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Roadside assistance horror story.

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This should have been a simple drive home from Cape May but it turned into a roadside assistance horror story.

My girlfriend and I were coming home from Cape May. It should have been, at most, a 2½ hour drive. As we crossed the Walt Whitman bridge heading into Philadelphia we started to overheat . I got off at the first available exit from 95 at South Philly . My thought was to pull in the Pep Boys store by the exit and check the situation out . At that point the car was running very very hot. When I popped the hood, the engine was soaked with engine coolant.

The service desk at Pep Boys had a line of people 5 deep . I purchased 2 gallons of antifreeze I went out to the car and returned. The line hardly moved . I decided to call roadside assistance and get the car towed back to his shop near my house .

It took a little over an hour for the tow truck to show up . I was able to start the truck and set it up so he could haul it up on the flatbed. My girlfriend and I climbed into the cab and we started heading back up 95 toward home .

Just before Bridge Street, I felt a lurch . I thought one of 3 things happened: My truck fell off and was laying on 95 in pieces or perhaps the tow truck had thrown in axle . It turned out that a rear tire blew . The driver kept complete control of the vehicle and got it over to the shoulder. As you can see from this photo, the ‘shoulder’ was a joke.

If you have the Waze app, you can report a hazard (vehicle) on the side of the road, even if it is yours. At least some drivers will be aware that there is a stopped vehicle.

Roadside assistance horror - Shoulder

The driver got out to inspect and told us that the right rear tire was completely shredded . Under a closer examination he found out that the inner tire was also deflated . He called his boss for a backup Flatbed .

We were in the ironic position of our Roadside Assistance needing Roadside Assistance.

An hour went by and there was no sign of a tow truck . I started to get excited when a tow truck finally pulled up behind us . A minute later he was back on 95 heading North . It turned out he was just looking to see if he could drum up some business.

After 3 hours of sitting there, I was starting to get a little cramped up as I was sitting in the middle of the seat . The driver kept apologizing for the fact that no rescue had come yet.

Roadside assistance horror story - Shredded Tire

Finally the backup rescue flatbed arrived. Traffic was thick but still moving at 30 to 40 miles an hour. The mirrors of the passing trucks were missing the mirror of our truck by mere inches.

The plan was to lower my truck on to the shoulder . Then the other flatbed would back up to it and winch my truck onto it. .

That did not start out too well. Our driver got into the truck And tried to crank it over with the battery was dead after 3 hours of running the flashers and lights. Without the engine running, there was no practical way to lower my truck to the shoulder. Fortunately he was able to jump start it and we now had the power to raise the bed to lower my truck . Backing up was easier said than done since he had no tires at this point on the right rear of the flatbed.

My blood was running cold as the driver worked to lower the truck back on to the shoulder. Cars were whizzing by with literally inches between them and our driver.

Roadside Assistance Horror - Leaving the first flatbed behind.

Finally my Explorer was loaded up on the new flatbed. Well it really wasn’t that new. Our original driver jumped in and proceeded to try to start it . It took a few tries to get it running. That was less than encouraging.

Roadside Assistance Horror - Stream of traffic

With the ‘new’ flatbed running, it was time to try to get back into traffic. There was a constant stream of traffic and no one was willing to give us a break. We were just on a small curve so visibility was rather limited. We had perhaps 200 yards of visibility. The other truck driver got behind us and literally stood in the traffic lane to force people to move over

Our driver was able to ease into the traffic and got us moving again . The truck didn’t sound too healthy to me or my girlfriend but we didn’t say anything . As we got closer to the shop where we were going to leave it there are a couple of fairly decent hills . The truck was struggling to get up the hills and people were passing us in a no passing zone. It was making an odd sound as thought a bearing was ready to go on one of the front wheels. Finally we got to our destination and were able to drop the truck off . It took over eight and a half hours from the time we left Cape May .

I guess I shouldn’t complain too much because at least we got home safely and this driver didn’t have evil killer clowns painted on his truck..

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