Drivers could pay more when police tow their cars

Proposed Modesto city fees for unclaimed cars with very little value, such as this one, will put an undue financial burden on towing companies, says Anderson’s Towing Vice President Duane Thompson.

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Road crews, tow truck drivers hard at work after weekend snowfall

Road crews, tow truck drivers hard at work after weekend snowfall

(NEWSCHANNEL 3) – Crews have been out all night trying to clear the snow.

Tow truck drivers have also been hard at work.

Dozens of cars were stuck on the side of the road for slide-offs or crashes.

McDonald’s Towing says when they saw the weather coming, they called in the troops, prepping for double the amount of calls they usually get.

“We tried to prepare better with scheduling employees and getting our trucks in line so all of them were in ready condition and ready for the storm,” said McDonald’s Towing Operations Manager Zach Clothier.

McDonald’s Towing says they responded to about 50 calls Sunday night, and they didn’t expect things to slow down.

They hope drivers keep safety in mind, before pulling off the road.

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Tow trucks keep busy on terrible roads

Newschannel 3’s Nicky Zizaza caught up with some tow truck drivers working to clear drivers stranded along roadways.

Phone calls have been pouring in to McDonalds Towing following the heavy snowfall around West Michigan where slick conditions and snow showers made for a busy afternoon and evening for tow truck companies.

McDonalds Towing has responded to more than 150 calls following this weekend’s snow showers and with chaotic road conditions tow truck drivers said they have to be especially careful because they can end up in an accident during a recovery.

In this kind of weather with an influx of call they ask commuters to pay extra attention and make way for them.

Zach Clothier, the operations manager at McDonalds Towing, said, “We have large equipment lots of lights. If you can give us space to do our job and do it safely, that would make us more comfortable on the road and most likely be able to do our job in a quicker response time.”

By 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, McDonalds towing had responded to more than 50 calls and with the snow expected to continue throughout the night they don’t see things slowing down.

Spots on the roads remain slick and drivers should drive defensively, but stay home unless you have to get out.

If you do have to drive, Michigan State Police has tips for drivers:

Leave at least four seconds of space between you and the car in front of you.

Be careful at intersections, where moisture from exhaust can quickly freeze making these spots especially icy.

Steer into the skid, if you start to slide, don’t panic take your foot off the gas.

Don’t pump breaks – if you have anti-lock brakes do not pump them, use firm pressure until you come to a stop

Don’t get out of your car, stay put and call for help.

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Weight distribution critical when towing a boat

Although most of us anglers live for the days we can take our boats to our favorite fishing holes and see what’s biting, there’s always a sense of relief at the end of the day when we safely back the boat into the garage.

That’s because towing anything adds a profound element of risk to the driving experience. You might be cautious and aware while towing your boat, but that doesn’t mean some knuckle-headed pedestrian isn’t going to be looking at his cell phone on the sidewalk where you like to drive.

Just like in regular driving, while towing a boat, you’ll occasionally have to stop short, change lanes and weave to miss obstructions.

That latter action can prove costly if your boat isn’t fitted to your trailer properly or the gear you put in it for travel isn’t forward of the axle.

The video above demonstrates why you want to put weight toward the tongue and not in the rear while towing.

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Weight distribution critical when towing a boat was first published to Apex Towing – Dublin

Philadelphia cracking down on predatory towing

(House of Digital/Bigstock)
(House of Digital/Bigstock)
Philadelphia is cracking down on predatory towing.

Right now, truck drivers in Philadelphia only have to take a picture of an illegally parked car before hauling it off to an impound lot. But, thanks to a bill passed by City Council Thursday, they’ll soon have to wait for a police or parking authority officer to ticket the car first.

For years, city officials have received complaints from drivers who say their cars were towed from legal spots.

“There is grand auto theft happening in the city every day,” said Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sánchez who sponsored the bill.

But towing company owners argued that having to wait for an officer will cut down on the volume of their businesses.

Anthony Kitt was one of several tow truck drivers from Philadelphia who showed up at City Hall asking council to delay the vote.

