The Dangers of DIY Towing: Why You Should Always Hire a Professional

by | Oct 27, 2016

When it comes to hauling motor bikes, boats, and even other cars, many people mistakenly believe that do-it-yourself towing delivers the same results as hiring a professional tow truck company. However, this could not be further from the truth. Do-it-yourself towing may seem like an enticing idea—one that requires less frustration, more control, and money saved—but the risks heavily outweigh the rewards. Remember, even one small incident can quickly supersede any benefits of doing it on your own. Below is a list of reasons why DIY towing is a bad idea with many potential consequences.

Limited Access to Proper Equipment

Towing companies have a wide array of connection accessories for their tow trucks, most of which are not easily accessible to the general public and cannot be operated efficiently without years of experience. While tow rope and a small variety of hitches can be acquired for do-it-yourself towing, when used improperly, they can cause extensive damage to the towing vehicle, its load, and other vehicles on the road. If the connection between the two vehicles or the vehicle and the trailer isn’t secure, the best case scenario is that damage is limited to the bumpers; the worst case scenario is that the load disconnects during transport and causes an accident that endangers other drivers.

Higher Risks of Damage and Injury

Some people are hesitant to hire a towing service due to a misguided fear that their vehicle or possessions will get damaged during loading or transit. However, the chances of that happening in the hands of a professional towing company are next to none. The risks are much higher when the person attempting the tow is inexperienced and working with store-bought or makeshift towing equipment. In fact, do-it-yourselfers risk not only damaging their vehicles but also hurting themselves and possibly others by trying to undertake the towing process themselves. Without the proper equipment or the knowledge of how to handle it, amateur “tow operators” could get hurt securing or lifting the vehicle, unloading it at its destination, or anywhere in between—leaving you liable.

Exceeding the Maximum Towing Capacity

Tow trucks are designed specifically for hauling other vehicles. Specialized axles, frames, engines, and other equipment contribute to a tow truck’s maximum gross vehicle weight rating—the guideline for how much weight a truck can handle in a single tow. Most ordinary cars are not equipped with the kind of strength or gear necessary for towing, but even those that are should not necessarily be utilized for any kind of DIY towing job. This is because the towing vehicle could potentially suffer a lot of internal damage if the maximum towing capacity is overlooked. When the load weight exceeds what the towing vehicle can handle, it could cause damage to the exterior as well as to the engine, brakes, and transmission, shortening the towing vehicle’s lifespan and putting the driver at risk on the road.

Unchanging Driving Methods

One of the most important things to remember about the towing process is that driving a loaded towing vehicle is very different from driving an unloaded one. When dealing with additional weight while operating a truck, tow truck drivers have to alter their driving habits accordingly so as not to put themselves or other drivers on the road at risk. This includes making wider turns so as to prevent hitting the curb and being more careful driving uphill or downhill. Most DIY tow drivers will forget to make these changes as they drive with their loads, making for an unsafe transfer.

 

There are plenty of situations where the do-it-yourself method delivers the same results as the alternative, but towing vehicles is not one of them. It is a complicated and dangerous job; one that should always be handled by a professional and should never be attempted by those who are unprepared and unpracticed. At Duvall’s Towing Service, it’s our job to deliver fast and efficient service and to ensure the safety of the car, the owner, and anyone else involved in the towing process. If you have any questions, need to schedule a pickup for your vehicle, or have broken down in Lake Worth, FL, call us at (561) 432-8488 and we’ll send someone to assist you right away.

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