Ask any mechanic or smash repairer for their emergency towing horror stories, and they are bound to have more than a few. Tales of competing tow truck drivers touting for business at the scene of an accident or pressuring accident victims to sign paperwork under duress abound. Thankfully, most tow truck drivers are honest business owners who take great pride in assisting those in need, but it is important to be on the lookout for dodgy operators. By taking a few simple steps, drivers can reduce their chances of becoming the next character in their mechanic's cautionary tales.
Drivers under pressure
Tow truck drivers are often the first on the scene at an accident. Some drivers cruise the streets looking for the next collision and may even listen in to police radio frequencies to be the first to know when a crash occurs. However, you are under no obligation to use the services of the first tow truck that arrives, and in some instances, such as when the driver wants to tow the vehicle to some distant location, it may be in your best interests to turn the driver away.
The 'recommended repairer'
Tow truck drivers often have lucrative deals with local mechanics and smash repairers under which they refer business in return for a sizeable commission. Often, the driver's 'recommended repairer' will charge exorbitant rates, some of which may not be covered by your insurance company, so you are well within your rights to insist on having your vehicle towed to the company's storage yard or your own preferred repairer.
In some states, such as Victoria, touting for repair services at the scene of an accident is illegal. In others, the practice is not. Regardless, before taking a tow truck driver up on their offer to choose a repairer for you, it is important to check with your insurance company to ensure the costs will be covered.
Damage in transit
Most tow truck drivers are good at their jobs and know how to safely hoist a vehicle, regardless of its condition, onto their truck without causing further damage. However, mistakes do happen, especially when the car is in such a state that it cannot be driven up onto the truck. Sometimes, further damage to the vehicle can even happen in the towing company's storage yard. While it can be difficult to completely prevent the chance of any further damage occurring, tow truck drivers who know that a car's owner is watching will likely be more careful when loading the vehicle onto the truck, and taking photos of the car before sending it off to the storage yard can help avoid arguments should damage occur in the towing company's storage yard.
Tow truck drivers operate in a heavily-regulated industry and have a tough job. However, rogue operators do exist. By following these simple tips, car drivers who have been involved in an accident can make sure that their vehicle is on its way to the smash repairer with minimal fuss. For more information, contact a business such as United Tilt Tray Service.