© Copyright 2022 Golden Web Weaver
Before you take a road trip, be prepared for a breakdown
by Bruce Kettler
When you’re driving near your home town, there is no need to concern yourself about what to do if you need to
be towed. You should know your local repair and towing company owners, so you feel confident.
However, what do you do when you are traveling hundreds, or thousands, of miles away from home? How do
you prepare, and what exactly are your actions if you find your vehicle is stuck on the side of the road, and you
are with your family?
This is what you need to do before you start out on a trip:
Check your vehicle’s mechanical condition.
The above is not a foolproof method, so be sure you have more than enough money for a tow truck, a
hotel, food, and repairs.
If you have an unusually large vehicle, measure the distance between the outside edge of the left tires,
to the right tires. Have this figure handy when you communicate with a towing company.
Bring a cell phone that is capable of accessing the internet, with extra batteries. Subscribe to navigation
systems before you start on your trip. Test the system. Some subscriptions take time to be effective. In
rural areas, when vehicles were disabled, people often could not tell the towing companies where to find
Bring reflective triangles to set on the road away from your vehicle, to avoid being hit by vehicles
traveling down the road.
Bring extra food and water, because towing service is not always quick.
If a disaster is causing a delay of towing and police services, you may need sleeping bags in cold
weather if your motor does not run.
Be sure your exhaust system is intact.
During the winter, be sure your fuel tank is at least half full at all times.
If your vehicle is disabled, here’s what to do:
Find out exactly where you are located. Look at a map.
In the winter, you may need to run your engine to stay warm. Beware of carbon monoxide poisoning.
You only need to run it for short periods to stay warm. Be sure the tail pipe is not blocked.
Pick a towing company to call. Don’t find the first one that comes up on the internet. Carefully select
one. The first impulse, often enough, is to find the first one listed, and call them because you are in a
hurry to get towed. It may take you 5 minutes to browse through the list. It’s worth it. If you are in a
large vehicle, with many passengers, you want a tow truck with multiple passenger capability. That
feature may show up in the written listings, and you will spot it quickly. Often enough, a towing
company that’s located in a downtown area will show up with that fact listed.
The preferred method is a flat bed towing vehicle. It’s safer for your vehicle.
If there is a long delay, beware, it’s dangerous on the road, so you may wish to be taken to a safe place
by police, or a taxi, until your vehicle is towed.
You want to be towed to an area where there are restaurants, and more than one hotel, or motel. Once
towed, you will have time to check out the various facilities on the internet and in person to see where
you will eat and sleep. If you are towed to a secluded, and dangerous, area, that will not be convenient,
but you can request that the towing company take you to a safer area.
After you have been towed, and the vehicle is repaired, you’ll be rested and well fed. The experience will have
been easy. You had fun in town, and are now ready for a safe, and happy, trip further down the road.