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Ever had this happen?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by xlr8, Dec 29, 2004.

  1. xlr8

    xlr8 Senior Member
    Messages: 107

    It all started when I was having my truck towed to my employers shop to run new brake lines, replace calipers and wheel cylinders (dec. 10 th) . Since I have aaa I figured they should tow it for free. The tow guy shows at 2 pm with a wheel lift, (my truck is full time 4 wheel with the locking hubs) hooks up and is supposed to follow me to the destination after waiting at the end of my drive for a few minutes I headed back up the drive to whats up. The drivers says something is hanging in the drivetrain making it difficult to tow and we are to go about 20 miles so he calls in a flatbed. Twenty minutes later the flatbed arrives and the driver pulls it up and secures it put it in park the tries to tilt the bed down but can not cause my truck is to far down the bed so they have to pull it up farther(3-5 feet) this time in park! Now I used to drive a tow truck years ago and we always put it in neutral, but I was not about to tell this guy how to do his job as I figured he knew what he was doing (big mistake). The two year old tranny made a loud bang at the time I didn't think much about it other than I thought it was a link of chain untwisting or something. When we get to the destination I ask the driver to let it roll off right into the shop, he says no sweat and proceeds to let it down still in park but the truck is rolling freely, I had to steer it when it was half way down to avoid hitting shelves on the left hand side so I try to shift into neutral but the shifter seems to be jammed and will not go farther than reverse so at this time I asked the driver why it was rolling in park? The driver replied it's in park ? When I refreshed his memory he remembered putting it in park and not taking it out to pull up the rest of the way on the flatbed , even remembers the pow noise. So now he is trying to help me figure it out and we cant see anything obvious so he give me his bosses business card and tells me that they have insurance for this kind of thing. Since I had just had the tranny redone (2 yrs) I call the shop that did the work and explained what had happened and asked if they had any ideas. The shop give me 4 scenarios as to what could have happened from easiest to hardest to repair, but to be sure they would need to look at it. So I call the garage that did the damage and proceeded to leave a detailed message and ask for a return call, it is about 3 pm on Friday. I don't hear from this guy buy 5pm so I call again and leave another message asking him to call me still nothing ,NOW I'M GETTING MAD!! The next morning I go to this shop and catch the owner outside and tell him who I am and what has happened ,he says that his is the first he has heard of it , then tells me that his drivers are to f'n fat and lazy to get up on the deck to shift into neutral and what ever I wanted to do to repair was fine. I'm thinking ok this was easy so after I finished the repairs to the brakes I have AAA tow it to the tranny shop(Saturday night)(the first tow company actually should have had to pay for this but did not have to since AAA gives 5 free tows a year) they call Monday afternoon and tell me that the parking gear busted some teeth (1 or two) and that the tranny would have to come out to replace this gear at a cost of $800-$900 .
    So I call The guy who owned the tow co. and told him the estimate, he thinks that it is way to expensive and would rather another shop do the work because the prices were better . I say ok all I want is my truck fixed right ie. at a transmission shop. Two days go buy and I hear nothing so I call the new tranny shop only to find that the have not even looked at it yet and tell me to call at the end of the day and they should know something. I end up calling the following morning only to get the same response ie. call at the end of the day. Instead of calling I decide to stop by this place to see what is going on, I don't see my truck anywhere so I go inside and ask where my truck is and the service writer tells me that the garage that broke it came and got it and were going to do the repairs them selves(I did not ok this as I felt that they would just band aid it together to get rid of me) and suggests I go there so I tell him thats where I'm going now(about 430pm Thursday) . I get to the shop and see my truck out front and the wheels are fully turned to the left like it had been driven not towed there so I proceed to go inside but all the doors are locked, all the lights are on even the open sign is lit as well as some three dropligts under cars so I knock thinking maybe in the bathroom but after five minutes still no answer. So I go and look under the truck and can see that pan is on etc. try the shifter and it is un-jammed now also I noticed my keys were right in the ignition of my unlocked truck . So I start it and try the gears ,alls well so I drive the truck to my house. I go back down on Friday evening looking for some sort of paperwork as far as what was done and the owner tell me that he has to go now and that I should come back. So I go down the following morning and now this guy has amnesia and says he never said that also stated that he would not give me any paperwork because I did not pay him, pay for what I asked your guy broke my truck also tells me that if I had any problems to brig the truck back and he will fix and that if I can't take his word on it he doesn't want to do business with me! I end up leaving and go to the better business bureau and file a complaint aniline and call AAA and leave a msg. as member services are closed on the weekends. I get a call back on Monday from AAA I explain what happened to them and they say this guy needs to grow up and they will contact him for my paperwork and give me a call with a list of AAA approved repair facilities for a inspection to see if repair was done properly . They finally get back to me on weds. and give one shop in Waterbury and I drop the truck off at 6 am the next morning(thurs. Christmas eve eve) I don't hear anything until I call the following tuesday only to find out that they had not even looked at it yet, and he will get back to me. I don't hear from him so I call Back to get the same reply, he will get back to me, he doesn't't so I go to his shop later that day to ask whats going on here . He now gets on the phone with the original tranny shop to ask them for the piece of the park gear that was broke and they tell him that it might be around but did not save it specially. he tells them that I (me) will be by to pick it up. I ask what he needs this broken tooth for cant you just look at the gear to see if damaged he tells me that it is easier to tell with missing part I disagree and leave now I cant sleep as I am so mad 19 days after the original damage was done ,and need to vent. I am going to callAAA again this morning and ask for some more approved shops and try to find one that has the time to fix it. :realmad: :realmad: :gunsfiring:
    Thanks for allowing me to vent and if anyone has any suggestions what I should do I would love hear them . Is anybody still reading this?
  2. stumper1620

