Home » How to Load a Non-Running Car on a Tow Dolly?

How to Load a Non-Running Car on a Tow Dolly?


How many times have you faced the problem where your car just stopped moving out of nowhere? And if it happened somewhere deserted are, your sufferings must have been hideous! This situation is never comfortable. 

The only thing that can help you in this situation is a tow dolly. But loading a non-running car on a tow dolly can be very complicated. And if you get an expert, it will be costly too. It is better to know how to load a non-running car on a tow dolly yourself.

So, we are going to show you a quick and easy way how to do that. Moreover, we will discuss some other important points regarding safety and ease of work while using a tow dolly.

The Tow Dolly, an Essential Accessory

Tow Dolly Pulling a Car

In the past, you had to use a towing car to get out of trouble. With the tow dolly, this is no longer a requirement. This accessory is much more advantageous. It is distinguished above all by its light and handy side, a real boon for drivers.

Today, the tow dolly is widely used in northern countries such as Sweden and Finland. They are also found in Australia, where road constraints make the use of these accessories essential.

How to Load a Non-Running Car on a Tow Dolly?

The time needed: 5 minutes.

Focus points: Tow vehicle, tow dolly, ratchet straps, Security chains, safety chains

Park the towing vehicle and tow dolly in line on level ground. Park the vehicle with the engine off. Make sure the coupler hand wheel is tight. Put the ball clamp below the coupler and close the hitch ball.

Ensure the safety chains are crossed left to right. The safety chains need to be secured using the S-hooks and rubber retainers. You also need to ensure that they do not drag on the ground. 

Also, check that the trailer wiring lead is connected.

Now we can begin to prepare the tow dolly.

  1. Release the latch pins and get the loading ramps ready, while pulling the slopes entirely out.
  2. Disengage both straps from the ratchet spool by pulling the release lever. Raise the handle until it locks.
  3. Free the straps by pulling those upwards.
  4. Lay them flat on the deck of the tow dolly.
  5. Position the car in line with a tow dolly.

At this point, you can follow several ways to move a non-running car.

1. Using come-along devices to lift or move the car

Load a Non-Running Car on a Tow Dolly

There is a very product called come-along for lifting or moving things. You can get them at any hardware store. It will cost around 50$.

Tag the hook on the towing vehicle and the other end in the car. Start wrenching. The device has enough long cables. But if it is not sufficient, add a chain to it. 

Metal Plate

You will need two metal plates. Some grease will help further. Put the metal plates under the ramps of the tow dolly. Line up the car and dolly. Push the tow dolly under the front wheels of the car forcefully. The good thing about this method is you don’t have to spend money on come-along.

Now Begin to secure the car by tying the straps around the tires. Please make sure they are in contact with both the inner and outer sides of the walls.

  1. Align the ratchet with the center of the tire. 
  2. It would be best if you tightened the ratchet as much as possible after finishing folding the handle down.
  3. Be sure to leave a few inches of slack in the chains. 
  4. Put the ramps back in the tow dolly and fix them.

Some Cautions to Remember

  • Recheck that all components are secured before moving the tow vehicle. Check again after driving a short distance. 
  • Remember always to wear your seatbelt.
  • Adjust your vehicle mirrors.
  • Slow down while towing.

Tow Dolly: A Set of Advantageous Features 

Whether it is for towing your van or dragging your passenger car behind your recreational vehicle- tow dolly is the one. It is possible to find a model that perfectly meets your requirements. 

The tow dolly has several features that allow it to meet all your towing expectations. For example, the models available with or without hydraulic brakes. There are some models with LED lights for better signaling.

Moreover, some come with adjustable ratchet straps with tension rings. Some models are mainly intended for sedans and compact cars. These particular toe dollies offer a maximum weight of 4900 kg. 

Depending on the seller you have chosen, it is especially possible to have additional options and accessories. 

The Tow Dolly: A Light Accessory 

The unique feature of a towing cart is that you do not need to have a registration document. Besides, it only requires a simple declaration at the level of its insurance company. The tow dolly is above all an accessory that is very easy to store.

It is quite possible to keep it over time and to maintain it properly. If you know that traditional trailers are often stolen, the use of a tow dolly reduces this risk significantly. Indeed, after use, store it in your garage. Also, the car towing cart is an accessory that is still very popular on the market. You will have no trouble reselling it.

Final Words

Several parameters must be considered to load a car safely on a tow dolly, specific to each vehicle—for example, the towing capacity itself.

You may find it in the most published but least read book in the world: the owner’s manual.

This is your reference book for everything related to your towing vehicle or the one you want to tow. Please read carefully and take all the precautions.

If you don’t know how to load a non-running car on a tow dolly, it is better to consult an expert.