There are several things that you want to know before calling a tow truck company when you break down on the side of the road. Below, we’ll break down a few different things you should know and deep dive into some of the other aspects that are really important moving forward.
- Have all your information ready. Before calling a tow truck, make sure you have all the pertinent information ready, such as the vehicle’s make, model, year, and license plate number. You should also be prepared to provide the exact location of the vehicle, including the street address and any other relevant details that the tow truck operator may need.
- Know the type of service you need. Tow trucks can provide a variety of services, such as short-distance tows, long-distance tows, and flatbed towing, so you’ll need to know the type of service you need before calling.
- Have a form of payment ready. Most tow truck companies accept credit and debit cards, but some may also accept cash, so be sure to ask before making the call.
- Ask about any additional fees. Tow truck companies may charge additional fees for services such as winching or after-hours tows, so be sure to ask about any additional fees that may apply.
- Ask about insurance coverage. Most tow truck companies are insured, but it’s important to ask about the type of coverage and any additional fees that may apply.
Know the Problem with Your Vehicle
- Check your fluids – Start by checking your engine oil, coolant, and other fluids. If any of these are low or empty, you might need to refill them before continuing.
- Check the battery – Make sure your battery connections are secure and that the battery has enough charge to start the engine.
- Check the fuel – Make sure your fuel tank is not empty and the fuel lines are not clogged.
- Check the tires – Check the air pressure in your tires and make sure they are all inflated properly. A flat tire can be a major cause of a breakdown.
- Check the engine – If you hear any strange noises coming from the engine, it could be a sign of a mechanical problem.
- Check the drivetrain – If your vehicle is having trouble shifting, it could be a sign of a problem with the transmission or other components of the drivetrain.
- Check for other signs – Look for signs of a leak in the engine, exhaust, or other parts of the vehicle. This could be a sign of a more serious problem.
Know What Kind of Tow Truck Would Suit Your Vehicle
It’s important to know what kind of tow truck would be best suited for your vehicle before calling a tow truck service. Depending on the size and weight of your vehicle, a flatbed, wheel-lift, or integrated tow truck may be the best option for you. Flatbed tow trucks use hydraulic lifts to raise and lower the bed of the truck, allowing the vehicle to be transported without any of its wheels touching the ground. Wheel-lift tow trucks are similar but instead use a metal yoke to lift and secure the front or rear wheels of the vehicle. Lastly, integrated tow trucks have a built-in bed that can slide into place underneath the vehicle, providing the most secure and reliable method of transport.
Know How to Identify Your Location Where You Break Down
- Know the exact address of your location. This will come in handy when you are calling a tow truck service.
- If you are unable to get an exact address, try to describe where you are, such as a major intersection, nearby landmarks, or a mile marker.
- If you can, take pictures of your location and the surrounding area to help the tow truck driver locate you.
- Have your vehicle’s make, model, and license plate number ready. This will help the tow truck drivers to identify your vehicle.
- Have your cell phone number or a designated contact person’s number available so that the tow truck driver can contact you if needed.
Know How to Stay Safe While Waiting for a Tow Truck
- Stay in your car: Remain in your car with the doors locked until the tow truck arrives. If you are in a dangerous or unsafe location, call for emergency services to wait with you until the tow truck arrives.
- Keep emergency supplies: Keep an emergency kit in your car, including a charged cell phone, blankets, and snacks.
- Stay visible: Make sure you are visible to other drivers on the road. Turn on your hazard lights, or keep a flashlight or reflective triangle nearby.
- Make sure you trust the tow truck driver: Ask for identification from the tow truck driver before allowing them to tow your vehicle. Make sure the tow truck company is reputable.
- Be aware of your surroundings: Be aware of your surroundings and keep an eye out for suspicious activity. If you feel unsafe, call the police.