Being a tow truck driver is an exceptional way to earn a living or make extra money on the side. It is also often a tough job that can potentially be dangerous if you don’t take the proper precautions. If you recently converted your pickup into a tow truck using a lift and tow or are an experienced professional driver, consider the following tips for tow truck safety to avoid accidents and injuries on the job.
- Be Ready: Before you head out on the road to rescue a stranded vehicle or perform a repossession, make sure you and your truck are ready to go. Tow truck driver safety starts by regularly inspecting your vehicle and equipment from the tire pressure and fluid levels to cables, connectors, splices and winches. Make a checklist to ensure you have all the tools and backup parts and supplies you’ll need to respond to every conceivable situation.
- Drive Defensively: Getting from point A to point B is fraught with potential dangers for tow truck drivers. Always stay within the speed limit and maintain safe distances from other vehicles on the road to minimize the chance of an accident. When towing a vehicle, especially in adverse weather conditions, slow down even more and extend the following distance to a full length from the car in front of you.
- Take Control: From the moment you arrive at your destination, the better you control the scene, the safer everyone will be. Turn on safety lights, mark the area with cones, flares and markers, and move people out of harm’s way. Before you start to load any vehicle onto your truck, make sure you visually confirm objects and onlookers are all clear of your equipment.
- Be Seen: Increasing visibility is one tow truck safety tip that can’t be overstated. Make sure everyone is aware of your presence by wearing bright-colored clothing and using flashing lights and reflectors on your truck. If you’re working on a federal highway, wearing an approved fluorescent vest is mandated.
- Protect Your Person: Using personal protective equipment is also required for many tow truck drivers and emergency personnel working on federal roads. Wearing long pants and closed-toe shoes, and using work gloves and safety glasses, will go a long way to protect your body. Take extra precaution responding to an accident where broken glass and the presence of dangerous chemicals and materials are possible.
- Don’t Overdo It: Capacity cargo weight limits exist to make it clear how much your system can safely tow. Know what your tow truck is capable of and make an honest assessment of whether or not the job is right for you. Never towing a vehicle that’s beyond your capacity is one of the most crucial safety tips for truck drivers.
For more about tow truck safety and quality towing equipment, get in touch with the experts at Lift and Tow today. We’re the original creators of the hidden wheel system, offering a variety of products and solutions to fit your budget and requirements.