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Broken Tow Straps @ PIR


Guest TroubleOnWheels
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Guest TroubleOnWheels

First, a note to everyone: when you are behind the tow vehicle because your sufficiently Chumpy race car has broken down on track, remember to ride your brakes. RIDE YOUR BRAKES!!!! Particularly in the corners, where the tow truck has to slow down too, and when you're coming to a stop in the pits. There needs to be tension on the tow rope at all times.

Along that line, four (4!) tow ropes were broken at PIR. I kept very close track of the teams that broke the tow ropes due to improper towing technique, and they were slated to pay for replacements. However, because of my kindness (I lost the list) I'm not coming after them this time. If you are one of the teams that broke a tow strap (or two, in one team's case) and you want to make good on replacing it, please contact me. That would be a very gracious and honorable thing to do... uh oh. <_<

Please help us out by being aware that these tow straps are not unbreakable, and use caution when behind the tow truck. In the future, I will be enforcing replacement of broken tow straps at the track.

Thanks all!

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I think a lot of people grew up with good running cars, so they don't know how to be towed. Me personally have been helping tow cars around town for various reasons since I was 5 years old. So dragging the brakes (the towed car does the majority of the braking) is common knowledge. I guess going from our $200 cars to these $500 cars makes them seem way fancy. :P

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Guest docjones

That's a good item to mention at the new driver school/meeting in the future. Fortunately for me/my team/the tow straps I survived Spokane and Saturday at PIR without a unrecoverable spinout/dead car. I heard the lecture at the Sunday driver meeting and braked when I was towed in from the turn 4/5 infield on Sunday. (Damn yellow Firebird(s)!!) Otherwise, I'd have had no idea. AAA (or in my case, CAA) doesn't teach that lesson when you're on their hook... =)

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Guest posnova

RIDE YOUR BRAKES!!!! Particularly in the corners, where the tow truck has to slow down too, and when you're coming to a stop in the pits. There needs to be tension on the tow rope at all times.

Motion for a rules addendum - just as we are to practice emergency egress of the vehicle, I motion we should also practice being flat towed around the neighborhood, parking lot, whatever, if a driver has never been flat-towed before. It's a really easy thing to do, and depending on who you're letting in your car, might save you the cost of a tow strap and carabiner or two.

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And we need a rule for that? Come on guys, lets not turn into the SCCA. This, I think, fits pretty good into "don't be dumb"

I agree that there doesn't really need to be a rule about that, but given that people who have never raced (at least 3 members on my team this year) probably won't know that kind of thing, it should probably be mentioned in the driver meeting.

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I think there's no need for a rule for this, but definitely bring it up in the new driver's meeting, and in each driver's meeting before the races. First time I got pulled in behind the truck, I didn't know to drag the brake. I knew that I had to brake to keep from running into the truck, but apparently that wasn't enough. Thankfully I didn't break a tow rope, but I did get a nice jerk when it took up the slack again. Took it's toll on the car too, it broke the fiberglass a-pillar on my chumpy little Fiero. Live and learn. Second time I was behind the truck, I dragged the brakes, and things were just peachy.

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Guest posnova

You're all right. I said rule, but I didn't mean rule. I meant reminder within the rules, sorta like the emergency egress thing. A reminder is sufficient. A reminder at the driver's meeting is even better placed, as not all CCWS events feature flat-tows I'd imagine...

I think I wrote the above pre-coffee. A dangerous state to be typing in. Forgive me.

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This, I think, fits pretty good into "don't be dumb"

I've never been towed on a strap before. Does that make me dumb?

I agree with adding a note about practicing this in the rule book. I'm sure I would have blown a strap if I'd needed one.

Never even HEARD OF the 'ride the brakes' idea until Sunday morning.

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Actually, "ride the brakes" is an oversimplification. The goal is to keep the strap lightly loaded at all times, but you don't want the brakes on so much you force the tow vehicle to work harder. The person being towed ideally anticipates when the truck needs to slow and does most of the braking for both.

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