Providing Support For Load Shifts

red sports car being towed

You’ve just turned onto route 81 outside of Woodstock, VA., and a red Ford Mustang cut you off, causing you to slam on your brakes. The mustang disappears in front of you, and the rest is a blur. After pulling over to the side of the road, you get out of the cab to check your load. You notice the tarp sitting over the lumber has not moved. However, upon closer inspection, the straps holding the lumber in place on your flatbed are leaning towards the cab. It appears that your load has shifted. Luckily, one of your fellow truckers and best buddy told you about Shenandoah Towing a towing service in Woodstock VA., that was able to help him. His load shifted a couple of months ago, and the Shenandoah Towing crew redistributed his load and got him back on the road in no time. You call Shenandoah Towing, and their experienced staff helps you out even though it’s an early morning Saturday. It’s never good when your load shifts. It creates a weight imbalance that can cause your truck to veer or suddenly tip over. Here is everything we will do for providing support for load shifts.

Reasons For Load Shifts

  • The loading team doesn’t follow proper securement requirements.
  • A strap comes loose or breaks during transport
  • A driver aggressively brakes, and the load slides toward the cab.
  • An accident occurs due to driver distraction
  • A truck driver is exhausted, tired, or becomes drowsy
  • A driver takes a turn too quickly
  • A driver is speeding
  • The roads are full of potholes or is unlevel

In order to prevent a load shift from happening, the Department of Transportation – Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA) publishes Cargo Securement Rules. These rules that motor carriers must follow cover all commercial motor vehicles (CMV) carrying cargo.

During interstate transport, the commodity-specific cargo includes

Logs

Almost all logs are included except those that are bound together, under four processed logs, stumps, firewood, or short logs.

Dressed Lumber and other building materials

This section applies to packages of dressed lumber, bundled lumber, and other building materials including gypsum board and plywood.

Metal Coils

The metal coils must weigh more than 5,000 lbs.

Paper Rolls

The paper rolls individually or on a pallet must weigh more than 5,000 lbs.

Concrete Pipes

A concrete pipe that is tied together without rolling or loaded onto a container or-sided vehicle.

Intermodal containers

These are freight containers constructed and designed to be used during two or more transport modes.

Automobiles, Vans, and Light Trucks

This category applies to transporting Automobiles, Vans, or Light Trucks that weigh less than 10,000 lbs.

Heavy Vehicles, Machinery, and Equipment

This section applies to the transport of bulldozers, front-end loaders, power shovels, and tractors that weigh more than 10,000 lbs.

Crushed or Flattened Vehicles

These vehicles are intentionally flattened or crushed in preparation for recycling. On the other hand, those vehicles that are flattened or crushed due to an accident should follow general securement rules.

Hook-lift or Roll-on/Roll-off Containers

These are specialized containers used to transport waste, demolition, recycling, and scrap materials.

Large Boulders

This section applies to the transport of any natural irregularly shaped large rock weighing over 11,000 lbs or has a volume of two cubic meters. The FMCSA also stipulates the proper use of securement devices necessary to secure your load. For instance, they describe the use of tiedown devices, unmarked tiedown devices, anchor points both unrated and unmarked, and front-end structures like headerboards.

Shenandoah Towing-One-Stop-Shop, Formidable Towing Service in Woodstock VA

When you carry any of the cargo listed above and are experiencing shifting loads, we have the equipment necessary to shift your load correctly, redistributing the weight. Shenandoah Towing service in Woodstock VA., is also equipped to transfer all or part of your load to another trailer. For example, we can unload and reload equipment properly, redistribute your load correctly, transport any overload to its final destination, or utilize forklifts on your flatbed trailer to redistribute your load. If something unexpected happens with your load, we are just a phone call away and here to help. We cover Virginia’s major highways like I-81 and I-64 and many towns surrounding Woodstock, VA. When your load shifts, we’ll help you make the needed adjustments and get you on your way. Contact us today to get started!

Roadside Repair – When You Absolutely, Positively, Have to Get There

how to fix a flat tire

Shenandoah Towing, the one towing service in Woodstock VA., you can count on for roadside repair, is prepared to serve you 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. We can even get you on the road again on holidays and weekends. Our knowledgeable staff knows exactly how to help when emergencies arise, no matter the scenario or conditions. The summer months are upon us, the pandemic is manageable, and the kids are out of school. Highways across America are filling up with cars packed with vacationers and their stuff. Everyone’s ready to have some fun in the sun. Your mom has prepared snacks to enjoy on your road trip, and your dad has kicked the tires and checked under the hood to make sure you absolutely, positively get there safely.

Everything is packed and ready to go when you wake up excited to start out on your journey at dawn. But several hours into the trip, disaster strikes. Your car hits one of those unrepaired potholes left over from winter, causing a flat tire. Your dad pulls the car over to the side of the road after hearing a groaning, grinding sound. Your car joins the whole line of cars stopped on the side of the road with similar tire issues. Our experienced staff member is ready to help and suggests that you begin emptying the trunk full of your vacation stuff. After the car trunk is emptied, you lift the plywood cover only to discover that the jack is missing. But luckily, you still have the donut spare. For today’s blog, let’s talk about roadside repair and what you can do to work towards preventing these predicaments from occurring.

