In an emergency, how would you pick the best tow truck to help you?
Nobody ever plans on breaking down on the side of the road, do they? After all, who wants to get a flat tire? Run out of gas? Have a broken ball joint? Get into an accident? Nope, no one looks forward to having to call a tow truck. It might seem like they’ll never get there to rescue you. But when they do, there’s no sweeter sight in the world!
So, how do you go about choosing the best tow truck company? Well, first of all, it depends on why you need a tow truck in the first place.
1. Why do you want a vehicle towed?
Being stranded on the side of the road is only one reason to call a wrecker. There are a bunch of other situations in which a tow truck could come in handy.
- Jump starts
- Running out of oil and needing an oil delivery
- Getting locked out of your car – oops
- Battery installation
- Flat tire
- Transporting a vehicle to another state
- Flatbed towing
- Equipment towing
- Off-road recovery
- Private property impounds
- Boat towing
- Motorcycle towing
- Heavy truck towing
Did you know that some tow truck and wrecker services specialize in a certain area? That’s why it’s important to choose the right company for the job. They’ll have the proper equipment and experience to help you out with your specific need.
- It’s 2 am and you run out of gas. You’ll need a 24-hr roadside assistance service.
- If you’re moving out of state but have more than one car to move, you’ll run into a bit of a problem because you can only drive one car at a time. But an interstate long-distance car carrier will be able to help you out!
- If you drive a semi-tractor trailer, you’ll need a company that moves heavy equipment.
- Someone has illegally parked their car or abandoned their car in your restaurant’s parking lot. You need to call an impound service.
How can you tell who specializes in what areas? You can look up the company’s website and check out their About or Services page for details. You can also call and speak to the dispatcher and they will let you know if they are equipped to assist you.
2. Choose your towing service wisely.
There are good guys and bad guys in every industry, and tow trucks are no exception. Thankfully, there are plenty of tow truck heroes out there to help us when we get stranded.
Our suggestion is to choose wisely. There are a few things you can do to help you narrow your search.
- Talk to family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors. They might have a suggestion for you if they’ve ever had a tow-truck-worthy mishap on the road.
- If you’re out of town, the local police department might be able to give you some recommendations.
- Look for reviews on sites like Yellowpages, Angieslist, Yelp, Google, and Yahoo. People just like you have used the towing service and left honest reviews of them on these websites. Take your time and read some reviews. You might want to focus only on 4 or 5-star customer service ratings.
- Pick an annual service like AAA so that you’re already set.
The last time you thought about hiring a tow truck was probably during an emergency or another mishap. If you wait until you face your next disaster to do some tow truck research, you’ll wind up having to decide under duress. So do the research and find a reliable tow truck operation now. Yes, it might take some time, but it’ll pay off the next time you’re faced with car troubles.
3. Consider the true cost of towing your vehicle.
Beware of choosing solely on price. We say this because while the majority of tow truck operators are reputable, nobody likes to overpay, do they?
No one wants to feel like they’ve been taken advantage of. Here’s something to be aware of – you have to consider both the hook-up fee and the price per mile.
Hook-up fees: The hook-up fee covers the cost of attaching your vehicle to the tow truck. Here’s the thing to watch for – some tow truck companies will offer a really cheap hook-up fee in order to get your business. Many people mistakenly assume this is the only fee they have to pay. But you also have to pay the…
Price per mile: Do you want your car towed around down the street to the nearest station or do you want it taken to your favorite mechanic many miles away? Or maybe you want the car brought all the way home. The point is that miles add up quickly when your car is being towed.
While some operators offer a cheaper hook-up fee, they often charge a higher price per mile to make up the difference. Take the time to find out the hook-up fee and the price per mile fee beforehand. Also, ask if there are any hidden or additional charges.
In case you’re wondering, Angieslist tells us that the average nationwide cost for a tow is $109.
What else could impact the cost, you might ask? There may be additional towing costs during nights, holidays, and weekends. If you’re stuck in a ditch, off road, or perhaps somewhere in the mountains, then be prepared to pay a little extra as these all require a lot more work and time to help you.
4. How do they treat you over the phone?
Is the dispatcher knowledgeable and helpful about your problem? Remember that bad customer service on the phone is usually an indication of what’s to come once you hire them. Listen to your gut instinct and look for someone else to help you if you’ve got a bad feeling.
There you have it – four ways to help you choose the right towing company. We hope you’ve found this article on how to get the best tow truck service helpful! Although we hope that you never find yourself stranded on the side of the road, with these tips at least you’ll be prepared to find a reputable towing company.
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