Before your car breaks down, need a jump start or tire change, or any other roadside assistance service, you need to beware of the most common tow truck scams mostly used by amateur service providers. A serious accident can render your vehicle immobile and you might be forced to seek the help of a towing company to get you back to the road. However, in the midst of all those frustrations, the last thing you would want is to be scammed by a towing "professional".
To ensure that you don't fall prey to towing scams, here are a couple of things to observe.
Know who is helping you.
I'm pretty sure you might have heard the term - it's too good to be true - and you know how it mostly ends. If you are ever in an accident or any situation that requires roadside assistance and a tow truck happen to be "passing by", the first thing you need is to remember the adage. Scammers work with police alerts to learn in real-time of accidents and breakdowns. In the middle of frustrations and helplessness, you might find yourself signing fraudulent terms. It is advisable you have a reliable towing company that you can always call in the hour of your need.
Beware of storage fees
On average, it can take anywhere from ten to fourteen business days to receive a police report that details the extent of your car accident. This process can even be longer depending on how quickly the insurance company of the in-faulty driver cooperates for your reimbursement. The payment can also take longer to be processed. If your car has been damaged in the process, beware of fake towing professionals asserting to hold your car in their storage facilities for extended days as the investigation report comes. Work with your insurance company to expedite the process.
Demand all necessary information
It is your right to be informed and provided with all relevant information that can help you cross-reference anything you are in doubt of. When a tow truck you are not aware of comes to offer help to you, ensure you collect necessary paperwork for your records. Ask for a printed and itemized invoice that clearly shows towing fees, storage fees, and any other extra charges. A fraudulent towing company would not be willing to clearly avail information
Don't disclose unnecessary information
Many scamming towing companies have the tendency of asking for critical and unnecessary information with the aim of striking a bait. If a towing guy asks for your insurance information, it should immediately click in your mind as a red flag. It is also important to remember all the necessary information you need to provide is already given to your insurance provider. You should never be forced to disclose any other unnecessary information.
Additionally, for any service you receive, ensure everything is in writing. This should only be an exception if you know the towing providers and that your insurance is going to cover the cost of the tow and any other charges. In business, you should never be quick to trust anyone, as there is no guarantee of their words.
There comes a time when you may need to get your car towed, or you may need to tow a caravan upcountry on your trip. You may require towing because of an unexpected breakdown. Regardless of the situation that makes you need towing services, there are a couple of things you need to prepare for to get everything right. That said, here is what you need to be adequately prepared for;
Remove unnecessary items
When planning for towing, the first thing you need is to gather all your personal items and remove them from the vehicle. Doing so ensures nothing goes missing or gets damaged during the towing process. Towing companies make it clear on their disclaimer that they are not liable for lost items. Play it safe by taking everything valuable out of your vehicle.
Take pictures of your vehicle
Before the arrival of a tow truck, ensure you take some pictures of your vehicle. These pictures would be very useful in case any further damage happens to your vehicle during the towing process. Getting your vehicle out the towing truck may have it get some form of damage mostly to the paint, in form of scratches. You don't want to incur unnecessary costs on your already damaged vehicle.
Disengage the emergency brake
When your vehicle is getting loaded on the truck, your emergency brake needs to be disengaged. If it is not disengaged, it may lead to damage. Any reputable tow truck professional will check to ensure this brake is off. However, based on the fact that everyone makes mistakes, you would rather be safe than sorry.
Have all windows closed
Having all windows closed may seem to be an insignificant step, but in the real sense, it is very important. With your windows closed, you will ensure there is no dirt or debris that gets into your car during the towing process. It will also protect the vehicle from damage caused by an unexpected storm and other calamities. You don't want your vehicle exposed to all these forms of dangers
Arrange access for your vehicle
In case you need your vehicle towed on hours you will not be available, ensure you arrange access for your vehicle. You need to plan ahead to ensure there is no form of confusion. Ensure you leave keys in a place that is accessible or have someone deliver the key to towing professionals upon their arrival.
Getting your car towed is an inconvenience that every car owner tries to avoid. But in case of the inevitable, you would want your car towed safely and successfully to your mechanic or nearest auto shop for professional attendance. Make sure all tickers have been followed and the right steps applied to have a smooth process. Doing so will reduce the chances of further damage to your car and eliminate confusion. The tips discussed in this guide are universal though not exhaustive and should be applied the next time you are preparing for a tow. We hope they will come in handy the next time you need to prepare for towing.
For your business to move to the next level, you can never underestimate the power of customer satisfaction. At the center of running any successful business is ensuring your customers have a good experience. Service professionals in the towing and roadside space know this fact. Excellent customer service is the foundation of loyal customers who are ready and willing to refer your products and services to friends, colleagues and family.
If you are running a towing or any other type of business, there should be a genuine desire to put a smile on your customers. Here are simple things you can do to create a habit of excellent customer service.
1. Understand your services
Whether you are involved in products or service business, you need to understand what you are selling inside out. Ensure you and your staff understand your services well and can offer the best experience from each service. Beware of most common questions customers ask and know how to articulate answers that will leave them satisfied.
2. Be helpful and friendly
A great customer service starts with a smile. When you are in a face to face situation, the first thing that should great your customers is a warm smile. Even when you are handling customer service over the phone, ensure a smile comes through your voice. Answer all customer concerns to full satisfaction.
3. Say Thank you
Gratitude is memorable and can remind your customers that they made a good decision to seek services from you. Saying thank you in very interaction and service you offer your customers is one of the easiest and effortless ways to start a habit of a good customer service. You need to train your staff to offer appreciation and highest levels of professionalism when interacting with customers.