Ways To Prevent A Flat Tire

Here are things to be aware of when it comes to the tires on your car

  • Check your tire pressure – Checking your car’s tire pressure often and making sure it equals the recommended pressure requirement is vital.
  • Check for cracks, cuts, or bubbles – Once you come across one of these problems, call the tire repair shop and have it fixed immediately.
  • Rotate the tires every six months or so – The front tires support more weight than the back ones. They also experience additional stress from braking and steering. By rotating the tires, there will be fewer headaches down the road.
  • Replace your tires – A tire’s tread can handle about 60,000 miles worth of wear and tear; however, it may need to be replaced sooner.
  • The tires come equipped with a wear bar. It’s a strip of rubber situated in the middle of the tread, which helps gauge your tire’s wear and tear.
  • When the tread is even with the wear bar, it’s time to replace the tire.

How to Fix a Flat Tire

If your preventative measures have failed you, then its time to pick up your big boy pants and get to work fixing your flat tire. Here are the steps to do so:

  • Step 1: Pull over on the highway far away from any moving traffic. Make sure to stop in a safe place where you wont get hit by a car, and a flat surface.
  • Step 2: Remove your tire bar and spare tire from the trunk of your car.
  • Step 3: Place some big rocks behind your tires to prevent your car from moving backwards when you remove your spare.
  • Step 4: Remove your tire jack and start jacking your car off the ground by locating the jacking points. The jacking points for most vehicles are reinforced metal ribs specifically designed to safely lift the vehicle. On most vehicles, there are four jacking points. They’re located under the car’s rocker panels, just behind the front wheels and just ahead of the rear wheels.
  • Step 5: Remove the lug nuts and locking nuts from your vehicle with your tire bar
  • Step 6: Remove the flat tire and replace with the spare tire
  • Step 7: Hand tigthen the lug nuts, then tighten each lug nut 50% for each lug nut and then rotate to the next lug nut and continue until all are tighten. We want to evenly tighten the lug nuts that’s why we keep rotating to a new lug nut each time.

Other signs that your tires need your attention include vibration or the wheel’s shimmy while driving. There may also be a hissing type of sound signifying a slow leak.

Still, there are a few other essential things about tires to know. Specifically, the very first time you have a flat shouldn’t be your first tire change. Changing a tire in your driveway will be good practice for the time when you actually have a flat. And lastly, once you get a flat, pull over to the side of the road as quickly and safely as possible. Continually driving on a flat will damage your car and be dangerous.

Help Is On The Way: Shenandoah Towing: A Premier Towing Service In Woodstock VA

So, with help from Shenandoah Towing LLC’s towing service in Woodstock VA., you’re back on the road. It’s late, and you need to stay the night at a hotel so you can wake up bright and early the next morning to finish the trip. After an excellent night’s sleep, you round up the troops and start the car. But rather than hearing the roar of the engine, there’s silence. Your headlights don’t work, and the dome light is dim. Your car battery is dead. It’s another disaster. It’s early in the morning, and not even the birds are chirping yet. But you know that you can rely on Shenandoah’s 24/7 towing service to jumpstart your car. Our roadside repair services will get you back on the road day or night. We can service any kind of vehicle you drive, from cars and motorcycles to tractor-trailers and dump trucks.

When something unexpected happens with your vehicle, or you just need a jumpstart, we are here to help and just a phone call away. Contact us today! We cover Virginia’s I-66 and I-81 corridors along with many towns in and around Woodstock, VA., and we’ll get you on your way when you absolutely, positively need to get there.

 

Heavy Duty Towing – On the Road Again

tow truck services near me

Shenandoah Towing, your number one heavy-duty towing service in Woodstock VA., is ready to serve you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We are even available on holidays. Our experienced, highly trained CDL drivers use heavy-duty towing equipment to help get you out of a jam or get you unstuck. Our fleet of trucks are available when you need us. Heavy-duty towing is not your regular run-of-the-mill conventional towing. When your heavy vehicle breaks down, rolls over, is in an accident, or is simply stuck in the snow or mud, you’ll need a specialized heavy-duty tow truck with professional equipment to help you. Heavy-duty tow trucks are large and extremely powerful. They are equipped with amplified recovery mechanisms and pulling power needed to get you out of the most challenging scenarios. Today, we’d like to discuss the importance of heavy-duty towing services

Reasons For Using A Towing Service

  • Times when machinery breaks down at a construction site. Construction site machinery sometimes runs all day and night, so the chances of breaking down are high. Our heavy-duty towing service can get your machinery to and from the repair shop quickly and efficiently.
  • If your machinery runs out of gas, we can take it to the nearest gas station.
  • To move heavy road construction machinery to and from the repair shop or another road construction site.
  • To relocate heavy machinery quickly from one site to another. Typically, heavy equipment moves slowly, but we can speed up the time it takes to get it there when it has to be there fast.

