Tips For Buying A Quality Used Car

Tips For Buying A Quality Used Car

Automobile Towing Terms Explained

by Jessie Ruiz

The beauty about language is that it is context-specific. Thus, the same word or term can have different meanings depending on the context in which it is used and on the manner in which it is used in the particular context.

There are certain terms that will never lack in any discussion about the towing of vehicles. Understanding what these terms mean will help to prevent the likelihood of automobile owners getting lost in the conversation when looking to hire a towing service company.

Toad Or Dinghy

The vehicle to be towed will often be referred to as a "toad" or a "dinghy". This is irrespective of the towing mechanism used on the vehicle. Automobiles can be towed using one of three available mechanisms. The first of these is referred to as "four down" towing. This is whereby the car is attached to a towing truck and pulled to its desired destination with all its wheels on ground level. The dinghy may also be towed on a tow dolly with one set of wheels lifted onto the dolly and the other set left on ground level. The last towing mechanism involves the use of flatbed trucks onto which the vehicle is loaded and carried away with all wheels above the road surface level.

Terms Related To Weight

Weight-related terms that a motorist is bound to encounter when looking to hire a towing service provider include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Gross vehicle weight rating: This is often abbreviated as GVWR, and it is a measure of the maximum weight recommended for a fully-loaded toad. The same weight rating for towing trailers is referred to as gross trailer weight rating (GTWR). The sum of these two weight ratings is referred to as the gross combined vehicle weight rating (GCVWR)
  • Payload: This is the difference between the gross combined vehicle weight of the trailer and its weight when empty. It is the weight of passengers and/or cargo carried alongside the toad

Brake-Related Terms

Brake controller: This is an aftermarket device installed on the driving compartment of the toad vehicle. The controller connects the toad to the electric brakes of the trailer. Brake controllers swing into action in the event of delayed response when the toad driver activates the vehicle's brakes.

Break-away system: This is a safety feature designed to activate the breaks of the trailer in the event that the toad is accidentally disconnected from the trailer mid-way through the journey.

If you're still unsure about the terms used in a car towing situation, simply talk to the towing company representative. They should be willing to explain the process to you so you can be sure your car is being handle safely and efficiently. 


About Me

Tips For Buying A Quality Used Car

I've always driven used cars, and when I first started driving, I made some costly decisions and bought a couple of cars that just weren't worth the money I spent on them. I knew I needed to learn how to inspect a car's engine and how to spot warning signs when I was buying a used car, so I started reading everything I could find on the topic, including basic car mechanics and maintenance. I started this blog to share what I've learned over the years, and I hope my tips will prevent other new drivers buying used cars that will drain their wallet and sap the enjoyment out of driving. I hope you find my posts informative and useful.