4. Show respect
Not all the times your customers will be respectful. Regardless of any situation, you should never take matters personal and reciprocate rudeness. Customer service can involve a lot of emotions, so it is important to ensure you and your members of staff offer services to customers in the most courteous and respectful way.
Active listening is one of the simplest secrets of great customer service. You need to hear out what your customer is saying, be it verbally or non-verbal. Watch out any signs and body language that portray displeasure and respond to situations appropriately. Ensure you give your customers sufficient time to speak and do not interrupt them unnecessarily.
6. Be Responsive
There is nothing more rude and worse than non-responsiveness to a customer who is reaching out for help from you and is actively being ignored. It is important to respond quickly to all inquiries, even if it is to say you are looking into the matter and you will reach back in a short while. Some form of response is always better than no response. Never make your customers feel ignored.
Finally, ask for feedback from your customers for the services you offered them. You will be surprised to learn what your customers think of your products or services. You will use their feedback to further improve on the services you offer.
When you are about to embark on a new journey, one that involves hauling a trailers, and it happens you lack towing experience, you might get a little bit overwhelmed. Regardless of if you have a powerful truck or a light-weight vehicle, you will still need to know the basics of towing, and more importantly, the towing capacity indicated on your vehicle. If you have no idea what we are talking about, don't worry.
This guide walks you on towing capacity and the importance of ensuring you don't exceed this capacity.
What is towing capacity
Towing capacity simply refers to the amount of weight a vehicle can tow when pulling a trailer. It is always advisable not to exceed this rating as doing so would put the towing vehicle on unnecessary stress that could have detrimental effects on vehicles engine. It could as well damage transmission and rear axle and this could put your safety and that of other road users into jeopardy.
On the inner side of a driver's door frame, you will find an attached certification plate or sticker that contains vital information about your car or truck. For towing purposes, there are a couple things you need to follow;
1. GVWR - The gross vehicle weight rating refers to the total weight a car or truck can handle without a trailer. This rating includes the weight of the vehicle, cargo and passengers.
2. GVW - Gross vehicle weight refers to the total weight as per manufacturer's estimate for your vehicle with all fluids, passengers and cargo. The actual weight may slightly vary depending on your cargo and passengers on-board your vehicle.
3. GCWR - This is the gross combined weight rating. It includes the weight of the vehicle, cargo, passengers and trailer with a load. It is the maximum allow combined weight and exceeding this weight could be devastating to your vehicle.
Lastly, we have the gross axle weight rating that shows how much load or weight a single axle can safely handle at any given time.
How to figure out towing capacity
To figure out the towing capacity, ensure the weight of the trailer and its load do not exceed the indicated gross vehicle rating. In most cases, this rating is about 10,000 lbs., though this will vary from one vehicle to the next.
Additionally, you need to pay attention to the tongue weight. Tongue is a device that connects a trailer to the towing vehicle. On conventional trailers, the tongue weight on ball mount hitches should be about 10-15 percent of the total weight of the trailer and its load.
You need to observe all towing laws set to ensure you have a safe ride. Many states have relatively lenient regulations while others will have special requirements. Ensure you check on these requirements and adhere to all of them. When preparing a trailer and its load, put enough time to ensure everything is properly fixed. Ensure all components are securely fixed and the trailer is properly connected. Doing will work in ensuring your safety and that of other road users.
It is never a good time to break down. It is always a pain in the neck. In a pinch, you may need to tow a vehicle yourself. My recommendation is that you call a tow company whenever possible. Albany Tow Truck provides all kinds of towing services all around the Albany New York area. When calling a professional towing organization is not possible, then it is good to know how to tow a car yourself. It may seem a little scary, but it you follow our guidelines, you should be okay.
The checklist prior to towing the vehicle
Any car that is going to be towed, must have a sign in the rear window clearly displayed that says ON TOW. It is necessary to have proper towing ropes or towing poles before attempting to tow a vehicle. Make sure that you do a thorough examination of the tow rope and/ or tow pole to make sure it is in good shape. It should not have any signs of defect. If you find any damage at all on the tow rope or the tow pole, then do not use them to tow the vehicle. The car being towed should have the keys in the ignition and set to the “on” position. This will disengage the steering lock. If the engine is not running, then the car being towed will require more strength to turn the steering wheel.
When towing a car to safety, it is important to take great care. The maximum speed for towing is 17 miles per hour. At this speed, it allows the car being towed enough time to react should something happen. The lead car must pull away gently to prevented extreme jerking that could cause the rope to break. The jerking can be abrasive to the cars, as well as the passengers.
When needing to break, it is important for the lead car to tap on the breaks so the driver in the car being towed sees your intent to brake and is prepared to apply the break themselves. The tapping of the brakes provides the warning that the driver in the rear car will need.
Whenever possible, try to indicate your intentions with early signal indicators. Giving the driver in the towed vehicle as much information as possible so they can be respond accordingly. It is important to not make any drastic maneuvers or extreme change in directions. The two drivers need to try and be like synchronized swimmers. Every action creates a reaction from the car being towed.
Maintaining tension on the tow rope will minimize the amount of jerking that you may experience. The tow rope will stay intact when it does not come into contact with the road surface too often. If following these basic procedures, then you should be able to tow a car in an emergency situation. If at all possible, contact companies like Albany Tow Truck to keep yourself safe. Tow companies run into the same dangers as policeman that come onto an accident scene. Professional Tow companies know how to be safe conducting a tow in and through traffic.