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Showing content with the highest reputation since 04/19/2019 in all areas

  1. 5 points
    Ron ... you asked for a rant, or, a rah rah speech? Well ... here ya' go. No ... I'm not a state association, yet simply, a concerned individual who's worked much of my adult career training police officers and tow truck operators. For 30-plus years, I've been a career instructor and technical writer teaching white-line safety and the TIMs concept for tow operators. I have had my legs broken by an out-of-control vehicle while I worked a highway patrol recovery some 40-year's ago. I know what it's like to being critically injured at the hands of some motorhead because they were driving too fast for conditions in the rain. I know what it's like to think and rethink that incident asking, "What I could have done better to have lessened my on-scene exposure?" I felt guilty for having totaled my bosses tow truck, but, only because I was there to help serve law enforcement, not because it was my fault. It was at that very moment where I committed myself to learning and practicing on-scene safety. Since then, I have tracked highway related fatalities that go back as far as 1934, with nearly 950-operators killed for varying reasons; as many as 350-of those killed on the highways. I have written and reported on tow operator fatalities, helped bury many police officer and tow operator friends killed in the line-of-duty to the point I have grown weary of the repeated slaughter. But, I haven't lost my inner-fire with simple hopes that we'll somehow recognize a way to reduce the pandemic of tow operators killed. But, that comes with stirring the emotions of some tow operators and tow business owners who don't give a care about what their doing or how they're going about their daily tasks. We know that flares, signs, blockers, cops and whatever ... does take extra time, but the very fact of identifying a work-space that says, "HERE I AM", should be worth the time it takes. There are lessons to be learned here people ... we're not reinventing the wheel, but simply demand, "Do what you have to to make yourself seen; don't stand in active traffic lanes and stay OFF the white-line side." That's no-brainer stuff. How hard can that be? Sure there are incidents where distracted drivers will continue to crash into us working the highways. But, lessons learned from 350-tow operator fatalities has clearly identified that working on or near the white-line side is THE most dangerous place to be. Need I say more? I am a realist that understands that DUI's, texting and motoring stupidity are here to stay. Towers continue to put themselves in harms way. No ... not because of a lack of training, is it too much testosterone, or is it that overflowing macho that says, "Nothin's gonna' happen to me?" Without concern for hurting anyone's sensibilities, tower's ... stop worrying about the cops not being there, state associations not being involved, or those damned non-concerned highway drivers. You have NO control over what they do, but you have every bit of control about where you work and what you do to help save your individual life. It's your professional skills and on-scene processes that you that prayerfully will keep your name from being part of my fatality archives. Take control of your actions and stop worrying about what everyone else is doing. You should be telling yourself ... "Not me, not today", preparing yourself mentally that no punk driver is going to take you out based on your carelessness or complacency. On-scene safety is every operator's choice ... and NO amount of hand-holding or coddling by others will help keep you safe more than your own actions. In a nutshell, the cops aren't helping, the associations haven't stepped up and the motoring public simply doesn't give a crap. To me ... that presents a bleak picture of the industry's future. I will continue to help spread the word of safety and survival where I can. But, I can only pray for your safety. It's that, "lead them to water", kinda' thing. R
  2. 4 points
    We're never too far from an American flag, in fact the first picture here is our t shirt design but I had them add a bigger flag. We participate in both the Memorial Day and 4th of July parades each year with our flags flying high and proud. *Edited to add this year's 4th of July parade photo
  3. 4 points
    Randall, it's not the "we don't want to hurt anyone's feelings" attitude. It's the "it's never going to happen to me" attitude. If you can tell me what miracle it will take to wake these individuals in the industry up, then I will gladly help promote it. You do realize less the .5 percent of the industry can tell you how many tow operators have loss their lives roadside this year. I estimate that Less than 4% know there was a Tow Op killed this past Friday and as long as it doesn't effect them. They're Good...
  4. 4 points
    jrtowman

    Big changes in a year!

    Top picture was a year ago today and the bottom is what it looks like now.
  5. 3 points
    Orcas Tow

    Scooby Doo almost into house.

