When it comes to road accidents, the only thing we can do to avoid them is driving safely. On the road, there are some things we can control and other things we may not have control of. We can control overtaking, changing lanes, speeding, slowing and stopping. However, there are many unfortunate events that lead to car accidents. When you get involved in a road accident, there are a couple of things you can do to ensure your safety and that of the other party.
Check for your well being and that of the other driver.
The first thing to do is to check for your well being as well as of the other driver. If you are injured, ask someone to help and if there is no one to help, call 911 immediately. When seriously injured, try not to move or panic. Be calm and wait for emergency personnel and medical to arrive. If you are not too hurt, check on the other passenger to see if they are in a stable condition. At this stage, the number one priority is safety.
The second step will involve calling the police. Even when there are no serious injuries incurred, it is legally required you call police and inform them about the incidence. If there is a significant property damage, serious injury or even death, you need to call police so that an ambulance can be organized within the shortest time possible. When police come to the scene, obtain their badge numbers. It is the duty of the responding officers to file an accident report and document the scene. You will need to get this police report when filling a claim with your insurance provider.
Exchange necessary information
Another important step is to collect basic information with the other party involved in the accident. Ideally, you will need to get their names, contact information, driver's license number, address and license plate numbers. If an investigating office arrive at the scene on time, they will collect all these details. You will also be required to record information about the make, model and color of the vehicle involved in the accident. If there are any witnesses, ensure you collect their information as well.
Document the incident
Another important step you should follow when involved in road accident is to document the whole incident. Aim to keep an accurate collection of what happened at the time of the accident. Typically, get the names and badge numbers of all responding officers. Ask police to provide you with a copy of the accident report. Take pictures and have addresses of all parties involved. Ensure you clearly explain to police about what happened so as to help them prepare a report.
Contact your insurer
It is important to properly file and inform your insurance provider about the accident. You can also call your insurance provider to come to the scene. That way, they will be able to tell you exactly what they need to process your claim and get your vehicle repaired as quick as possible.
Just like any machine, vehicles are prone to breaking down. Car troubles can happen anytime and when this happens, you will need assistance to have your car fixed within the shortest time possible. Since your vehicle is stuck, your next big concern involves deciding how to get your vehicle to the desired location. This is where a professional tow truck service comes in.
It will save you a lot of extra expenses should you decide to call a professional to look after your car, instead of doing it yourself. There are several benefits of requesting a towing service to take care of your car troubles. When you call one, here is how you are going to save.
The act of getting an immediate response and assistance will save you a lot of stress, time, and other resources. Because towing service providers offer 24/7 services, you can be sure to get help at any time of the day. The most important thing is to ensure you know who is providing you with their service, by ensuring they are legally registered, ethical, reliable, and professional in the dissemination of their duties.
Towing service providers are trained and equipped and are licensed for the job. They are properly trained to do their job with the highest standards. They have the expertise and experience to drive the towing vehicle together with the towed one. Additionally, they are fully equipped so you have no reason to worry about any damage happening to your vehicle.
In some states, towing can only happen and be carried out by businesses that are licensed. This means if you seek towing help from someone who is not licensed, it will lead to more problems and fines. Since towing companies are properly licensed and insured, you will have nothing to worry about.
No further damage to your vehicle
When you decide to tale matters in your own hands, to tow or repair your broken down vehicle, it may result in further damage. If you leave your vehicle unattended, you may suffer another bad incidence of having it robbed essential parts. The immediate help you can get is from a towing service provider to keep your vehicle safe.
You should not let another vehicle pull your car. When someone without towing experience tows your car, the results may be disastrous. Additionally, there are high chances they will use hook and chain and not flatbeds which are the safest form of towing, a service provided by professional towing companies.
When you call a towing company, you are assured the company has your best interests at their heart. You will be signing to get the best service. With a reputable tow truck company, they will be able to offer roadside assistance, tow your car, take it to an auto shop or mechanic of your choice, and have it stored until you are ready to have it repaired. These acts and services may sound simple but will save you a lot of headaches, time, and other resources.
Towing a caravan or trailer for the first time can be a daunting task. You will need to work and balance the added weight behind you and handle your towing vehicle most safely. Additionally, you are required to comply with all towing and road regulations, to guarantee your safety and that of other road users. If there is one component that requires to be properly checked is towing brakes.
When it comes to the use of brakes, there are a couple of things you must observe, to guarantee a safe ride.
