By Elisabeth Altamirano-Smith | Community columnist
Roadside breakdown can be a stressful, traumatic experience. When a car stops in the middle of the road or a driver leaves miles from a gas station, panic and a sense of powerlessness ensues, especially in 100 degree heat. Brandon Underwood, a lifelong resident of Clanton, hopes to alleviate that fear and anxiety with the help of his company, B’s All Around Roadside Services, LLC.
Underwood came up with the idea of opening a roadside assistance company to transform the driver’s driving experience.
“The person needs help. They feel desperate and some service shops are taking advantage of that and trying to sell them things they don’t need,” Underwood said. “I’m trying to change that.”
Underwood learned the trade of unlocking and servicing cars through previous work experience at a tow truck company, his uncles and reading books.
“Unlocking certain vehicles with sensors, like a Mercedes, comes with practice,” Underwood said. “There is a certain order that must be met quickly, otherwise the alarm will go off and you will have to wait a few minutes before trying again. With newer cars, it is also important that the person charging your car battery gives the battery time to recharge. Otherwise you can fry your brains.”
The roadside assistance covers a 60-mile radius of Clanton and includes troubleshooting vehicles, unlocking vehicles, changing a bad tire, repairing and installing a bad tire, delivering fuel with a dispenser and jumping from an empty battery. The services are offered on a wide variety of vehicles from 18 wheelers to luxury cars. Underwood also works with a network of specialty stores in Chilton County so that if the car needs repair, the vehicle can be towed to a garage.
Underwood said he thinks of his family when a customer calls in distress and how he would like to be treated if the tables were turned.
“If it was my mother or my sister, I wish someone would come and help them quickly,” he said. “A mother recently called me upset because her toddler had locked herself in the car. It is hot and she was afraid the baby would die from the heat in the car. She kept saying, ‘The baby is going to die, and I’m going to jail!’ When I got there and unlocked the car in seconds, I felt good to know that I had helped her, given her rest and saved the baby. I enjoy meeting such wonderful people. It is the customers that make the company.”
For more information, please contact Brandon Underwood at 205-580-0983 or via Facebook “B’$ All Around Roadside Services”.