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Towing waiver

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Dupesy, Dec 1, 2005.

  1. Dupesy

    Dupesy Member
    Messages: 61

    Howdy all;
    Just wondering if any of you use any sort of waiver for people to sign if you happen to come across them stuck in the ditch/snowbank/whatever before you attempt to pull 'em out. I don't mind giving someone a hand if I have the time, but it seems that this practice could come back to bite me in the a%$.
  2. bluejeep

    bluejeep Member
    from IL
    Messages: 49

    I think you should use your best judgement. if its to hard then dont do it. I would very happy if im in a ditch and someone pulls me out for free. + i never seen a towing company make people sign wavers before a tow or a winch out. i think that the only way something would happen is if the towing line snaps and flys into your windshild or the other car.
  3. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    If you're towing for free, the "Good Samatan" law of your State would apply. If you charge or are in the business of towing, liability cannot be waived.
  4. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation Senior Member
    Messages: 413

    You have a PLOW truck , leave the towing to a TOW truck .
  5. exmark1

    exmark1 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,321

    It seems like a risk regardless, I have pulled a few out in the past myself though. Normally you can read the person to see if they would be a dick about it, however like stated the good sam law would help you as long as you don't charge money for the service!
  6. Haha

    TOW TRUCK = $80 + 2 Hour Wait

    On a more serious note though, I actually have gotten a new customer because I pulled him out of the ditch. He has been one of my best customers too!
  7. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    I have pulled a fair number of cars out of banks, I always tell them there is a possibility of damage as I'm just helping and not a tow truck- they always say that's fine it's better then waiting for the tow. No problems yet.... I just use a j-hook to whatever is solid underneith their car (common sense about what not to pull from helps).

    Usually get whatever pocket cash they have forced on me for helping too.
  8. BushHogBoy

    BushHogBoy Senior Member
    Messages: 665

    "Whats the worst that could happen" -

    Bent frame (seen it happen)
    Axle ripped out from under a car (seen it happen)
    Frame damaged (happens alot, usually in a small insignificant way you might not notice driving it)
    Front end components damaged (very expensive if you hook onto the wrong part by accident)
    Brake components damaged (same as above)
    BUMPERS BENT (happens a lot)
    I've seen factory tow hook on front of a new Suburban get snapped off stuck in snow too..

    A LOT *CAN* happen. However I will still pull anyone out free (or take a tip :nod: ) anytime I have time and am going right by them. Give a helping hand in the holiday season and make sure to be careful where you hook, if its a guy not a woman, tell him to hook it and leave the responsibility to him on his vehicle, if its a woman I would not ask her to crawl in the snow, nor would I trust her judgement, not that most men know what they're hooking onto either but at least they are confident in their judgement HAHA...
    Give them a card and go on your way, they will remember the incident everytime they look at the card.
    Now if they are stuck because they are in my way or trying to be in my way, I will probably just leave them LOL...

    Just yesterday I was talking to a friend also in this biz and he said he got another customer last winter by pulling a lady's car out of her driveway where it was stuck for 3 days. She said her lawn and snow guy hadn't showed up after repeated calls, so she switched companies for all her outdoor needs. Turns out these two contractors were friends, but business is business....
  9. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    I agree with BrushHogBoy on this one.
    If it's a neighbor I'll stop and help no questions.
    Other wise you have to read them, talk to them alittle.

    I like to give them the chain and tell them to hook to something substantial.
    If you hook to there car and damage the vehicle towing it you you could be in trouble.
    The local tow trucks are licensed by the city and they get a little pissy when they see you low ballers without a license taking there tow. lol... Most of the time I'll call my friend that owns a towing co. he can do it, I'm going to go plow some snow unless she is really good looking , old or if it's really cold then I'll stop to help.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2005
  10. crazymike

    crazymike Senior Member
    from Toronto
    Messages: 639

    tow truck companies specifically carry towing insurance should something happen to damage vehicle. Just like we carry insurance for slip and fall, property damage, etc...

