- Jumper cables. Or you can carry a small, portable, lithium-ion battery with jumper cables. Usually, these batteries will also recharge computers and cell phones. Prices for these batteries range from $60-$120. If you go the battery route, though, make sure to keep it charged.
- Flares or triangle reflectors. LED flares are also an option worth considering.
- A quart or more of motor oil
- A gallon of coolant
- First-aid kit
- Blanket or space blanket
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Tool kit with screwdrivers, pliers, adjustable wrench, pocket knife
- A can of tire inflator and sealant such as Fix-a-Flat
- Tire pressure gauge
- Paper towels
- Spray bottle with washer fluid
- Ice scraper (if you live in an area with snow)
- Pen and paper
- Granola or energy bars
- Bottled wate
You never want to leave your vehicle in the middle of the road. Drive it to the right shoulder or other safe spot before you attempt to figure out what’s wrong with it or call for help. This way, your vehicle won’t obstruct traffic, and you have a clearer line of sight when you’re ready to return to the road.
Tell other drivers that you’re immobile and warn them to slow down when you place flares or reflective triangles on the road at least six feet behind your vehicle. Turn on your hazard lights, too.
It’s tempting to stand outside and flag help or attempt to fix your vehicle, but this choice is dangerous on busy highways. Remain in your vehicle until roadside assistance or a helpful friend arrives.
Turn on the Lights
If you don’t set up flares or reflective triangles, other drivers won’t see you at night until the last minute. Increase your visibility and safety when you turn on the interior lights.
Hang a White Marker
A white fabric square, scarf or paper hanging from the driver’s side window alerts other drivers that you’re broken down and immobile. Secure a white object into place and then wait for help.
Call for Help
Call Riggs Roadside we're available 24/7, so call us on your cellphone as soon as your vehicle is safely off the road. You can also use a call box if it’s located near your vehicle. If you don’t have a phone or a nearby call box, wait for highway patrol to find you.
Breaking down on the highway is no fun, and it’s dangerous.
You can find your vehicles tire pressure information on the label on the door frame as well as the owners manual.
Equipment CapacityAll towing components have a maximum weight capacity. This value is usually displayed on each piece of equipment. All of your components should be rated at a higher capacity than the heaviest trailer you will tow. Some parts have more than one capacity. For example, hitches are usually rated for maximum weight capacity and maximum tongue weight capacity. The maximum weight value represents the heaviest trailer the hitch can pull, and the maximum tongue weight represents the maximum weight that the hitch can handle pushing down on it.
The weight capacitity of each component - the tow vehicle, the trailer hitch, ballmount, ball, and safety chains - must be greater than the gross trailer weight (GTW). The towing system will only be as strong as the weakest piece.
Gross Trailer Weight (GTW) - the weight of the loaded trailer. To determine GTW, weigh the loaded trailer on a vehicle scale.
Tongue Weight (TW) - the downward pressure placed on the ball by the coupler. On smaller trailers the TW can be measured using a bathroom scale and a box. On a level surface, place the coupler of the loaded trailer on the scale at normal towing height (Figure A). For heavier tongue weights, use the method diagrammed below (Figure B) or use a tongue weight scale.
Trailer LoadingThe way you load a trailer can determine how easily you can tow it. While loading, keep in mind that the tongue weight should be 10% to 15% of the overall trailer weight. Not enough weight on the trailer tongue can cause sway. To keep your trailer from swaying, place heavier cargo forward, in front of the trailer's axle. Also center the cargo left-to-right and use tie-downs to keep the load from sliding.
Trailer sway can also lead to a loss of vehicle control. When starting out with a new load on a trailer, gradually increase your speed in intervals until highway speed is reached. If the trailer does begin to sway, try adjusting the cargo and equipment accordingly. Also, make sure your trailer's tires are properly inflated. If re-positioning the load doesn't reduce sway, you may need a sway control or a weight distribution system with sway control.
DrivingThe addition of a trailer adds weight and length to the tow vehicle. With additional weight, your rig will accelerate slower and take longer to stop. You should allow for extra time when switching lanes, stopping, and passing other vehicles when you're towing a trailer. Trailer brakes can help improve your rig's stopping power. The extra length that a trailer adds can also cause problems on turns. Because the trailer does not follow the exact path as the vehicle on turns, you must swing out wider when traveling around bends and corners.
To conserve fuel when towing, travel at moderate speeds. Faster speeds increase wind resistance, reduce gas mileage, and place added strain on the vehicle and trailer. When traveling over long or steep hills or on gravel roads, use a lower gear to ease stress on your transmission and engine. Shifting out of overdrive and into a lower gear may also improve vehicle gas mileage.
Be extra cautious of potholes and other large bumps. They can damage the tow vehicle, trailer hitch, and trailer. When pulling a trailer, take your time and be careful.
If for some reason (a gust of wind, a downgrade, a pass by a larger vehicle, etc.) the trailer does begin to sway, the driver needs to assess the situation to determine the proper course of action. Here is a list of dos and don'ts to think about.
Do's - Good Towing Practice
Don'ts - NOT Good Towing Practice
Since the first cars rolled off of the assembly, Americans have loaded up their families and set out on the open road. The highway has a legacy all its own. Mystery, adventure, wilderness and more are just over the next horizon.
But before you and the kids climb aboard the family car, take some time to check the vehicle over. The last thing you want is to be stranded on the highway. That’s not the adventure your family was looking for. Here’s a quick pre-travel checklist.