    stumper1620 Senior Member
    Messages: 222

    wow what a pain, i think i would need to vent too.
    just to let you know, i work on transmissions all the time, the part the shop wanted is what they call a parking pawl, its like a finger that locks in the reverse (on most) gear to hold the gear from turning, is just a light casting and i've seen several broken ones before, dodge and jeep seem to be the weakest ones, if that is what broke they are located at the bottom of the trans and are fairly simple to replace without removing the trans. depending on the trans. if it is one of the easier ones i would probably charge 2.5 to 3hrs
    labor plus the part. to whomever was paying the bill. either way if its holding in park then they fixed it and its hard to screw it up, just be
    sure to check your fluid level because they would have to have drained the trans to do it. hope this info helps.
  3. Ole JIM

    Ole JIM Senior Member
    Messages: 137

    I assume? Big City RIP Off Artists!--World Full of these GUYS!--Your Not ALONE!--As I hear these Stories all the TIME--& its Too BAD!--No Need for that CRAP!--THEY Break IT THEY Fix IT--[ RIGHT!] the First TIME!--I DONO? it Seems as Though! Every Body Expects to Earn BIG BUCKS! & NOT Really have to DO Any-Thing?--Here In Our Small Town--We Don*t Encounter that CRAP!--Thank GOD!--as HERE the Local Garage! & Mechanics take PRIDE in their WORK! & Any One? Can Leave their Vehicle too be Serviced or Repaired w/ OUT having to WORRY about Being RIPPED OFF! in FACT! here They Will FIX! Little Things they Notice that Needs Attention!--instlling a New Hose? Cleaning Battery Terminals ECT! w/ Out the Customer Asking!--Pretty NICE Really!--& Here is a Nice Place to LIVE!--a Country BOY! & Proud of IT!--Ole JIM--
  4. scuba875

