More from: tow truck operators

What It Takes to Be a Good Tow-Truck Operator

On any given day throughout the country, an army of tow-truck operators takes to the roads with a single mission of helping stranded motorists recover their cars. It is often a thankless job that does not get enough attention when folks are talking about career options. Nonetheless, tow-truck operators contribute to the fabric of the U.S. economy by providing a very valuable service.

 

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What you may not know is that being a good tow-truck operator requires more than just knowing how to load a car onto a flatbed or hook it with a tow bar. It also requires the right equipment. It requires knowing how to use that equipment within a variety of  towing and recovery scenarios.

Towing and Recovery Equipment

There are many kinds of jobs that fall under the towing and recovery banner. The most common jobs involve towing broken down cars to the garage for repairs. Drivers need a full box of tools and auto towing and hauling equipment, such as:

  • Chain bridles with J-hooks
  • Long shank J-hooks
  • Tow chain clusters
  • Cluster hooks
  • Safety chains

Using any of the items listed above requires a good understanding of working load limits (WLL). Pieces should be stamped with a WLL, which should not be exceeded. Experienced tow drivers know that WLL can be maxed out when you are talking about securing a stationary vehicle for transport. The same cannot be said during a recovery operation when pulling a vehicle out of a ditch or through a snow drift adds to the load. A general rule dictates you need more equipment with higher WLLs for recovery than for transport.

Transport Equipment

In the arena of vehicle transport, there are multiple scenarios to account for, each with a unique equipment list. A tow operator may be hauling a wrecked vehicle on a flatbed or with a tow bar, and have no real need to protect the car due to it being a total loss. Then there are repossessions and basic transport of classic or exotic cars.

Other than hauling wrecks, vehicle transport is undertaken with the knowledge that the operator must deliver the vehicle in the same condition it was in at pick-up. Drivers use a variety of thing, including:

  • Tire straps with J-hooks
  • Side mount wheel nets
  • Axle straps with snap hooks
  • Cluster ratchet straps
  • Winch straps
  • Grab hooks

Like with towing and recovery, WLLs have to be part of the equation when securing a vehicle for transport. Additionally, tow operators need to know how to hook and secure cars without damaging anything underneath. This is not as easy as it sounds. One car may be okay with grab hooks on the axles and straps around the tires, while another should never have anything on the axles.

It should be clear that the best equipment in the business is only as good as a driver’s knowledge of how to use it. Therefore, the last thing the tow driver needs to be very good at what he or she does is a strong knowledge of how to use every tool in his or her box in the best way possible.

A good tow truck operator is like an engineer. He or she understands the mechanics, he/she has the tools, and he/she knows how to apply both to get the job done. Mytee Products is honored to be able to serve America’s tow-truck operators with a full line of auto towing supplies. We have everything tow truck operators need for towing, recovery, and transport – from chains to hooks to auto hauling straps.

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That Moment When Towing Chains and Hooks Are Your Best Friend

It is probably safe to say that we know very little about the daily job of a tow-truck operator. Sure, we know they drive trucks capable of getting us out of a jam in inclement weather or after an accident, but we don’t know much more than that. It’s also safe to say that we don’t know much about the towing chains, hooks and most auto hauling equipment truck operators invest in.

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Every profession has its ‘tools of the trade’, and towing is no different. Towing chains and hooks are among the many tools of the towing industry. You might even make the case that they are the most important tools. Without them, it would be impossible to tow a vehicle behind a truck, secure it on a flatbed, or even pull it out of the ditch. It is no stretch to say that the towing chain and hook have been a motorist’s best friend on more than one occasion.

Wherever There Is Bad Weather

Retrieving a broken-down car from a department store parking lot or a residential driveway is the easy part of towing. The hard part is heading out onto the interstate to recover vehicles lost in bad weather. No one knows this better than the tow-truck drivers of California. Wherever there is bad weather, you’ll see an army of dedicated drivers recovering vehicles in all kinds of conditions.

California’s recent weather has been all about torrential rains. After suffering through years of extended drought, it looks like Mother Nature is looking to make up the Golden State’s water deficit in one fell swoop. Motorists are paying the price.

One late January storm was significant enough to cause California Governor Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency for several counties. The governor’s action proved wise. Between flash flooding, mudslides, downed trees and power lines, and a seemingly endless list of closed roadways, it was hard to get around during the storm. But the weather didn’t stop the tow truck operators.

With towing chains and hooks on board, the men and women of California’s towing industry hit the streets in an effort to help stranded motorists. Some cars were pulled out of ditches while others were rescued from raging floodwaters. It was all in a day’s work for the tow operators.

Sometimes Tow Trucks Need Help

That moment when towing chains and hooks are your best friend doesn’t apply only to stranded motorists. For example, parts of California were hit with a late December snowstorm that caused Caltrans to close state Route 38 near Big Bear.

Chains are required on all vehicles driving through this mountainous region of Southern California during the winter, but that particular night saw chains snap on multiple vehicles that were subsequently stranded. The snow was so deep and difficult that even three tow trucks got stuck trying to help. It was quite a scene.

The point to all of this, is that we average motorists rely a lot more on tow truck operators than we realize. Whenever there’s a breakdown or a stranded or wrecked vehicle, it is the tow operator who comes to the rescue. We rely on them just as they rely on their towing chains and hooks to get the job done.

If you are a tow-truck operator, you deserve our thanks and appreciation. Mytee Products invites you to browse our selection of tow chains, hooks, and other supplies for your operation. All our towing equipment is manufactured to the highest possible standards. You’ll find our products tough, reliable, and fairly priced.

Sources:

1. KTLA – http://ktla.com/2017/01/23/showers-to-continue-monday-after-weekend-downpours-break-records-prompt-evacuations/
2. KTLA – http://ktla.com/2016/12/24/more-than-100-cars-3-tow-trucks-stuck-in-snow-near-big-bear-on-state-route-38-road-closed/

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