Roadside Coverage

Matt Colie

Well-known member
Oct 25, 2019
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343
83
South East Michigan near DTW
KTC,

I fear you did not understand what Jeff may have said...
A "Normal" tow truck still uses chains an a tow bar. When they go to lift the front of a TZE, if they do not have an extensive kit of dunage (wood planks and blocks) they will bend the bumper mount past repair.
Many tow trucks are now "Wheel Lift" and one of those will work without damage, but the unit better be capable of 4200# (most of our coaches) to lift it safely. This only applies if you can air up the rear enough so the rear (bumper, hitch and generator) are not dragging.
A large roll-back or a Landol are better bets.

Matt
 

pvfjr

Active member
Oct 3, 2019
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Mehama, OR
In addition to the weight limitation Matt mentions, many wheel-lift tow trucks can't open up quite wide enough to fit our track width, or can't extend their boom enough to reach our wheels without hitting our bumpers on their back ends. Be sure to be armed with the track width of your coach when calling around, and know your bumper-to-hub measurement as well. Many places will just assume they can handle whatever you need, but you've gotta drill down and make sure they know this isn't your standard tow.

Also, watch out for a "driveshaft removal" surcharge that is often wrapped up in standard quotes for wheel-lift tow service. Even after telling them it was FWD, dispatch left it on there, and the driver had to have them redo the invoice after I complained. $75 they were going to charge for disconnecting a driveshaft that didn't exist. Ugh.

But, the second wheel lift truck that showed up was indeed sufficient for the job. I refused to pay for the one that showed up and couldn't do the job, since I was so explicitly clear with the dispatchers who wouldn't listen to my instructions.
 

Matt Colie

Well-known member
Oct 25, 2019
1,168
343
83
South East Michigan near DTW
Boy Paul,

That is a valuable page. I have had similar go-arounds, but never with that level of incompetence on the other end of the phone.

So the first unit could not handle the weight or track width? But they sent him anyway? Good Job!

Drive-shaft disconnect surcharge, that is precious. I really hope you don't mind if you become one of my best stories. As I keep telling people that seem to imagine that I have fabricated my good stories, I don't have that good an imagination, but I can listen and remember. (That last is getting harder these days.)

I just wish I had had a videographer to preserve the time I had with the guys that did our recovery from the median in South CArolina and then subsequent relocation of our coach when we broke a lower control arm. This was the antithesis of your experience. The man that brought the Landol had moved GMCs for several friends and others, and the fellow that showed up with the large wrecker to get us out of the median was also a top notch operator. Both of them were a breath of fresh air when I really needed it.

Matt
 
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pvfjr

Active member
Oct 3, 2019
700
188
43
37
Mehama, OR
Boy Paul,

That is a valuable page. I have had similar go-arounds, but never with that level of incompetence on the other end of the phone.

So the first unit could not handle the weight or track width? But they sent him anyway? Good Job!

Drive-shaft disconnect surcharge, that is precious. I really hope you don't mind if you become one of my best stories. As I keep telling people that seem to imagine that I have fabricated my good stories, I don't have that good an imagination, but I can listen and remember. (That last is getting harder these days.)

I just wish I had had a videographer to preserve the time I had with the guys that did our recovery from the median in South CArolina and then subsequent relocation of our coach when we broke a lower control arm. This was the antithesis of your experience. The man that brought the Landol had moved GMCs for several friends and others, and the fellow that showed up with the large wrecker to get us out of the median was also a top notch operator. Both of them were a breath of fresh air when I really needed it.

Matt
Matt,
You're always welcome to use any misadventure I share as a cautionary tale! If we can save anyone any hassle, it'll all be worth it in the end. And yes, I had provided them with track width, total vehicle weight, length, etc. At least they sent a wheel lift as requested, instead of a stubby roll-back with steep approach angles. They initially sent the "standard" wheel lift truck. It couldn't handle the weight, and I could tell by eye that the width was inadequate too. I believe it was F-350 based. The driver was just as baffled as I, that he had been sent out so ill prepared--I guess they didn't tell him what he was in for. What's funny, is I probably had to tell three different people all those details through the whole roadside assistance process. There were many more frustrating details I've probably logged in another thread. In the end, what I learned was I'm probably much better off just calling my friend with a tow truck that lives near home. It would've actually been faster and cheaper.