Author Topic: Breakdown cover  (Read 1811 times)

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Offline Jason Potts

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Breakdown cover
« on: January 27, 2019, 07:23:07 pm »
Let me start by saying that I'm on two wheels.   ;)

I've always made sure I have breakdown cover before starting any of the three main trials that the club organises. To date, touch wood, I've never had to call them out.

Anyone care to share their experiences in ringing the so called forth emergency service at silly o clock in the morning.

I keep praying for this service but is there a better way.

Car or bike please post your thoughts, comments and experiences.

Offline Paul K

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Re: Breakdown cover
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2019, 08:47:13 am »
My experiences with a bike have not been good while covered by the RAC and this is during the day.

Experience 1.  Commuting home from work; bike broke down (can't remember the reason why).  When RAC van arrived, the guy confirmed the breakdown and that he could not fix it; he arranged for a sub-contracted low loader to recover the bike and me.  Wait for the low loader was a couple of hours >:(.

Experience 2. Commuting home from work; puncture in the rear tyre (the one day I did not carry any tools because I was bringing home a laptop in my rucksack).  Phoned RAC; they arranged to send a low loader.  Wait for the sub-contracted low loader was a couple of hours >:(. (I was about 20 minutes from home.)  Complained to the RAC, who offered to not add this recovery to my list of callouts.

Experience 3.  On a Sid Hill Summer ride-out; an ignition coil packed up so the twin cylinder engine was only firing on one cylinder. When RAC van arrived, the RAC guy confirmed the breakdown and that he could not do any more than I had; he arranged for a sub-contracted low loader to recover the bike and me.  Overall wait for the for recovery was a couple of hours.  A nice couple of teenagers did come out and gave me a cup of tea :D.  I even tried playing the sick card because I was on chemotherapy at the time, but no joy >:(.

My experience with a car has been better.

Experience 1.  My Beetle split a metal brake line on a Lands End trial.  Called the RAC explained the problem and asked they carried brake pipe and a flaring tool so I could fix it.  No, they didn't, but accepted my diagnosis and arranged for a recovery low loader.  The sub-contracted recovery company arrived in a reasonable time, offered me a courtesy car (I accepted), then delivered the Beetle to my home a couple of days later.

Experience 2. My beetle's battery split on a trial.  By luck the RAC guy had just attended a break-down nearby and was soon with us.  He carried spare batteries.  Paid £90 for a new battery and we were on our way in a short space of time.

My conclusions are that the RAC do not have the vehicles to recover a bike; they have to sub-contract the recovery out. Try at all costs to fix the problem yourself.  With regards to the flat rear tyre, If I'd known now what I know at the time, I'd have ridden the tyre home flat, then got a new tyre.

I'm now with a recovery company through our bank account.  Their performance has good reviews, though, I've yet to use them.

Offline Paul Wheatley (Wheaters)

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Re: Breakdown cover
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2019, 03:53:46 pm »
I've had multiple failures of contract with the RAC.
I've had two instances where they never got to me and I eventually self recovered.

E.g. Last summer my BMW suffered a flat battery thirty five miles from home due to a fault with the CCC unit (it's central computer shorted out internally so the cooling fans ran continually whilst I was away from the car). I rang the RAC at 23:35 but couldn't get anyone to answer. I rang my wife who began trying to call them too because my mobile phone's battery began running very low due to me being on hold for well over an hour! When she finally got through to them they rang  me back at 01:10 and was told it would be up to four hours before a contractor would be with me. After another half hour or so a contractor rang me to say it would be up to another four hours before they got to me (by then it would have been about 05:30). They told me they would meet me as agreed by the RAC on the market place (where I was parked) - but the wrong town was mentioned! I quickly managed to correct the operator before she rang off.

At that stage I rang my wife back. She got out of bed, got dressed, fetched my jump leads from the workshop, drove thirty five miles and found me straight away (correct town!).  Two minutes later I got my car started and we drove home. I rang the contractor direct and cancelled the job.

My wife's van broke down last October. An operative came out, did nothing to fix the fault but broke the brake light switch in the process of fault finding and then told her she would have to wait for a recovery truck. That was particularly galling because he was actually equipped to tow the vehicle, but he was already allocated to another job. She waited a total of six hours in the dark for a contractor to turn up. In the meantime, I drove fifty miles to get to her, and put her in my car, otherwise she would probably have been suffering from hypothermia in the middle of nowhere. On arrival the contractor told us he was Lincoln based but was carrying out another RAC recovery job in Norfolk when he was allocated to my wife's breakdown - which was in Nottinghamshire!

The one time I did need them to recover a bike was when my 350 Bullet had a rear wheel puncture (on one of the hottest days last summer). I limped the bike a mile or so to the nearest pub. A contractor appeared after about 40 minutes and he said he would put the bike in his van and get me home. We got the bike inside, strapped it all down and got in the cab. I couldn't help noticing at that stage that the van's windscreen was cracked completely across from one side to the other. I did wonder about the road-worthiness of the van but didn't complain because I'd had two pints of cider before he arrived and I was feeling mellow/beyond caring. The driver set off. Unfortunately, fifty yards later, just as we reached the pub car park exit, his van broke down. The crank pulley had sheared off, so he had no power steering, no electrics, no water pump and no servo brakes. He limped the van about four miles downhill to the depot (an interesting journey), where they told me they had no replacement van to recover a bike. I eventually got home about two hours later after they jury rigged my bike on the back of a car transporter trailer.

