How to Properly Secure a Car With a Tow Dolly

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    • 1). Attach the dolly to the truck. Tow dollies are made to lock onto trailer hitches. Hold the dolly by the handle behind the hitch coupler. Open the coupler by turning the hand rotator counterclockwise or by lifting the lever. Lay the coupler over the trailer hitch ball. Tighten the hand rotator or push the lever down to lock the dolly to the hitch. Pull the dolly up by the handle to make sure it is secure.

    • 2). Hook on the safety chains. Pull the chains from the front of dolly toward the truck and cross them under the hitch connection. Secure the hooks on the chains to the slots on either side of the hitch. Leave some slack in the chains, but do not let them drag on the road.

    • 3). Plug in the towing lights. A tow dolly has rear lights that feed off the signal from the truck. Plug the dolly connector into the socket on the back of the truck. Ask a helper to operate the truck lights while you check the dolly lights. Be sure you have running lights, brake lights and both turn signals.

    • 4). Lower the drive-up ramps. The ramps will either be individually locked into a slide-in position, or they will be a stationary platform locked in a lifted position. Release individual ramps by pulling the lock pins and sliding the ramps out toward the rear. These ramps are on hinges that will let them fall into position. Release platform ramps with the pin at the back of the attachment bar. This allows the back end of the dolly to tilt the ramps down to the road.

    • 5). Drive the car up the ramps. Move the tire straps off to the sides and out of the way of the wheel stops. Ask a helper to guide you into position to center the tires on the ramps. Drive the front of the car up on the dolly until the front tires are seated in the wheel stops. Put the car in "Park," or low gear if it's a standard, and set the parking brake.

    • 6). Secure the ramps. If the dolly uses platform ramps, the tilted position will rise back into its upright position as you drive the car forward. Lock the pin for the platform. If the dolly has individual ramps, lift them until they are level with the dolly and slide them back into their holding sleeves. Make sure the spring-loaded pins are locked in place.

    • 7). Tie down the front tires. Bring the wheel straps up over the front tires so the tops are netted. Set the ratchet to "lock" and toggle the handle back and forth until the straps are firmly tightened around the tires. Place the ratchet handle in the down position and set the pin on "safety."

    • 8). Secure the safety chains from the dolly on the tow vehicle. You may have to get under the front of the dolly to see the frame of the car. Loop the chains around the frame with a few inches of slack and latch the clasps through a link.

    • 9). Lock the steering wheel. Release the parking brake and put the car in neutral before transporting. Take the keys out of the car and lock the doors.

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