It is good to know what types of vehicles require heavy-duty towing. It’s all based on your vehicle’s weight.

Some general types of vehicles that need heavy-duty towing include:

  • Buses
  • Semi-trucks and trailers
  • Commercial trucks
  • Motor homes and Recreational Vehicles
  • Extreme vehicles or vehicles that use more than six wheels or tracks, such as big rigs. Garbage trucks, and Bobtails.

Additionally, there are three things to know about light-duty and heavy-duty towing before seeking a towing service in Woodastock VA.

Differences Between Light Towing And Heavy-Duty Towing

  • Light-duty towing consists of the regular everyday towing services, while heavy-duty towing requires specialized trucks and equipment. Heavy-duty tow trucks are equipped with up to 25-ton booms, a winch, and 6-ton wheel lifts.
  • Asking and hiring the wrong tow truck can be expensive and wasteful. For instance, don’t use a heavy-duty tow truck for your sedan, and a light-duty tow truck won’t be powerful enough to tow your heavy-duty vehicle safely.
  • It is essential to keep in mind that heavy-duty tow trucks typically carry loads weighing 17,000 pounds or more. In fact, the common cut-off weight between light to medium-duty towing and heavy-duty towing is 17,000 pounds or 8 ½ tons.

Heavy-duty towing not only includes the tow truck but also requires specialized equipment to ensure a safe and efficient tow.

The specialized equipment includes:

  • Wheel lifts or Under lifts – These specialized lifts attach to the front or back wheels to hoist them partially from the road.
  • Light bars – Situated directly behind the driver’s side window, they provide lighting during low-visibility conditions.
  • Chains and hooks – These are securing measures used to keep the vehicle fixed in place.
  • Winches – Using chains, synthetic ropes, or cables wrapped around a drum, a winch can lift a vehicle from the road or fully lift it onto a flatbed truck.
  • Boom lifts – This long, high extension rig on the rear of the tow truck works in conjunction with the winch. All booms come equipped with slings to effectively cradle a vehicle. Some booms allow a heavy-duty wrecker to rotate, removing vehicles from hard-to-reach places.
  • Outriggers – Rear outriggers act like additional metal posts giving a heavy-duty tow truck more stability.

tow truck services near me

A Professional Towing Service In Woodstock VA

Our towing service in Woodstock VA., has made it a mission to get our clients and their vehicles out of unpleasant situations as quickly and safely as possible. Our knowledgeable staff knows exactly how to help when emergencies arise, regardless of the conditions. When something unexpected happens with your heavy-duty vehicle, or you just need a tow from one place to another, we are here to help. Contact us today for all of your towing needs and towing services!

 

When You Should Call Your Local Tow Service

local towing service woodstock va

As instrumental as vehicles have been since their invention, when they break down they become a relatively immovable burden. In response to this, we’ve seen specialized trucks with a small crane attached on the back used to hoist vehicles for moving. These local towing service trucks haven’t changed much since their inception, nor have the reasons why people call them.

Here at Shenandoah Towing LLC, we’ve been providing a towing service in Woodstock VA for some time now, and have witnessed a range of reasons for towing. In some cases, the tow truck is a last-ditch effort to move a vehicle from its current position, although it doesn’t have to be. If you’re unsure whether your situation qualifies for a tow truck, read on.

Local Towing Service for Collisions

Traffic collisions are one way to utilize a towing company. Regardless of what causes them, getting the vehicles out of the way can ensure that no other accidents happen. Tow trucks can bring your vehicle to a local mechanic, and in some cases, like our towing service in Woodstock VA, they may have their own auto repair garage.

This can get you back on the road for your daily commute, dropping the kids to school, or whatever else you need to do.

Break-Downs

Another inevitability on the road is a car breakdown, especially for those of us who cannot afford to buy a brand new car. Break-downs, like collisions, can be caused by anything from running out of gas to full mechanical failures.

As with collisions, getting your vehicle towed to a local mechanic can ensure that you’re back on the road in no time. In some cases though, you may only need a fuel delivery, which is something that we at Shenandoah Towing LLC, and many other towing companies will also offer.

Getting Stuck

Getting your vehicle stuck is another common enough occurrence, and can be the source of a lot of stress. There are any number of terrains that can cause your vehicle to get stuck, and usually, our best efforts at getting out will only dig us deeper.

Sand

Driving on the beach is a lot of fun, as usually those beaches which allow driving have plenty of space. Although one risk when taking a non-4×4 on the beach is getting it stuck in the sand, particularly the softer sand at the back of the beach near the road (away from the shore). A common mistake people make when getting stuck in the sand is trying to drive out of it immediately.

Instead, follow the instructions in this excellent article.

If that doesn’t work, then it might be time to call your local tow service to bring in the big guns. Be sure to mention that you’re on the beach, and to find the closest access point available.