Brake fade is your enemy
At one given to brakes, you will face a nightmare if your pads are faded. Faded brake pads are less effective and hard to use. But it is important to understand why brakes fade. The first reason is because of pad glazing, which happens when the surface of the brake pads melts and hardens. This leaves a layer of dense, smooth material that slides easily across the rotor. A glazed pad is one that has lost its porous and flaky surface and is left with a hard, smooth surface that slides. When brake pads glaze, they need to be replaced.
Boiled brake fluid
Some people are surprised when they hear about boiled brake fluid. If you overuse and overwork your brakes, you can easily boil your brake fluid. When brake fluid boils, it results in air bubbles in the line of the brake, and while this fluid is not compressible in itself, but applying the principle of forced induction, the air is compressible. Those bubbles will result in a squishy brake pad and this leads to reduced squeezing force on the rotors. It can even get to a point where you push the pedal to the floor and it doesn't stop your vehicle.
How to achieve brake safety and longevity
There are a couple of things you can do to guarantee the safety and longevity of your brakes. On our first tip, we advise you at all times to bed your pads on to your rotors. Doing so ensures you have healthy brake wear between your brake pads and rotors. Manufacturers recommend doing a proper brake bedding to mate your pads to your rotors and increase the performance of your brakes.
Use lower gear over rising the brakes
One of the fastest ways to overheat your brake pads is to ride them when cruising down a long downhill section. Although it might be relatively mild braking, the sustained use with a break to ensure they cool off will overheat the pads and even boil the brake fluids. You will not be able to notice the effect on your brakes until they have faded and make a weird noise. Instead, shift down a gear or two, as doing so allows the compression of the engine and helps your vehicle slow down.
When choosing brake pads. you will have a decision to make between light or occasional towing, and regular or heavy towing. For light towing, you can go for Power Stop Truck and Tow Pads, or EBC Greenstuff Pads. For heavy towing, you can go for EBC Yellow Stuff Brake Pads and Hawk LTS Performance Pads.
When it comes to hauling heavy trailers, there can never be enough emphasis on safety. A lot of things can go wrong, to put your life and that of other road users in danger. If you are experienced in towing, you probably know the importance of towing mirrors in ensuring you have a clear view of the traffic behind you. It is important to take good classes about towing mirrors and other types of safety equipment, to ensure you have a safe ride.
Towing mirrors are without a doubt the number one safety consideration that you should fix before hauling any type of load on a trailer. A towing mirror is an extra mirror that is well attached to your vehicle's existing mirror to extend the line of your vision. The basic idea is to solve a blind spot causes by attaching a trailer to your vehicle. Towing mirrors work by eliminating these blind spots and allow you to see the areas that got blocked from sight by the trailer.
Installing towing mirrors
You can install towing mirrors in a variety of ways. The simplest process it to attach and clamp to existing mirrors with the use of a clamp and tightening knob. What you need to do is to slide the mirror into place and ensure it is held steady with the use of adjustable foot and then tightening the knob until the mirror is snug.
Ensure you follow all the manufacturer's set instructions when attaching the towing mirrors. Also, ensure you double-check on the clamps and bolt to ensure they are secure and well fastened. When attaching mirrors, never opt for any shortcuts. When poorly attached mirrors and falls while you are accelerating, it could be.
If you attach the mirrors in the most recommended manner, you will enjoy their importance and use. They come in handy in many ways. First, they will widen your field of vision to help you have a clear sight of the vehicles behind you.
Towing mirrors will also help you check on your load and trailer, without having to perform the manual process of physically turning and inspecting your load. You are probably aware of the danger of turning to inspect your load while on the road, as taking your eyes off while driving could cause disastrous effects.
Follow the law
The law is crisp and clear on the subject of mirrors and towing. If a caravan or trailer is wider than the rear of the towing vehicle, you must fit additional towing mirrors. In case you choose not to fix the mirrors, you risk hefty fines including a 3 point penalty on your license, facing police prosecution, and a fine of up to a thousand dollars for each mirror infringement. The law also requires you have a clear field of vision that is at least 4 meters out from the side of your van and about 20 meters back from the driver. If you don't have additional mirrors, you will suffer blind spots that are caused by the edges of the trailer or caravan blocking your line of vision.