    I find it funny the same people complaining about lowballers doing a driveway for $20 or even free just because the guy has the time, don't mind taking $40 away from a tow truck driver for pulling a car out of a ditch. He has to pay his insurance, his payments, etc...

    Personally, I don't mind helping the odd person get unstuck, but I also drive a tow truck and now what works, and what doesn't. But the same goes, I don't get upset if some guy down the road with a plow or a tractor wants to do a driveway for 1/2 price or even free. Because he's just trying to be a nice guy.

    I don't honestly believe we are any threat to the tow truck drivers business, just as I don't believe low ballers threaten us. But next time you go to whine about the kid down the road taking business, think about this.
  11. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    And it's even higher than GL for plowing. Insurance was one reason I decided against towing even after I spent the money and time going to WreckMaster training.
  12. crazymike

    crazymike Senior Member
    from Toronto
    Messages: 639

    exactly. It's rediculously expensive. Yet nobody feels bad taking an easy $40-$80 from them. And to add to that, 95% of the people who end up in the ditch were doing something stupid. Going too fast for conditions, driving in conditions they shouldn't, or just being careless.
  13. bcf

    bcf Senior Member
    Messages: 206

    I try to stop and help whenevere I can, but I make them hook up to their vehicle.
  14. DaySpring Services

    DaySpring Services PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,065

    Where do you hook up on imports in the front? There's nothing to hook onto anymore!! Theres ususally a hook in the back, but nothing up front!!
  15. genrock

    genrock Member
    Messages: 60

    Waivers are good just write something up that contains the words you understand that damage may come and any damage is not the fault of and owner of the truck doing the pulling is not responsible for and so on and so forth. If nothing else the waiver will cause most people to assume that they wont be able to take action. Most judges will recognize waivers but you will still be liable although the cost of someone taking you to small claims court will far exceed any punishment a judge will impose especially if you have a waiver.

    Imports are tricky havent really found a good spot yet and yes I have pulled a few bumpers loose doing them just from the strap being pulled upward from the towing. Dont like doing them and I make sure that I tell the owner that it is a good possibility that it will happen and that they should have a professional tow service pull them out. If they still want my help I tell them where to hook up and make them hook it.
  16. Dupesy

    Dupesy Member
    Messages: 61

    I kinda figured that good samaritan laws would apply. And I certainly don't/won't do it on a regular basis, and would never charge for it, but if I have the opportunity to take a couple of minutes and help someone out, especially another plow driver, I would. That's just my nature. Thanks all, for your feedback.
  17. JohnnyU

    JohnnyU 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,040

    Leave the winch-outs and ditch calls for the professionals...

    You've got your own thing to do, why waste your time trying to pull on someone, when half the time, you are working your truck harder trying to pull them out than you would regularly plowing....

    I speak from experience when I say this: If someone has called a tow company and they are en route, DO NOT try to pull that person out, we'll still charge a service fee just for showing up..... and we'll likely be rather angered, as 9 times out of 10, the situation will get worse than when they went in the ditch.
  18. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    I would agree with leaving winch-outs to professionals. What may look like a good solid place to hook - may not be. Some cars are best pulled by a strap around the wheels; others by a strap through the inside of the car from behind the front seat - and these the strap has to be kept at a certain angle as it goes past the front wheels.

    RidehardNY - The cars you're talking about may fall into the catagory needing to be pulled by the wheels. But if you really want to find out - AAA publishes a book showing tow procedures for every car made.
  19. groundbreakers

    groundbreakers Senior Member
    Messages: 828

    some states have banned the good samaritan laws ... for 3 reasons ... 1 - personal safety , 2- its taken money away from the state , 3 -for personal liability reason ...
  20. SnowGuy73

    SnowGuy73 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,870

    Some of us have plowing to do, we don't have time to be pulling people out of the ditch. :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: