Snow emergency prompts massive towing

City plowing

A big citywide tow is typically 100 to 150 vehicles. The first snow emergency of the 2016-17 winter sent a whole lot more to the impound lots.

“We issued 335 snow violations and actually towed 332,” City Manager Pat Hentges told the City Council on Monday.

And that was before the special downtown snow emergency occurred late Monday night and early Tuesday morning. The downtown snow emergency that ended at 6 a.m. Tuesday added another 24 cars to the impound lots.

Along with a $25 parking citation, violators were facing a nearly 50 percent increase in impound fees from two years ago — to $107.88.

Combined, that means Mankato wallets will be $47,305 lighter after the last citation is paid and the last vehicle is collected from impound lots operated by Affordable Towing and All American Towing.

“We certainly don’t want to see the towing of that many cars,” Hentges said. “But it essentially allows us to get these streets plowed in a safe and effective manner.”

Kent Reeves, owner of All American Towing which handles city towing south of Main Street, said he wasn’t sure why so many more were towed following the weekend snowfall, which totaled about 6 inches.

“That’s a good question,” Reeves said. “I did talk to a number of the people who were towed. A lot of them, this was their first snow emergency.”

That lack of familiarity with the rules, particularly in a college town that attracts thousands of newcomers each fall, is the reason the first snow emergency of the season results in more towing. After paying $132.88, most people learn their lesson and pay close attention to subsequent snow emergency announcements.

Another explanation is that Mankato became a lot more efficient at towing starting a year ago when it split the city between the two towing companies. In the past, one company was granted the city contract and had to cover the entire city.

And Council member Jason Mattick wondered if the day of the week was the problem. The snow emergency was announced early Sunday morning, warning people that ticketing and towing would begin at 10 p.m.

“Not that it’s your fault, but I think a lot of people were just in a Sunday lull — Vikings or whatever,” Mattick said. “So it caught a lot of people off-guard. It’s unfortunate.”

Finally, Reeves said he noticed towing of some vehicles that city streets department officials might have let slide in previous years. The vehicles were those that had been parked on streets where plows had already made a pass or two. In the past, those cases might have been forgiven with towing focused on cars that had been parked throughout the snowstorm and were surrounded by unplowed snow.

Hentges agreed that some people mistakenly believe they can resume parking on a street once they deem it’s been plowed “curb to curb.” That’s the rule in some cities and was once the rule in Mankato, but the restrictions were simplified to prohibit parking until the snow emergency ends.

“We did have a few people confused on that,” he said. “But that’s been the case the last three years.”

Along with the current practice of notifying the media of snow emergencies, posting the information on the city’s website and using social media, Hentges said the city has persuaded Minnesota State University to forward the notifications to students. And, starting next year, snow emergency information will be given to landlords to pass on to renters.

Read more: http://www.mankatofreepress.com/news/snow-emergency-prompts-massive-towing/article_40a1db28-c17f-11e6-8f4a-bb98170ad680.html

Call us if you need help towing your vehicle

Snow emergency prompts massive towing Find more on: Apex Towing – Cork

Arlington County Board Approves Towing Changes, Despite Some Business Opposition

Above the objection of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce and numerous local business owners, the Arlington County Board on Tuesday approved a series of changes to its towing ordinance, including a controversial provision requiring businesses to authorize individual tows.

The so-called “real time authorization” provision was approved with a delayed implementation date: July 1, 2017. That will give the County Manager time to “identify alternative strategies to mitigate aggressive towing practices and provide an interim report,” according to a county press release.

The provision, which was not recommended by the County Manager nor the county’s Trespass Towing Advisory Board, requires “real time authorization for all tows from commercial property conducted during business hours.” Currently, businesses can grant blanket pre-authorization to towing companies to tow any vehicle trespassing on their lots.

