If you've just taken on a new job as a tow truck driver, your main priority is likely making as much money as possible. With a towing career, you can pick up a diverse clientele and your income opportunities are endless. One thing you may not have considered is that there can be some safety hazards that pop up while you're on the job. Here are just a few things to consider before you climb into your truck and what you can do to make your job as safe as possible each day.
Part of your job may be to fulfill a contract to repossess a vehicle. Because most car owners don't want to lose their mode of transportation, they may become very volatile when you come and try to take away their car. It's very important that you have the proper court paperwork from the lender in place in order to take possession of the car. Some situations can turn violent fast with people refusing to let you access the vehicle or load the vehicle onto your truck in a safe manner. Having a partner to assist you with repossessions can help you get an upper hand with calling law enforcement, should a situation quickly spiral out of control.
If you're called out on a towing job, chances are the vehicle may be stranded on the side of a busy highway. In some cases, you may have to move the vehicle out of a lane of traffic—if it stalled or there was an accident. Because you have to assess the underbody of the vehicle and add chains and tow straps to it, you may be placed in the line of oncoming traffic. An accident can easily happen. Always wear a fluorescent orange vest to alert highway drivers of your whereabouts. Use caution lights and cones to signal to drivers that you are working in the roadway area.
Loading the vehicle up and onto your truck can be tricky in some situations. Vehicles that have been mangled from a wreck or are already missing a bumper can make it hard for your winch to get a solid grip on loading the vehicle. This can lead to the vehicle slipping or coming off of your truck or bed. Use extreme caution when winching the vehicle and positioning it in place.
The towing process itself can be dangerous. Anything from mechanical failure to brake problems can cause your truck to lose control easily. If you're hauling or towing a vehicle, the car can easily shift its weight when you make a turn or accelerate. This can lead to your truck swaying as you're going down the road. Remaining in control of your truck at all times is important in making sure that the transporting of the vehicle is done safely and effectively.
There are many dangers when driving a large tow truck. Practicing safe towing techniques will allow you and the vehicle you're towing to make it back to your destination in one piece.