    scuba875 Senior Member
    Messages: 250

    xlr8 I feel your pain. I had the trans go out in my 97 f350 power stroke crew cab dualy this summer. I called the tow guy tell him about the truck size, problem ect. He said he would be there with in the hour around 9-10 am. He showed up at 12:30 with a 1/2 ton truck with a bs tow rig mounted in the bed of the pick up. I was having it towed almost 90 miles to a shop by my house. He knew this up front I ask him how he intended to lift my truck let alone pull it 90 miles with a 1/2 ton. He said he couldn't got in the truck and took off. I called another shop this guy at least showed up when he said he would but again the truck was to small to pull my truck. He leaves to go get another truck and shows up 3 hours later with a flate bed top kick. I'm happy know except he doesn't know how to run the bed or winch the truck onto the flat bed. He tells me he has to wait for another driver who is going to meet him and put it on the truck. By this time I was so mad I just had to walk away. I calmed down and walked back over by this time the other guy is there hooking the truck. I asked him how is the guy going to get it off the truck if he doesn't know how to get it on there in the first place. He tells me don't worry thats the easy part. I told him un hook my truck and just leave. Well he wants to charge me anyways. I told him he was nuts and there was no way I was giving him a dime, so he called the cops. The cop tells me I have to pay or he is going to arrest me. So I paid on a credit card and called and chalenged the charge but I still didn't get my truck towed. I finaly gave up and the next day I called the shop who was going to do the work and they sent a guy out to grab it. He was good I didn't worry about my truck but I had to pay extra because he had to come up 90 miles to get it. The only good thing was it broke down across the street from a hotel so I didn't have to sleep in the back seat.
  5. scuba875

    scuba875 Senior Member
    Messages: 250

    Oh yea I got to venting and I forgot my point Steve call AAA and tell the person on the phone you want to talk with a supervisor. The people on the phone are always great but the service providers they use aren't in my opinion worth spit. My mechanic tells me AAA shops are the guys who don't get alot of referal work. I don't know that to be true but I just never have had any luck with AAA. I had the 100 mile tow package for about 3 years but gave it up. They to could never send out the right size tow truck even after you tell them what you have.
  6. earthwerks

    earthwerks Junior Member
    Messages: 16

    I hope AAA isn't your insurance co. too besides your auto club for towing.

    I had a gas station dismount a tire for me. In the process they damaged the inner tire bead---but denied it and I was standing right there watching it! After going around around with the gas station owner and calling Amoco Hq. (which said they can not be held responsible for their licensee's actions) I turned it into my insurance co. and they paid for a new tire. Every state has different laws and ways to recover but I would make a claim with your insurance co. and let their lawyers go after his insurance co. for repayment.
  7. xlr8

    xlr8 Senior Member
    Messages: 107

    Well thanks for the replies guys, Ive got some news from AAA and the 3rd tranny shop 20 days later" the park gear is missing a tooth therefore the trans has to come out". I had been telling everybody involved that this was the case, My shop had informed me on dec. 13th but it took until the 30th to get anything done. Oh well they say I should have it back on Monday jan 3rd, hope so.
    Hey Stumper the pawl had actually broke a tooth on the gear , what would that do for your estimate? The trans is a th400. My original shop Quoted $800-$900 does this sound about right? I wish it were just the pawl or the rod!
    Ole Jim Torrington is not really a big city , but these guys sure are artists of some sort (B.S. most likely). It is really amazing how these companies stay in business???? To bad that it cant be the way you have it everywhere!

    Scuba, I have been a AAA member for 12 years now and I don't use it often however I like to know that I can always get some home . In the 12 years I probably had 5 tows all of which were good till this one, however Like you I always tell them what vehicle I have and that a flatbed is needed.
    Earthwerks , AAA is not my Ins. co. thank God for that, however they(AAA) is going to pay first then go after the !@#$'n jerk who broke it .