    I had a call for a Subaru into a house. I arrived on scene to find a Subaru had gone beyond the parking blocks & was resting on the house with the transmission pan on top of a large cinder block. Probably could have used the flatbed but thought it may drag trans pan across cinder block & create a mess, needed lift on both front wheels but that would take 2 wreckers. I'm a small operation on a remote island, so if possible I always try & use what I have on scene. Using my 2001 F550 4x4 with a Chevron 408, twin 9,000 winches with swaged 3/8 wire rope I found a Holmes Tree placed about perfectly on the passenger side of the car for my needs. Using a ladder I choked a 3/8"grade 80- recovery chain/4 ton snatchblock up high on the tree for a high/rearward pull on the passenger side of the Subaru with my drivers side wire rope terminating to a WreckMaster K strap to the passenger front wheel, rigged my passenger side line directly to the Subarus drivers front wheel again terminating with a WreckMaster K strap/4x4 wood block creating clearance for strap to body. Boom up/out high for lift, blocks behind wheels for safety I engaged winches & brought the car back up onto level ground without any further damage to the house or car. Replaced blocks & confirmed no undercarriage damage, happy customer.
  6. 3 points
    Orcas Tow

    Scooby Doo almost into house.

    Thank you for the kind words, as you know most times we are under some kind of push from Law Enforcement, customer, time/safety to clear or simply the next call pending so we get the job done. Every once in a while I get one that is not time sensitive, am able to document & share for the better of the industry as a whole as you can explain techniques all day long but pictures are worth a thousand words.
  7. 3 points
    Njsss

    F450

  8. 3 points
    EdsTowing

    Pics Say A Thousand Words...

    The Boys were out tonight on the Interstate to bring in a F550 with a Turbo issue. The message board is really worthwhile to keep people moved over if possible.
  9. 3 points
    Hi John ... it's always so very exciting to hear from you across the pond. I hope you and your business are doing well. Thanks for your comments and I personally won't apologize for offending other towers when it comes to ... as you've so eloquently described ... "self-preservation". Perhaps that's one of the reasons why this industry is behind the curve is because we don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. Will towers ever wake up? Highway related fatalities are traced back to 1934 and the same old pig headed mistakes and actions have resulted in literally hundreds of towers killed. And, Like me and you John, I'm pretty sure most towers have their own "struck-by" stories to tell ... some non-preventable. Like the over-use and abuse of amber-light on all the time, perhaps the current feeling is ... "Nah ... it's just another tower killed ... glad it's not me." I guess we've grown numb to the root causes that continue to get tower's killed, but I'm interested in the tower you talked with about no safety vest. At some point John, if you do talk with the company's owner, please share what his reaction were. Best regard. R.
  10. 3 points
    Randall.....that is the most sobering and accurate piece of text I have read in a long time ....you are bang on the money !!! I too in my career have been hit twice, my son Graham had his leg smashed, we had 2 other guys also injured on seperate occasions, both had life changing injuries, Additionally we lost long term employee Terry Booth ......Terry died at the side of a busy road in the middle of the night....witnesses at the inquest testified that his truck was properly positioned with cones out and lit up like a, quote ... "Christmas tree" he had a comprehensive training record with all the regular refreshers ... And STILL it happened !!! The woman driver that hit him was DUI and went to jail ....my point is ...on this occasion all the training he had did not save him .. I whole heartedly agree with your points about self preservation at the roadside ...... Just this morning, on my way to the supermarket , I saw a tow truck at the side of the road half on the kerb and half on the carriageway......apart from the beacons on there was no cones or warning signs displayed the operator had no reflective clothing on, just shorts and tee shirt and worst of all, he was working on the traffic side of the truck ....I stopped and parked my car behind him with the hazard warning lights on....as a bit of warning to other traffic .... I said to the driver, don't you have any hi vis clothing ? Yes he said, I forgot to bring it .. This Tow truck is owned and operated by a very good company and the owner is a long time friend and colleague, he is very pro active with safety and training...he will be furious and dissapointed when I advise him what I saw ...... .your point about macho, testosterone, it wont happen to me ??. Case in point !!! NEVER TAKE THE JOB FOR GRANTED .....NEVER DROP YOUR GUARD . The constant loss of life at the roadside is an absolute tragedy .....but if 1 life can be spared through increased reflectivity, hi visibility clothing, awareness training.... Then it is worthwhile .... Sorry if I have bored or offended any one but , self preservation is the key ...no matter what country or language it is in John.
  11. 3 points
    rreschran

