Towing Lights to Hauling Straps: There’s A Lot to Towing

There are lots of jobs that appear easier than they are. Take tow truck driving, for example. To the untrained eye, driving a tow truck seems a simple matter. You just hook up the car and go, right? Wrong. From towing lights and hauling straps to anticipating oncoming traffic, an awful lot goes into towing safely.

Tow truck operators are among the hardest working people on America’s roads. They toil around the clock, under all sorts of weather and traffic conditions, to recover broken down and damaged cars. Often times they put their lives on the line to do so. Here at Mytee Products, we have the utmost respect for America’s tow operators.

Things They Worry About

Tow operators are not unlike workers in any other sector in that there are job-related things they always have to worry about. Before the start of every shift, the driver has to check his toolboxes to make sure he has everything he needs for the day. Are his towing chains and hooks in good working order? Does he need a few more auto hauling straps? Are the strobe bar and marker light both working?

Having the necessary equipment is just the start. The tow truck operator also has to make sure the truck itself is in good working order. There are tires, winches, and flatbed inspections to do. Even simple things like windshield wipers and checking oil and transmission fluid levels has to be taken care of.

Once on the road, the tow truck operator has to worry about everything from traffic conditions to weather. Recovering a vehicle in a parking lot or driveway is pretty straightforward, but if the tow operator is trying to pull a stranded car out of a ditch alongside a snowy highway, that’s another deal altogether.

Tow truck operators always have to keep an eye on traffic. Whether they are securing a wreck to a flatbed with hauling straps or using a chain and winch to recover a wreck, oncoming traffic always poses a significant risk. Wise tow truck operators know enough to expect trouble. Managing a recovery without any incidents is a bonus.

Taking Some of the Worry Away

The crew here at Mytee Products obviously cannot do a lot to help tow drivers stay safe. There is not a lot we can do to make sure their days go smoothly. But we can take some of the worry away by stocking the equipment supplies they need to do their jobs. That is exactly what we do.

Our inventory of auto towing and hauling equipment starts with a full range of hauling straps to meet a variety of needs. For example, we carry tire straps with swivel J hooks and rubber pads for securing cars around the wheels. We also have side mount wheel nets as well.

Moving on, our inventory of G70 towing chains and hooks are the real beef of any towing operation. Rest assured that all our chains and hooks are made to meet or exceed all regulations and industry standards. We do not carry junk chains and hooks drivers can’t rely on.

Last is our selection of towing lights. We carry these products because we believe in the safety-first mentality. We want tow truck operators to have a full selection of towing lights usable in virtually any scenario.

There is a lot to tow truck operation than meets the eye. Our hats are off to America’s tow operators from coast-to-coast. Thank you for the tough work you do to make life better for the rest of us.


Testing Hay Moisture: 3 Things You Need to Know

The final harvest of hay for the year is now past for all but a small handful of operations in the deep South. For everyone else, hay has been baled and put into storage. That does not mean the work is done, though. Any hay producer who wants his/her crop to maintain its value must be diligent about measuring moisture levels throughout the winter months.

Every hay producer knows that moisture is the enemy. Moisture promotes the growth of mold and fungus; it encourages critters to take up residence in stored bales, and it creates conditions that can eventually lead to a catastrophic fire. It is not enough to bale your hay and throw it under a tarp until spring. You have to keep an eye on it throughout the winter. To that end, below are three things every hay producer should know.

1. The Problem with Moisture

Before we even get to talking about the electronic moisture tester, we need to address the question of why moisture levels need to be checked. As you know, hay that has too much moisture is no better than hay that is too dry. Farmers are typically looking for an 18% to 20% moisture content.

Hay with too much moisture is an open invitation to fungus and mold. Both are living organisms that consume moisture as they propagate. Here’s the problem: fungus and mold put off heat as they feed and multiply. At the same time, they also break down proteins in the hay. The combination of increased heat and less structural integrity within the hay stacks can lead to fire.

2. Testing before Baling

The easiest and most effective way to test hay for moisture is to use an electronic moisture tester. Note that readings are more accurate with higher volumes of hay. Therefore, the general rule is to fill a bucket with hay that is tightly compacted. Then simply insert the tester probe and let it do its thing.

Once an initial reading has been obtained, mix up the hay and pack it down again. Then take another reading. Repeat the process several times to get the most accurate reading, then measure hay from different parts of your field the same way. Multiple testing accounts for different conditions in different areas.