Now that you have made up your mind to start a tow truck business, what's next? At the most basic level, you will be getting yourself out there are starting your own business. You will have the freedom of becoming your boss and having the satisfaction you build something from scratch out of your efforts. Towing niche is not for the faint-hearted. It required carefully planning, skills, and well as committing long hours to meet unending client needs.
If you are looking forward to starting a tow truck business, here are a couple of advice to follow.
Consider the type of business you want
There are a couple of ways you can make money from towing business. You can charge to tow disabled vehicles, you can tow for law enforcement agencies, you can decide to focus on impounded vehicles or can decide to offer roadside assistance services. You can decide to form collaborations with auto repair shops. Whatever type of business you decided to venture in, have a clear state of mind on what to offer.
Make your business official
Ensure you go through the whole process of making your business an official legal entity. With a legal entity, you will be shifting an individual liability to a business one. You should not operate under your name. With a legal business entity, you will have a layer of financial protection for you and secondly, you will benefit from good branding and marketing.
Work on your fleet
Any tow truck business will need to have at least a truck, that will be used for business operations. There are several types of wreckers on the market today, including flatbeds, hook and chains, among others. You need to do your research to find out which ones will best serve your purpose. Flatbeds are the most commonly used due to their flexibility, versatility, efficiency, and ease of use. As your business expands, you will need to acquire more additional trucks, so be sure about what to buy from the onset.
Have a physical location
For efficiency in delivering your services, you will need to secure a yard that can be used to hold vehicles. Sometimes, you will need to hold vehicles that have been impounded because of flouting private property laws and once you tow them, you must hold them somewhere.
Follow set guidelines
You need to check the requirements of the towing area you are planning to operate in. A couple of things will need to be observed. Get tow truck insurance and other licensing to run your business efficiently. You also need to be prepared to meet various tax demands. You may need to form a partnership or seek services of a professional accounting firm to save on money and meet all set tax obligations. It is a good idea to have a separate bank account for your business to ensure a better organization of finances and accountability.
The last important tip you will need is to figure out how to get your marketing properly and ways to use to acquire customers.
If you are in search of a local towing company either for a business partnership or to get services, it calls for due diligence to ensure you get the best deal. The world has greatly changed and not everyone is ethical, honest, and transparent in their business deals. You might be presented with an offer that sounds too good to be true and in the essence, the party presenting you with such an offer is out there to scam your hard-earned money.
To ensure you get the best deals when in need of towing services, here are top things to look for, from a local towing company.
Evaluate a company's credentials
The first step to choosing a towing company to partner with is performing a cross-examination of its credentials. You need to confirm if the business is properly constituted, meets its tax obligations, has a physical location, is properly insured among others. Any reliable and reputable company will be properly incorporated, with insurance, and must offer excellent customer service.
The success of any business, be it towing or any other, lies in its ability to offer excellent customer service. Customer satisfaction is key to customer loyalty, and happy customers are brand ambassadors who tell their friends and family about your business. One of the easiest prospects to convert to a customer is one that comes from referrals, and referrals won’t happen if you don't satisfy the needs of your customers. You don't have to be right all the time, and in case of mistakes coming from your business, ensure you own up, communicate to customers and solve the issue amicably within the shortest time possible.
Reviews can make or break a business. Customers who have interacted with your business will naturally leave reviews about the experiences they had with your service. It is very important to ensure you send professionals who can offer excellent customer service to leave your customers happy, which in turn would result in better reviews. Today, potential customers turn to the internet to read online reviews before they can make a purchase decision. If it happens you have a bad review from a customer, go to the place they leave such review, and ensure you answer their concerns appropriately. Not all the times negative reviews will reflect how your business is. Some reviews may be planted by your competitors.
You would want to partner with a business that is reliable and can be there for you whenever you need it. When it comes to towing, you have no choice at the time of the day you might need towing or roadside assistance services. You must look for a company that operates 24/7 and can offer you their services whatever time it is. Additionally, partner with a company that offers both towing and roadside assistance services. Ensure you also check on how they price their services to ensure you don’t land fraudulent service providers out there to rip you off.
The act of towing requires more knowledge and a different skill than normal driving. Any driver that has no towing experience needs to understand the general concept and principles of towing a trailer before they can attempt to go to huge traffic areas. On the road, you will need to observe all traffic regulations and used signals to let other road users know what you are planning to do.
It is also important to understand all the signals to ensure you use them effectively and avoid confusion. Signals will mostly be needed when changing course or direction, when moving off and when stopping.
