Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Poor Man's Towing

When you're hard up for cash, forty bucks is a lot of money to pay someone else to tow your car to the fix-it shop. Fortunately there are alternatives. Poor Man's Towing comes in two varieties (both commonly seen around here):

The Pull:

Tie the front bumper of the dead vehicle to the back bumper of the live vehicle. One guy drives the front car. One guy works the brakes of the back car to make sure it doesn't crash into the front car at stoplights.

It's simple and effective, but my favorite is its even down-and-dirtier variant:

The Push:

Can't muster a chain or piece of rope? You're in luck. Just nuzzle the live car up to the back bumper of the dead car. The guy in front puts it in neutral. The guy in back slowly nudges the front car forward until it picks up enough speed to coast to the next stop. (This is best done on back streets.) The process is repeated until arrival at the final destination.

Sarah and I have used The Push (on empty streets in the middle of the night). In addition to being cheap and effective, I confess, it's also damn fun (though you have to be careful or you'll wind up with two sets of mashed-in bumpers and both cars will pay a visit to the fix-it shop).

Where there's a will, there's a way.


  1. Anonymous11:25 PM

    Funny post.
    It made me think of the poor peeps in these photos.

    (Does anyone else ever worry we're headed for the same fate? ...stuck in a perpetual Middle Eastern war, incapable of running own economy, driven by ideology and delusion...

    Well...WOO-HOO that alcohol will exist for all perpetuity!)

  2. Anonymous12:55 PM

    These drawings are great.

    Nikki and I were just talking about this. She observed that her Dodge Colt was often pulled by her father's big ass pick up in Maine.

    Its the American way!

  3. And if you'll recall, your big ass pick up dragged my little ass flooded-pickup-remnant out of our driveway after the storm. Ah, the memories...

  4. Is that a Cordoba? An Aries? I'm pretty sure it's a K-car.

  5. It's the distilled essence of car-that-requires-Poor-Man's-Towing.

  6. Ah yes...the hood ornament gives it away.

  7. My 1976 VW bug broke down and my landlord gave me a push home in his tractor, once.

    It was really fun.

  8. Anonymous9:32 PM

    I have been the driver many times of the second vehicle that is being towed, usually to try to get it started on unstuck from mud or snow. I am always incredibly fearful that, after the vehicle starts or gets unstuck and you "gun it" to keep going, I will crash into the back of the tow car/truck. A long rope or chain is helpful.

  9. Yeah, pretty much I've done both of those. The first one is sort of like driving a parade float --well, maybe. You have to be quick on the brake, but not so quick at the end where you bust your bumper off.
    Ah well, thanks for the great drawings!