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Off-Road Recovery: The Best in Utah Towing

Utah is filled with off-road vehicles.  Thousands of locals throughout the state have found a passion for off-roading and for good reason.  Between the mountains, the deserts, and the salt flats, Utah has more off-roading terrain than almost anywhere in the US.

While off-roading may have a ton of upside, there is also a downside.  As humans, we have made no effort to groom the off-road terrain; so, when off-roading, you always take the chance that your vehicle will get stuck in a ditch.

Utah has seen its fair share of cars and 4x4’s sliding off of snowy and icy roads, and seeing vehicles end up upside down when driving through a mountain pass.  More times than not, the result of the accidents is a rough towing job, and a big bill to repair your car.

Here at Evans, we have seen it all.  We have pulled dozens of cars out of ditches. We have flipped cars right side up after they have tumbled off of a mountain pass.  

What makes us different from our competitors is that we have the experience needed to safely recover vehicles, and to do so with the least damage to your car or off-roader.

Our equipment is state-of-the-art and our crew is first rate.  So, when you find yourself in that situation, don’t hesitate to call Evans and Sons Towing.  We’re available 24 hours/day and we’re ready to help you when you need us most. 

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Safe Driving Insurance: Why It's Needed, and Why It's Not What You'd Think

You may be surprised to know that you need safe-driving insurance. Although not technically required, this form of insurance does not bill monthly or bi-annually through your insurance company. Why? Your best insurance for safe driving is high quality tires.

Although there are many different brands, the best tires are typically not found by going to your nearest tire center and purchasing the least expensive tire set. Asking a sales person for a recommendation is a good idea, however, it is best to go armed with knowledge about what you know you need.

  • Do some research on your vehicle.
  • Consult your car manual to see what is suggested.
  • If you do not have it, another idea would be talking to your dealer to see what they typically use.
  • Additionally, get recommendations for a reputable tire center in your area. Just because they are a large chain store does not mean they will automatically give you the best tire advice.

Now you’ve determined and purchased the proper tires. Don’t stop now —maintenance is important too.

Here are four simple maintenance tips to keep in mind:

  1. Maintain proper air pressure. (Many tire centers will check your tires and put in air for free if you purchased your tires from them!)
  2. Have your tires rotated and balanced at the recommended intervals.
  3. Not drive on old, worn tires. When they’re used, they’re used and you need to purchase a new set.
  4. If you have an all-wheel drive vehicle, it is important to replace all four tires. Why should you replace four tires simultaneously if you have an AWD? Because of the way these cars use their wheels individually, it is imperative that the wear-pattern match one another. Not doing so often means time, money, and lots of headache.

Despite your best efforts and having done everything recommended, you may still get stuck due to circumstances beyond your control. This can be frightening, especially in severe weather.

Safe-driving insurance doesn’t end with the operating condition of your vehicle. Keep the following items in your car in the event that you become stranded and must wait for roadside service.

Emergency Kit for Your Car

  • Blanket
  • Can opener
  • Non-perishable, pre-cooked food items (think protein bars, canned fruits & veggies, instant oatmeal packets, etc…)
  • Matches
  • Maps —No, not just the GPS. Regardless of your GPS system, something that cannot self-destruct is a backup that’s important to have. Technology is great, but it’s not a guarantee. You won’t be sorry for being prepared.
  • Case of bottled water
  • Whistle
  • Mobile phone charger
  • Fire extinguisher

No one wants to think they will be stranded, especially not in a brutal Utah winter. The unfortunate reality is, it can happen to any one of us. Luckily, if you follow these safe driving insurance tips, you’ll be prepared in the event the worst happens to you.

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What you need to know about towing in Utah

Living in Utah, for many people, means boating, camping, fishing, 3-wheeling, or some other outdoor pastime. If you plan to do any of these, the chances are that you will need to do some towing.

If you’ve never done it before, towing in Utah’s recreational lands might seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be.

Towing an average-sized trailer is easier than it looks, but it does require some basic know-how, a little practice, and the common sense to adjust your driving to suit road conditions. When you’re towing, everything you do while driving has to be done differently from how you would drive if you were not pulling a trailer.

If you’re braking, allow yourself twice the distance you would usually allow for stopping. The same thing applies to changing lanes; allow room for both your vehicle and the trailer before shifting over. Accelerate and slow down smoothly and gradually – no “rabbit” stops or starts!

Be sure to obey Utah’s laws regarding towing. At a minimum, all trailers need to have working taillights and brake lights and that all towing trailers must be registered with the Utah Department of Motor Vehicles.

Most people in Utah wind up towing a boat or camper trailer, or a vehicle trailer for a 3-wheeler or similar vehicle. Whether you’re towing any of these, the same basic towing information applies to any towing application. This is because what you are towing and what you are towing it with, no matter where in Utah you are towing, mainly depends on weights and capabilities.

The tow vehicle is as important as the load you are pulling. For example, if you are towing a boat to the lake, you can usually do so easily with most pickup trucks. However, if you plan on towing to one of Utah’s high mountain lakes, you may need the power of a heavy-duty engine to get you through some of our mountain passes.

For towing a load of 2,000 pounds or more through Utah you will definitely need a tow-friendly vehicle, such as an SUV. In fact, even a small SUV is a good choice for the average-sized boat or camper. For heavier loads, such as a large camper of loaded horse trailer, you’re best off with a solid half-ton pickup with lots of horsepower and torque.

Consider, too, whether your vehicle’s transmission, brakes, and rear axle can cope with the added weight and demands on them. If you’re planning on towing in the Utah mountains regularly, a three-quarter ton pickup should be in your future plans.

After the vehicle, the most critical element of your towing setup is your trailer towing hitch.

