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Thread: AAA Road Service - What they don't tell you

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    New Jersey
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    3,338

    AAA Road Service - What they don't tell you

    Several weeks ago I was having coffee in the morning with some of my cronies when an AAA sponsored tow truck pulled up to tow a stalled work van, similar to mine. The tow truck driver told the van owner that he isn't authorized to tow these types of vans. Soooooo, I thought I'd place a call to AAA today seeing as how I've been a member and have been paying annual dues for about 12 years now. This is how the conversation went :

    Me : Hi, I've been told by one of your drivers that you will not tow my work van if I'm stuck
    AAA : What type of van do you have ?
    Me : GMC Savannah 2500
    AAA : Yes, we will tow that van
    (pause)
    AAA : However, if it is over-weight or has been modified in any way we will not tow it.
    Me : I have metal shelving in the van with material and wire along with 2 ladders and my tools
    AAA : Yes, we will tow that
    (pause)
    AAA : However, if you have ladders on top of the van we will not tow it
    Me : Are ladder racks considered a modification ?
    AAA : Yes
    Me : I can take the 8' ladder off and put it inside my van but the extension ladder will not fit
    AAA : If you have any ladders on the van we will not tow it
    Me : If I'm stuck am I supposed to throw the extension ladder away so that you can tow me.
    AAA : I'm not telling you that, all I'm saying is that we cannot tow you with ladders on the van
    Me : What is the reason ? (This is classic)
    AAA : Ladders have a tendency to come loose during towing and can become projectiles
    Me : My ladders are tied down with ratcheted type straps that hold 500 lbs. and not with bungie bands
    AAA : We cannot tow you with ladders on the truck
    Me : Is there any other reason(s) I cannot be towed ?
    AAA : Yes, there are height problems when we tow with a flat-bed
    Me : OK, I can understand that. How about if you tow me with a wrecker ?
    AAA : Same issue

    The conversation was much longer than this but I'm sure you get the drift. There wasn't anything I could say that would convince this individual that my van was "tow worthy". If there is anyone in the State of NJ that is using another road service company that is reliable and will tow my size van would you please share that info here in the Forum ?

    Also, for those of you that are in other states with an AAA membership and believe they will tow your work vehicle I would place a call to verify that they will, in fact, tow you in an emergency.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Michigan. It's a beautiful penninsula, I've looked around.
    Posts
    9,245
    Call State Farm and see if they have the same issues. They use any towing service, not AAA sponsored. State Farm is also great when it comes to paying claims. You shouldn't have been charged for something they didn't offer. If it were me, I would change to someone else.
    Cheers and Stay Safe,

    Marky the Sparky

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Michigan. It's a beautiful penninsula, I've looked around.
    Posts
    9,245
    After years and years of AAA, I quit them over a road service dispute that I felt was unfair. I have never missed them.
    Cheers and Stay Safe,

    Marky the Sparky

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Tampa, FL, USA
    Posts
    875
    I've had AAA for about 25 years. I've always known that my membership does not apply to commercial vehicles, only my personal vehicles. Nevertheless, I have called them twice for my service truck recently. Once for a tow when I blew a tire and once when I stupidly ran out of gas and they brought some gas to me. I didn't tell the operator it was a work truck and the tow drivers generally don't give anyone a hassle (especially if you tip them).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Somewhere over the rainbow
    Posts
    3,135
    I did not know that. I will be calling them today.

    So then how are you supposed to tow service vans if the tow truck won't do it? Or I guess this is a AAA nonsense?
    Edward
    The only thing I know, is the progressive discovery of my ignorance


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Tampa, FL, USA
    Posts
    875
    Quote Originally Posted by edward View Post
    I did not know that. I will be calling them today.

    So then how are you supposed to tow service vans if the tow truck won't do it? Or I guess this is a AAA nonsense?
    You can just call a tow company directly. They will tell you if they can handle your commercial vehicle or probably give you a referral to someone who can. The only issue here is the rules of the auto club membership.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    4,435
    Quote Originally Posted by edward View Post
    I did not know that. I will be calling them today.

    So then how are you supposed to tow service vans if the tow truck won't do it? Or I guess this is a AAA nonsense?
    I'm guessing that "Joe's Tow 'n Go" isn't a good target if something pops off the van while under tow. AAA has deep enough pockets that some slip and fall lawyer would take the case regardless of merit.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Hawthorne, New York NEC: 2014
    Posts
    3,080
    You have to admit that there are lots of contractors out there (not just ECs) that have enough stuff piled on their roofs and held with a couple of bungee cords to give everybody a bad name. If you're driving and something comes flying off it's your problem. But if you are being flatbedded or towed it becomes the towing companies problem. AAA likely learned that lesson the hard way once so now they have that policy.

    I suppose if you are being flatbedded you could remove your ladder and slide it under your vehicle on the flatbed. But then you will need to think about how to secure it.

    -Hal

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Diamond bar, CA , Tempe AZ
    Posts
    329
    Once had AAA flatbed my jeep. When I got to the shop shortly afterwards the town driver said a golf ball from the golf course hit your jeep. I said what where you doing by the golf course it's on the other side if town. His response was I had a errand. I asked if he was going to pay for the broken light. He said no. The golf ball was laying on the deck of the tow truck.
    They refused to pay. I was going to make a big to do but it was not worth it for a 8 dollar headlamp.

    AAA eventually took away their franchise.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    3,338
    Quote Originally Posted by hbiss View Post
    AAA likely learned that lesson the hard way once so now they have that policy.
    That's fine and I'm OK with that. But I have been towed by them before when I had my Ford E250 van. My gripe now is that they've been taking my $100+ membership dues for many years now so, if they had a policy change why am I just finding out about it now ? And, why did I have to find out about it purely by chance ?

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