I'm not renewing with the RAC!
Cheers, PW.

david@whitepost.me.uk

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Re: Breakdown cover
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2019, 06:04:57 pm »
A couple of years ago my final drive on my 1200GS let go and I had oil all over my back wheel.

I called Carol Nash's call out and a chap came to me in Bishop's Castle after a 2.5 hour wait.  Fortunately I was visiting a mate who owns a pub.  As I didn't have to ride home, it would have been rude not to try one of each beer!.

I got recovered back to Nottinghamshire in a truck.


Offline Jason Potts

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Re: Breakdown cover
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2019, 07:27:37 pm »
If we have say, 100 bikes on a trial and we are all paying 50 quid'ish for a 💩service, is it worth the club putting on a man with a van collecting dead bikes and taking them to either the start or the finish? If we all paid a fiver contribution to the club on top of the entry fee for use of this service that's 500 quid for a nights worth of collecting a couple of bikes.

Got to be worth thinking about doesn't it 😋

Reason I'm just concerned with the motorcycles is, like you've all just confirmed, cars seem to be better catered for by the recovery services.

Offline Jason Potts

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Re: Breakdown cover
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2019, 08:37:58 pm »
Quote
Best option is to prepare your bike well enough so that it doesn't break down 

All my bikes are very well prepared. Being a former bike mechanic I've seen plenty of busted ill prepared examples to have tought me a thousand lessons in why you should look after your machine. However, like you just said, if you'd broken down or even fell off on the top of Exmoor last year in that weather in the dark you wouldn't have lived to see the RAC.

If there was a van following the bikes, even if their job was to just take you to civilization, could be a life saver.

My bike cut out twice on Exmoor in those floods. Got it going again and finished. Turned out to be a small split in the rubber seal on the plug cap letting in water. Very easily missed as no amount of rain seemed to affect it. Just a good drowning whilst riding through deep flood water. My point is even I miss stuff and I think I'm very thorough. Hence why I get breakdown cover. But if it not worth the paper it's written on it's time to investigate an alternative.

This would not be a support vehicle. If you accepted defeat and you jumped in the van then they would inform the control that they'd collected you and that you'd retired. Like I said even if they were to take you and your bike to the next stop / time control, at least you would be with other humans where you could warm up with a brew and wait for recovery etc.

Offline Jason Potts

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Re: Breakdown cover
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2019, 09:02:57 pm »
Sorry, like you implied 😀

Offline Tim Kingham

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Re: Breakdown cover
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2019, 10:36:13 am »
I will pass on one tip if you have a sidecar outfit and you breakdown when you call the rescue service   NEVER EVER say" I have a motorcycle and sidecar" I had a van with a solo bike attachment turn up it seems the phone operators have no idea what a sidecar is
Use the term "3 wheeler"

Offline alexelbrow

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Re: Breakdown cover
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2019, 03:23:49 pm »
Maybe a little late reply but I have broken down on a couple of LDT, been collected by my wife both times. Although she is getting feed up with driving for hours in the middle of the night to collect me.
A recovery van organised by the club to recover broken bikes to the start/finish is a great idea and I would fully support it.

Offline Paul Wheatley

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Re: Breakdown cover
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2019, 05:03:14 pm »
I agree, I think it's a very good idea.

Trouble is that not all competitors would want to pay extra for a recovery service if they already have cover elsewhere. It would have saved me getting near hypothermic after getting an un-fixable tyre problem and puncture on the Edinburgh last October. A five and a quarter hours wait on top of the cold windy hill after Incline knocked me back for days afterwards. A snottogram, sorry formal complaint was sent to the RAC.

Disappointingly, not one competitor stopped to ask if I needed any help, but there you go.  ::)
PW.

Offline Paul K

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Re: Breakdown cover
« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2019, 08:35:51 am »
Disappointingly, not one competitor stopped to ask if I needed any help, but there you go.  ::)
That no-one stopped to offer help is truly disappointing.

My latest experience has been with LV=Britannia Rescue.  A coolant hose developed a small leak on my Ford Fiesta, not far from my daughter's house near Reading. Rather than chance it by driving home, then breaking down on the M4 or M25, I drove to my daughter's house, then called for recovery.  We had a 1.5 hour wait for the low loader.

The worse bit was the ride home; the recovery driver never stopped talking.  I now know all about his family, his politics (that didn't go down well with me), his health, his views on Elvis Presley's faked death and his facial reconstruction, how he always gave priority to children and old people (us!).  Bloody hell, I was glad to get home!

Offline Paul Wheatley

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Re: Breakdown cover
« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2019, 03:25:38 pm »
I only had myself to talk to....   :(
PW.

Offline Mark Gregg

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Re: Breakdown cover
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2020, 11:37:10 am »
I like the idea folks and i will see if i can arrange something for the Edinburgh it will be reliant upon numbers though, but i shall certainly investigate the potential.

Offline Paul K

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Re: Breakdown cover
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2020, 02:10:07 pm »
I only had myself to talk to....   :(
Think yourself lucky  :(

Offline Stephen Bailey

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Re: Breakdown cover
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2020, 07:22:44 am »
Posts by myself are personal posts and in no way are an official expression of the MCC. or the MCC Committee.

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