Semi truck malfunctions can be very hazardous due to the vehicle's large size and the long braking distance required. For example, tire problems (one of the top reasons semis require roadside assistance) can cause dangerous swerving and make the truck difficult to control. If you've managed to stop your vehicle safely away from the roadway and alerted your heavy-duty towing company, it's time to pat yourself on the back and breathe a sigh of relief. But during the time between your call and the tow truck's arrival, there are some safety precautions you should be aware of. Here are the dos and don'ts of waiting to have your semi towed.
- Do place flares or reflective markers correctly. Other drivers should have at least 500 feet of warning, so make sure visibility isn't obstructed by hills or a curving road.
- Do collect your insurance information and any valuables to take with you when the truck is towed.
- Do remember to ask the towing company for the license plate number of the vehicle they're sending, so you know for sure when it arrives. If you forgot to ask for the license plate number, call the company back to check.
- Do stay in your vehicle unless smoke, fire, fumes, or some other problem makes it unsafe to do so. If necessary you can take shelter at a nearby restaurant or other business instead, but pay attention so you don't miss the arrival of the tow truck.
- Do leave your phone's ringer on in case the towing company needs to call you back.
- Don't leave the vehicle unattended. You can have a friend come pick you up, but don't leave until the tow truck arrives; the driver may want to see your ID before towing, and you should always ask to see theirs as well.
- Don't venture near the road. Don't stand behind your truck (except to set flares or markers) or between the road and your truck, even if there's plenty of room.
- Don't try to repair the semi yourself. Your truck's mechanic will need to see the original state of damage before repairs begin.
- Don't accept rides from strangers. Tell them you have a ride coming already, even if you haven't actually arranged one yet. If necessary, you can ride in the cab with the tow truck driver.
By using these precautions and applying your own common sense, you can make the best of a bad situation and prevent further danger to yourself and your truck. For more information, contact a company like Glen's Towing & Road Service.