    Tower Down 05.31.19 (CA)

    Right on Brian. But, forget about the costs. Cost shouldn't be a factor in safety and prevention. In all business plans, that should be the first consideration is how to keep a company's employees safe in the work-place. And, that's accomplished by safety, processes and training. We know it ... we see it ... we teach it. But, where is safety lost in translation when tower's can't retain even 10-percent? I'll go out on a limb here to suggest that on-scene safety is the responsibility of each tow company owner. It's each owner's responsibility to make sure towers have the, "mental tools and preparations", before sending their personnel onto the highway. I personally feel the industry has lost it's sense of safety by making bling and monster-tow trucks the priority while safety and survival scrapes the bottom of the proverbial barrel. I evidenced that recently by noting seven, only seven attendees, including you Brian, attend a PTSD seminar versus that of seeing literally hundreds of towers watching a rotator being run through its paces at the same tow show. It's evidenced in these posts where only a handful of personalities have the guts to approach those procedures and processes that get tower's killed. When an industry doesn't care about it's people, its current state will only get worse before it ever gets better. We know the issues, so, what's it take to overcome the lack of safety awareness in a proactive manner? One can't expect to peer down the barrel of a gun with the possibility of being shot in the face right?
  12. 3 points
    EdsTowing

    Rollover With Clean Up

    Explorer lost control in the rain on a sharp "S" curve & rolled into the woods.... Lots of glass & debris to clean up... Now the fun starts...Property Damage Liability Claim....
  13. 3 points
    EdsTowing

    Early morning Roll....

    Eddie grabbed this one this morning.... Wrapped up in a few minutes...then a beauty shot...LoL
  14. 3 points
    EdsTowing

    Annnnd Another Rollover...

    Jeez 3 rollovers this weekend...all with clean ups too! This one tumble rolled in a private community w/ 25 mph speed limits... She said she swerved because a Goffer ran across the road... They cleaned up the roadway and told the Officer we would be back in the daylight to do a proper clean up.... Destroyed a new Journey...Customer called me to ask if it was driveable? I asked weren't you in it & she said yes....No...No it's not driveable...
  15. 3 points
    As of recent, i think both of us thought the days where over, but here we are. Nothing has been more enjoyable than teaching with this guy, Jeff Martin We at times argue like brothers over class logistics and stuff, but you folks see the end result. Add the other folks and we have a great time. Nobody, I'd rather have by my side. Love ya brother
  16. 3 points
    EdsTowing

    Another Rollover...

    Customer trying to avoid a stopped car & ran off the road. It hit a stone wall & flipped over... A nice "quicky" in & out job...
  17. 2 points
    goodmichael

    Responder Training Program

    We lose people to roadside struck by incidents due to the industry not making safety their number one priority. Safety is an attitude. And safety costs money to perpetuate. We have a poor attitude on safety. We as an industry accept the sixty deaths as a cost of doing business for the year. We then cross our fingers that they will not happen to anyone we know. On the same front, people whine, cry, piss and moan about the cost of their insurance premiums. But nobody, but a select few, has ever raised the fact that if this industry adds protocols to make the industry safe at the cost of the end user, the premiums people pay will be considerably lower, and the sixty deaths might possible be cut to fifteen for the year. We have some outstanding business people in this industry that strive to provide a great, safe workplace for their people. We have a great deal of clueless people who have the assets and ability to acquire equipment but do not have the vision that safety is paramount in this field to survive for the long term. They are concerned, but not concerned enough to take the required steps to ensure a safe workplace. They are more concerned about the loss of business they will encounter if they charge accordingly, and their charges are reflective of a safe workplace. They do not want to hurt their customers feelings, and or are too worried about someone else getting sub par clientele. Then there are the meat grinder people, the bottom of the barrel companies. They could care less about their staff. Fire one hire one is their motto. You all are a piece of work. We also have poor industry leadership that is afraid to step up and call people out for lack of safety. I consider myself fairly informed despite not having a television in my home for four years. I read about fifty books a year on various subjects. Nobody from the manufacturing end , Miller, Jerr Dan, or any of the other CEO's of equipment manufacturers have called for any type of urgency in discussing this issue. Motor clubs have not done so either. Law enforcement has failed as well. I am speaking of at large discussions to address the issues of safety. I hope I made somebody mad. I really do. We as an industry perpetuate an unsafe working environment for our staff by not doing everything we can to ensure that we do all we can do. So to answer your question, so many die because so many more do not care enough to take affirmative action to prevent the deaths.
  18. 2 points
    ESC

