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Vehicle Recovery: When Timing Is Everything

Auto repair shops and garages have been around for years towing and recovering vehicles. Only recently, has a distinction been made from vehicle recovery and auto repair. Often, if the vehicle cannot be repaired by the roadside, a vehicle recovery company will transport it to another location for repairs.

Other than commercial towing, or over-the-road freight carriers, vehicle recovery is probably the best known to the public of all of the towing services. Who hasn't seen a tow wrecker or flatbed car carrier moving a vehicle from one place to another? These operations are very specific towing services, set up and equipped for their day in and day out services.

Vehicle recovery services are usually private companies, although they may operate under contracts to municipalities, as when moving illegally parked cars, for example. Individuals set them up as any other business might be and operate with the same for-profit motives and needs. Fees are set to provide a fair rate of return on investments in vehicle recovery equipment, which may be substantial.

Vehicle recovery equipment is very specialized. In past times, lighter-duty recovery was handled by relatively small tow trucks, or "wreckers" which had booms, cables hooks and winches to lift one end of the vehicle in tow and pull it to the recovery point. More recently, however, light-duty vehicle recovery equipment is likely to consist of a tilting flat bed equipped with a cable and winch. In the use of this equipment, the bed is tilted toward the ground and a cable attached to the vehicle being recovers is winched back onto its reel, thereby pulling the vehicle onto the bed. The bed is then tilted back onto the truck.

Vehicle recovery is often a service used for breakdowns of other vehicles on the road. When a breakdown is severe enough that repair at the site of the breakdown is not possible or practical, vehicle recovery is the only option. In this case, the vehicle recovery service will retrieve the vehicle and deliver it to a repair shop. Sometimes the shop itself will operate the vehicle recovery service.

Roadside assistance is also a service of vehicle recovery. This is a specialized case wherein on-site repairs to the defect in the vehicle are both possible and practical. Today, many manufacturer's of vehicles offer roadside assistance as part of their follow-on warranty programs. Automobile clubs such as AAA also offer roadside assistance by contracting with local providers. Many states offer roadside assistance for minor problems on the interstate highway system. These services are provided for minor issues such as flat tires and running out of fuel, and are aimed at keeping the interstate highways clear of vehicles in distress and, thereby safer.

Auto recovery as a part of vehicle recovery takes a variety of forms. Among these are retrieval of vehicles involved in accidents or mechanical failure, abandoned or illegally parked vehicles and recovery of vehicles that are repossessed by finance companies.

Vehicle recovery is a large business serving the world's fleet of personally owned and public vehicles. Without this valuable service, the roadways would eventually become unusable.

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