Mud

Common on rural properties, mud can be particularly sticky in the wetter months of the year. While many who live rurally will have 4x4s and their own towing equipment, there are instances where it’s best to call in the experts. Unlike sand, getting unstuck from mud can be a frustrating and messy ordeal that can even pose some danger.

Follow the professional advice in this article to try and get yourself out of the mud. Again, if that doesn’t work, then it will be time to call upon your local tow service for assistance.

Snow

Like mud, snow can be messy and dangerous to try and get your vehicle out of alone. If you’re driving in a snowy area, you and your vehicle should be equipped to handle those conditions. That often means chains on the tires, but on top of that, you should also have a snow shovel to help move snow out of the way.

To get yourself unstuck from the snow, check out this article here.

Otherwise, if that doesn’t work, call upon your local towing service to pull you free.

Moving Someone Else’s Vehicle

We’ve all seen the depiction of this scenario on TV shows and movies, and although it’s often dramatized, you may have the right to have someone else’s vehicle towed. This depends on the local laws on the matter, and it’s usually better to call the police via their non-emergency number first. Although if someone’s vehicle is blocking your driveway, and you need to get somewhere, then you shouldn’t feel bad about calling the cops on their illegal and selfish behavior.

Professional Local Towing Service In Woodstock VA

Here at Shenandoah Towing LLC, we’re confident that our towing service in Woodstock VA is just what you’ll need in those panicked moments behind the above scenarios. We also have roadside repair services and a fully-fledged workshop at our disposal, so you can call us knowing that it’s the only call you’ll need to make.

Why We Offer Roadside and Automotive Repairs with Our Towing Service

roadside tire repair near me

When most people think of tow trucks, they will think of towing vehicles which have been parked in the wrong place. While this is true some time, it’s more common for tow trucks to be called out to traffic accidents where a vehicle is rendered inoperable, or a vehicles tires have blown out, which is why we offer roadside tire repair near me. Being able to tow a vehicle out of harm’s way can not only protect other people using the road, but also save the car from being damaged any further.

Having provided a towing service in Woodstock VA for some time now, we have years of experience in helping people to remove their car from the road after unimaginably scary accidents. Often the driver will be in a state of shock and not even coherent enough to move the vehicle themselves, let alone start the process of rectifying their vehicle. Here at Shenandoah Towing, we know that accidents can not only harm us or our vehicles, but can also impact our lives by taking away our main form of transport.

This is one of several reasons why we offer roadside repair and automotive repairs along with being a provider of a towing service in Woodstock VA.

Here’s a glimpse at everything else we focus on!

We Focus on Roadside Tire Repair in Woodstock, VA

As previously stated, it’s not uncommon for a traffic accident to leave one or both the drivers in a state of shock. This state may render the most competent person incapable of the most basic tasks and decision-making. Although after a crash, an accident, or even a small rupture in your tire, some decisions will need to be made relatively quickly, and it’s during this confusion that people are easily taken advantage of.

By calling a towing service which also provides roadside tire repair near me, and roadside automotive repairs, you can simplify this situation for yourself. Once the towing vehicle is on its way, you can rest easy and try to regain your composure. Allow the professionals to handle the heavy lifting while you focus on recovering.

Save on Time

Every crash is different, with some minor crashes causing structural damage and some major crashes causing cosmetic damage. Although one consistent factor when a crash does occur is the amount of time lost on identifying and repairing anything that was damaged. Unless you’re a mechanic, you probably won’t have the know how to identify whether the damage is structural or cosmetic.

By contacting a towing service, you can expect a much faster repair time on your car. They may even be able to determine whether your vehicle needs to be taken for repairs, or whether minor repairs can be achieved on the roadside. Having offered these services alongside our towing service in Woodstock VA, we’ve saved numerous people immeasurable amounts of time, getting them back on the road faster.

On top of this, our services are offered 24/7. So if you get into an accident at night or in the wee hours of the morning, you won’t have to wait around until the following day’s business hours.

Save on Money

While one-stop shops are notorious for poor quality goods, those providers of services which overlap are often able to save their customers a lot of money. If you’ve had an accident, and you’ve called a tow truck to take your vehicle to a mechanic, only to find that the mechanic is closed that day or cannot service your vehicle, you’ll have lost precious time and money.

By providing both roadside repairs for minor damage, and in-house repairs at our workshop, we are able to save our customers money and time on not having to shop around for the right price.

Roadside Tire Repair Near Me

On top of providing the ability to repair any vehicles we tow, we also have a few other services which overlap into other relevant areas.

Dead Battery Recovery

Most of the cars we see that are dead on the side of the road have problems with their charging system. Usually this could be the ECM (Electronic Control Module) which controls the Alternator which charges the Battery which charges the car. Most of the time a simple fix is needed which is replacing your old battery with a new battery. If this is the case, we can help get you back on the road. If the problem is more mechanical in nature, and you need a new car part, our towing service can help you take your car to your local mechanic.

