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How to Attach a Tow Rope

Updated February 21, 2017

If your car breaks down on the side of the road, most of the time a tow truck is your only option. But if it's too expensive or you have a friend with a vehicle who can help you out, a tow rope is another alternative that can get you out of a bind. Although it's not as safe as a tow truck and it requires at least two drivers, this can still be a good option when you have nothing else left that you can do.

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  1. Crawl underneath the front of the vehicle that needs to be towed and use the flashlight to find a mounting point on the front end to mount the tow rope. Typically, the front crossmember is a good mounting point, as it's centrally located and has a lot of strength, but look for something strong and sturdy that you can wrap the tow rope around. Keep in mind that it needs to have a clear path to the tow vehicle, otherwise the tension on the line could damage the car.

  2. Wrap the tow rope around the crossmember---or your other mounting point---and pull the end of the tow rope through the loop, forming a knot around the mounting point. This will ensure that the tow rope won't be able to go anywhere, and can't disconnect from the towed vehicle.

  3. Run the other end of the rope to the tow vehicle. Use the flashlight, if needed, to help find another area to mount the rope. Typically, this is the rear bumper on a truck or maybe a tow hitch.

  4. Pull the end of the tow rope through the hole at the end, forming a circle, and place the circle over your mounting point. If you can't fit the rope that way, wrap the rope around the mounting point, then tie it in a knot to keep it secure.

  5. Place one person in the tow vehicle and one in the towed vehicle, then start driving, slowly, just for a few feet. Make sure the tow rope is secure and that it doesn't slip off under the weight of the vehicle. Once you're positive it's secure, start towing.

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Things You'll Need

  • Tow rope with looped ends
  • Flashlight

About the Author

Russell Wood is a writer and photographer who attended Arizona State University. He has been building custom cars and trucks since 1994, including several cover vehicles. In 2000 Wood started a career as a writer, and since then he has dedicated his business to writing and photographing cars and trucks, as well as helping people learn more about how vehicles work.

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