Our Current Blog Articles
June 15, 2017
A Day in the Life of a Tow Truck Driver
Ever wondered about a day in the life of a tow truck driver? Today, the staff at Parker Towing gives you a peek into our operations. As you know, tow truck drivers can be both the hero, rescuing people from the side of the road, or the villain, hauling off illegally parked vehicles. This variety of reactions when we arrive at the scene can be both rewarding and frustrating, but we’re passionate about what we do and helping people out when they find themselves stranded.
So, what do we do all day? Do we just sit around waiting for someone to call and have need of their services? Or do we “patrol” areas with the idea of being close by when needed?
A day in the life of a tow truck driver comes with a variety of responsibilities. The first and most obvious is learning to properly operate the heavy machinery used to move heavy vehicles from one place to another. Improperly handling this machinery can lead to serious injury so this step is, of course, crucial.
They also serve as minor mechanics. Sometimes, when you have a simple issue that doesn’t require being in a garage to fix, like a flat tire or dead battery, drivers can resolve your problem right there on the side of the road without having to haul your car anywhere. That is a sweet relief on the pocketbook and also takes up a lot less time. Our primary goal, after all, is to get you safely on the road again.
When collisions leave damaged vehicles blocking traffic, tow truck drivers serve as the cleanup crew. Once the police and EMTs have performed their duties, tow truck drivers move in to get everything cleaned up and traffic flowing smoothly again.
Even though much of their time is spent on the road, there is still a fair amount of paperwork that’s included throughout the day in the life of a tow truck driver. When impounding cars that have been illegally parked, the tow truck company is responsible for finding the owner and notifying them where their vehicle is and how to retrieve it. If they are picking up a vehicle involved in an accident that the police are investigating, the driver takes the vehicle to their evidence or salvage yard.
Many times, small tow truck companies offer their dedicated services to companies. Whenever receiving a call from one of these companies to collect an illegally parked or abandoned vehicle, the driver must fill out a report before leaving the office.
In short, a day in the life of a tow truck driver isn’t as mundane as you may have thought and we get to enjoy at least a little bit of variety within the job description. If you have any more questions about the services that we offer here at Parker Towing, feel free to contact us, and one of our staff will be happy to answer all your questions or send out one of our friendly, professional drivers.
May 16, 2017
Never Ignore a Blinking Check Engine Light
At Parker Towing Inc. we recommend that you never ignore a blinking check engine light, as you could end up causing extensive damage to the vehicle, and even worse, wind up stranded on the side of the road. Sometimes people are hesitant to have their car checked when the check engine light comes on because they think it’s not a big a deal and hope it will just go away on its own. And if they anticipate a costly repair bill, some people just want to put it off as long as possible. Not a great plan.
There are several reasons that a check engine light can come on. Sometimes it’s an easy, inexpensive fix and sometimes it does end up costing more money. But it is always better to get it taken care of sooner rather than later as the check engine light sometimes serves as a warning that something pretty bad is happening inside your engine. If you take action right away, there’s a chance to avoid complete disaster and having to call us to come out and give you a tow – we are available 24/7 nonetheless.
A Steady Check Engine Light vs. Blinking
There’s typically a big difference between a steady and blinking check engine light. When it begins to flash, a situation is occurring in your engine that could possibly damage your catalytic converter, a very expensive and important component. This is why you never ignore a blinking check engine light. With that light flashing, you will likely notice that the car is performing differently.
As soon as you safely can, pull over, turn your engine off and give us a call for a tow. We service Parker, Lone Tree, Aurora, Littleton, Castle Rock, Centennial, Franktown, Elizabeth, Highlands Ranch. Now, if you decide to “limp” home, you could be looking at hundreds even thousands of dollars to replace a catalytic converter depending on the car you drive. Hopefully, that puts the cost of towing into perspective.
Here’s What’s Causing the Blinking Light
In most cases, the actual cause of the problem and the cost for repair is far less catastrophic than if you let it reach your catalytic converter. By getting a tow and immediate repairs, you’ll likely avoid such an expensive fix. So, take a look at this list of what might be causing the check engine light to blink:
- Engine valves have gone bad
- A spark plug has gone out
- A spark plug wire is not functioning properly
- The engine computer has failed
- The fuel injector is malfunctioning
- The ignition coil has failed
Now that you understand why you should never ignore a blinking check engine light, be sure to keep our number handy in case this happens. One of the friendly staff members from Parker Towing will quickly and efficiently get your car safely to a repair shop. Remember, even if you think you’re close enough to keep driving to a shop, the cost of a new catalytic converter will outweigh our reasonable towing prices. It’s better to be safe than sorry (and broke)!
April 20, 2017
Tips to Avoid a Car Break Down This Summer
Here at Parker Towing, our experts wanted to pass along a few quick tips to avoid a car break down this summer. Nobody wants to get stuck on the side of the road due to car troubles, especially if you’re on a fun summer outing or road trip. Just keeping in mind and inspecting a few simple things can help you to avoid the most common car issues and keep your car engine running smoothly.
Just as with the human body, a car engine needs a good level of all its fluids to function properly. They should also be fresh and clean. Be sure to check the fluids regularly including engine oil, transmission, power steering, brake, cooling system and washer fluids. If they are slightly low, top them off and if they look dirty, or the recommended time has passed, change them out for fresh fluid.
Don’t Let It Overheat
Particularly in hot areas, overheating is one of the leading causes of preventable breakdowns. An overheated engine is also extremely expensive, and preventative maintenance beforehand is much cheaper. Once your antifreeze gets to be a couple of years old, replace it. You can also add a coolant to your radiator that can lower the engine’s temperature by 30 degrees. Always keep a close eye on the temperature gauge, especially when it’s scorching out, and immediately stop if you see it climbing an unusual amount.
