Wrecker services are located across the United States. These professional businesses typically offer tow truck and roadside assistance. While some law officials hire wrecker services to haul cars to impound lots, junkyards often use them to tow various motor vehicles to salvage yards. There are some wrecker businesses that are open 24 hours a day, which is both convenient and helpful to individuals that require roadside assistance. Listed below are some helpful terms that apply to this service.
Impound Lot – A designated vehicle lot where seized automobiles are taken to and stored. Police officers and law officials often deal with impounded cars, trucks, and SUVs that are taken from criminals.
Tow Truck – This is a large and powerful automobile that has a towing arm, winch, and other equipment mounted on it in order to handle disabled vehicles. Tow trucks are able to haul or pull automobiles, and are often called to assist people with disabled motor vehicles that broke down on a roadside.
Salvage Yard – A place where wrecked, disused, and old motor vehicles are taken to. Other machines and appliances may also be taken to a salvage yard. The parts that are still in good shape are often processed for resale.
Roadside Assistance – This refers to professional assistance for individuals that have motor vehicles that break down or crash. Typically tow trucks and wrecking services are called for roadside assistance.
24 Hour Tow Service – A wrecker service or towing company that functions around the clock. Therefore this service can be called for roadside assistance at any time of the day or night.
Auto wreckers perform two services. The first is to remove vehicles from the road after an accident. The second is to dispose of vehicles that are no longer able to run.
A tow truck may move a vehicle by two means. A vehicle that is not damaged or only minorly damaged may be towed, with the front drive wheels lifted off the ground. This method is also used to remove illegally parked vehicles that are then impounded. Badly damaged vehicles are generally lifted onto a flatbed truck. The wrecker may also transport the driver and any passengers to an auto shop. Many accident recovery companies are independent and take vehicles to the nearest shop. Others may be run out of a specific business. Normally, they offer emergency towing 24 hours a day, although they may charge a premium for late night work. Because of this, many drivers opt to pay a monthly rate for roadside assistance. Roadside assistance is also provided by most car rental companies.
Cars involved in accidents may be repaired or, in extreme cases, written off. Wreckers are often involved in conversation with the driver's insurance company as well as the vehicle owner. In some cases a vehicle may be impounded for examination, for example if there is a criminal investigation. Cars that cannot be salvaged are generally taken to junk yards where they are stripped down for usable parts. The remainder is then put in a crusher for recycling. Vehicles that are not written off are taken to a collision repair specialist.
Most wreckers have a maximum distance they will transport a damaged vehicle. In some cases, this is dictated by law.