To ensure you take care of other road users, here are the things you must follow.
The towing driver
When you are towing, as a driver, ensure you allow for an extra distance of your trailer, in terms of length and width, when entering traffic. Doing so will allow the tendency of a trailer to cut in on corners and curves. When applying accelerator and brakes, do so smoothly to avoid sways especially on now and slippery roads. You should also allow for an increased effect of crosswinds and passing vehicles. If the trailer begins to sway for whatever reason, avoid applying towing brakes. In case the trailer is fitted with brakes that can be applied independently, ensure you apply them gently, else, you need to continue with a steady speed or accelerate steadily until the sway stops.
Ensure you leave a longer stopping distance to the vehicle ahead. Increase this gap for longer and heavier trailers and allow for more distance especially in poor driving conditions. When driving downhill, engage a lower gear and avoid the free or neutral drive.
Abide by traffic laws
The trailer used must be registered, be safe, and in worth road condition. It must be fitted with a rear number plate. The braking system must be fully operational. For the towing vehicle, it must be fitted with a well rated and approved towbar, coupling, and tow ball. It must be properly resourced and prepared for towing using suitable mirrors, safety chains, lights, and load leveling equipment. Never exceed the weight rating of the loaded trailer. Additionally, the load in the trailer must be loaded in such a way that it will not overload the trailer, upset the required balance, or impede the safety and operation of the tow vehicle.
While embarking on a long trip
If you are embarking on a long trip, there are a couple of things you must observe. All tires must be carefully checked. Additionally, check on oil, brake fluids, water, and battery. Ensure the coupling is securely fastened and crewed firmly when the trailer is connected. The trailer brake and light connections need to be secure and lights must be properly working. When towing heavy loaded trailers, ensure the tire pressure is increased to recommended levels. The safety chains must be secured in place. They should be connected with attachments that are capable of withstanding the set breaking threshold of each chain. In case you are using two chains, cross them under the drawbar before attaching them to the towing vehicle.
If you are new to the world of towing, one of the most important decisions you have to make is to choose the right tow bar. There are many options to choose from when it comes to tow bars. A wise choice will help you establish the perfect link between the tow car and touring caravan. Before you can go to the market in the hunt for a tow bar, you will need to establish how much weight you will be towing.
Smaller trailers weigh much less than large caravans and make a different level of strain on your tow bar and subsequently on the towing vehicle. If you are looking for the right tow bar, here are some guidelines to help you in your decision making.
Detachable flange towbar
The detachable flange towbar offers you a lot of versatility as compared to the traditional flange version. When not towing, the towbar can be easily detached. It offers many advantages to users. You will be able to tow seamlessly without problems. Additionally, the tow bar is removed when not in use to preserve shins. When not towing, it does not trigger reversing sensors and presents a good choice for fitting towing couplings and other accessories. The only advantage is that it is generally one of the most expensive tow bars we have on the market today.
Fixed Swan Neck Tow bar
The fixed swan neck tow bar is ideal for different towing situations and applications. It offers a slim and unobtrusive appearance. What makes it great is its ability to be compatible with different stabilizers. It is less likely to disturb reversing sensors and it is more aesthetically pleasing as compared to a flange tow bar. It has some disadvantages though. The first is that tow height can't be altered and cannot be fitted with any bumper shield.
Detachable Swan Neck Tow bar
The detachable swan neck tow bar is slim, secure, and simple to use a tow bar. When in use, only a small part of the tow bar remains visible. It offers many advantages. It is compatible with stabilizers and is less likely to disturb reversing sensors. As a disadvantage, it has to be noted that the tow ball height cannot be adjusted and can't be fitted with any bumper shield.
To conclude, it is good we need to analyze the tow bars we have discussed above. With a flange towbar, it is bolted using two or four bolts to a flange plate. The flange plate then gets fitted to the underside of the vehicle. To many, this could be perceived to be a not so pleasing design due to the visible bolts and components on display.
A swan neck towbar entails an actual shape and design of the towbar. The towbar gets fixed directly to the underside of your vehicle and makes use of a swan neck format or design to offer an unobstructed appearance. For fixed towbar, as the name suggests, the towbar can't be easily removed from the vehicle. Fixed towbars are available for both flange and swan neck designs. Detachable towbars can be easily removed from your vehicle and uses a quick-release handle with a straightforward detachment.