    Can anyone tell me if it is OK to post this guys business name on plowsite so others from my area don't have the same thing happen to them?? If it is not OK just pm me and I will be more than glad to give all the details

  8. Robhollar

    Robhollar Senior Member
    Messages: 766

    I used to work for a tow company alot of years ago. And let em tell you this, I'll never belong to AAA. They dont pay crap. So what do you think what kind of tow company will do work for them? Id rather push my truck then to let AAA tow it. Most of the time tow companys the tow for AAA will be the bottom of the barrel. Not me if I need a tow Ill pay for the best.

    Finding a good garage that you can trust can be harder sometimes them finding your soulmate. If you find one stick with them. Even if they will not do the repair see if they will make the calls to find you someone who will.....Rob
  9. ak_fleming

    ak_fleming Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    This is when I would have reported my truck stolen.
  10. stumper1620

    stumper1620 Senior Member
    Messages: 222

    thats surprising to hear, the pawl is a much lighter cast iron where as the gear is hardened, a 400 is a pretty strong & reliable trans. too, as soon as the pan was removed the pawl is visible from the bottom if i'm not mistaken its on the right side, as soon as that was seen to be intact i would have notified you that we had more than expected. either way 800to 900 i would say is a pretty good deal considering your in conn. the home of some high pricing, (when i drove truck out there i found everything out east is almost twice as high as here) well good luck i hope all works out good for ya.
    maybe with a little luck we can get some snow and you can test it this week.
    i'm not sure about the name thing but, don't open yourself up to a libel suit.
    keep it on the pm
  11. xlr8

    xlr8 Senior Member
    Messages: 107

    I'm not sure if the pawl was damaged or not I guess when they dropped the pan they found a tooth off the park gear. I do however know that I checked the box where it asks if I want the old parts so I'll have to wait and see .
    So Stumper the 800-900 range seems fair to you for pulling tranny replacing the gear and any seals that were disturbed?
    Ak Fleming , that is on thing that never crossed my mind , I should have asked on plow site before I took action
    Thanks again for feedback
  12. Ole JIM

    Ole JIM Senior Member
    Messages: 137

    STUMPER--Don*t Feel BAD! WE all spend a Life Time dealing w/ Rip Off Busisneses--yrs Ago when I was Trucking Long Haul--I lost a Motor in TEXAS!--Called HOME--& had a Freind Come to TEXAS w/ His Heavy Duty Wrecker & Haul Me all the WAY to Maine!--Had a Local Mechanic Re-Build IT! & I still SAVED Money!--in referance too the Price I was Quoted in TEXAS! & seeing I hauled from Maine to TEXAS on a Regular Basis--The REBELS knowing the ABOVE!--their Attitude towards ME Changed Considerably!--the Result? No More! REBEL Attitude!--[ Don*t Screw w/ that YANKEE!] I DONO? about the New Generation? as I look around! & See this YOU have to Do This!--NO I DON*T!--as I*M from the Ole SCHOOL!--& Watch This!--where theres a WILL theres a WAY!--I assume its all in the WAY Your Brought UP?--in Using every ONE! like YOU like to be Used!--FAIR & SQUARE!-- EXAMPLE! the Other Night 11 PM raining like HELL! an Elderly Lady pulled into My Yard!--CAR STEAMING BAD!--I Invited Her In My Home! gave Her a Cup of Coffee! while Her CAR Cooled Down!--Went & looked It Over!--the Side Blow Out of Her Top Raditor Hose!-NO Parts Places Open!--I CUT a 4 inch piece Out & installed a Piece of Tail Pipe! & Filled UP Her Radiator--w/HOT Water! & Checked Every Thing!--Its OK Now! all YOU need is a New HOSE!--get It Fixed Tommorrow!--what Do I Owe YOU?--NO Charge! Glad I could HELP!--& with a SMILE & THANK YOU! She Drove OFF!--SURPRISE! next DAY!-FED-X drove into my Yard!--Package for ME?--I Signed & Took It into my House!--& Opend it UP!--PEPPERAGE FARM!--BIG Selection of Party Meats--Cheeses & Goodies!--& I mean BIG!--the WIFE called & Checked on the Price of this HUGE BOX of GODDIES?--$78.95 --Pretty GOOD Deal for 10 minutes Work!--GOD BLESS!--Ole JIM--
  13. Bolts Indus.