High-performance synthetic oils are better at dispersing heat than mineral-based motor oils and thus are another way to help keep your engine cooler. The few extra dollars that you have to spend on high-quality oil are really worth it in comparison to an engine blowing up and needing to call for a tow.
Check Belts and Hoses
Get in the habit of inspecting your belts and hoses every time you check the fluid levels. Any belts or hoses that are loose, or harder or softer than normal, or have visible signs of wear should be replaced immediately. Also, don’t forget to check the hose clamps to make sure they are tight and not cracking or showing signs of corrosion.
Inflate your Tires Properly
You can check on the side of your tire for the proper pressure level that your particular tires should have. Then check all your tires, including the spare, to ensure that they are at the right air pressure levels. A properly inflated tire not only helps with getting good gas mileage but is less likely to blow out, and will generally live longer – saving you money in the process.
If you follow all these tips to avoid a car break down this summer, it’s much less likely that you’ll get stuck on the side of the road with car trouble. Of course, it’s sometimes unavoidable. And if you ever find yourself stuck, just give us a call. Our professionals here at Parker Towing are friendly and will do their best to make your day a little better by taking care of both you and your vehicle.
March 14, 2017
What to Do and Not Do While Waiting for a Tow Truck
If your car is stuck near Parker, Colorado, first call Parker Towing. Then remember this list of what to do and not do while waiting for a tow truck. Whether mechanical failure or even an accident, you will probably have to wait for help to arrive. Depending on your proximity to the tow truck company, or even how busy the day is for the tow truck company, knowing this information will help you stay safe.
What to Do
- Get out of the road. If you are still able to move your vehicle, it’s a good idea to get it off the road as much as possible, especially if you are blocking traffic. Of course, other drivers will slow down or stop if they see a car blocking the road, but that only works if they see it in time. Your window of safety closes quickly in inclement weather or on an icy road. Better to get your vehicle as much out of the way as possible, even if you have to push it by hand.
- Turn on the hazard lights. Even if it’s still light out and you think that other drivers can easily see what is going on, do everything you can to warn them, including turning on the hazard lights. Again, that doesn’t guarantee that other drivers will see you in time--but it does help quite a bit.
- Get out of harm’s way. Depending on the location of your vehicle, it could be safer for you to stay inside with your seatbelt on, or get out and remain a safe distance off the road. Be very careful, watching for cars, and position yourself so that you are out of harm’s way.
What Not to Do
- Don’t flag down a ride. Most people that stop to offer you a ride probably have pure intentions and do want to help, but not everyone. Help is already on the way, so you don’t need a ride. It’s best to stay where you are and wait for the professionals to arrive.
- Don’t forget about your stuff. If you decide to wait outside your car, it’s a good idea to take your purse, wallet, cell phone, insurance information, and anything else of value with you. This will guarantee that you don’t lose your stuff. Even if you decide to wait in the car, be sure to gather your things while waiting, so it is with you at all times.
- Don’t put yourself in harm’s way. Don’t ever step out of your vehicle into traffic. Your safety is worth more than whatever you might be trying to do. Even if the road looks clear, remember that traffic can be coming at you at incredibly high speeds.
Now that you know what to do and not do while waiting for a tow truck, we hope you stay safe! Of course, Parker Towing is always here to help with 24/7 roadside assistance in Castle Rock, Aurora, Lone Tree, Centennial, Highlands Ranch, Littleton, Franktown, Elizabeth.
February 24, 2017
Stuck In My Car During A Blizzard
Have you ever asked yourself “what do I do if I'm stuck in my car during a blizzard?” Do you know the answer to that question? As long-time business owners and members of the Denver area community, here at Parker Towing Inc., we want to make sure that our neighbors know what to do in this situation. This knowledge is potentially life-saving.
The first step to surviving a blizzard in a car is to be prepared beforehand. It doesn’t take up much space in the back of your vehicle to have a few items always on hand anytime you will engage in winter driving. Grab a duffel and fill it with the following items:
- Sleeping bag or blankets
- Extra warm clothes such as coats, hats, gloves, boots, fuzzy socks
- Even just a few granola bars can at least hold you over until the storm stops or help comes. Just be sure you don’t snack on them without refilling or let items expire
- A couple of bottles of water or a metal container in which you can melt snow
- Candles and matches to provide a little heat and some light, plus a way to melt snow
- Flashlight & signal light
- A small or foldable shovel to dig out your tailpipe or vehicle
It doesn’t take much to have these things on hand at all times, and if you ever get stuck in your car in a blizzard, you won’t be able to thank yourself enough. They can even mean the difference between life and death depending on how long you are stuck there (and how cold it gets).
Now that you’re prepared, you should also know what to do. If you get stuck in the snow and you don’t see any buildings nearby it’s best to stay in your car. Wandering around in the middle of a snowstorm is the last thing you should do. Next steps:
- Check your tailpipe to ensure that exhaust can freely escape and carbon monoxide is not building up inside your car – use your shovel to clear snow
- Don’t leave your car running continuously for heat, even with constantly checking the tailpipe you still risk carbon monoxide buildup and the last thing you want is to run out of gas
- Bundle up in your extra clothes and do a few exercises inside the vehicle every so often to help keep yourself warm
- Make sure to stay hydrated as that will help you keep warm – if you don’t have bottled water in the car, use your candles to melt some snow
- Turn on your hazard lights or put out some roadside flares so other drivers can see you
Now that you know what to do if you’re stuck in your car during a blizzard, the only thing left is what happens afterward. Once the snow clears a bit, and there is better visibility, you may be able to proceed on your own. However, as is often the case with blizzards, your car may be too buried to get it out on your own. In that case, just call the friendly professionals here at Parker Towing to get you back on the road again safely. Be safe out there everyone!