When calling Riggs Roadside for assistance please keep in mind that we need the following information:
Riggs Roadside started in Lake Wylie, South Carolina by Rod Bowman. Now our services are available in Mankato, Minnesota. Rod has worked in many fields and was raised with a strong work ethic and a lot of determination and motivation. Rod grew up in a mechanics household and has been around vehicles his whole life. He decided to start Riggs Roadside because he saw the importance of support for the everyday driver basically you can say he thought everyone needed their own pit stop team. Riggs Roadside has always and will always put the safety and the needs of the customers first.
What we do here at Riggs Roadside
We offer a full service tire repair or replacement program so if you are stuck on the side of the road or even stuck in your driveway. You can always call on Riggs Roadside Assistance they'll arrive and see what is the best way to help you and then work with you to come up with a solution. We can either switch your flat with the spare that you have or we can take it down to the tire shop that we are partners with and have your tire repaired or replaced with a new or used tire.
We also have a unlock service which comes in handy whenever you, a friend or family member locked their keys inside their vehicle. We have equipment that is coated so that it will not damage or scratch your vehicle. All we'll need is to see your driver's license before we conduct the service.
We will also bring you out Gasoline or Diesel fuel if you EVER find that your fuel tank is empty or extremely low.
We also offer our jump start program so if you ever find yourself stuck somewhere with a dead battery please give Riggs Roadside a call. We'll come out and check your battery, battery connections and alternator out then we will work with you to find the best course of action to take. We can and will jump start you or replace your batter if needed.
We are always operational no matter the weather and no matter the time. We operate 24 hours a day 7 days a week and we are open and operating on all holidays. We do not charge bad weather fee's or inconvenience fee's. Again we are your pit stop team here for your safety
One of the most common conditions that indicates a battery problem is slow cranking when starting. If ignored for too long, it could reach the point where your car won’t start.
But there are other conditions to watch for:
The worst time to find out your car needs a new battery is when you are stuck somewhere because it won’t start. A better choice is to have the battery checked ahead of time, to find out whether it’s due for replacement.
Most batteries have about a five- or six-year lifespan. If you try to extend that, you’re tempting fate. So how can you tell how old your battery is? Well, if it’s never been replaced, you can figure it’s the same age as the car. That’s simple enough.
But if it’s been replaced, there’s still an easy way to check its age. That’s because every battery has a date label to tell you when it was built. The date should be either on the top edge or on the side, right near the top. Find that, and you’ll know exactly how old the battery is.
Of course, age isn’t your only consideration when it comes to your car’s battery. You should have it checked occasionally to verify its condition.
Call Riggs Roadside if you need any assistance. They can test your car’s battery to make sure it’s in good condition. And they can service it — clean the terminal ends and check the charging system operation — to help make sure your car continues to start dependably in all kinds of weather.
So don’t wait until you’re stuck away from home and your car won’t crank over: Call Riggs Roadside and ask them to give your car’s battery a complete check and service. It’s the best way to avoid starting problems when the mercury begins to plummet!
When a vehicle breaks down it is quite normal to feel nervous and vulnerable. This is especially the case with women or young adults. The first thing to remember during a roadside emergency is to stay calm and keep your wits about you. This will hopefully give you the ability to think things through clearly and obtain help as quickly as possible.
When you first notice a problem it is essential that you pull your vehicle over to the side of the road or shoulder if it is a highway as quickly as possible. If it is dark, if possible, try and park under a streetlight or as far out in the open as possible so that you and your vehicle are noticeable. Make sure to remember to turn the vehicle off as if you leave it running any problem that may have caused you to pull over could get worse quickly.
Turn on your hazard lights immediately and if you are still in a dark location it might be helpful to leave the headlights on until help arrives. If you have a vehicle safety kit and have a safety triangle, if it is safe to exit your car, but the triangle 10-15 feet behind the vehicle.
You then need to get back in your car and lock the doors. It is now time to call for roadside assistance. If you already belong to an auto road service club call them and give them as much information about your exact location as possible. In some cases, it may be possible to help locate you by GPS signal. It may also be a good idea to call a friend or family member and let them know where you are and with of your predicament. You then might consider checking in with them periodically while waiting for help.
It may seem obvious, but you need to stay in your car with the doors locked and windows closed. And above all else, make sure not to accept assistance or a ride from someone you do not know.
When you roadside assistance vehicle arrives remain in your car. They will approach the car and then you can calmly and politely request identification. The driver should know your name and assistance reference number as well.
Response times can vary considerably from provider to provider. Some Roadside Assistance Companies have response times that on average are just over 30 minutes and some have an average of 60-90 minutes. This has a lot to do with how many service response vehicles they have in your area. Some of the larger name companies have reduced their fleets to 15,000-18,000 vehicles nationally to stay more profitable. Other more service-oriented companies have fleets of 50,000 vehicles or more. As a consumer you will never really know how many vehicles a company truly has as they are not required to disclose this information. They are however obligated to disclose their average response time if asked. Ideally you want a company that has a response time of his close to 45-60 minutes as possible.
Our professionally trained roadside assistance operators know the best ways to handle flat tires, or other roadside emergencies safely but typically the average driver does not. This compelled me to write this article about how to stay safe when changing a flat tire.
That being said, it is much safer to have somebody else change the tire for you. This is why Riggs Roadside Assistance exist.