More from: tow operator

Lessons from Experienced Tow Operators

There are a bunch of viral videos out there showing just what can go wrong when a car is towed improperly. Not only are they good for a laugh, they also clearly define the difference between professionally-trained tow operators and amateurs. The professionals obviously possess the skills, tools, and equipment to do the job right.

The best tow operators in the business are defined by how they do what they do. For example, there are certain mistakes every professional tow operator knows to avoid. These are the same mistakes amateurs make just before they end up on viral videos. Here are four of them:

 

1. Pay Attention to Weights and Ratings

A lot of what a tow operator has to worry about is directly related to physics. For example, every tow strap and chain has a working load limit (WLL) that cannot be exceeded and still be safe. Tow operators have to pay attention. They have to understand gross vehicle weight ratings, axle weights, towing capacities, and the like.

Not paying attention to such things could mean serious trouble. Thankfully, the pros understand what’s going on. They choose the right towing straps, chains, and hooks to correctly secure vehicles before towing begins.

2. Use A Sufficient Number of Anchor Points

The tow operator who drives a flatbed wrecker rather than a standard tow truck handles vehicles in a slightly different way. He or she has to anchor the vehicle in question to the bed of the truck rather than hooking the car from underneath. Then he/she uses a series of tow straps or chains to secure the vehicle.

Amateurs who might try this with a utility trailer often fail to use enough anchor points. That is, they do not secure the vehicle to the trailer on all four corners. That’s a mistake. Professional tow operators not only know where the correct anchor points are found, but they also use all of them.

3. Always Utilize Safety Lights

How many times have you seen an amateur towing a vehicle without any kind of lighting? The vehicle being towed is not running, so brake lights and turn signals are not working. This is a recipe for disaster. Inadequate lighting is an open invitation to a rear-end collision. The pros know this, which is why they use safety lights. They activate the safety lights on their trucks and put towing lights on the back of the car.

4. Drive Cautiously

Finally, a truly wise tow truck operator knows how foolish it is to drive his or her truck the same way he/she might drive a car. Amateurs don’t know the difference. They drive as though they are not towing at all. They drive at the same speed and brake just as hard, assuming nothing bad will happen.

The secret professionals know is that all the towing straps and chains in the world aren’t enough to compensate for reckless driving. They drive cautiously whenever they have a car in tow. And it’s a good thing they do because as they know what they are doing, and they do it well, the rest of us don’t have to worry about being in danger when we come upon a tow truck or flatbed wrecker.

For the record, Mytee Products appreciates the magnificent work professional tow truck operators do every day. They put their lives on the line nearly every time they go out on a highway job. We are pleased to be able to help them by providing the reliable and heavy-duty towing equipment they need to do what they do safely.


The Subtle Difference Between Towing and Recovery Straps

Here at Mytee Products, we sell an extensive list of equipment and supplies used by tow truck operators. Among them are both towing and recovery straps. These straps may look similar in terms of size, color, etc., but they have very different properties. They are designed for different jobs as well.

The average tow operator has both kinds of straps on board. They are used to recover cars from ditches, secure cars to the backs of flatbed trucks, and even tow them with a cradle or tow bar. Straps are incredibly versatile tools that make the job of tow operators easier.

Towing Strap Basics

The first thing to note about towing straps is that they are typically made with polypropylene or Dacron so that they do not stretch. They are also fitted with hooks designed to be attached to predefined towing spots on the vehicle being transported. When used properly, towing straps will keep the vehicle secure during transport.

Tow operators will not use towing straps as their only means of securing a vehicle during transport unless the vehicle is being carried on the back of a flatbed. Otherwise, a cradle or tow bar carries most of the load while towing straps simply secure the vehicle in place. Towing straps can be used to pull a vehicle short distances so that it can be safely mounted on the tow truck.

Recovery Strap Basics

The main difference with recovery straps is the material used to make them. Rather than polypropylene or Dacron, nylon is the preferred material for recovery straps. Why? Because nylon has a bit of elasticity. This property is ideal for vehicle recovery.

