafe and could be considered illegal. Always contact your local Shire to learn about specific laws and regulations.

Carrying Passengers

If you plan to carry passengers aboard, make sure that they are in riding positions that aren’t likely to cause injury to them during the trip. A passenger riding in a vehicle that is being towed is against the law.


Consider allocating more time and distance when planning to overtake. Make sure that you don’t ‘cut off’ the vehicle you have just overtaken when you return to your lane. Take extra care to not hold up traffic behind you unnecessarily and pull over only when it is safe to do so.


Use your brakes carefully when cornering as you could lose control due to an imbalance in weight distribution.


Before approaching a corner, apply your brakes lightly. Use lower gear all the time when you’re travelling downhill.


Avoid reversing. If you have to, ask someone who is more experienced to help you out. When reversing, do so slowly and check clearances always.


Select your parking spot with care. Keep in mind that roadside cambers can cause your caravan to be trapped against poles. Unless there’s written permission, trailers are not allowed to park on a roadway for more than seven days.

If you’re looking to get great deals on removable towbars, be sure to visit West Coast Towbars to find what you need today!

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