When You Need to Find a Tow Truck

February 17, 2015

If you need to find a tow truck, a tow truck is equipped with many ways to help you get back on the road if your vehicle has experienced a breakdown. The amount and type of service you get from a particular towing service will vary, and if you need a tow, their rates can vary. There is a standard fee for hooking up your vehicle and a per-mile fee that will cover the distance to your destination.

General Towing Services

Towing services can range from simple hookups and towing to pulling your vehicle out of a ditch. The type of towing service you might need will depend on your particular situation. You also might be reimbursed for some or all of your towing service. Most towing insurance coverage will require you to find a tow truck and pay the cost up front, submit a receipt and then get reimbursed for anywhere from half to all of the towing charge, up to policy limits.

Many auto clubs also provide towing coverage free of cost when you are a member. A good auto club will have a list of preferred towing services, and many of them will collect their fee from the auto club instead of you. In such instances, the towing service likely will take you to the nearest authorized service station.

Roadside Services

Many towing companies provide roadside services, which will include jump-starting your car, putting on a spare tire if you have a flat, unlocking your door, giving you up to five gallons of gasoline or pulling your car out of a ditch, snow bank or other obstacle that has you stuck. So long as your car is safe to drive, the tow truck driver will wrap up the service by collecting payment via cash, credit or debit card, or by collecting the fee from your auto club. If you are like many people, you have roadside service coverage with your auto insurance policy, which usually will require you to submit a receipt for services for reimbursement.

Types of Tow Trucks

When you need to find a tow truck, there generally are three types that will respond to your call. The most common type is the wheel-lift tow truck. When you find a tow truck of this type coming to your aid, the driver will back the truck up and use a hydraulic yoke to lock onto your front or rear wheels and lift the front or rear end up for the tow. Another type of tow truck is the flatbed, which angles and lowers a flatbed to the road surface and uses a winch to pull your car up onto the flat deck. The driver then secures it for the tow. 

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