Other provisions approved unanimously by the County Board include:

  • “Require tow truck drivers to photograph the vehicle at all four corners, providing vehicle owners with important safeguards should their vehicle be damaged, and providing towers with protection against false damage claims.”
  • “Requiring that the receipt given to the vehicle owner include a disclosure that photos and/or video evidence taken before the tow are available upon request and the contact information for the County office that handles trespass towing complaints.”
  • “Requiring towing and recovery operators to properly secure all loads to meet all safety standards.”
  • “A new requirement for signage/markings on the interior of parking lots or facilities to provide additional, clear information to vehicle owners about the parking restrictions on the property. This requirement builds upon the existing requirement for signs at all vehicle entrances.”
  • “Extend the eligible area for the location of storage facilities from three miles to three and one-quarter miles. This could allow more eligible locations for storage facilities, giving property owners more contractors to choose from without burdening vehicle owners in retrieving their vehicles.”

“These amendments provide important protections to vehicle owners whose vehicles are taken without their consent,” County Board Vice Chair Jay Fisette said in a statement. “We believe these reasonable requirements support the rights of Arlington County property owners and their tenants to enforce restrictions on their property while providing common sense standards for how vehicles are removed.”

The Board also authorized two additional towing fees: $25 for towing a vehicle in the evening (7 p.m.-8 a.m.) and $25 for towing a vehicle on a weekend or holiday. The changes were required by state code. Together, the fees could increase the initial charge for a tow (not including storage fees) to as high as $185.

Another provision prohibits towing companies from towing public safety vehicles, except at the direction of police.

Arlington County Board on 9/27/16The Board spent more than two hours on the towing ordinance amendments, mostly focusing on the real time authorization provision — which was also referred to as a “second signature” requirement.

During the public comment period, a number of business owners spoke out against it.

“I’m opposed to the second signature for the fact that I already have a detailed contract with the towing company that I use,” said a business owner, identified as a Mr. Fernandez. “It takes away from my employees that have to go out and sign these tow tickets or email, or whatever it is, it just doesn’t make any sense and I’m opposed to it.”

John O’Neill, the owner of Advanced Towing — which is perhaps the biggest trespass tower in the county — also spoke out against the provision.

“We believe that the second signature will cause adverse safety and operational problems for us, property owners and business owners,” he said. “There’s a misconception the property owners or business owner lets us tow at will. That is false. Towing is a last resort most property owners have examined. It is not a first choice.”

Takis Karantonis, a Columbia Heights resident and the former director of the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization, said that both residents and business owners he talked to agreed that overly aggressive towing was a “serious problem” in Arlington that was discouraging customers from shopping in certain areas.

“The bottom line is that everybody, literally everybody, both on the business side and on the customer side, recognizes that the predatory towing — not every towing — that happens on purpose is a problem,” he said.

County Board members sounded off on the real time authorization provision, with John Vihstadt taking the most skeptical tone.

“I am supportive of the remainder of the staff report,” he said. “I am also in agreement of Mr. Fisette apart from the second signature. Businesses have an incentive to keep accessible and adequate parking for the customers, and that is their lifeline. And in Arlington in many places, we don’t have enough of it.”

Jay Fisette was the primary champion of the real time authorizaiton requirement. He spoke at length about why he thought it was necessary, noting that he did not think the low number of formal complaints lodged against towing companies was representative of what he sees as widespread consumer frustration.

Read more: https://www.arlnow.com/2016/12/14/arlington-county-board-approves-towing-changes-despite-some-business-opposition/

Call us for help towing your vehicle

Arlington County Board Approves Towing Changes, Despite Some Business Opposition Find more on: http://limerick.apextowing.ie/

Nissan creates self-driving tow cars

Nissan has worked on making the relationship between people, cars and society more exciting under its Intelligent Mobility vision, a framework for how cars will be driven, powered, and integrated into society. This new project, which utilises mapping and communication technologies to link an intelligent and all-electric car to infrastructure, is a step towards the realisation of Nissan Intelligent Integration.

The IVT system uses a modified Nissan LEAF to autonomously tow trollies carrying finished vehicles between designated loading and unloading points at the plant.

Unlike conventional automatic guided vehicle systems for transporting parts, which often require the installation of rails or extensive use of magnetic tape, this system does not need any special infrastructure to operate. The towing car is equipped with an array of cameras and laser scanners that detect lane markings, curbs and potential obstacles or hazards around the vehicle. By cross-referencing this information with map data, the towing car calculates its own location, negotiating the route to its destination unaided. The towing car travels within the speed limits of the factory, and automatically stops if it detects an obstacle or hazard ahead, before setting off again when it has determined that the road ahead is clear.