Heavy Duty Towing and Recovery

Not every vehicle weighs the same, and some vehicles will require a lot more than a standard tow truck to bring them back to the road. If you’ve been in an accident in a tractor or truck, this service will be more relevant than standard towing.

Site Restoration

It’s not uncommon for a traffic accident to cause damage to the road, or leave debris strewn about, which can be harmful to pedestrians and other drivers. We provide site restoration services to bring the crash site back to its former glory.

Professional Towing Service In Woodstock VA Offers Roadside Tire Repair Near Me

If you’re planning on towing something heavier than what you’re used to, then you may want to save yourself from any risk by hiring our professional haulers. They are equipped with vehicles that can haul any kind of equipment, and can do so with the professionalism required to ensure your goods are stored safely and correctly. Give us a call today!

 

 

How to Safely Tow Boats and Trailers

towing mount jackson va

We Americans love getting out and doing stuff, whether it’s taking the boat down to the lake for some fishing, or taking the dirt bikes out on a trailer for a ride. Having the freedom to drive not only ourselves and our families around, but also our toys like boats and bikes is truly a privilege. Although a harsh reality of this is that there are over 50,000 towing related accidents each year according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA). That’s why we offer towing services in Mount Jackson, VA.

This shouldn’t (and probably wouldn’t) put you off though, instead, it emphasizes the importance of being careful when towing things. As a professional provider of towing service Woodstock VA, we believe we have the knowledge to keep you and your family safe when towing anything. By sharing with you how to go about safely towing trailers, boats, RVs, and anything else, we hope that we can limit your need to call us at 540-481-0658 for our towing service.

Here are some of our best tips on how to safely tow boats, trailers, and anything else.

Work With An Experienced Professional – Towing Mount Jackson VA

If it’s your first time driving with a trailer, then you may wish to ask around to see if anyone you know can sit in with you to help you build confidence.

Trailers completely change the weight distribution of your vehicle, and if anything they add a lot more length to your vehicle than most are used to.

Before taking the boat down to the lake with the family, you should get some experience with lighter trailers first followed by heavier loads. If your street is quiet that may be the best place to practice, graduating onto any nearby rural highways, and finally a freeway.

Don’t Rush

Sporadic behavior in a car is dangerous enough, but add a heavy trailer into the mix and you can really harm yourself, your passengers, and other people on the road.

One of the most important things to do when driving with a trailer is to take your time, this is because at higher speeds you will have much less control over the movement of the trailer, and it will retain momentum even if you brake suddenly.

When speeding with a trailer one will notice it starts to wobble from side to side, if you notice this don’t brake suddenly, instead calmly reduce speed. Towing speed limits are there for the safety of all people on the road and usually range between 55mph and 65mph depending on the state.

Respect the Capacity, and Distribute Weight Evenly – Towing Mount Jackson VA

Your trailer will have a carrying capacity that determines how much weight it can carry safely, which incorporates both stationary and in-transit. Exceeding the weight capacity of your trailer will affect the handling of your vehicle and limit the stopping power of your brakes. It can also damage the suspension, drive train, and engine, so be sure to respect your load restrictions.

On top of this, weight capacity usually refers to the entire flatbed and not any single point on the trailer, so be sure to distribute the weight of whatever you’re carrying evenly. Not doing so can affect the handling and brakes, and can drag you off the road or into oncoming traffic. You should also ensure that the load is secure so that the weight isn’t shifting while you drive.

Inspect and Maintain both Trailers and Vehicles

Regular inspection and maintenance of both trailers and vehicles can ensure that both are in working order and won’t suddenly cause an accident. There are many parts that can malfunction on both a trailer and a car, so enacting regular checks can greatly reduce the chance of an accident.

Invest in Relevant Equipment

While that NHTSA report makes it seem like trailers are unsafe, they are substantially safer than their antiquated counterparts. In fact, towing technology is constantly evolving and producing more equipment that can further enhance the safety of towing trailers. Things like tow mirrors can eliminate the blind spot caused by a long trailer, and safety chains can ensure the trailer doesn’t get embedded in the concrete if it does somehow come off the hitch.

Using Towing Mount Jackson VA

Even if you invest in the highest quality safety gear for towing, you may still find yourself a victim of another driver’s mistakes and end up in an accident with your trailer. Prepare for this by having relevant emergency equipment in your car at all times, including a first-aid kit and the phone number of a local towing service.

If you’re looking for a towing service Woodstock VA, then you’re in luck. We’re based in Shenandoah and have years of experience in towing, and can also offer both roadside repairs and in-house repairs at our autoshop. Be sure to write down our number to put with your first aid kit in case of an accident.

The Dangers of D.I.Y Towing Rigs

towing new market

Traffic accidents are inevitable in this day and age, and can happen whether we do our best to avoid them or not. While many collisions are minor, it doesn’t take much to make a car unusable, which will then require some heavy lifting. That’s where towing New Market has come in handy, often only a quick call away, these trucks are specially-built to help move damaged vehicles.