    New driver in training- MDX vs fence

    We received a call from Upper Uwchlan Police Department at 10:28 AM to respond to Hickory Park on Park Road for one vehicle after an accident. We immediately dispatched one of our flatbed trucks to the scene. Upon arrival we found a vehicle that had run through a concrete and wood fence along the parking lot. We were able to winch the vehicle directly onto our flatbed. Cribbing was used to raise the front end of the vehicle to keep from causing any more damage to the undercarriage. The wood and concrete that was scattered throughout the area was picked up and loaded onto our flatbed truck. We called and requested a traffic cone and caution tape and additional laborer be sent to the scene. The broken concrete post was placed on our flatbed truck. All debris was picked up from the area. A traffic cone was placed over the hole that remained from the fence post. Caution tape was used to mark off the area of broken fence. The vehicle and debris was transported to our storage facility. No one was injured in the collision. The new driver was learning to drive with mom and practicing in the parking lot. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  19. 2 points
    dperone

    Deja Vu Crash

    Last Saturday we picked up a 2 car crash from an intersection, with one of them being a Chevy Equinox. Fast forward to this Saturday and the state police call for a 3 car crash at the same intersection. I arrived to find another Equinox in the same exact spot as the one from last week. Talk about deja vu. The only difference was this one managed to knock down the big road sign that the other missed, and landed on top of it to boot. Along with that there was a soul balanced on top of a telephone pole up against another pole and a Sonata in a shallow soft ditch. As I beat my 2 beds by quite a few minutes, I started moving everything onto the roadway so all they had to do was load and go. I started with the soul, which was a quick pull sideways to get it off the pole. I then brought the Sonata onto the roadway where I loaded it. The picture is a little deceiving, where the car landed was at the base of a hill that goes up to the tracks and it was pretty soft from the rain we've had this week. By then my beds were on scene and one started loading the soul while the other loaded the Equinox that was trying to have relations with a street sign. Once we were all loaded and I blew the debris off the road we opened it back up and were on our way. This is a fairly well known back road to go to the shore so the troopers were very happy when we cleared the scene.
  20. 2 points
    These are some of our trucks from the early 80's This was my uncles pride and joy in early 80's won a many a show. Topic Originally Create in February of 2008:
  21. 2 points
    Orcas Tow

    Bring the small truck he said.