    Bolts Indus. PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,176

    Yes, there still are a few nice people around with old fashioned values and ethics. Too bad they are harder to find now. Keep up the good work OLE JIM.
  14. naco

    naco Member
    Messages: 49

    i own a auto shop w/ a towing, on every to my drivers do they have the customer sign a wavier of damages and liability, if the auto falls, get banged up, etc. the tow company is not responsible in any way shape or form, but it doesn't cover DUMBA$$ DRIVERS, a driver never puts in park unless he/she is ready to tie it down, then if the park gear breaks the company is not at fault. but if the pulls the auto in park the driver is responsible, and the driver pays for it. or insurance co. it shouldn't't taken no 20 days, one week top, i would of went to small claims court sue the company for car rental, loss time and court fees. if the shop does work on trannys send it to the shop your comfortable with. and have the owner deal with them. that shop probaly put a used trans in. MAKE SURE YOU GET A WARRANTY. I've seen them jb welded together. Good Luck and
    HAPPY NEW YEAR :drinkup:
  15. stumper1620

    stumper1620 Senior Member
    Messages: 222

    naco makes a good point, be sure they are warranting the repairs and i would try for 90 days on whole trans. since they are removing & disassembling,
    that price sounds really good from what i'm figuring would be involved,
    almost too good, they may be blowing smoke about pulling the trans, you know charge for r&r but repair it in the truck, call a couple GM dealers for a phone est. tell them what you know is wrong and just say i need a rough guess of what it would take if these are the only repairs needed. of course you and i know once they get into it they may find more, such as, since it was driven and there was a tooth gone from a gear did it go thru any others before getting to the bottom of the pan. if so there goes another gear to replace.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2005
  16. xlr8

    xlr8 Senior Member
    Messages: 107

    Definitely going to get a warranty 12 months or 12 thousand miles, this is what I'm told. Also I am going to get the old parts so I can see what was wrong.
  17. all seasons

    all seasons Member
    Messages: 61

    towing nightmare

    I too live in the nw corner ,winsted to be specific.if you dont mind could you throw us the name of that towing company so as that i am sure to aviod them. :gunsfiring:
  18. kl0an

    kl0an Senior Member
    Messages: 215

    Back in the late 70's, I worked for a gas station and ran a wrecker. We handled AAA calls all the time. My boss told me then "If it could have been fixed on the road and you towed it in, YOU'RE payin the towing bill!!" I learned a lot about troubleshooting cars and trucks and also got quite a decent Craftsman tool set with my first couple of paychecks. In the time I worked there, I don't think I towed anyone unnecessarily.. Now, fast forward about 5 years to the mid 80's... I was driving a car from New York down to Florida when it sounds like it slips the timing or something, all outta whack.. We had AAA on this car so I call them and the guy shows up, doesn't even look at the engine, just asks "Where do you want it towed??" I said the heck with that and got a few tools together and did some work on it and got it goin..

    As for towing trucks while they're in park, a trick I learned while runnin a flat bed last year is that you pour some transmission fluid on the bed of the truck and the tires will slide right up. All those repo's that are done with flatbeds are done that way.. If the front wheels are turned, you put a 4x4 block between the tire and the rail on the side and pull it right up..

    Sorry about your experiences.. The tow companies love to try and fix things themselves.. Using parts from other vehicles they've towed.. Good luck!!
  19. Crumm

    Crumm Senior Member
    Messages: 529

    Thats called grand theft auto and they send you to jail for things like that :nono: .
  20. xlr8

    xlr8 Senior Member
    Messages: 107

    Hey Allseasons, as much as I would like to drag this guys name all over the Internet I don't want to get in any trouble so if you can set your options to allow a private message I;ll send you the info(tried once and say you cant accept or something.