The RAC has developed and launched a new type of trailer that provides flatbed recovery capability to its breakdown patrol vans.
The All-Wheels-Up trailer allows RAC patrols to tow a much larger range of vehicles than before, including electric, hybrid and all-wheel-drive models.
The new device also enables the recovery of vehicles with faults that usually make towing impossible, like multiple punctured tyres, handbrake or transmission failures and damage caused by potholes.
It stows easily into the back of an existing long wheelbase RAC van, and can be deployed by a patrol in a fraction of the time it would normally take for a standard recovery truck to arrive, meaning the time taken to get a stricken vehicle home or to a garage is cut dramatically.
RAC technical director Kate Burn said: “Our patrols’ first priority, after ensuring the safety of the driver and their passengers, is to try to carry out a permanent or temporary vehicle fix at the roadside – this delivers the best outcome for drivers and means that in the vast majority of cases they can soon be on their way again.
“But there are times when, due to the nature of the problem with the vehicle, a roadside fix is impossible. And, as a result of the rise in the number of crossovers, SUVs, plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles on our roads, there has also been an increase in instances where our patrols can’t recover a vehicle using our existing trailer. In both scenarios, our customers previously had to wait for a recovery truck to arrive.
“The changing nature of breakdowns has meant we have completely re-thought our recovery technology, and the new All-Wheels-Up equipment is the result. This one piece of kit has the potential to transform the service RAC patrols deliver to members – they can now recover more vehicles than ever from a standard patrol van, reducing waits at the roadside.
“We are steadily rolling out the equipment to all our new patrol vans, so more and more of our members will begin to benefit. I’m pleased to say that feedback from personal and business customers, as well as from our motor manufacturer partners, has been extremely positive.
“We have a long and proud history of innovation at the RAC, finding solutions to problems our patrols and our members face at the roadside. The new All-Wheels-Up equipment is just the latest example of this.”
The All-Wheels-Up equipment complements the RAC’s range of recovery options, which in addition to the existing rapid deployment trailer includes a fleet of RAC-branded flatbed trucks and a nationwide network of contractor partners.