    I got a call for a flatbed C30 in a ditch with roofing material in it, I said what's the weight, he said not much bring the small truck . Nick & I brought the 2001 F550 with a Chevron 408 & found a fully (over) loaded C60 with asphalt roofing backed in the ditch, guess they had difficulty getting it up the hill & backed into the ditch, lucky it didn't roll as it had a hard twist/lean. Guessing at 25,000lbs, good thing we have Holmes trees in the area, scotch blocks chained to rear D rings, drivers winch line low to the tree then a 3 part to the drivers side frame rail for a low pull, passenger side winch line 2 part high from the boom to the passenger side frame rail for an upward pull. Engaged the winches & she came right out.
  22. 2 points
    Recovery was definetly worth more than the trailer. I was called in the evening for travel trailer over embankment on a steep narrow freshly installed dirt road, had come unhooked from tow vehicle & came to rest on a tree, it was safely off roadway so we decoded to recover in daylight. Arrived on scene with 2 light duties, a 2001 F550 4x4 with a Chevron 408 & a 2018 F450 4x4 with a Chevron 408TA. The 550 was placed in front, scotch blocks chained to tailboard with 1 line from each winch going to snatch blocks/grade 80 recovery chains around each frame rail at front of trailer then each line was terminated at large trees on opposing sides of the 550 for steer ability of the trailer as we winched. The 450 was backed up to the drivers side of trailers as we were concerned of it potentially rolling over & also to put a side/forward pull to keep it from sliding sideways during the forward winch. The 450 drivers side line went to snatch block/grade 80 5/16" recovery chain/frame at drivers rear of trailer & terminated at tailboard D ring of 450, passenger side line went opposite direction up hill to snatch block/grade 80 5/16" recovery chain/tree then terminated at drivers side of trailer spring frame mount, with the 450 rigged this way we could keep the 450 from dragging sideways by keeping even tension on both winches. Figuring the trailer heavy at 10,000lbs it was way over rigged with 7 lines to the load but the many lines were more for control than weight. All went as planned, winched it up to the 550, slipped my ball in the tongue, safety chained & towed to its final destination. 2 hrs from start to finish.
  23. 2 points
    This was a call from the State Police for a pickup overturned down an embankment a few months back. The fire chief called and let me know that it was a Dodge Dually over a guard rail with a large amount of debris. It was a Sunday morning around 8 am. Since I happen to live just around the corner and didn't have a truck home that weekend I responded direct in my personal car. My dad went to the shop and got our 98 international 12 ton wrecker and we called in two of our other operators one in a 2011 Dodge 5500 mpl40 and our 2013 Hino flatbed. We worked with the fire company to cut the damaged section of guard rail and remove the debris that was scattered through the woods. We used our two wreckers and a few Holmes trees to move the truck back ward toward the open section of the guardrail and roll it back into its wheels in one motion. It was then pulled fully onto the roadway and loaded onto our Hino. The rest of the debris was piled into the back of the truck. The owner had us transport it direct to his farm not far away. The recovery bill was paid in full upon delivery. It took a bit of explaining for him to understand the fees involved in this recovery after his initial "sticker shock" when he saw the invoice. But in the end he understood and was happy. After we squared away I treated our crew to a good breakfast at a local deli.
  24. 2 points
    Orcas Tow

    Narrow Road Recovery

    This recovery is a few years old, I had time to actually take some pic's. We had a weeks worth of snow & high winds, this Suburban was a paramedics personal vehicle that he was using for aid calls as the ambulances were not able to get up many driveways. It rolled 4 times & ended up 75' off the narrow road, the worst injury was a broken arm of the 3 occupants. Thank god for all the trees around here, there always seems to be one in just the right place for an anchor or change of direction, fun stuff
  25. 2 points
    Hello everyone, My name is Rick, i'm the son of the driver that died in this horrible accident. I am happy to update this board with the following article: https://tucson.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/tucson-man-arrested-in-connection-with-hit-and-run-crash/article_3a13de0a-99c7-11e9-9ae7-77ecf65391ec.html WE CAUGHT HIM!! Thank you all for your prayers and support, it is amazing the communities that tradesmen/women create among themselves and their families. Sincerly, Rick Struble Jr.
  26. 2 points
    Njsss

