Rural vs. Urban Towing

Parks Highway Service & Towing is an automotive (cars, pick-up trucks, vans, motorcycles, small trucks, and small RVs) towing company in an extremely rural part of Alaska. We serve a large area, extending over 150 miles along the northern portion of the Parks Highway*, the highway connecting Alaska’s two major cities: Fairbanks and Anchorage. The northern portion goes through six communities: Nenana (99760), Anderson (99744), Clear Air Force Station (99704), Healy (99743), Denali Park (99755), and Cantwell (99729). In this whole area, we are the only towing service. There are no major automotive repair facilities and only two small shops. Most tows in this area are long distance. Even service calls involve quite a few miles of driving to the scene and back. Some people ask why there are not more towers or roadside assistance service providers in the area, but the overall population is less than 3000, so there is not enough business to support more than one company. (There is barely enough business to support this one company.)

Our volume of business is low, but we are on call 24/7 so that we are always available to come to the assistance of those in need. It means that we are not free to pursuit other activities or other business because we need to be on call. When responding to your call for assistance, usually we can leave immediately and the only factor determining how long it will take a truck to arrive is the distance. We can get there faster than any other towing service because, if you are on the northern Parks Highway between mileposts 336 and 177, we are closer than any other towing service and because we have no other obligations other than providing towing and roadside assistance along the northern Parks Highway and in the communities of Nenana, Anderson, Clear AFS, Healy, Denali Park, and Cantwell.

Urban towers do a number of relatively quick jobs during a day. They may be going from one job straight to the next. Wait time for you is based more on how busy the tower is, than on how far away you are. They may be reluctant to invest a huge amount of time to a long-distance job when they have a number of small jobs waiting to be done.

*The full name of the road is the “George Parks Highway” which is Route 3. Most Alaskans do not use Route numbers and may not even know them, but rather use the name of the highway, in this case the “Parks Highway.” There are very few signs identifying the route number of a highway. There are only eleven numbered highways in Alaska and some of them are mostly gravel—hardly what most people would call a “highway.”

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