3. Testing after Baling

Testing baled hay is a lot easier. Just choose a bale, insert the moisture tester, and take a reading. However, there is one caveat: the density of hay in a given bale is not uniform throughout. Therefore, you have to take multiple readings from each bale to get the most accurate number.

Make sure to space out your insertion points to get a good representation of the entire bale rather than just the center. If you get high readings, keep a close eye on things until the readings come down. If you have to open bales to let someone moisture out, it is better than risking spoiled hay or a fire.

One last tip is to pay attention to the variation in readings. This applies to both baled and hay in the windrow. A significant variation across a single field or storage area suggests it would be best to take new readings every couple of day until things level off. Your hay is out of the danger zone when it is consistently coming in at 18% to 20%.

Are you in the market for a new moisture tester? If so, Mytee Products has you covered. Take a look at both of our moisture testers from Agratronix. Either should meet your needs.


What Does a Good Trailer Loading Ramp Kit Look Like?

Trailer loading ramps are yet another tool that flatbed truck drivers use to get cargo in place. But loading ramps for tractor-trailers are far different from the DIY ramps you might use on a small home utility trailer. They are much larger, much longer, and a lot stronger.

Mytee Products sells trailer loading ramps along with all the accessories truck drivers need to utilize them. If you are new to flatbed trucking, you might need an entire kit to start from scratch. Please note that our kits come with absolutely everything you need for loading ramp deployment. Other kits may not be as extensive as ours.

So what does a good trailer loading ramp kit look like? It contains the following:

Single Ramps

Obviously, every loading ramp kit will come with at least two single ramps; one for the left side and one for the right. Our kits come with two sets of 18″ x 96″ ramps with a capacity of 23,500 pounds. These ramps are sturdy enough to be used as load levelers for timber loads as well.

Adjustable Stands

Ramp stands provide the support underneath while loads are driven up the ramps. They are also sold in pairs; one for the left side and another for the right. Our ramp stands are adjustable from 18 to 24 inches to account for different trailer heights.

Aluminum Skid Seats

Skid seats are mounted on the back of a trailer to provide an anchor for locking ramps in place. Once locked, ramps cannot pull away from the trailer. They are also sold in pairs; one pair for the bottom deck and another for the upper deck.

Ramp Hangers

Ramp hangers make it possible to carry trailer loading ramps from one job to the next without taking up valuable space on the flatbed. They are mounted to the main trailer frame using heavy-duty bolts. The ramp hangers in our kit are double hangers, meaning there are slots for two ramps. Two sets of hangers would allow for carrying a total of four ramps; two on each side.

Ramps Stand Hangers

If you are going to carry loading ramps on the trailer, you’re going to have to carry ramp stands as well. A good trailer loading ramp kit includes one hanger for each stand. Again, these hangers are mounted on the main truck frame, either in front of or behind the ramp hangers.

Ramp Wedges

Finally, ramp wedges are fixed to the lower ends of ramps to provide a smooth transition between the ground and the ramp. This allows for smoother loading while also reducing the risk of ramp movement during loading. Most loading ramps require the use of a wedge.

Mytee Products offers flatbed truck drivers a trailer loading ramp master kit that contains all the above components along with a few extras. For example, we also include a lightweight dolly that makes moving ramps around nearly effortless. Using a dolly is a lot less strenuous than trying to carry unwieldy ramps without assistance.

Please feel free to check out our ramp kit at your earliest convenience. Our website details everything that comes in the ramp kit for your convenience. If you do not need the entire kit, we do sell individual pieces as well. Rest assured that all our loading ramps and accessories are made right here in the USA to the highest possible standards.

If you’re unsure about anything included in our ramp kit, please don’t hesitate to ask. We want you to be fully informed and completely comfortable with your purchase before you buy.


Towing Lights: A Matter of Personal Safety

Some of the things we sell at Mytee Products are designed for the sole purpose of making the lives of truck drivers easier and more productive. Towing lights are not one of them. We sell towing lights to tow truck drivers and fleet owners because it is a matter of life and death. Towing lights are very much a matter of personal safety.

As we all know, tow trucks come with a range of safety lights already on board. For example, a light bar mounted to the top of the truck cab is standard. The towing lights we sell are considered accessories. Rather than being permanently affixed to the tow truck, they are temporarily affixed to the vehicle being towed so as to make it more visible to drivers who may not be paying close attention.

Traffic: The Biggest Hazard

Driving a tow truck is certainly not an easy or terribly safe job. In fact, it is one of the most dangerous jobs in the U.S. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) numbers from 2016, some 745 drivers were killed in 2015. Far too many died in accidents involving oncoming traffic.

