Moving Your Vehicle Using a Tow Dolly
- To use a tow dolly, your vehicle must have lockable steering.
- A tow dolly cannot be used to tow mid- or rear-engine mounted vehicles.
- Rear-wheel, four-wheel or all-wheel drive vehicles must have their drive shaft disconnected and removed. Consult your auto dealer.
Simple Instructions for Hooking Up, Loading and Unloading
- Hooking up Your Tow Dolly to Your Truck
Your Penske representative will demonstrate how to hook up the tow dolly to your truck at the time of rental. If it is necessary for you to disconnect the tow dolly to load your truck, follow the instructions below to reattach the tow dolly.
1. The coupler-locking device must be in the full open position. Place the coupler of the tow dolly over the two-inch hitchball on your rental truck. Be sure the coupler is fully seated down over the hitchball.
2. Completely lock the coupler. If the tow dolly is equipped with a lever-type coupler, the lever must be in the down position and the locking pin inserted. When finished, pull up on the tow dolly coupler to be sure it is properly secured.
3. If your tow dolly is equipped with a single flat electrical plug, insert the plug into the receptacle in truck's electrical box. Check for proper operation.
4. Crisscross the safety chains or cables from the tongue of the tow dolly. Pass through eyelets on your truck and attach the hook to the safety chain. Allow slack in the chains for movement during turns.
- Loading Your Vehicle onto the Tow Dolly
You are responsible for loading your vehicle onto the tow dolly. Penske is not responsible for any damage to a transported vehicle. Consult your insurance carrier before towing a vehicle, or talk to your Penske representative about the Penske towing insurance protection plan available with any towing equipment rental.
1. Be sure that your truck and tow dolly are lined up straight on level ground. Also, make sure that the tow dolly platform is straight.
2. Remove safety pin on the tie-down ratchet assembly and unroll the tire straps. Place ratchet handle in the down position.
3. Lay tire straps along fender side of the tow dolly, off of the tire platform.
4. Release the platform locking pin and allow the tow dolly platform to tilt back.
The sign on tow dolly is reversed so it can be seen correctly in the rear-view mirror.
5. With someone safely guiding you, slowly drive the front end of your vehicle onto the tow dolly until the front tires are resting against the tow dolly wheel stops. As you drive your vehicle onto the tow dolly, the platform will go into the upright position. NEVER BACK UP YOUR VEHICLE ONTO A TOW DOLLY.
6. Make certain that your vehicle is centered on the tow dolly platform, because the platform swivels during turns. Adequate space is required between the tow dolly fenders and your vehicle.
7. Replace the platform locking pin to the locked position.
8. For safety reasons, engage the parking brake on your vehicle while loading onto the tow dolly, and place transmission in low gear (standard) or park (automatic).
Sign on tow dolly is reversed so it can be seen correctly in rearview mirror.
9. Center the tie-down ratchets in front of the towed vehicle's tires and pull the tire straps forward over the tires, arranging for a secure fit.
10. Tighten each tire strap securely by pulling up and down on the tow dolly ratchet handle as many times as necessary. Tire straps should fit securely against the tires, with no slack. Be sure the strap on the inside of the tire does not come in contact with any brake or suspension parts.
11. Insert the safety pin and attach the safety clip with ratchet handle in down position.
12. Hook up the safety chains from the tow dolly platform to the frame of your vehicle directly above the area where chains are mounted on the tow dolly. Allow slight slack in the chains to provide for suspension movement on the towed vehicle while traveling.
13. Disconnect and remove the drive shaft on your vehicle if it is rear-wheel, four-wheel or all-wheel drive. Consult your auto dealer if you are uncertain about the above. Towing a vehicle using a tow dolly without disconnecting the drive shaft will damage your vehicle's transmission, even if the transmission is placed in neutral.
14. The parking brake must be released on your vehicle before traveling. Be sure the steering is locked in the straight position, with the wheels pointed straight ahead.
15. Remove your keys from the ignition and lock your vehicle.
16. Check the towing system after hookup and after towing about 100 feet. Check the bolts, safety chains and cables, coupler, ramps, tire straps and other items to make sure they are in the right position and secure. Repeat the safety check after the first five miles and then every 50 miles thereafter.
17. Your vehicle is now safely connected and ready for travel.
Important: Check the tow dolly, coupler, safety chains, electrical hookup, and tire straps after the first five miles of travel and then every 50 miles thereafter.
- Unloading Your Vehicle from the Tow Dolly
1. Park your rental truck and tow dolly straight and on level ground.
2. Fully apply the parking brakes on your Penske rental truck and your towed vehicle. Reinstall the drive shaft on rear-wheel, four-wheel or all-wheel drive towed vehicles.
3. Remove tire straps and safety chains from towed vehicle, placing the ratchet handle in the down position.
4. Release the tow dolly platform locking pin.
5. Release the parking brake on the towed vehicle.
6. Slowly back your vehicle off the tow dolly platform to prevent the bottom of the vehicle from contacting ramps. If the drive shaft was removed from your vehicle for towing, check the transmission fluid level, as it may have leaked during your trip.
7. Return the tow dolly platform to the up position and engage the platform locking pin.
8. Take up excess slack of the tire straps in tie-down ratchet assembly and replace safety chains back in the storage position.
Learn How to Use the Car Carrier
Watch our car carrier video or read step-by-step instructions.
For assistance with other Penske services, please use the numbers below.