Cars can breakdown the road for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, the problem is so severe that it can’t be repaired on-site. Here is where towing companies come into the picture to provide help. While there are several safety precautions while waiting for a tow truck, the car owner or driver isn’t the only one at risk when towing.
Tow truck drivers also face risks while towing a vehicle. These risks come with the job but there are ways to lessen these risks. In this article, I will tell you about several risks that tow truck drivers can face and what to do to lessen the chances of hurting themselves, damaging the car being towed and ruining their equipment.
Risk Of Injury
A tow truck is a large and powerful machine that is meant to handle large loads like a car. If it is improperly used, there is a risk of injuring not only the tow truck drivers but also for other people.
Tow truck drivers have blind spots when driving tow trucks because of their sheer size. These blind spots are worsened when the visibility on the road is poor due to the bad weather or darkness.
A tow truck involved in an accident is very dangerous because it can crush cars and people. Also, the size lengthens its reach that is why a lot of nearby cars will also be affected. Driving cautiously and at slower speeds with the headlights on is best to avoid accidents. A large vehicle will be harder to control at fast speeds so it’s best to take it slow.
Additionally, when towing a car on a flatbed tow truck, the crew members must all be inside the truck with their seat belts buckled. There is never an instance when it is okay for a crew to stand on the side of the car and hold on to it while in transit. A simple turn can be fatal.
Risk Of Damaging The Car
Apart from injuring oneself, there is also a risk of damaging the car that’s being towed. Take blown out tires or tires that do not have enough pressure for example. Tow trucks must always be inspected and prepared before it is driven to the site where the car is. When one of its tires is blown out or doesn’t have enough pressure, there is a chance for it to flip over due to instability.
The weight of the car towed may worsen the instability that is why a flatbed trailer may flip over or fall to aside. This can damage the car and also hurt other pedestrians or other cars on the road.
Another risk of damaging the car is when it isn’t properly secured on the tow truck. Many prefer flatbed tow trucks over wheel lift tow trucks or hook and chain tow trucks because, with flatbed tow trucks, the car doesn’t touch the road while being towed. That claim is valid but they must remember to secure the vehicle properly. Even if they use a flatbed, if the car isn’t properly secured in place it can still get damaged.
Similarly, if the speed of the tow truck should also be controlled to prevent damage to the car. Speeding and braking abruptly with a car being pulled at the back can damage the chassis and axle of the tow truck as well as the car being towed. Also, speeding might cause the load to sway. This swaying isn’t safe at all, it needs to be properly stabilized or the tow truck can topple over.
Similarly, tow truck drivers should be very careful especially with sharp turns. Tow trucks are longer vehicles and the back part might get caught in the turn. Tow truck drivers should learn to assess if they can make the turn with their load or if they have to do extra maneuvering of the tow truck for it to successfully make the turn.
Risk Of Damaging The Equipment
A risk damaging the equipment or tow truck is also possible especially when the incorrect one is sent out to retrieve a vehicle. Cars that need to be towed aren’t all found on the side of the road. Some may be over a ditch and some can even be flipped upside down. If you push the tow truck to try and retrieve the vehicle when it is designed not to do so, the equipment can be damaged.
Similarly, the capacity of the tow truck should also be carefully considered. Don’t send a small tow truck if the vehicle to retrieve is bigger. Also, don’t try to use other powerful cars in place of a tow truck. Tow trucks are specially designed to be more powerful than modern SUVs or sedans so don’t think that these cars can replace the tow truck.
Additionally, the way tow truck drivers drive can also increase the risk of damaging their equipment. Abruptly stopping and applying the brakes should be done only when necessary. It is best to slow down and don’t drive too fast so there isn’t a need to step on the brakes abruptly.