Traffic is the tow truck operator’s biggest hazard. Whether people are tired, distracted, or just not paying attention, it only takes one momentary lapse for the driver of an oncoming car to strike a tow truck operator or his/her vehicle.

Unfortunately, there is only so much that drivers can do to protect themselves. At the top of the list is making themselves and their vehicles more visible. That is what towing lights are all about. Lights make a tow truck and the vehicle being towed more visible to traffic moving in both directions. Second, drivers have to pay close attention to everything going on around them; they must have eagle eyes whenever they are working.

The Operator’s Inventory

Mytee Products recommends tow truck operators keep at least a basic inventory of lights on board. A good inventory starts with at least one light bar that includes turn signal capabilities. A 360-degree strobe that can be easily placed on top of the towed vehicle should also be part of a basic inventory, along with a heavy-duty flashlight that doubles as a chemical-free flare.

There are plenty of other towing lights an operator can add to his/her inventory. The three mentioned here represent only a starting point. The more lights an operator has at his or her disposal, the more visible the tow truck and tow vehicle will be.

We also recommend going with rechargeable towing lights rather than traditional corded models. Rechargeable lights are faster and much easier to deploy in emergency situations. As long as the operator keeps batteries charged, lights will provide hours of reliable service.

Safety Is Always the Priority

As a tow truck operator or fleet owner, what is your first priority? It ought to be driver safety. No car is valuable enough to risk the safety of someone trying to tow it. No job is so important that tow truck drivers should put themselves at risk unnecessarily. There are already enough hazards to worry about in the towing industry; drivers don’t need to add the lack of a safety-first mindset to the list.

Safety should always the priority for tow truck operators. To that end, towing lights are a valuable safety tool in that they make tow trucks and their cargo more visible to other drivers. Mytee Products is proud to serve America’s tow truck operators with a full line of equipment and supplies, including towing lights.


Tow Truck Drivers: Get Ready for a Busy Winter

When the temperatures drop and the snow begins to fly, tow truck operators know the busy season is coming. They know the coming months will have them towing cars that are blocking plows, pulling cars out of ditches, and rescuing stranded vehicles with dead batteries and alternators. It is all part of the fun of operating a tow truck for a living.

Our advice to tow truck drivers is to get ready for a busy winter. The season is still early, and we have already seen a number of pretty significant storms across the plains states, storms that left cars stranded in their wake. If these early storms are any indication, the winter of 2017/2018 is going to be a busy one.

Inspect All Your Equipment

The tools of the trade for tow truck drivers include ratchet tire straps, wheel nets, lasso straps, recovery and towing straps, axle straps, and bridal straps with hooks. It goes without saying that every tow truck needs to be stocked with an ample supply of these tools at all times. A driver never knows when something will be needed.

If you haven’t already done so, take the time to inspect all your auto towing and hauling equipment. You want to check the integrity of each piece along with knowing that you have an ample supply of everything you expect to need. Any straps or hooks that show even minor signs of wear should be addressed. Some will be repairable while others will have to be replaced.

We encourage tow truck drivers to be especially careful with recovery straps. You can make the case that they take the most abuse among all the tools in the tow operator’s toolbox, and it only takes one small defect to create a dangerous situation during a vehicle recovery.

Perform Ratchet Maintenance

Nothing is worse than trying to use a rusty ratchet on a cold winter day. Now is the time to go through and look at all your ratchets for signs that they need routine maintenance. Dirty ratchets should be cleaned and oiled to ensure they continue to function. Worn and damaged ratchets may have to be replaced.

Remember that when threading a ratchet, the strap should come in from underneath, then over the spool and out the top. If you come in from the top you risk jamming the strap in the spool mechanism to the point that you cannot get the ratchet undone on the other end. You would be forced to use a risky tactic that could damage your strap or cause injury. Remember: always thread straps through the bottom of the ratchet.

Get Plenty of Rest

The only tip we can offer above and beyond inspecting and maintaining your equipment is to make sure you get plenty of rest. There are going to be some long days and nights ahead, and you cannot afford to be unnecessarily tired during the peak of the winter season. So leave off the fun times and partying until spring. Your off time during the winter should be spent with family and getting as much rest as you can.

Mytee Products Has What You Need

Rest assured that we have everything you need for a busy winter towing season. Our entire inventory of towing equipment and supplies is available on our website for those who want to order online. If you are anywhere near Aurora, Ohio, we invite you to come visit us in person. One of our helpful towing experts will be more than happy to work with you to complete your towing supplies inventory.