The towing route can easily be altered to accommodate changes in production processes or vehicle transport routes. All driverless towing cars are connected to a central traffic control system, which can monitor the location, driving speed, remaining battery and operational status of each vehicle. When two driverless towing cars meet at an intersection, the control system’s algorithm determines which car should be given right-of-way, and in case of emergency, the system can stop the vehicles remotely.

The Oppama Plant’s existing logistics system requires finished vehicles to be transported from the end of the production line to the facility’s dedicated wharf by a team of drivers, at which point they are loaded onto ships. Introducing IVT will allow Nissan to improve production efficiency.

Since trial operations of the system began roughly a year ago, more than 1,600 test runs have been carried out at the plant. The data acquired has been utilised to ensure that the system can operate reliably within the plant’s premises. A safety system and a fail-safe system have been developed to counter potential risks or unexpected conditions the IVT system may face during autonomous driving, including adverse weather and low light conditions. Nissan will continue to test the system at its Oppama Plant, and will examine the possibility of implementation at other manufacturing facilities both in and outside Japan.

Nissan has been developing autonomous driving technology for decades. In August, the company launched ProPILOT, an award-winning single-lane autonomous driving technology for highway use. IVT further showcases Nissan’s holistic approach to mobility, expanding the advantages of driverless technologies beyond personal usage.

The data and know-how obtained through this project will help to enable broader adoption of autonomous driving technology, in order to provide new solutions to Nissan’s customers, and to society.

Read more: http://www.galwayindependent.com/motoring/topics/articles/2016/12/14/4131685-nissan-creates-selfdriving-tow-cars/

Call us for help towing your vehicle

The blog post Nissan creates self-driving tow cars is available on Apex Towing – Galway Blog

Arlington County Board Approves Towing Changes, Despite Some Business Opposition

Above the objection of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce and numerous local business owners, the Arlington County Board on Tuesday approved a series of changes to its towing ordinance, including a controversial provision requiring businesses to authorize individual tows.

The so-called “real time authorization” provision was approved with a delayed implementation date: July 1, 2017. That will give the County Manager time to “identify alternative strategies to mitigate aggressive towing practices and provide an interim report,” according to a county press release.

The provision, which was not recommended by the County Manager nor the county’s Trespass Towing Advisory Board, requires “real time authorization for all tows from commercial property conducted during business hours.” Currently, businesses can grant blanket pre-authorization to towing companies to tow any vehicle trespassing on their lots.

Other provisions approved unanimously by the County Board include:

  • “Require tow truck drivers to photograph the vehicle at all four corners, providing vehicle owners with important safeguards should their vehicle be damaged, and providing towers with protection against false damage claims.”
  • “Requiring that the receipt given to the vehicle owner include a disclosure that photos and/or video evidence taken before the tow are available upon request and the contact information for the County office that handles trespass towing complaints.”
  • “Requiring towing and recovery operators to properly secure all loads to meet all safety standards.”
  • “A new requirement for signage/markings on the interior of parking lots or facilities to provide additional, clear information to vehicle owners about the parking restrictions on the property. This requirement builds upon the existing requirement for signs at all vehicle entrances.”
  • “Extend the eligible area for the location of storage facilities from three miles to three and one-quarter miles. This could allow more eligible locations for storage facilities, giving property owners more contractors to choose from without burdening vehicle owners in retrieving their vehicles.”

“These amendments provide important protections to vehicle owners whose vehicles are taken without their consent,” County Board Vice Chair Jay Fisette said in a statement. “We believe these reasonable requirements support the rights of Arlington County property owners and their tenants to enforce restrictions on their property while providing common sense standards for how vehicles are removed.”

The Board also authorized two additional towing fees: $25 for towing a vehicle in the evening (7 p.m.-8 a.m.) and $25 for towing a vehicle on a weekend or holiday. The changes were required by state code. Together, the fees could increase the initial charge for a tow (not including storage fees) to as high as $185.

Another provision prohibits towing companies from towing public safety vehicles, except at the direction of police.

Arlington County Board on 9/27/16The Board spent more than two hours on the towing ordinance amendments, mostly focusing on the real time authorization provision — which was also referred to as a “second signature” requirement.

