Besides a crash or a catastrophic maintenance failure, being towed is the worst thing financially that can happen to your maintenance budget.  For starters, it’s VERY expensive and after you pay the big money, you still don’t have anything repaired.  If you have to get towed, make sure it’s to the right place the first time.  I had to be towed once and I decided to take it to the shop that sent the wrecker.  They couldn’t fix the problem so they hooked it again and took it to the dealer.  That increased my towing bill and still didn’t begin to look at repairing the problem. I think that particular towing bill was $850.

On another occasion, the regulator that controlled air flow to my trailer air bags failed and I lost all my suspension while going down I-85 in SC.  It was late at night and the trailer chassis came to rest on my trailer tires thus damaging all 8 of my tires and my frame was practically dragging the ground.   It was roadside repairable, but not until the next day and I wanted to get that unit off the interstate.  They’re not many places scarier than on the side of a busy interstate at night.  I was towed to a safe place for repairs and as I look back, that was a good decision. The cost of that tow, which only moved the truck about 100 yards, was $550!

Towing due to a mechanical failure is usually a last ditch effort.  It’s more than likely a major malfunction that cannot be fixed on the side of a road or the vehicle is situated in such a way that roadside maintenance is not feasible due to safety concerns.  If possible, get the vehicle out of the travel lane to avoid mandatory towing.  Mandatory towing will happen if your truck is impeding traffic.  The attending police officer will more than likely call a tow truck to move a disabled vehicle from a traffic lane if it cannot be repaired expeditiously. 

Thanks to TruckStockImages.com for the use of this photo.

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Joey Slaughter

Joey Slaughter is the owner of Blue Ridge Transport, LLC. Joey has been in the trucking industry since 1992.