How To Become A Tow Truck Operator Using These Tips
October 4, 2019 490 views
A Collection of Resources For Becoming A Tow Truck Operator
Tow truck drivers are usually in demand depending on the area. During your day sometimes you’ll be slow and sometimes you’ll be swamped with calls, especially in bad weather. Many times during bad weather you’ll be working extra hours because of the number of calls that come in. During summer it slows down compared to winter and you’ll most likely be working on vehicles that have flat tires, and breakdowns or people have forgotten their keys in their car.
Accidents happen year-round and naturally, occur more during stormy weather. Most tow truck businesses run 24 /7. You may be working on long shifts from time to time depending on the amount of staff available.
Keep in mind recovery work may be dangerous if you’re changing a flat tire on a busy highway, or trying to get a vehicle out of a ditch or mountainside. You need to take care of securing the area and with difficult recoveries, you want to make sure you’re using the winch in a way that is not over its capacity, cables can snap and swirl out of control, which is very dangerous. You also need to position your truck in a way that is safe and has the most leverage when using the winch.
One thing to keep in mind about this type of career is you may be involved in repo work and will need to repossess vehicles, which may be uncomfortable. Another uncomfortable thought is tow truck drivers may be at the scene of accidents during fatalities which is hard for many people to deal with.
You’ll need to be familiar with the different types of hoists and how to hookup and chain a vehicle properly to the truck. You can’t just hook a chain to the bumper of the vehicle, like in the old days, there are special points to hook up. You may need to use a flatbed which requires you to load a vehicle on the bed of the truck and use T-hooks and chains to secure it to the bed.
You’ll need to be able to do minor mechanical work, like jump-starting vehicles with dead or weak batteries, change tires, refuel vehicles and get them started. You’ll also need to learn how to use lockout tools to get into vehicles that owners have locked their keys in.
As a tow truck operator, you need to deal with traffic and getting to a stranded motorist in a timely manner. You also need to complete each job as quickly as possible because the calls can come in at the same time and you can easily fall behind with a stream of calls.
With any career, it’s best to get a taste of what the career is like before you spend time and money getting certified. If you can find a tow truck operator that will allow you to shadow them, you’ll be able to get an inside view of what it will be like to have this career.
The one thing about tow truck drivers is there is always a demand for it this type of job. It won’t be automated in our lifetime.
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