During the public comment period, a number of business owners spoke out against it.

“I’m opposed to the second signature for the fact that I already have a detailed contract with the towing company that I use,” said a business owner, identified as a Mr. Fernandez. “It takes away from my employees that have to go out and sign these tow tickets or email, or whatever it is, it just doesn’t make any sense and I’m opposed to it.”

John O’Neill, the owner of Advanced Towing — which is perhaps the biggest trespass tower in the county — also spoke out against the provision.

“We believe that the second signature will cause adverse safety and operational problems for us, property owners and business owners,” he said. “There’s a misconception the property owners or business owner lets us tow at will. That is false. Towing is a last resort most property owners have examined. It is not a first choice.”

Takis Karantonis, a Columbia Heights resident and the former director of the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization, said that both residents and business owners he talked to agreed that overly aggressive towing was a “serious problem” in Arlington that was discouraging customers from shopping in certain areas.

“The bottom line is that everybody, literally everybody, both on the business side and on the customer side, recognizes that the predatory towing — not every towing — that happens on purpose is a problem,” he said.

County Board members sounded off on the real time authorization provision, with John Vihstadt taking the most skeptical tone.

“I am supportive of the remainder of the staff report,” he said. “I am also in agreement of Mr. Fisette apart from the second signature. Businesses have an incentive to keep accessible and adequate parking for the customers, and that is their lifeline. And in Arlington in many places, we don’t have enough of it.”

Jay Fisette was the primary champion of the real time authorizaiton requirement. He spoke at length about why he thought it was necessary, noting that he did not think the low number of formal complaints lodged against towing companies was representative of what he sees as widespread consumer frustration.

Read more: https://www.arlnow.com/2016/12/14/arlington-county-board-approves-towing-changes-despite-some-business-opposition/

Call us for help towing your vehicle

The blog post Arlington County Board Approves Towing Changes, Despite Some Business Opposition is available on http://limerick.apextowing.ie

Snow emergency prompts massive towing

City plowing

A big citywide tow is typically 100 to 150 vehicles. The first snow emergency of the 2016-17 winter sent a whole lot more to the impound lots.

“We issued 335 snow violations and actually towed 332,” City Manager Pat Hentges told the City Council on Monday.

And that was before the special downtown snow emergency occurred late Monday night and early Tuesday morning. The downtown snow emergency that ended at 6 a.m. Tuesday added another 24 cars to the impound lots.

Along with a $25 parking citation, violators were facing a nearly 50 percent increase in impound fees from two years ago — to $107.88.

Combined, that means Mankato wallets will be $47,305 lighter after the last citation is paid and the last vehicle is collected from impound lots operated by Affordable Towing and All American Towing.

“We certainly don’t want to see the towing of that many cars,” Hentges said. “But it essentially allows us to get these streets plowed in a safe and effective manner.”

Kent Reeves, owner of All American Towing which handles city towing south of Main Street, said he wasn’t sure why so many more were towed following the weekend snowfall, which totaled about 6 inches.

“That’s a good question,” Reeves said. “I did talk to a number of the people who were towed. A lot of them, this was their first snow emergency.”

That lack of familiarity with the rules, particularly in a college town that attracts thousands of newcomers each fall, is the reason the first snow emergency of the season results in more towing. After paying $132.88, most people learn their lesson and pay close attention to subsequent snow emergency announcements.

Another explanation is that Mankato became a lot more efficient at towing starting a year ago when it split the city between the two towing companies. In the past, one company was granted the city contract and had to cover the entire city.

And Council member Jason Mattick wondered if the day of the week was the problem. The snow emergency was announced early Sunday morning, warning people that ticketing and towing would begin at 10 p.m.

“Not that it’s your fault, but I think a lot of people were just in a Sunday lull — Vikings or whatever,” Mattick said. “So it caught a lot of people off-guard. It’s unfortunate.”

Finally, Reeves said he noticed towing of some vehicles that city streets department officials might have let slide in previous years. The vehicles were those that had been parked on streets where plows had already made a pass or two. In the past, those cases might have been forgiven with towing focused on cars that had been parked throughout the snowstorm and were surrounded by unplowed snow.