Imagine a car that has gone off the interstate and now rests in a low spot in the center median. Using a towing strap to drag that car out of the ditch may work, but there is a real risk of the strap breaking. A recovery strap is what the tow operator needs.

A recovery strap’s nylon material will stretch until it reaches its limit of elasticity. At that point, the natural tendency of the material to want to return to its original, compressed state generates force that, combined with the force being exerted by the winch, helps to drag the vehicle from the ditch. It all happens with minimal risk of breakage.

Recovery efforts tend to put more stress on straps and winches than straight towing. That’s why manufacturers make the two different kinds of straps.

Using Chains for Recovery

Every experienced tow truck operator is fully aware that there are times when the stress of recovery is too great even for nylon recovery straps. The solution is either chain or winch cable. Both offer the superior tensile strength necessary for difficult recovery. The only caveat here is that chains and cables are in no way elastic. Operators have to be very careful about any shock or stress that could cause a chain or cable to snap.

This is where chain grades and working load limits come into play. Tow truck operators should never use anything less than a G70 chain for vehicle recovery. A G80 or G100 would be even better.

We Have Everything You Need

Mytee Products is happy to supply tow truck operators with everything they need for safe vehicle recovery and towing. We have a complete selection of recovery and towing straps, chains of multiple grades, hooks, and other components. If there is something you need that we don’t have, feel free to contact us anyway. We might still be able to get it for you.


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.


Tow Operators: Do Not Let Winter Catch You Off Guard

We’re just over a month into winter (astronomical winter began on December 21) and we have already seen numerous winter storms pound much of the country. From the heavy rains of Southern California to the cold, snow, and ice that has pelted the Midwest and Northeast, winter weather has tow operators working overtime to rescue stranded vehicles. As a tow operator yourself, the last thing you need is to be caught off-guard by severe winter weather.

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For many tow operators, the winter represents peak season when good money can be made on the heels of just about every storm blowing through. But to make that money, you have to be ready to work whenever the phone rings. And that means you need to have the right equipment on board – along with extra pieces just in case something breaks.

You need the following towing and auto hauling equipment, at a minimum, to make the most of your towing opportunities over the next several months:

  • Auto hauling straps – both tire straps and axle straps
  • Ratchet straps and ratchets
  • Grab hooks
  • Recovery tow straps
  • Cluster hooks
  • Towing chains with a selection of tow hooks.

We recommend tow operators audit their inventory and make sure they have a full set of everything necessary to complete the average recovery job. Then procure an extra set just in case. You might even purchase half a dozen or so extra auto hauling straps for those jobs that might require a little extra pulling or dragging.

Mytee Products also wants to remind you that quality is very important to the towing business. Quality often equates to safety, and safety is paramount in the dangerous world in which you operate. High-quality products also tend to cost less in the long run because you do not have to replace things quite as often.

Be Alert, Stay Safe

Above and beyond having the equipment you need to be a successful tow operator is the necessity to be alert in order to be safe. As you already know, working on America’s highways and byways is dangerous at any time of year. The danger is exacerbated by winter weather that can reduce visibility, create slippery roads, and so on. It only takes one second of carelessness to create potentially dangerous circumstances.

When you are a recovering vehicle during bad winter weather, do your best to position your truck in a way that will both aid in the recovery and protect you as much is possible. Also, always keep one eye on traffic during an operation. The simple act of being aware of what’s going on around you could make the difference should something unfortunate transpire during a recovery.

Lastly, remember that even your tow truck is not impervious to winter weather. Be sure to keep a few basic supplies on board until the weather improves. That includes extra gloves, hats, and boots along with a blanket or two and a basic first aid kit.

We Have What You Need

Mytee Products is proud to be able to support the towing industry with a full line of straps, chains and hooks. We have everything you need to make the most of the winter towing season regardless of where you operate. Furthermore, we are committed to offering our customers only the highest quality products at very competitive prices.

Before the next winter storm strikes, go through your equipment to make sure you are fully stocked. Then contact Mytee Products for any items you need to complete your inventory. Order online, and we will ship it to your location right away.