    Another Motorcycle

  27. 2 points
    Eddie had this one the other day. Using their "sling" attachment so it was manageable... looks heavy but actually a 4200 w/ a VT365 & it was empty....felt like a typical 1 ton pick up on the back....
  28. 2 points
    The past 2 Saturday's have started out with early morning calls to remove new unwanted lawn decorations. The first one was a young girl who ran a stop sign, jumped the curb and travelled through about 60 feet of yard before totalling 2 innocent vehicles in the driveway and damaging a third. It hit with such force that her car was stuck in the first grand Marquis and the second Marquis was moved far enough that it almost hit the house. Not bad for a much lighter car than the 2 she hit. Not wanting to do anymore damage to the poor guys nice lawn and not having any room to work, I set up on the main street and winched it all the way back to the road. This let the other company called have the entire driveway to work on getting the grand Marquis out. Almost a week later to the minute I got a call for an impound. I arrived at the location looking for a Chevy pick up, but only found a Saturn that had the driver's side almost completely removed. The trooper pointed to the house 3 doors down and there sat another lawn ornament. After it stuck the car, the pick up travelled through 2 chain link fences and a stand of shrubs before hitting a tree that luckily stopped the truck just short of making an unannounced appearance into the house. The yard was completely walled in by shrubs and the passenger front wheel was only being held on by half a tie rod. Only having a narrow driveway to set up in, I had to accomplish the recovery in a few different steps. I brought the truck out towards the opening in the shrubs as far as I could until I ran out of room. Once it was lined up and out of room, I moved into the street to winch it the last few feet before I had to to spin it into the driveway. I was planning on towing it once I got it to the street, but once I got the rear of the truck clear it became obvious that I was not going to have the time I needed to swing the front around to tow it on my own. I called my dad to bring me a bed while I brought the rear end around to line it up with the driveway. Once he arrived we loaded it up and I cleared the rest of the debris out of the driveway.
  29. 2 points
    While I'm always one to respect police, fire and other officials on-scene, I stick to my guns that I'm the professional tow operator on-scene and it's my job to load or tow in the manner that I'm experienced in doing. Putting hands-on anyone is an unacceptable practice, especially for a fire captain to do so. If the worker was untrained, inexperienced, or flat out flippant, a violent exchange is unprofessional. There may be something that occurred that we're not aware of, but at face value, fire captain's should stick to their line of work and not that of towing and recovery.
  30. 2 points
    Once again a Tow Operator has been struck and killed working along side the very dangerous roadways. I have taken the comments from the Headlines News Story posted earlier in an effort to keep that report devoted to condolences for the loss. We can debate the issue further and yes we should debate this issue while it is fresh. Keep in mind we awaiting further details surrounding this incident. Here is what we have gathered from the initial reports. This was the drivers second day on the job. It was a Friday evening and the incident occurred on southbound 5 Freeway around 8:15 p.m. Questions needing answers and not speculation: At this time of evening was the sun setting? Where was the Tow Operator standing when struck? One report was the tow truck operator was struck another does not reference the truck being struck. Add your questions show they may be researched. Some lines of thought from the Tower Down Topic in the Headlines and Towlines forum. "We as an industry need to stop working in unprotected work zones. Without signage and lane closures we do not have a chance out here. " "The tow truck driver was in the process of towing a broken down vehicle when his truck was struck by the big rig, logs show." "The move over law is just not out there enough, people don't care ." "This section of California’s I-5, towards Gorman and Lebec, is extremely rural, wide, winding and fast traveled." "at 8:30 in the PM, it’s totally pitch-black with no streetlights." "it possible that this operator may have been working/standing near the white-line side when struck by the semi" "I'll suggest that, all the cones, flares, signs, blockers, cops and whatever ... doesn’t negate the fact that working on or near the white-line side is a dangerous place to be." "when there isn’t available assistance in a rural location, it demands that towers be that much more diligent in their actions when working shoulder events." "I am an advocate for OSHA getting belly deep into this industry and mandating that safe operating procedures be initiated." "We are responsible for our own safety. Even then, sometimes we fail. Plan the safest procedures and then abort the plan of it gets too dangerous "
  31. 2 points
    This very discussion clearly demonstrates why towers will keep being killed simply doing their jobs. This forum reaches hundreds of towers daily, if not thousands, yet it is the same half dozen of us that actually respond in a constructive manner. True, Randy and I have bigger pulpits to broadcast messages from thanks to our other work, but it takes more than a couple of writers and instructors to spread the word about taking charge of your own safety. Sadly, it is not just the towing industry that fails to operate safely. If it were not for the fear of OSHA the construction world would still be losing hundreds of lives needlessly. Even there, where OSHA is a real possibility, many smaller companies still cut corners. It is really only the large jobsite, where the project owner is on top od safety, that procedures get followed routinely. Perhaps that is where we need to go in towing, not OSHA per se, although they are already involved in our industry and actively monitor the news for stories of towers killed so they can investigate. Just follow this link for OSHA inspection data related to the towing industry (SIC Code 488410). OSHA SIC 488410 Inspection Data Our state transportation agencies, the folks that own the highway, need to require and enforce proper traffic control measures for towers. They already do it for construction zones, so why not towers? I will tell you why, because we let it happen to ourselves! We have weak state associations, if we have any at all in most states, and we are so damn concerned about offending the police or the motoring public that we let ourselves be abused by our "customers". I hate to call for more government involvement in our industry, but if we don't do something soon ourselves governmental regulations will be forced upon us. Unfortunately, until it is a regulation or law most towers simply will not pay any mind to safety. To paraphrase what Randy said in reply to my post in the other thread, it is not, or should not be about cost. Life safety comes as a priority regardless of cost. As business owners we need to work in the cost of providing a safe work environment, plus a reasonable profit margin, to every job we do. The public could care less about towers, even my closest friends are absent minded about slow down move over, knowing how it could effect my family if I were struck roadside, they still don't see it as important. Knowing that motorists will not react unless they perceive a need to, defining a work zone and using other protective measures is the only way to keep us safe. I am at the point that I am ready to call for a blocker truck program that is operated on behalf of all towers in a given area, something similar to the HELP or HERO patrol trucks. Funded by a mix of public and private money, it would provide a physical barrier for towers in the most dangerous areas. This could also be a revenue source for towers, provide the proper work zone and invoice for it, not that I am saying revenue is more important than safety, but we do need to find ways to fund safety.
  32. 2 points
    goodmichael