Hentges agreed that some people mistakenly believe they can resume parking on a street once they deem it’s been plowed “curb to curb.” That’s the rule in some cities and was once the rule in Mankato, but the restrictions were simplified to prohibit parking until the snow emergency ends.

“We did have a few people confused on that,” he said. “But that’s been the case the last three years.”

Along with the current practice of notifying the media of snow emergencies, posting the information on the city’s website and using social media, Hentges said the city has persuaded Minnesota State University to forward the notifications to students. And, starting next year, snow emergency information will be given to landlords to pass on to renters.

Read more: http://www.mankatofreepress.com/news/snow-emergency-prompts-massive-towing/article_40a1db28-c17f-11e6-8f4a-bb98170ad680.html

Call us if you need help towing your vehicle

The previous blog post Snow emergency prompts massive towing See more on: cork.apextowing.ie/

Welcome to Australia! Foolish backpackers get their soft roader stuck trying to drive on a beach then SMASH into 4×4 trying to rescue them

 

  • Tourists got their car stuck on the beach after driving a Subaru onto the sand 
  • The driver then reversed into a four-wheel drive that was towing them out 
  • Car was badly damaged and most of the rear of the vehicle had caved in 

A group of backpackers who got their car stuck on a beach thought they were in luck when a 4×4 owner offered to tow them out of the sand.

But the travellers were left with an even bigger headache after they failed to apply the brakes – and ended up smashing into the back of the Land Rover.

A series of hilarious videos show the Good Samaritans slowly dragging the Subaru out of the sand after it got bogged down at Inskip Point on Rainbow Beach in south east Queensland.

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A group of backpackers who got their car stuck on a beach thought they were in luck when a 4x4 owner offered to tow them out of the sand

A group of backpackers who got their car stuck on a beach thought they were in luck when a 4×4 owner offered to tow them out of the sand

But the travellers were left with an even bigger headache after they failed to apply the brakes - and ended up smashing into the back of the Land Rover

But the travellers were left with an even bigger headache after they failed to apply the brakes – and ended up smashing into the back of the Land Rover

But as the Land Rover comes to a gentle stop after pulling the Subaru for a few metres, the car driver fails to notice and continues to reverse.

‘Brake, brake’, a woman shouts as the car plows into the back of the four-wheel drive with an almighty crunch.

Two people in the rear of the shot can be seen with their heads in their hands, but others seem to see the funny side.

‘No one’s hurt guys, it happens,’ one man is heard saying.

No serious damage appears to have been done to the 4X4, but the same cannot be said for the car.

The rear of the Subaru has caved in, while the bumper and rear window look damaged.

As the Land Rover comes to a gentle stop after pulling the Subaru for a few metres, the car driver fails to notice and continues to reverse into it

As the Land Rover comes to a gentle stop after pulling the Subaru for a few metres, the car driver fails to notice and continues to reverse into it

The driver of the car (right) looks distinctly glum as he clambers out of the wrecked car

The driver of the car (right) looks distinctly glum as he clambers out of the wrecked car

‘Landy hasn’t got a mark on her,’ one man remarks.

‘Landy’s good to go,’ another replies.

While they seem in high spirits, the driver of the car looks distinctly glum as he clambers out of the wrecked car.

The man, who says he does not have an Australian driving license, appears to be a tourist and was travelling with surfboards on the top of his car.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4036478/Backpackers-got-car-stuck-sand-smash-4×4-towing-Queensland.html#ixzz4Sw5lpz8A

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The post Welcome to Australia! Foolish backpackers get their soft roader stuck trying to drive on a beach then SMASH into 4×4 trying to rescue them is available on Apex Towing Dublin Blog

2017 Honda Ridgeline Towing Review

Towing 5,000 pounds isn’t what it used to be. The weight of steel and wood hasn’t changed but the towing capabilities and capacities of the vehicles responsible for moving them sure have.

honda-ridgeline-big-trailer3

Towing and Hauling

Providing motivation for the Ridgeline is a transversely-mounted 3.5-liter V6 that makes 280 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque. Power is sent to the front wheels as standard, while all-wheel drive can be had for $1,800 (Canadian Ridgelines get all-wheel drive as standard equipment). GM manages to squeeze 305 hp and 269 lb-ft from its 3.6-liter V6, while Toyota gets slightly less hp and a little more torque from its 3.5-liter.

