Working as a tow truck driver is by no means an easy job – you have to be on your toes all the time plus deal with the physically demanding and emotionally draining routine. As a tow truck driver you have to be the first respondent to accidents and emergencies. You often have to deal with heavy vehicles and non-stop traffic. All this adds to the stress, making the job one of the toughest out there. To address the dangers associated with tow truck drivers, it is important to emphasize safety for both new ones and the pros.
In this article we will cover some of the basic safety measures for tow truck drivers…
Communication Is The Key
Just like in any other professions, communication for tow truck drivers is paramount. Drivers are often called to retrieve illegally parked or repossessed vehicles. As a driver you have to listen to the call or directions carefully and know what the purpose of the pickup is. Before moving out, all drivers should also make sure that someone in the base office is aware of the departure and the intended route. This person (back on the base) should keep an eye and check with the driver if he is on the right track.
P.S After arriving at the location, if a driver feels unsafe, he shouldn’t exit the truck and contact law enforcing authorities.
Maintaining the truck in top-notch condition is critical to driver’s safety. To keep everything in order, we recommend regular checks of connectors, cables, wenches and splices. Any fault found should be immediately reported and fixed. Other than that, always make sure that moving parts are well lubricated and mounting bolts are tightly screwed and in place.
Tire and break maintenance should also be done periodically after each trip.
All towing vehicles are licensed to haul a specific amount of weight, known as GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating). It can be between 10,000 lbs to 26,000 lbs depending on the size and type of the truck.
There is only one thing to keep in mind here – NEVER EXCEED THE GVWR.
Personal Protective Equipment
The FHA (Federal Highway Authority) requires emergency and roadway workers to wear a fluorescent green, orange or yellow vest at all times. The fluorescent vest can prove very beneficial at night or at places with poor lights.
To provide protection against injuries and increase the visibility to other drivers, tow truck drivers should also use the following
Protective, reflective helmet.
Steel toe shoes
Other necessary protective gear in extreme weather condition or where there is a risk of getting in contact with hazardous material.
Tow trucks are heavy vehicles and carry tremendous load. This is the reason why drivers should follow all applicable traffic rules. Reckless driving can’t only be dangerous to driver’s life but to the traffic and people around him as well.
So, always drive under the speed limit, follow traffic signs and signals, be aware of the surrounding and keep a safe distance between the truck and the vehicle being towed.
New drivers should take their training seriously and learn from the best practices of the seniors. While you’re on the road, always remember that a little negligence can result in huge losses.