Need a Towing Service? Stuck next to the road?
A vehicle accident or breakdown never happens at a convenient time or place! A breakdown is an emergency for various personal safety - and financial reasons. The Towing Directory assist the motoring public and industry professionals with 24/7 access to case specific, specialist services and contact information across Southern Africa. Saving the user time and money regarding roadside emergency assistance and towing as well as negotiating the best terms for any towing requirements. Allowing professional towing operations to showcase their product offering to motorists and industry professionals alike.
Things to consider before agreeing to let your vehicle be towed
The choice of a service provider is always yours!
- You should not be forced into making an ill-considered decision, despite the trauma being experienced at the scene. Even though many operators might arrive at the accident scene – it is still your, or your nominated representative’s, decision on who should assist in the recovery of your vehicle. The National Road Traffic Act 93 of 1996 stipulates in Section 61(3) that '…no person shall remove a vehicle involved in an accident, except to sufficiently allow the passage of traffic, without the permission of the owner, driver or operator of such vehicle or a person who may lawfully take possession of such vehicle.'
- Get as much information about the tow operator as possible before you agree to the recovery - the name of the company, driver, and registration of the tow truck, physical address, and phone number (preferably not a cell phone).
Is the vehicle covered by an insurance policy?
- Know who your Insurer are. Each has their own rules and contact centres. Always contact your insurer or broker and ask for information on the procedure to follow – have this available in your vehicle (there is usually a sticker to be displayed on your windscreen). Ignoring these could result in extra cost for your account of in extreme cases, even refusal to cover cost.
- Make sure that the accident-damaged vehicle is delivered to a repairer approved by your insurer or consult the Panelbeaters Directory for Insurance and OEM Approved Auto Body Repairers. Critical if the vehicle is covered by a manufacture warrantee and/or mechanical guarantee.
- Insurance Companies and Brokers look for a balance between quality, price, and service to contract with a structured national network of towing service providers in all areas of SA. This enhances the Insurers ability to service their clientele effectively and efficiently whilst at the same time allow them to manage their costs whilst ensuring accountability and customer satisfaction.
- Final note: No Towing Operator can decide that an insurer will pay, never assume…
Always make sure to have written confirmation before the tow regarding:
- The cost to tow
- Address the vehicle will be towed to
- Storage cost
Collect your vehicle as soon as possible to prevent the accrual of these storage charges that can quickly become exorbitant!
Do not sign anything. If the tow operator insists, make sure that it is ONLY an authorization to tow the vehicle.
More valuable tips:
- Remove all valuables from the vehicle before it is towed away for repairs.
- Take inventory and signature of all equipment (e.g. tools, spare tyre) – professional towing operators will have applicable stationary on hand.
Use the services of a reputable service provider:
Various industry associations exist that ensure standards are set and adhered to by its members. They are required to contractually bind themselves to a Constitution and Code of Conduct. Please check the various Industry Association’s detail on their respective websites:
- SATRA - the South African Towing and Recovery Association – 0861 072 872
- UTASA - United Towing Association of South Africa – 0861 188 272
- NTA - Natal Towing Association – 031 2667 031
- NATA - National African Towing Association – 012 7997 133
- NCTSA - National Commercial Towing Association of South Africa – 011 4232 426
If you are an AA - Automobile Association of South Africa member – 0861 000 234
Contact the AA to arrange the tow. The AA uses only certain towing companies that comply with a code of conduct and service levels. You also have recourse if something goes wrong.
The diverse services, provided by Towing Companies:
- Vehicle Recovery and Towing
- 24/7 Call Centres - Liaison & Communication between vehicle owner/driver, insurers, fleet managers, Auto Body Repairers, Mechanical Repair Services and Emergency Medical Services
- Roadside Emergency Assistance
- Vehicle Carriage
- Local Towing
- Long Distance Towing
- Cross Border Towing
- Heavy Vehicle Recovery and Towing
- Vehicle Storage
- Jumpstart services – flat battery
- Fuel Assistance
- Tyre Change
- Keys locked in vehicle assistance
- Mechanical breakdown assistance
- Transport from accident scene or incident
- Armed response and accident /breakdown scene security
- Goods in Transit and Hazmat Clean-up
- Plant Hire Transportation
* Different Towing Companies provide a specific combination of the above services.
Types of Recovery- and Towing vehicles, aka Breakdown, and their main uses:
- Slingback - allow quick response times and are usually used where the requirement is to tow small vehicles. Towing involves attaching a hook and chain to the axle of the vehicle, and then winching until the front of the vehicle is raised onto rubber slings so it can be towed safely.
- Wheel Lift Vehicles - a method of hooking up larger vehicles and even commercial trucks. A metal arm is utilized that slides around the front two wheels of the vehicle. Once secured and raised off the ground, the vehicle is ready to be towed.
- Rollback | Flatbed - the tow truck’s back or bed is lowered and a winch system will pull the vehicle onto the bed of the truck, once, the bed is levelled out and the vehicle secured, ready for transport. Utilized for accident damaged- or mechanical break downed vehicles that are not driveable.
- Heavy Rig Tow Truck - Commercial trucks, buses, trucks, heavy duty vehicles and earthmoving equipment are serviced by these types of towing trucks, also called Big "Rigs" with specialized recovery and towing equipment.
- Lowbed - Transportation of abnormal loads is done by experienced crews and specialized vehicles.
- Car Carriers - Custom built vehicle transporters (short, medium, and long-distance).