Although a tow truck isn’t always the first thing someone thinks of calling, often people will try and start their car after an accident to try and move it. In some cases with just a minor collision, this is fine, but more serious crashes can make it dangerous for both you and other drivers on the road. Beyond this it’s relatively common for people to use their ute or truck as a tow vehicle, which can pose a range of problems to the driver, others on the road, and the vehicle.

As a towing service in New Market VA, we believe it’s important for our customers to know about these dangers and why they should instead call us.

Here is a look at the dangers of trying to drive a damaged vehicle or towing with a D.I.Y towing rig.

Before Driving Away After an Accident – Towing New Market VA

Once you’ve shared relevant insurance information after an accident, it may be time to get back in your vehicle and drive away. Before you do so, you may want to check the following parts are still functioning so you know its safe:

 

  • Headlights, tail lights, brake lights, and turn signals – these need to be in working condition to drive legally
  • Mirrors – legally you need two functioning mirrors to drive, while the rear-view may not be damaged if you’ve lost both side mirrors you shouldn’t drive
  • Leaking fluids – if your vehicle is leaking fluids driving it may pose certain risks. If it’s leaking coolant you risk overheating, if it’s leaking fuel you risk a fire.
  • Bent or broken wheels – you should thoroughly inspect your wheels and axles for any signs of damage, and if it feels wrong, don’t drive
  • Hood won’t latch – front on collisions will usually affect the hood latch which can then threaten to swing up and impair your vision while driving
  • Broken glass – this will take some common sense, as a broken side window may not impair your ability to drive but any cracks in the windscreen will

It’s important to be able to use your judgment when assessing your vehicle after a crash to determine how serious it is. One great indication is any injuries you may have received, the more severe they are the more damaged your car is likely to be.

Dangers of DIY Towing – Towing New Market VA

If your vehicle is too damaged to drive, but you are keen to get it off the road or to a mechanic, you may wonder about the viability of DIY towing. Many modern utes and trucks are outfitted with winches which insinuate the ability, but do not come with the technology that tow trucks rely on. A common anecdote at our towing service Woodstock VA is having to take a couple of tow trucks out to pull a DIY tow vehicle out of a ditch, where the job could have taken one vehicle we now see 2 or more damaged.

There are a few major concerns when it comes to DIY towing, which we will explore below.

Ill-Equipped

Tow trucks come equipped with all kinds of special equipment which aren’t publicly accessible or efficiently operable without relevant experience. Even with a tow rope and several hitches, most vehicles will struggle to safely move others and can threaten damage to either, or other vehicles on the road. Tow trucks keep vehicles at a safe distance behind them, and connect in more than one way to ensure the vehicle stays with the truck.

Exceed the Maximum Capacity

Vehicles are only equipped to carry so much, and when we exceed the maximum weight our vehicle is expected to carry it begins to create other risks to both vehicles as well as others on the road. If the max capacity is exceeded the towing vehicle may experience external damage where the vehicle is connected, or damage to the transmission or engine.

Working With A Professional Towing New Market VA

If you’ve ever driven with a trailer, then you’ll know that it is vastly different from driving a car alone. A common mistake we have heard about at our towing service Woodstock VA is that the DIY towing vehicle’s driver either under- or over compensated for the weight of the other vehicle. This can lead to fishtailing, and in extreme situations even more accidents and injuries.

Tips for Staying Focused Behind the Wheel

Picture of tow truck - towing shenandoah county

To say that driving has bettered our lives would be an absolute understatement. The ability to travel freely from point A to point B without exerting almost any effort, and while also remaining sheltered is something we take for granted nowadays. This has given the individual a lot more power than most people have had in history, although as Spiderman’s uncle said “with great power comes great responsibility”.

Tips for Staying Focused | Towing Near Me

An all too common cause of call-outs for our towing service Woodstock VA is minor accidents due to one or more drivers not paying attention while driving. This problem plagues every country in the world at the moment, due to the sheer proliferation of phones and how affordable they’ve become. Although phones aren’t the only distraction we have when driving, and if you, like so many others, already struggle to focus, you may have to put effort into staying focused while driving.

 

Here is a look at the more common distractions while driving, and how you can mitigate them to stay focused on the road.

Smartphones

With most states having laws of varying severity in place for cellphone use while driving, it’s plain to see the correlation between their use and accidents. In fact, texting while driving causes a 400% increase in time spent not looking at the road (source), which subsequently causes an average of 330,000 injuries each year (source). While for some people it may be easy enough to ignore text messages, calls, and push notifications, many people do struggle.

