How Do Towing Companies Work?
You are stuck on a by the roadside at the highway on your way home. Your vehicle has broken down, and you have no idea what do. What do you do now? Call a towing company. Towing companies in Atlanta offer a variety of services.
In the scenario above, you could call a towing company you have a contract with via an organization such as American Automobile Association (AAA) or an ‘over the counter’ transaction, where you call a tow truck owner or company directly who you do not have a prior contract with.
A towing company will send a tow truck to you. This is what they are popularly known for, and this service is known as emergency roadside assistance. When they get to you, they can administer to your vehicle ‘first aid’. This means they could try to jump start your car or help you change that flat tire or fetch gas for your empty car. They are trying to get you off the road quickly, and you could be on your way as soon as possible without having to stress over handing over your car for a few days or nights. If your issue is resolved, you will typically be charged a small fee, mostly a flat rate for that service which can be debited to your insurance account if that is how you ordered the tow truck or you pay out of pocket.
If the issue cannot be resolved by the roadside, the towing company can offer to ferry your vehicle. Usually, towing trucks have a flatbed at the back where your vehicle can be pulled to sit on. They can then take your car to your mechanic’s yard or to any other place of your choice. They will apply a towing service charge to you determined by a standard rate plus take into account the distance and other variables, and you will choose to pay via your membership if you have one or from the pocket if it was a one-off transaction. Either case, towing companies normally charge for such services.
These two scenarios are examples that show one form of service offered by Towing companies, namely, Emergency Roadside Assistance.
Towing companies in their own right can register with organizations to offer towing services. Examples of such organizations would be AAA, Yard Owners, Police especially highway patrols, Insurance Companies, Debt Collectors/Auctioneers, gas stations and even parking/property owners.
In the case of an organization like AAA, the towing company will offer to give members services. In which case if a member of AAA gets stuck, they have a towing company number which they can call for roadside emergency services or for towing needs at home if the car broke down there. All they need to do is give their AAA registration number and once verified the towing company should go offer assistance.
Towing companies can go into contract with yard owners so that they can deliver vehicles to their yards. This is a win-win symbiosis whereby if a towing company is called to tow a vehicle but got nowhere to take it, they could take it to these yards while yard owners can get money to keep the car by charging a storage fee.
Police who patrol highways may require that all stalled vehicles be taken off the highway immediately which means the only option is to tow the car. For such reasons, the towing company could register with the local police to offer their services when needed. Cars involved in Traffic Road Accidents may require to be moved off highways and police can use the services of a towing company.
Insurance companies often require to move vehicles involved in Traffic Road Accidents to their yards either from the scene of the accident or from a police yard. Towing companies can offer these service once they register with the insurance companies.
Debt collector/Auctioneers are sometimes required to repossess the property and among this could be cars. Towing services may be necessary for this reason. Same goes for the gas station since, in most instances, gas stations are the places drivers whose vehicles have broken down call upon. A gas station could, in turn, give the contact of a towing company, and the stranded driver could get either roadside emergency assistance or have their vehicles ferried.
Parking lot owners may need to impound on defaulters or cars parked illegally. Towing companies can come in handy by being standby to offer such services. The same goes for property owners who find illegally parked vehicles on their premises.
In the above instances, save for AAA registered members and Insurance Companies, the towing companies recover their money from the owner of the vehicles. In cases in which owners fail to pay, the vehicles are kept in designated yards until payment is made. These fees can be high varying from $50 to $200. In addition, these yard charge storages fee daily which could range from $20 – $50. If payment is not made, a lien is put on the vehicle at the Department of Motor Vehicles by the towing company, the storage yards or by both. If this too is not paid, then they could go to court and file for ownership of the vehicle. Once the obtained, they could sell of the vehicle by auction of scrapped for spare parts.
Lastly, one less popular things that tow companies do is ferrying large items on their flatbeds such as walk-in refrigerators, farm equipment, tractors or any other big load. Flatbed hauling services might be your solution for equipment that may be proving to be a headache to transport.