A situation that requires a reliable emergency towing service can arise in a matter of seconds. You might have been in a fender bender, gotten a flat tire, or skidded off the road after hitting a patch of ice, for example. No matter which catastrophe occurred, the last thing you want is to be stranded in your car on the side of the highway waiting for roadside assistance — or not knowing who to call for help.
It’s important to have a trusted provider in mind for such an emergency well before you need one. Having that number ready to call makes a challenging situation much less stressful. To help you start your research, we’ve put together a list of questions to consider when choosing a towing service.
1. Does the company have a good reputation?
Service history is important when you’re working to identify the right partner for your needs. You should look for online reviews and positive customer experiences as proof of a good reputation and long-time presence in the community as a trusted roadside assistance provider. The services they have provided for other people are the services they’ll provide for you, so make sure the towing company is equipped to meet your expectations.
Look for some of the following points in the reviews:
The towing company should answer your phone call and respond promptly, and it’s important for tow truck drivers to be able to give accurate estimates to customers regarding their arrival times.
You may be riding in the tow truck as your vehicle is pulled behind it on the way to the repair shop. A clean cab is an indication that the company cares about your comfort and pays attention to detail.
- Well-Maintained Vehicles
A well-maintained vehicle looks better, but more importantly, it performs better — which is a critical safety consideration. The company should regularly inspect its vehicles and all towing components to ensure they’re in good condition and working properly.
- Friendly Drivers
An emergency roadside situation is stressful and often frightening, and your tow truck driver should be a kind, professional, reassuring presence in that difficult time.
You can check the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for formal complaints against the company and how it responded. Seeing the same complaint over and over again is an indication you may want to choose a different option for your roadside assistance.
Finding towing services with a proven history of reliable roadside assistance is a great start, but you’ll also want to ensure they meet your requirements for payment, responsiveness, transparent pricing, 24-hour service, and more.
2. Is it a licensed towing service with marked vehicles?
Reputable towing services are certified and licensed, indicating a respect for the industry (and your vehicle) as well as a commitment to following regulations and safety practices. Marked vehicles are important for your peace of mind: You don’t want to have to guess about who is coming to help you after an accident, or whether the tow trucks that pull up are actually from the provider you called.
3. Does the service provider offer 24-hour emergency roadside assistance?
Mishaps can happen at any time of day, and a roadside assistance service should be available 24/7. Make sure your tow truck company will answer the phone no matter when you call.
4. Does it require upfront payment for towing services?
In an emergency, the last thing you should have to worry about is coming up with cash on the spot while you’re waiting for help. The towing company should help you first and bill you later. A few things to keep in mind:
- Figuring out how to pay and then waiting to be refunded from the car insurance companies is an extra hassle you don’t need when you’re dealing with an emergency roadside situation.
- Since many insurance companies only work with certain towing companies, you may want to make sure the towing services are covered by your auto insurance policy.
- If not, you can always ask the tow company for an estimate before they meet you on the road.
It’s also important to look for transparency when it comes to tow truck fees. You don’t want any surprises when it’s time to pay for the towing service, regardless of whether you have a pre-arranged roadside assistance plan with your insurance companies, credit cards, auto clubs, or private roadside assistance services.
5. Does the company offer reasonable response times?
Roadside assistance should be prompt and reliable. Whether you had a car accident, a flat tire, a dead battery, a breakdown, or got stuck in the mud, it’s not safe to be sitting by the road for hours waiting for help. A rapid towing response time is essential. Find out how quickly the emergency towing team can be there to help you.
6. Does it follow safe towing service practices?
Emergency road service safety practices are multi-faceted. There are many precautions a roadside assistance provider needs to take to ensure his or her own safety as well as the safety of the customer and the other drivers on the road. These include:
- Safety Gear
The driver of the towing vehicle must wear personal protective equipment like gloves, a fluorescent safety vest, and a reflective helmet.
- Safety Monitoring
The driver should monitor the traffic and the situation in general while approaching your vehicle, exiting the truck, and loading your car on the truck.
- Safe Loading Procedures
The driver should load your car in a designated safety zone as far from oncoming traffic as possible and follow specific loading procedures. Your vehicle should be completely secure before being towed away.
- The Right Equipment for the Job
The driver should ensure all equipment is working properly, and that the towing vehicle is licensed for the load. Heavy-duty towing requires a towing vehicle of a certain size/weight with specific wenches and cables to support the weight of a large load.
The entire towing team, from the person who answers your phone call in the office to the tow truck driver who arrives to offer assistance, should be dedicated to your safety as well as their own.
Work With a Reliable Towing Services Provider
Fast, efficient, and safe roadside assistance is always important when you find yourself in a car-related emergency situation. A 24-hour reliable towing service gives you one less thing to worry about when you’re on the road in Germantown or Mt. Airy, Maryland, and the surrounding area. Contact Geyers Towing today to speak with an expert about any towing service questions you might have.