    Tower Down 05.31.19 (CA)

    Randy and Brian, I have a high regard and respect for both of you. Thanks for all you do. If OSHA were to mandate policy that a certain number of feet of traffic lane must be vacated for a scene to be worked when working next to the highway and that a structural mechanism capable of absorbing an impact be utilized this will be an additional expense that will be required to be billed out. If the burden to implement this mechanism is placed on the party who requests the service response, be it a government agency, motor club, or private party then they will be responsible and accountable for footing the bill. Safety costs money. Safety is an investment. Safety mitigates the risks inherent to the normal day to day procedures that one implements to complete work. A ten dollar pair of safety glasses might well prevent a sliver of metal from getting into a person's eye. The costs of a sliver of metal getting into a person's eye range from a low of 3000.00 to close to 5500.00 on average. This takes into consideration an er visit, lost work and production time, follow up visits to the doctor, as well as costs in premiums post claim. A ten dollar pair of safety glasses is an inexpensive cost of doing business. I would be willing to state that the cost of roadside incidents, that are preventable costs this industry close to $100,000,000.00 a year in ems services, medical bills, lost wages and productivity. There is no monetary value that can be placed on a human life. There is no amount of money that can replace a person to their family, friends, and loved ones. This $100,000,000.00 is absorbed by the people in this industry. $100,000,000.00 will buy a vast amount of safety if and when it is mandated.
  33. 2 points
    brian991219

    Tower Down 05.31.19 (CA)

    Randy, as you well know, the root problem with training is so many bodies are in the class simply because their boss made them attend. With no real desire to be educated they don't practice what they were taught, hell I bet they don't even retain 10% of it. The onus is on the employer to enforce good safety discipline as well as provide options such as blocker trucks, flares, cones and other means to protect the work zone. However this costs money and will chase some of the workforce away, which in turn leads to higher rates. The hard sell will be with the wholesale customers, they must come to understand what the true cost of professional -read safe- service really is. What I see in this image supports my earlier hypothesis that the tractor trailer driver may not even be aware he hit something, especially pulling double trailers aka "wiggle wagons". If you look closely at the carrier there is no visible evidence of impact, it as well as the disabled vehicle are still straight in line, not even the mirror on the carrier is pushed in. I do believe having the bed at such a steep angle may have contributed to inadequate scene lighting, but again without all the evidence all I can is theorize at the moment. One thing I am sure of, this is a senseless tragedy that didn't need to happen.
  34. 2 points
    goodmichael

    Tower Down 05.31.19 (CA)

