Digital Edition
Click Here
The Week's Features
Cleveland: Aug.19-22; Las Vegas: Sept. 9-12; San Antonio: Oct. 16-18
Wheels deep in mud pose no problem for B&F Towing
Aqua and gray tribal patterns highlight this beauty
Production of Mack’s MD6 and MD7 will begin in July 2020
Epidemic has brings changes that may affect the repo business
Dates for Cleveland, Las Vegas, and San Antonio shows moved forward to August, September and October
American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in Towing April 01 - April 07, 2020

Spotters for Rotators, Heavy Wreckers

image7 6a8f2By Randall C. Resch

I taught a California Highway Patrol Operator's safety course recently that included tow operators of all ages and experience levels. At the start of every class, I hold a safety briefing to remind all hands to have their heads on a swivel; especially when tow trucks, carriers and forklifts are on the move during techniques and scenarios.

About mid-way through one class, a young tower wasn't paying attention as a carrier was backing up across the yard. When I saw his actions, I immediately stopped the class. His naïve, but unintentional, movement seemed like the perfect segue to have a discussion regarding the safety and dangers of backing up.

Too Often

Many years ago as a budding tow driver, my dad gave us his version of on-scene, in-the-yard, backing safety. It was simple and to the point, "Don't put your wrecker in any location where you have to back up unnecessarily."

In our line of work, it's not always possible to avoid backing.

At the San Diego Police Department, their own policy says, "If there are two officers in a police vehicle, the passenger officer will exit (the) vehicle and provide a visual, 'second set of eyes' to the backing movement."

If a two-officer police car had an incident while backing, both the vehicle's driver and the second officer would be held accountable. Officers working alone were required to make a full walkaround of their car before travel.

How many of you take a walkaround of your tow trucks and carriers to see if there are any obstacles or other persons before you drive off?

Who's to Help?

Enlisting a spotter is a perfect-world situation if there are others around to become your spotter. Many of the world's tow companies are mom-and-pop operations and spotter availability is not always possible. Still, the truck's operator must be aware of their surroundings at all time.

The same applies when you're on the road. Due to the sheer size, bulk and blind spots, every backing movement can be potentially deadly. A solid set of hand signals is the best way to communicate between the tow truck's driver and the spotter that's behind them.

In this litigious time for accidents and injury, not having written narrative in your company's employee handbook could weigh heavy on the outcome of the lawsuit. When these situations occur, an injured plaintiff or representative of the deceased will assuredly attack your tow operator's driving record, their background and your company's training.

If your company's employee handbook makes no mention of safe-backing protocol, the total price of a lawsuit could be monumentally increased. It may not be not fair, but failing to make any attempt to prevent a backing incident plants the seed of incompetency. It makes perfect sense to include a spotter when big rigs are backing up. Like other dangerous tow-related situations, get people out of harm's way.

Randall Resch is American Towman's and Tow Industry Week's Operations Editor, a former California police officer, tow business owner and retired civilian off-road instructor for Navy Special Warfare. Randall is an approved instructor for towers serving the California Highway Patrol's rotation contract. His course is approved by the California law enforcement community. He has written over 500 industry-related articles for print and on-line, is a member of the International Towing & Recovery Hall of Fame, and, a recipient of the 2017 Dave Jones Leadership Award.


Click here to read more
"Call volume for tow operations will begin to rise and be back strong by summer."
RECOVERY ROUNDUP: Jerr-Dan Quad of Wreckers Staged during Recovery in Mountainous Oregon
Don't Miss It!
Join industry trainer Bobby Tuttle of CIRT as he discusses options for how to safely recover all sizes of wrecked vehicles when entangled in the cable barrier systems. Discusses issues with releasing the tension of the cable barrier system. His seminar, “Recovery from Median Cable Barriers Systems,” will take place during Tow Industry Week at the Westgate Paradise & Pavilion in Las Vegas, Nevada, Sept. 9-12, 2020.

atshowplace.com

--Charles Duke
By Don Lomax
Click to enlarge


How does your company handle employee healthcare benefits?
We pay 100% of employee premiums
We pay a fraction of employee premiums
Our employees pay 100% of the premiums
Our company does not offer healthcare benefits
homediv
Editor: Charles Duke
Managing Editor: Brendan Dooley
Media Director: William Burwell
ATTV Editor & Anchor: Emily Oz
Advertising Sales (800-732-3869):
Dennie Ortiz x213, Ellen Rosengart x203,
William Burwell x208, Peggy Calabrese x202
Content Management: Henri Calitri
Site Progr., Graphics & Video: Ryan Oser
ATTV Technical Production: OMG National
Wrecks + Recovery Editor: Jim "Buck" Sorrenti
Operations Editor: Randall C. Resch
Tow Business Editor: Brian J. Riker
Tow Illustrated Editor: George L. Nitti
logotype
April 01 - April 07, 2020
Scott Wheeler, owner of Metro Towing in Joplin, Missouri, says he’s happy to offer free roadside assistance to folks who are stuck trying to get home. Image - koamnewsnow.com.


homediv
logotype
April 01 - April 07, 2020
Miller Industries has developed an icon to represent the towing and recovery industry within the First Responder family. Files of the icon can be downloaded from their news website at news.millerind.com.
homediv
American Towman Exposition Gallery
homediv
homediv
Rate how they handled this recovery
Great job on a challenging recovery.
Hit all the basics on this one. Thumbs up.
Creative approach on this recovery. Good job.
I would approach this recovery differently.
Vehicle(s) could be rigged more efficiently.
More trucks were needed.
logotype
April 01 - April 07, 2020
homediv


Danbury, CT
$88
(pop. 80,893)

San Angelo, TX
$85
(pop. 100,450)

Toms River, NJ
$125
(pop. 92,093)

Boulder, CO
$89
(pop. 97,385)

Light-Duty nonconsensual tow rates as provided by Police Towers of America.
logotype
April 01 - April 07, 2020
homediv
homediv
homediv
logotype
April 01 - April 07, 2020
homediv
logotype
April 01 - April 07, 2020
homediv
homediv
homediv
logotype
April 01 - April 07, 2020
Show More
homediv homediv
logotype
April 01 - April 07, 2020
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich is calling on financial and lending institutions to halt repossessions, foreclosures and evictions for at least 90 days. Image – ABC 15 Arizona.
homediv
Translate Page
Contact Us
© 2020  Tow Industry Week/American Towman Media, Inc.