“You have a bill being passed that goes against everybody when they know who the bad guys are,” Kitt said. “The names have been blasted all over the news. They have video of what’s going on. And you affect the lives and lifestyles of a lot of people behind the bad doings of a few.”

Instead of putting off the vote, Quiñones-Sánchez agreed to delay enforcement of the new rule for 30 days once it’s signed by the mayor.

She said the city will create a hotline so tow truck drivers can call one of the nine law enforcement agencies authorized for ticketing illegally parked cars under the bill and get a faster response.

“But in the interim, the bad actors continue to steal cars, and this is about protecting consumers right now,” she said.

All of the agencies involved will meet on Tuesday to get down to work, Quiñones-Sánchez said.

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City council passes bill targeting predatory towing practices

Bill 160682, spearheaded by Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sanchez, requires towing companies to summon Philadelphia police or the Philadelphia Parking Authority to issue a ticket before hauling cars away.

The new law will seek to guarantee that vehicles being towed were parked illegally. But cars parked illegally at Philadelphia hospitals can be towed without police or PPA approval.

alleged towing scam south philly

Tow truck drivers told 6ABC that the bill is unfair and punishes the towing industry as a whole, instead of punishing a handful of operators engaging in predatory towing or bait-and-trap schemes.

“How could those who do parking lot and driveway enforcement be predatory, when it’s the property owner, or the management company, who is calling us to tow these vehicles,” Lew Blum of Lew Blum Towing told the news station. “They have us mixed up with another part of the industry.”

The big question that remains is how the city will enforce the new rule in 30 days. Truck drivers told NBC10 that they’re not sure how long it’ll take police to issue tickets or who even to call.

The city Department of Licenses & Inspection won’t be able to handle the volume on its own, which is why the city plans on contracting with a third party.

The bill’s passing comes months after numerous drivers said that they were victims of an alleged bait-and-trap towing scheme in South Philadelphia in August.

The story was similar for many – the drivers would park at a seemingly open spot on South Broad Street and Washington Avenue. But on their return, the car would be gone with a “no parking” sign from George Smith Towing suddenly in place where their vehicle had been parked.

Facebook videos posted by Chris Norman who lives above the allegedly targeted spot have documented a handful of incidents.

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Philadelphia city council approved a measure on Thursday aimed at cracking down down on ‘rogue’ tow truck drivers.

That legislation is designed to reign in an industry that, some say, steals cars off the street through various, unscrupulous tactics.

An Action News Investigation exposed a number of shady practices earlier this year.

The plan would make tow truck drivers wait until a vehicle has a parking ticket before they can remove it.

Earlier in the day, independent two truck drivers lined the streets outside City Hall with their vehicles, blocking a lane of traffic.

They were there to protest legislation that they consider to be unfair.

The bill’s backers say it is a measure to crack down on rogue drivers, or private companies that remove cars that are not parked illegally.

“It’s hard to legislate for bad actors and we know that and we’re committed to working with the industry and, as a city, doing our part to come up with a better system. But in the interim, we’ve got to stop what we’ve blatantly seen, which is some folks stealing cars,” said Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez.

The measure passed 15-1 despite the concerted opposition from legitimate drivers and a key council member.

“I understand her good intentions, but the devil’s in the details, and these independent contractors who are tax paying, law abiding, non-predatory, are in business. As we try to fix something, they’re going to put them out of business,” said Councilman Curtis Jones.

“We do everything we need to do as far as paying L&I for our licenses, paying taxes, hiring people in the city of Philadelphia, and it’s pretty much going totally against us,” said Anthony Kitt of Kitt’s Towing. “We have no say and no option.”

Even high profile, long-established, big money tow truck operators were at City Hall to protest the towing industry reforms.

“How could those who do parking lot and driveway enforcement be predatory, when it’s the property owner, or the management company, who is calling us to tow these vehicles,” said Lew Blum of Lew Blum Towing. “They have us mixed-up with another part of the industry.”

The new regulations will be implemented fully in 30 days.

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