FAQ About Towing
While towing companies most commonly differ over the services they provide or their hours of operation, there are a few general rules, regulations and qualities that seem to remain consistent among us. Listed below are just a few of the frequently asked questions that can be helpful to those drivers out there who have never had their vehicle towed before and are unfamiliar with general towing practices.
How do I know my car was towed and not stolen?
All towing companies are legally obligated to inform the municipal police department of any impoundment they make within 30 minutes of the tow. When filling out the report, towing companies must provide information about the vehicle—such as the make, model, color, and license plate number—as well as the time of the tow, the towing company’s location, and sometimes even what kind of tow truck was used. Once the towing company completes the form, they will receive an incident reference number, which are reports that:
- Notify you which towing company has towed your vehicle
- Prevents you from accidentally filing a false report that your vehicle was stolen
I was parked legally, so why was my car towed?
Vehicles may be towed for a variety of reasons. If you are parked on private property without permission from the property owner(s), your car can be towed as a result. If you are parked legally on public property, your car may still be towed due to matters of public interest, including but not limited to:
- Street repair
- The temporary formation of “no parking” zones for special events like festivals, parades, marathons, or filming
In any case, vehicles will be moved to another legal parking area—at no charge—or, if space is limited, they are brought to the towing company’s lot for safekeeping until the rightful owners come to claim them.
What is a vehicle hold?
A hold is a police order that limits access to a towed vehicle. Holds are authorized for several reasons, but the most common reasons include:
- The vehicle owner must pay a fee to have their vehicle released
- The vehicle must be inspected by a police officer in the event that the vehicle is linked to a crime
- So a police officer can check the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) against records to ensure that the vehicle wasn’t actually stolen
Temporary holds last 72 hours, but the vehicle owner will be charged an after-hours fee if the vehicle is claimed during the weekend or on a holiday.
How are impound fees decided?
In the state of Florida, the Florida State Statutes & local ordinances are responsible for the management of all towing companies and their impound fees. The same can be said for other states and their local towing companies.
How many different types of tow trucks are there?
There are five different kinds of tow trucks:
- Boom Tow Truck – This truck uses a boom winch (fixed or with pivots) and is capable of recovering vehicles from a wide variety of places that can’t be reached by backing up, like ditches.
- Flatbed Tow Truck – This truck’s back is a large, flat bed that can be hydraulically lowered to ground level, allowing the vehicle to drive onto it without the need for a boom winch. However, this truck is equipped with a boom winch in case the vehicle cannot be moved via its own controls.
- Hook and Chain Tow Truck – This truck uses chains to move the front or back of the vehicle onto the back of the tow truck, which has a pair of large mats layered with rubber. The vehicle is set to Neutral so that the truck can drive it.
- Wheel-Lift Tow Truck – This truck, like the hook and chain truck, uses chains to lift one side of the vehicle (the front or back) off the ground while the front or back wheels still touch the road. What makes the wheel-lift truck different from the hook and chain truck is the metal link that is fitted to the wheels being lifted, providing more stability and support.
- Integrated Tow Truck – This truck utilizes the features of both boom and wheel-lift tow trucks.
Is a flatbed truck the only kind that can tow an all-wheel drive vehicle?
No. Vehicles that have all-wheel drive can be towed by any kind of tow truck. However, it is strongly recommended that any truck other than the Hook and Chain truck tow them, as a Hook and Chain tow could cause damage to the vehicle’s bumpers.
If you have a question about towing that was not answered here, or if you or someone you know need to have a vehicle safely towed, contact Duvall’s Towing Service at (561)432-8488.