Trailer hitches are rated according to capacity of the load weight and tongue weight, so you should know the planned weight of your load, and select accordingly. Remember to calculate the added weight of supplies, etc. which you plan to load and carry in your camper or boat.

“Load weight” refers to the expected Gross Trailer Weight. “Tongue weight” refers to the downward force exerted on the hitch ball (usually calculated at 10-15 percent of the maximum rated GTW). The tongue is the hitching mechanism at the front of the trailer. The coupler of the trailer is what accepts the hitch ball. Be sure your hitch ball is the correct dimension for the coupler.

Once you have determined how much weight you'll be towing, that your towing vehicle can handle Utah’s outdoors, and that the total weight won’t exceed the maximum towing capacity of your towing vehicle, you're ready to choose the proper hitch.

Most hitches can be bolted to the vehicle, and a bolt-on installation is the preferred method to attach your hitch. Many pickups and SUVs, especially in Utah, come ready for towing with a factory-equipped Class III hitch; the most popular class of hitch.

A Class III hitch can handle up to 5,000 pounds for hauling any load (car, boat, camper, or whatever). For heavier boats or campers, a Class IV hitch (up to 7,500 pounds) is preferred (if you don’t already own one, you should probably also consider a three-quarter-ton truck for towing these loads). In most cases, though, a Class III hitch will handle most campers, car trailers and small- to medium-sized boats if you’re towing in Utah.

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What to do if you need a bus tow in Utah

Picture this: your car breaks down on the road and you’re stuck. Not fun, right? But imagine that you’re driving a bus, and now you need a tow.

Keep in Mind: Finding a tow for a bus is a whole different game than getting a tow for a car.

Towing a car is not difficult. All you need is another vehicle that can get the dead vehicle moving. (OK, and a good neighbor or friend to help you out!)

But if you break down in a bus, getting a tow is an entirely different deal…

Towing a full-sized bus requires special equipment, and not every Utah towing company has that equipment. And even after you find a company that can tow the bus, you still need to take care of a few things first.

#1. Take care of your passengers before calling for a bus tow

Let’s hope that your bus just had some minor mechanical failure, and you were able to pull over to the side safely. In this case, your passengers are probably all fine. But what if you’ve been involved in an accident – or even worse, a rollover?

Before calling a towing company...

Make sure your passengers are okay! Does anyone require medical attention?

If there are injuries...

If there are injuries, regardless of how slight they may appear to be, your first call needs to be 9-1-1. Request an ambulance and provide the dispatcher with the location of the bus accident, as well as information on any suspected injuries as instructed.

If all passengers are unharmed...

Hopefully all of your passengers are unharmed. In this instance, it is your job to get them to a safe location outside of the bus. The majority of state towing regulations do not allow passengers to remain inside a bus during a tow. If you’re on a busy road, try to get all the passengers as far from the roadside as possible.

A potential exception:

In the event that your bus has a flat tire that can simply be repaired, it is likely okay for passengers can stay inside the bus until the tow truck comes to repair or change the tire.

#2. Call for a tow and a second bus

Once you have taken care of your passengers...

Once the passengers have been taken care of, it's time to call in a tow truck. Let the dispatcher know what is wrong with your bus. This will allow the driver to come prepared with the correct equipment to help or tow. If they need to bring a special winch or hitch, the driver can come prepared, and you don’t have to spend even more time waiting.

Minimizing delays in connections...

If your passengers are attempting to make a connection, it's also a good idea to ask dispatch to send an additional bus to be sent at the same time. Your passengers will thank you for doing your best to minimize the delay.

Nothing makes a breakdown or being stranded a whole lot of fun, however, being prepared will make a bad situation easier to handle should the need arise and you find yourself in need of towing for your bus.

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Fun Facts About 18-Wheeler Tow Trucks

You see them on the road all the time —18-wheeler tow trucks hauling everything from foodstuffs to houses. How much do you really know about these big commercial rigs? Test your knowledge with a few our our Tow Truck Fun Facts!

Did you know...

  • An 18-wheeler tow truck is often called a “semi truck” and also just a “semi”. On these trucks, the truck cab and engine are separate from the trailer bed of the truck. Since the trailer has no front wheels and can be used only when connected to the tractor part of the truck, it's called a semi-trailer. The terms "semi" and "semi truck" evolved from that.
  • Most trailers on an 18-wheeler tow truck are about 53 feet long. The truck cab has brakes that are automatically applied when the trailer is disengaged or unattached to the truck. When the truck is connected to the trailer, and the engine is started up, the truck’s air pump releases the brakes so that the truck can roll down the road.
  • An 18-wheeler tow truck’s engine is designed to run constantly. The only time they need to be shut down is to change the oil, service the engine, or obey municipal idling laws.
  • Most cars hold 4 – 6 quarts of oil. An 18-wheeler tow truck holds 15 quarts or more of oil. Imagine asking your nearest Quik-Change to handle that! 
  • An 18-wheeler tow truck requires approximately 40 times the stopping length of the average automobile.
  • There are about 6 million semi trailers (or tractor trailers) registered for use in the U.S.
  • About 30% of all the 18-wheeler tow trucks operating in the United States are registered in just three states: California, Florida, and Texas.
  • 18-wheeler tow trucks keep the nation running. About 68% percent of all goods in the U.S. are hauled by semi trucks. That’s about 60,000 pounds per American, per year! The two largest commodities by weight are agricultural and building materials.
  • Semi truck operators cover lots and lots of miles in any given year. On the average, drivers will complete trips that total 140,000 miles or more each year.
  • A semi truck can be 20 feet wide or more. Yet drivers routinely maneuver through spaces with mere inches on each side – and never get a scratch on their 18-wheeler tow truck.  

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