There are different types of tow truck services available for motorists when they need towing services. Flatbed towing is one of the most common ways of towing a vehicle from one point to the next. If you have ever been stranded by the road with your car, chances are high that you were most likely rescued by a flatbed tow truck. Flatbeds represent one of the easiest and safest ways to transport a car.
Flatbed tow trucks normally have four wheels that are most often placed at the center of a trailer to help in balancing the weight of the car above it and to prevent all forms swaying during the towing process. Loading a vehicle on a flatbed is easy as you simply drive your car up to the rear ramps of the trailer, park the car and secure it on the trailer. This is unlike what happens when you use other forms of towing.
Here are the reasons why flatbed tow trucks present the best form of towing;
Prevents vehicle damage
Flatbeds provide a very spacious and sufficient room for your car to be towed. Irrespective of the issue you have with your damaged vehicle, flatbeds present an ideal way to carry your vehicle without causing any further damage. Flatbeds are not only good for space but are also good for providing amazing strength. They do not cause any form of exterior damage to your vehicle.
Additionally, you can experience a wonderful carriage of your vehicle without having to worry about it getting lifted, moved, and damaged. Be it the paints of your car, the tires or body, nothing will be damaged. Flatbeds thus provide an awesome choice and solution for safeguarding your car when you require towing services.
Flatbeds are multi-versatile in that they carry all kinds of vehicles. No matter the type of car or bike you have, a flatbed tow truck will be able to tow it. This also happens irrespective of the distance your vehicle needs to be towed. The flat surface of flatbeds provides an ideal solution to have your car securely fixed and towed to your ideal location. The ride is very smooth. There will be no difficulty whatsoever in maintaining the static and inertia of your car.
Flatbed tow trucks offer an amazing efficiency when towing your vehicle. Because of its ability to carry all kinds of vehicles, you will also experience a fast towing as well. There will be no fear of your vehicle slipping or moving from its original place of attachment. If you want to experience a fast towing for your vehicle, call a reliable tow truck company that offers flatbed towing services.
In conclusion, tow truck operators have different options at their disposal when faced with a towing situation. It is generally advisable to go for a flatbed tow truck due to the numerous advantages and a seamless experience it offers to motorists. It is very fast and efficient, no damage occurs to the vehicle being towed, it can tow all kinds of cars and safety is guaranteed irrespective of the towing distance required.
For small businesses, especially service-related ones such as those involved with towing operations, maintaining a positive rating and reputation is key to generating revenue and having a solid base of customers. People look for online reviews to facilitate their purchasing decisions. They trust the word of mouth from their friends and colleagues. The towing niche has intense competition and to stand above the rest, you need to maintain a good towing rating.
To have a high reputation for your business, here are a couple of pointers to observe.
Offer high quality products and services
Your products and services represent one of the strongest factors and ingredients of your company's reputation. In the eyes of others, they will impact your image. This will happen based on how well your products and services solve problems of your target audience. How innovative is your products and services and what is their level of quality? The better your products and services are the more people will like to be associated with them.
Offer exceptional customer service
You need to treat your customers with the highest level of esteem. Without customers, your business is dead. Customer experience need to be personalized. Always ensure your customers are satisfied with your services. Ensure all their questions and concerns are answer in the most professional way.
Be expert in towing matters
The quality of your towing services will be directly related to your expertise in towing field. You should never limit the recipients of your helpful knowledge to just your paying customers. However, you can strengthen the position of your company's reputation by sharing knowledge and expertise. Provide useful information on your website, blog and social media to show why you are not just only focused on getting customers, but also to portray yourself as a trusted brand.
Nurture your relationships
The way you relate with your customers will determine the reputation your towing company will have. People will be looking for information on how you conduct your business and relate with your customers. They will look for any information on how you respond to your loyal customers, unhappy customers, competitors and the general public. Reputation management is not a onetime thing, but an accumulation of the constant interactions you have with your stakeholders. To strengthen the reputation of your business, place a key focus on serving and helping the people around you.
Provide extra services
To stand out from the rest, you need to go an extra mile and offer what others are not offering. A notable customer experience means you are ready to give something valuable and interesting that your customers can share with others. Learn the names of your customers, offer personalized services and always make them feel appreciated. Go further than they would expect you to and ensure your services and performance is consistent. Avoid creating expectations that you will struggle to fulfill. Always be honest in your dealings and communicate appropriately and in advance in case of anything you will not be able to deliver on time.