Avoiding the Distraction

Many people will use their smartphones for work and may feel obliged to answer no matter what. Although what good are you to your employer should you end up in an accident due to answering a work call? Here are some tips for avoiding distraction:

 

  • Put your phone on silent when driving, or set up a ‘do not disturb mode which automatically replies to calls and texts with a pre-written message
  • Put your phone in your glove box, back seat, or even in your trunk until you build up the focus to not reach for it mindlessly
  • Set up a voicemail stating that you may be driving and that you will call back at your soonest convenience
  • If you do need to use the phone while driving, pull off the road as far as possible and put on your hazard lights
  • Ask your passenger to answer any calls, read any texts, or make or send any calls or texts you need to make.
  • When calling others immediately begin by asking if they’re driving, and if they are, terminate the call immediately stating you will call back when they aren’t

 

These are just some of the common distractions, another common one we hear from our towing service Woodstock is using a Map app to find a location. If you rely on this, you should either invest in a purpose-built GPS or a phone holder for your dash somewhere in sight but not in the way.

Kids

If you have kids, then you’ll know that they can be just as distracting while driving, if not more than phone use. Be sure to set boundaries around acceptable and unacceptable behavior in the car while they’re young. Every kid is different so you may have to be creative in getting them to understand.

Here is a great article with tips on car safety for children, but most importantly be sure to communicate with them about this.

Fatigue, Hunger, and Stress

While we may not even register that we’re feeling one of these, they can be a common cause of poor decision-making and can lead to becoming distracted.

When You’re Tired

When you’re starting to feel tired behind the wheel, you may already be falling asleep, so you should keep an eye out for a rest spot or somewhere safe to pull over to let someone else drive.

Be Prepared

Store some high-energy dry foods in your car such as nuts or oat bars to stave you over if you feel hungry between locations and can’t stop to get food. Otherwise, keep $5 or $10 in your glovebox to buy some food from a gas station or fast food provider.

Breathe

Whatever may be causing you stress, you should try to defuse it and relax as soon as possible. Depending on the severity you may wish to pull over and take a moment outside of the car to breathe and stretch. Otherwise practice abdominal breathing by moving your gut in and out with each breath, making exhales longer than inhales.

It Happens!

Even if you become adept at focusing behind the wheel, accidents do happen, and it’s important to be focused when they do. Once you’ve confirmed your own passengers and any other pedestrians, passengers, or drivers of other vehicles are okay, call us for our towing service Woodstock VA and nearby. Not only can we tow your vehicle, we can also help to repair many types of minor damage.

Modern Safety Features in Cars

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Since their invention, cars have gone through a number of massive changes which have greatly improved their safety. Even such things as seatbelts are relatively new, having only been standard practice since 1964, when automotive safety became a priority. Since then, cars have gained a myriad of features which can help the driver to avoid breaking down, as well as getting into an accident. As a provider of a towing service in Shenandoah County, we’ve seen our fair share of both breakdowns and accidents, and are familiar with those features which can help. Although unless you’re a fan of cars, many of these features may seem a bit complex, given their misleading names. By understanding the relevance of each feature, you’ll be able to confidently seek out a car which is not only safe, but will hopefully stop you from ever needing to contact us about our towing service in Woodstock VA.

Here is an overview of the modern features in cars which help to improve their safety.

Airbags Can Prevent Towing

Like seatbelts, airbags were around for some time before they became commonplace in every car. In fact, it wasn’t until the 1990s, almost 40 years after they were invented, that driver airbags became a standard feature in low-end cars. Shortly after that in 1998 airbags became mandatory in all cars.

Nowadays cars are outfitted with a range of airbags to ensure the safety of the driver and all passengers should the car face any impact. You should find a car with:

  • Driver airbag installed in the steering wheel, with thorax protection if desired
  • Passenger airbag on top of the glove compartment, or in the upper right of the dash
  • Side curtain airbags installed in the top of the door rails
  • Center airbags installed on the inboard side of the driver’s seat

On top of these, you may also seek out knee-bolster airbags, seatbelt airbags, and pedestrian airbag modules. The safety of airbags has increased greatly, and they can save you and your passengers from death or serious injury.

Anti-Locking Braking Systems (ABS)

To the novice, brakes locking up may sound like enough to stop a car, although that’s exactly the problem. When brakes lock up in a car, the car may carry on its momentum and slide into more objects. ABS has stopped this by providing steering control while the car is braking on wet and slippery surfaces, allowing you to point the car to safety. This system can be expected in almost every new car, but be sure to ask whether any cars you’re considering have it.

Crumple Zones

Prior to crumple zones in cars, in the event of a crash, the momentum would transfer to those within the vehicle, leading to devastating results. Crumple zones are essentially parts of the car that would absorb some of the impact should you crash/be crashed into. This is achieved by identifying the weaker parts outside of the vehicle, and strengthening the inside. What this often means is that the front or rear end of the car will be crushed, rather than transferring the momentum to those inside.

Electronic Stability Control (ESC) / Electronic Stability Program (ESP)

While many of us are familiar with the anagram of ESC as the “Escape” function on our computer, and the acronym of ESP being related to telekinesis, these features are imperative in the modern car. Electronic stability is a car safety feature which detects loss of traction to a car’s tires, and can also apply to the brakes to prevent skidding and aid the driver steer in a controlled manner. It first came about in 1983, and only took 7 years to become standard throughout the industry, saving countless lives.