Spec for spec, Honda’s small pickup is about on par with the competition on most fronts, though it is the tow rating that falls short. Even if you’re not pulling the limit every time you tow, having that extra capacity means that you’re not stressing your truck as much when you pull.

So can the Ridgeline actually pull at its 5,000-pound limit with confidence? Seeing as towing confidence is never really a yes or no answer, let’s explore. We hitched up a large four-place snowmobile trailer that weighs in just shy of 5,000 pounds to dig deep into the truck’s capability and see how the little Honda handled being truly stressed.

Easily the best part of the towing experience with the Ridgeline is the way the suspension soaks up all the weight with little issue. Despite the rear end squatting, the front wheels didn’t feel light and the nose wasn’t pointing straight up into the air. Side-to-side movement felt controlled, and the even the trailer’s weight couldn’t push the truck around.

honda-ridgeline-big-trailer

This translates into the cabin with nice, planted steering feel and little to no torque steer thanks in part to the all-wheel drive.

If the towing experience ended there, the Ridgeline would leave with a stellar report card. Unfortunately there are other parts of the package that are important as well, namely the brakes and the engine.

Not Quite Enough Engine

The V6 needs to be constantly revved to keep it in the power band, and even at full tilt, it felt small with the big trailer behind it. Part of the problem is the lack of a proper tow/haul mode. Honda offers a ‘D4’ button on the gear shift, which will lock out the top gear and also slightly adjust the shift points, but you cannot manually choose which gear you’d like your truck to be in. For engine braking there is also an ‘L’ (low) gear which keep the truck first through third only and tries to stay in the lowest gear possible. This setting does help when descending, but it cannot replace the ability to shift your own gears, an especially important feature when towing.

However, the biggest weak point in our test was the brakes, but there is a caveat here. Our trailer was equipped with trailer brakes, but the Ridgeline does not include an integrated brake controller.

An aftermarket brake controller would be the answer for anyone towing big weight with the truck and would go a long way to making towing safer. Because without trailer brakes, which is how we tested it, this rig takes some serious time to stop.

honda-ridgeline-big-trailer2

If you’re towing this kind of weight, a trailer brake controller is absolutely essential, and it’s actually the law in many states and Canadian provinces.

So what’s the takeaway from all of that? If you plan to tow 5,000 pounds every day the Ridgeline will do it, but you’re better off getting a half-ton or a more capable midsize pickup to keep things comfortable. I would say the comfortable max limit for the Ridgeline is around 3,500 pounds. Any more, and this little Honda starts to feel undersized.

So it may not be the heavy lifter among its peers, but there is one aspect of the Ridgeline that is second to none: unladen driving dynamics. Thanks to a combination of factors including its unibody construction and independent suspension, the Ridgeline drives like a big Honda Accord on the road, offering absolutely none of the stiff, choppy ride most body-on-frame trucks have.

honda-ridgeline-big-trailer1

Pricing

Those shopping for a Ridgeline will have to spend at least $30,375 for a basic front-wheel drive Ridgeline, while the top-trim all-wheel drive Black Edition tops out at $43,770. The Ridgeline is only offered as a crew cab with a single bed length, but even when you look at comparable trucks from Toyota and Chevy, the Honda is at least a few thousand dollars more expensive.

In Canada, the Ridgeline starts at $36,590, which includes all-wheel drive as standard. At the top end, customers will spend $48,590 for the Black Edition, once again starting at more than the competition and ending with a higher price tag, too.

The Verdict: 2017 Honda Ridgeline Towing Review

The Honda Ridgeline is a quandary to truck buyers because it offers the ride and handling of a car, with some pickup truck capability. If you’re willing to live in the middle between those things, where the Ridgeline spends most of its time as a car and is occasionally needed to move a very heavy load, the truck will work wonders. But buying the Ridgeline in anticipation of a life filled with big trailers and heavy loads, you’ll wish you bought a bigger truck.

Read more: http://www.autoguide.com/manufacturer/2017-honda-ridgeline-towing-review

 

2017 Honda Ridgeline Towing Review was first published to http://kildare.apextowing.ie