Being a tow truck operator has its ups and downs. It can often be a tough job that can be extremely dangerous if you don’t take the proper precautions. Whether you are new to the industry or are an experienced professional operator, consider the following tips to keep safe so you can keep others on the road safe.
- Maintain Your Tow Truck
- Dress Appropriately
- Safety on the Scene
- Carry These Items
Tip 1: Maintain Your Tow Truck
Tow truck operator safety starts by regularly inspecting your tow truck and equipment. There are several things you can do to maintain your tow truck. Here are just a few:
- Give your tow truck a thorough inspection. Check the engine, coolants, battery, and brakes. If something needs fixing you want to know about it sooner than later.
- Check your tires. From the tire pressure to the tread. Worn out and bald tires will not have the traction you need to stay steady while on the road. Don’t forget to check your spare tires, too. You’ll want them to be ready for action when you need them most.
- Other important things to check. Take a look at all cables, connectors, and winches to see if they are in good condition.
You can create a checklist to ensure you check what’s important and that you have everything you’ll need while on the job.
Tip 2: Dress Appropriately
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is a key part of keeping tow truck operators safe on the job. Here are a few key items that you should wear:
- High-visibility clothing. Stay safe while you work by wearing bright colored clothing or a yellow fluorescent safety vest that meets the American National Standards Institute
- Appropriate footwear. Foot injuries are one of the most common injuries among tow truck operators. Your footwear should be protective, warm, and have good traction. Invest in a good pair of steel-toed boots to minimize the possibility of foot injuries.
- Weather appropriate gear. In extreme seasons, whether you are in freezing temperatures or hot temperatures, being prepared with the right clothes can keep you protected.
Tip 3: Safety on the Scene
- Be visible. Increasing the visibility of your tow truck and most importantly yourself. Make sure you are using flashing lights and reflectors on your tow truck.
- Drive cautiously. Drive slowly when heading to the scene and be aware of your surroundings at all times. Always maintain safe distances from other vehicles on the road to minimize the chance of an accident.
- Stop, look, and listen. In the perfect scenario, you would only work from the passenger side, but this isn’t always the case. If you have to work on the traffic side stay safe by using cones, flares,
Tip 4: Carry these Items
The change in season means the sun is going down earlier and earlier every night. Keep a battery or crank operated flashlight with your gear in your truck.
- Road flares/reflectors. Always carry extra road flares and reflectors. These help you be seen by other vehicles on the road.
- Communication devices. Always keep a phone or a radio on you at all times when on the job. These are essential in requesting assistance if an incident where to happen
- Extra safety apparel. Have extra safety apparel for backup in case of an emergency. Include an extra safety vest, work gloves, and safety helmet.
Whether you are a new tow truck operator or an experienced one, your safety should be top priority. With these tips you can won’t have a doubt or concern about your safety. Drive safe and have fun!
Check out these other articles for more tips:
Gearing Up for Winter: Tips for Towing During the Winter Months
Keeping Tow Trucks Tidy: 6 Tips and Tricks
Top 5 Tow Tips for Making Your Workday Better