Rear-Facing Cameras

While not so helpful during a breakdown or car crash, rear-facing cameras are an invaluable tool to those who have children and pets. They allow the driver to see exactly what is behind and seemingly beneath the back of the car. The first one goes back to a Buick in 1956, and although they’ve been around for some time, they still aren’t as common as they should be. These are a must-buy for parents and pet owners, and have undoubtedly saved families from immeasurable heartbreak.

Towing Service Shenandoah County

Having all the safety features in the world may not save you from the Fates which can throw anything at us at any time. As a provider of a towing service Woodstock VA, we are well aware of this, and are ready to help you during a breakdown or accident. Be sure to write our number down and put it with your insurance information.

Contact us today for our towing service in Shenandoah county!

Car Maintenance Checks that Keep You Safe

car in need of roadside assistance - towing edinburg

Owning a car is quite different nowadays compared with much of the 20th century, when they were still a relatively new invention. These days however, cars are commonplace in most households, and are a commonly used method of transportation. As a provider of towing in Edinburg VA, we believe in maintaining your car to avoid having to call upon us unnecessarily. Most people will take their car for a ‘service’ annually, which usually involves checking the rudimentary functions of the car such as the brakes and headlights. Although depending on the age of the car and amount of use it’s getting, you may need to check it in between, if specific repairs or upgraded need to occur. Here is a look at the less obvious car maintenance checks which can keep your car going.

The Routine Checkup

As previously mentioned, most people will take their car for an annual checkup with their local mechanic. The following is what mechanics will evaluate when looking at your vehicle:

  • Engine Oil and Filter – These usually need to be changed every 5,000 miles
  • Coolant / Antifreeze – These need to be replaced annually
  • Brakes – All elements of the brake system need to be checked annually, including brake fluid, brake lining, rotors and pads
  • Tires – The pressure and condition should be checked regularly, with a tire rotation occurring every 5,000 miles
  • Battery – Check that it’s mounted securely and not corroded

Many of the people who contact us about our towing service in Woodstock VA failed to check or maintain one or more of the above features. While ensuring these parts are functioning correctly can rule out a huge variety of problems, there are other parts which benefit from regular checking and maintenance.

What to Check Immediately

Modern cars have many lights and dials which can indicate to drivers the types of issues that are taking place. The two most common indicators are the ‘Check Engine Light’ and ‘Tire Pressure Light’.

Check Engine Light

This light indicates that the electronic control system in your car has run into a problem which it can’t fix. There are a variety of issues which could cause this light to turn on, including:

  • Loose cap on the fuel tank – a common reason for the light to turn on which may occur immediately after filling up
  • Catalytic Converter failure – this plays a critical role in the exhaust of your car and while it isn’t a complicated fix, it can be expensive
  • Oxygen (O2) sensor fault – this can cause problems with the catalytic converter and should be fixed asap
  • Ignition coil or spark plug failure – only a problem in cars which run on gasoline (not diesel), these problems can be mistaken for one another
  • Airflow sensor failure – this checks how much air is entering the engine and tells the car’s computer how much fuel should go in. Problems with this are usually caused by the air filter

Tire Pressure Light

Unlike the check engine light, the tire pressure light indicates exactly what the problem is, namely that the tires are losing air. This could be due to a variety of reasons, and regularly checking and changing your tires can mitigate this problem.

Faulty Headlights or Indicators

If one of your lights goes out, check the fuse immediately as often that is the cause. If that doesn’t fix it make sure to replace the bulb as soon as possible, otherwise you may risk getting a ticket

Broken or Noisy Wiper Blades

A relatively common problem in older cars or those used heavily, the wiper blades are prone to malfunction and can cause a cacophony when left unaddressed. Thankfully, replacing wiper blades is generally affordable and easy, with most car part shops offering the service for a small fee.

Other Types Of Car Maintenance Checks

After all of the above checks, the final few are either specific to certain vehicles or certain circumstances. These can include:

  • Automatic Transmission Fluid – only relevant to automatics, this needs be done while the engine is running and more information can be found in the owner’s manual
  • V Belts and Serpentine Belts – these should be tight, if they’re frayed or worn then replace them
  • Hoses – the various hoses underneath your car should be in good condition, any cracks and tears will require the hoses to be replaced
  • Power Steering Fluid – check while the car is warm and top up if necessary, if top ups become frequent check for leaks
  • Exhaust – inspect for leaks and damage and listen for any strange sounds it may be making, repair immediately if any faults are identified
  • Chassis Lubrication – unless your car is “lubed for life” (check owner’s manual or online) then you may need to get the chassis, steering and suspension systems lubed.

We Offer Towing in Edinburg, VA

For information about whether our auto repair facility can help with any of the above maintenance checks, or to find out more about our towing service in Edinburg VA, get in touch with Shenandoah Towing, today!