If you have a towing business, it’s important that all your trucks are functioning and working properly. Your tow trucks are a major part of the business, after all. But of course, tow trucks and towing equipment aren’t indestructible. Things break and need to be replaced. And if something breaks on you, that means you or a client could be hurt. This is why it’s so important to have a preventive maintenance program. And that’s all fine and good, but how do you take care of issues when your drivers find them without completely throwing your business into chaos? Well, it’s a lot of preparation, of course. Here are a few tips for taking care of repairs without upending your business completely.
7 tips for maintaining your towing equipment.
1. Know when something’s wrong.
First things first: you have to know when something is wrong with one of your tow trucks. Ideally, you’d be able to spot potential issues before they become major problems. Anyways, your drivers should know to do a walk-around of their truck every time they set out on the road, even if they’ve just stopped for a lunch break. With all the hours truck drivers spend on the road, things can break or fail without the driver being aware. That’s why frequent walk-arounds can be helpful – it never hurts to be cautious.
2. Have a plan for when repairs do need to happen.
It’s inevitable that things will break or fail. So, you need to have a plan for when you have to get a truck repaired. Do some research and find out what potential solutions would work as far as service centers you trust. Is there a way to get the truck to the repair shop during your off-hours? You’ve got to figure these things out before something happens so you’re not in a pinch. Where would you take your tow trucks if they needed to be repaired?
3. Consider how you would get new parts.
You’ll probably need to have a plan for taking care of the chassis of your vehicle in mind just in case something goes wrong, though you might not want to only have one (you might want to have more options.) Think about the dealerships that are around you that could help you with getting the proper parts you need.
It may be helpful to have a relationship with a distributor so you can have someone to go to if you need to get OEM parts. But of course, it might be difficult to have just one distributor for absolutely everything you could possibly need, so you may need to create multiple relationships with distributors in your area.
(Fortunately, as far as regular service matters go, a lot of pieces don’t require anything special. Lots of tow bodies use the same parts – for example, hoses and lights – so they can be found without too much trouble.)
4. Choose the right equipment for your region.
You also have to choose the right equipment for your region. What type of towing are you doing and what kind of weather are you up against? Having the right tools for the job at hand can be a big help.
5. Know what works best and how long it’s going to last.
It’s also a good idea to keep track of your maintenance. Record details like when each piece of equipment wore out, how long the piece lasted, and why you had to replace it. This can help you be prepared – you’ll know which parts or components you should have on-hand so that you can replace them quickly and without delay. (This can help you reduce your downtime.) You can also maximize your equipment’s life by figuring out an ideal schedule for replacing and cleaning it.
6. Consider using a software to keep track of your preventive maintenance.
Having a software program to help you keep track of your preventive maintenance is something to consider. Software can help you keep track of issues and be prepared. It can help you be proactive instead of reactive. Software can also allow you to keep track of costs, which can be very helpful when it comes to budgeting for your business.
7. Remember the benefits of maintaining your equipment.
It might seem like a lot of work to maintain your equipment, but there are a lot of benefits to spending the time (and money) on taking care of your towing equipment. You’ll have less downtime because your trucks hopefully won’t have to spend as much time off the road. And less downtime means less lost income. Plus, it just means that you’ll have less stress and headache in the long run because you’ll be able to keep your trucks on the road – and keep your business running at capacity. So, if all this maintenance seems like a lot, just remind yourself of the long-term benefits.
So, these are some tips for maintaining your towing equipment. Don’t underestimate the importance of taking care of your towing equipment. It is possible to not completely send your business into a tailspin when you have to make repairs.
Having the proper tow truck insurance can also help you keep your business running smoothly. Get started with tow truck insurance quotes by filling out our online form, giving us a call, or messaging us on LiveChat.
Riker, Brian J. “Equipment Maintenance: A Different Perspective.” American
Towman, Dec. 2019, pp. 60-66.