Truck roadside assistance – is it something you really need?
Commercial truck insurance companies would say: Yes. But are they telling the truth? Yes, they are. Truckers drive thousands of miles per week, and a lot of them end up on the side of the road.
You don’t want to be stuck waiting for help; you also don’t want a hefty towing bill.
Trucking companies need roadside assistance to protect their drivers, lower their risks and ensure that operations can resume as quickly as possible if a truck does breakdown.
What’s Truckers Roadside Assistance?
Roadside assistance offers drivers and owners peace of mind in knowing that if they breakdown on the side of the road, they have someone to call for help. There’s no need to waste hours trying to get a truck to the next terminal or trying to find towing company numbers.
Programs cover employees on a nationwide basis.
You can have help come to you in New Jersey or California, and anywhere in between. Insurance is available – with different options, of course – that will protect your employees in the event that their truck breaks down.
Assistance is available:
24/7 – in most cases
For each vehicle in a fleet
When a truck breaks down, roadside assistance can help. This assistance may be available for different scenarios and issues, including but not limited to:
What Trucker Roadside Assistance Offers
Truck road assistance is much more than just commercial truck towing. Every insurance company offers its own assistance options, so while the list below is extensive, there may be options that your insurance provider offers in addition to the items listed.
Roadside Assistance – An unlimited amount of roadside assistance is offered by most companies. This assistance will change from provider to provider, so see what limitations, if any, exist with your roadside assistance company.
Towing – A semi-truck that is broken down and needs to be transported to a mechanic will need to be towed. This is a major expense and one that is often much higher than roadside assistance programs. Assistance programs will offer towing up to a certain distance. For example, towing may be offered for 50 miles per disablement.
Flats – If your vehicle suffers from a flat tire, you can call most assistance providers to come and help you change your tire. This will eliminate the concerns faced with a flat tire when in route to a drop.
Tire Replacement – A tire that has blown completely and needs to be replaced may be replaced by your insurance. Replacements will have a limit on the amount that is covered per disablement. A $100 limit is imposed, per disablement, by Western Truck Insurance. Inquire with your provider to find out the limit on your replacement costs.
Mechanic Service – Minor mechanic service may be offered by your provider. These mobile mechanics will come to your truck and make any minor repairs needed. You might not be able to service a transmission with a mobile mechanic, but you’ll be able to have a variety of disabling problems corrected with the help of these professionals.
Extracting – Winches may be used to help extract a vehicle. This service will extract the vehicle if it has gone off the road or is stuck in a ditch.
Jump Start – Leaving the lights on or a battery that has become drained will put a strain on any trucking operation. A quick jump start is offered by almost every truck roadside assistance program. This is a must-have in any state.
Fluid Delivery – If your fluids get low, a provider will be dispatched with oil, fluids or water as needed. This allows you to avoid potential engine damage and internal damage to your vehicle if fluid levels fall below safe levels.
Lockout Service – Lock your keys in your truck or lose them? A lockout service will be able to help you replace your keys or get back into your semi. Most providers will have a limit on the amount of money that can be spent on a lockout per call.
Fuel Delivery – Everyone runs out of fuel at least once. But truckers aren’t known for running out of fuel often. If you run out of fuel, an assistance provider will come to the rescue. There are limits to how much fuel can be delivered per call, but this is often 30 gallons.
Part Delivery – In some circumstances, a mobile mechanic or operator will be able to make a repair on their own. The biggest issue is that the parts are not on the truck. Assistance companies may offer replacement part delivery to truckers. This allows parts to be delivered right to your truck so that you can get back on the road promptly.
The great thing is that a lot of roadside assistance programs are under $50 per month.
You’ll receive a slew of additional benefits, in many cases, too. Additional benefits that you might receive, include:
Navigation assistance, which can help you plan a custom trip if your navigation system breaks. While not used often, this is a safeguard that’s perfect for owner-operators and smaller trucking fleets.
Discounts are offered by a lot of larger insurers. These discounts will provide you and your employees with cheaper hotels and travel services.
Rental assistance may be provided to help you find the right truck to rent if a rig is being repaired.
If you choose a company, such as Roadside Masters, you’ll also have a lot of financing options provided to you. The company offers a $500 coupon for:
Engine overhaul financing
Lease buyout financing
So, if you don’t have the funds to finance any of these options, the roadside assistance company will be able to help you.
Truck roadside assistance is often prompt, too. The company you choose will have their own standard of service, and you’ll want to look through your policy to know what you’re entitled to as a customer.
A lot of companies will dispatch technicians or help within as little as 15 minutes of a call.
Arrival times will vary, depending on location, but a lot of companies will provide assistance in as little as 45 minutes. This means less downtime and more time completing runs.
Networks of technicians may also be in the company’s network. National Truck, for example, has a network of 40,000 ASE-certified technicians to work with. This allows you to have your vehicle serviced by a network of highly qualified technicians.
Mobile tracking apps are becoming a popular option among providers, too. These apps will alert you of your call’s progress. If you want to gauge when your tow truck will arrive, you can open the app and view where the tow truck is located.
Repairs can also be tracked in some cases.
Confidence and peace of mind are what these tracking apps offer. You’ll also be able to view the estimated time of arrival so that you know when to be ready when help comes.
If you own a truck or are a trucking company, you need truck roadside assistance to sleep better at night.