What Is Towing?

What is towing

Towing is a process which involves the coupling of two or more objects to a power source so that they may be moved.  Traditionally, any object which can be used to impart force on another object can be used to tow, and animal or a wench may be sufficient for this purpose. Conventionally, a high powered truck with a modern combustion engine is used to generate force and create forward motion.  This method of towing can be used in many applications, such as removing a disabled or improperly parked vehicle from an unsafe or illegal location, or to move heavy cargo and goods from one location to the next.  Common towing activities might also include the relocation of boats and other recreational vehicles such as campers.

How to tow

Towing today can be achieved through the use of a variety of different coupling methods:

A ball hitch invloves a “ball” which is attached the towing vehicle, and a “socket” which is mounted on the ball and attached to the trailer.  This device is often inserted into a tow hitch which is connected to the vehicle’s chassis.

A pintle hook and lunette ring is desirable for rouch terrain and heavier towing applications.  The pintle hook is a pincer like apparatus which grabs lunette ring and connected pin for a secure tow.  This application is most often used in industry, military, and agriculture.

A three point hitch is most commonly used in farming applications, and involves a hitch resembling a triangle.  In this set up, the object being towed will not swivel.  Instead the object will remain static and fixed.  One of the advantage of this approach is transfer some of the weight of the impliment being towed to the power source.  This will give the towing vehicle, usually a tractor or farm vehicle, more available traction and maneuverability.

The fifth wheel towing approach involves a king pin, which attaches the trailer to the power source, and a horseshoe or semicircle coupling mounted on the back of the truck.  This coupling is usually referred to as the “fifth wheel”, however the term fifth wheel has become synonymous with recreational vehicles utilizing all different varieties of towing approaches today.

Coupling can be achieved in several different ways, however the most common is the buffer and chain coupling used in the locomotive industry.  A large sturdy chain connects the consecutive wagons, allowing forward momentum to be transferred.  Buffers adjoined to the frame of the wagon act to absorbs the force of cars coming together in the event of deceleration.