Towing a trailer is harder than you might think, but it's not always the tricky reversing or remembering that a trailer turns in a tighter circle than your vehicle and then having to replace that stop sign you just bulldozed. Sometimes, it's the drivers who have no idea how to tow that make it look harder than it needs to be because they're doing it so, so, so wrong.
Here are five times cars were towing terribly, along with the end results.
For a pro mechanic, switching shops is a tough job. Big tool carts are heavy, and that's why you'll usually see mechanics bring in a flatbed tow truck that can handle the weight. These guys decided they could move their toolbox by sitting in the trunk of a Volkswagen Golf and just holding onto the toolbox, dragging it along as the car drove.
As expected, as soon as they hit a joint in the pavement, the whole thing topples over. At least it looks like nobody was injured.
Tow ratings are very important when it comes to hauling a trailer. That's why GM, Ford, and Ram fight tooth and nail to one-up each other for the highest capability. This one Ford Explorer driver just decided to ignore all of that, however.
The second-generation Ford Explorer has a maximum tow rating of 6,250 lbs, which is actually enough for some smaller travel trailers, but this trailer looks closer to 40-feet and is either horribly balanced, more than 10,000 lbs, or both. We're not sure what will fail first: the suspension, the transmission, or this hazard being seen by police.
We must have missed the announcement from Elon Musk, but this trailer appears to have a full self-towing feature! The homemade-looking trailer is cruising down the highway, but when the camera car gets around to the front, there's nothing pulling it at all. Not the best work by the person doing the towing, we can't even see a vehicle in the distance and the safety chains are attached to the trailer on both ends instead of to the tow vehicle. Yikes.
This is said to be a common sight in the southern U.S.: convoys of crashed but mostly repairable cars headed from salvage auction to Central America, and that's what we're told is likely going on here. If you're going to tow a car thousands of kilometres, maybe you could spend $40 for a used tire to throw on the back? Or at least put on the spare instead or towing a car long distances on the metal rim?
Police in Norfolk County, Ontario, posted these pictures after an officer pulled over a truck towing a trailer. It was a half-ton pickup towing a 53-foot semi-trailer that had been modified to go behind the pickup. The driver did at least install a slow-moving vehicle sign, but using that sign improperly was one of the charges. It takes a lot of work to hook up an air-braked trailer with a kingpin connection to a standard pickup truck, so points to the driver for that, and for using and connecting safety chains, but the OPP didn't appreciate the combination.
We've got a couple of bonus additions to this list that are towing fails because the person chose not to tow when they could have done so easily. They completely missed the assignment.
Check out this Ford Super Duty driver from Reddit who went to great lengths to haul their cargo above their pickup. If only there was a way to have your cargo trail behind your vehicle on some sort of trailer!
Here is a driver hauling some recycling and a washing machine. Forget tow straps, they're using what must be the strongest duct tape ever made. A washing machine can easily hit 50 kg, but this one is held to the back of a Toyota 4Runner with what looks like about eight strips of tape. And yes, this 4Runner does have a trailer hitch they could have used.