    A law is not going to protect you on the side of the highway. If you as a father, mother, son, daughter, husband, wife, are depending on a "law" to protect you from 80,000 lbs of steel and plastic and propelling down the road at 70 miles an hour, you need to go sell everything you own and put a bet down on the red marble at the roulette when in Vegas. You will have far better odds with the red ball. I stopped to assist a woman just yesterday who was stuck on the US 281 to IH 410 East bound flyover who had suffered a blowout. An Airport police officer stopped and shut down a lane to ensure that the vehicle could be tended to while minimizing the risk. Randy, Brian, myself, nor anyone else can ensure that you as a person work in a safe environment it is up to you. I am an advocate for OSHA getting belly deep into this industry and mandating that safe operating procedures be initiated. I hope, wish, and pray that they levy hundreds of 35,000.00 fines for companies that do not initiate and implement safety plans that will save lives. I hope that these fines cause business entities that do not make safety their number one priority to close. Yes, I hope they put companies that do not do everything in their power to ensure that their drivers go home safe completely out of business. I say this as someone who despises government. I hate government interference in business. But I hate for people to die needlessly on the side of the road when it is totally preventable. I say this with the understanding that there is no way to prevent all deaths on the side of the road. The risk will never be 100% mitigated. But the 65 people who will die on the side of the road can be reduced to single digits. One death is far too many. But 65 is totally unacceptable to me, and it should be to you too if you are reading this. Someone asked previously who the industry leaders were. The industry leaders are YOU. YOU are the one who has the power to make a difference. YOU are the person who has the opportunity to refuse a call when all precautions are not met. YOU are the one who has the capacity to demand a safer work environment. YOU are the one who pays the ultimate price if a perfect storm of misfortune meets at the location you are working as a service provider. When I had a heated exchange between a state trooper and myself when he arrogantly refused to close a lane for me to work safely and I proceeded to tell him how things were going to work, it preempted a meeting with his command staff. We all came to an understanding on what roadside safety meant. When I asked how many lanes and how many hours the road would be closed if I were a fatality victim, they had not answer. We now have a much deeper understanding of respect for one another after me walking from a crash scene. And they are well aware that I would do it again in a heartbeat.
  35. 2 points
    EdsTowing

    Camper Season...

    Had a new Super Duty pulling a new 5th wheel stuck at the Pocono Raceway Campground today.The guy was new to the camping world so he wasn't sure how to get the trailer out without doing damage... We backed him in to rehook it. He had tried earlier and stabbed the tailgate through the front compartment panel of the trailer.... Got him all out on the blacktop and he was ecstatic!
  36. 2 points
    Topic Originally Created on Tow411 in August of 2009: Hot summer day, (for Wisconsin), Wisconsin state patrol calls for flatbed to recover travel trailer in ditch eastbound median. Sent out a unit right away, The traffic is really backing up. All the light duty guys are out, soooooo I jump in a rollback and head out. Got to west to get there, I crest the hill and see a LONG back up, then I see THIS. Grab the mic, " Someone, anyone climb in my truck and head this way NOW!! Swing around at next exit, and head east lights blazing, jump on median shoulder. I arrive 15 minutes later, (had to go 3 miles) the trooper walks up and says "Get this out fast, its rush hour!!!" My response is "What am I going to do with me 21' carrier?" I get the deer in the headlights look, I'm sure we all know it. "What are we going to do, district is going to have a fit." he says. Relax I have "SUPER TATOR" on the way. He says "HOW LONG WILL THAT TAKE?". "Now, if you would have requested the proper equipment it would be here already." Needless to say, another 20 minutes my truck gets there with Dan at the helm. Trooper walks up again and says "Troop commander says you have 1 hour or we will have to do it tonite at midnight." No problem, yeah right! So, I do the only thing I could think of. Set up, lift it, swing it to rear, lock boom, and go 1/4 mile to scale entrance. I know this is probably not going to go over well with some, but it was crunch time. Just trying to keep the super slab flowing and our troopers happy. Created a 5 mile back up, and no secondary crashes. Midnight didn't sound like fun to me, I've been on days FOREVER!!! Its really dark then---LOL!!! Our fearless leader shows up during rigging process, and asks what the plan is, I tell him, and he gives me that look like your going to do WHAT!! But he did agree that it was the only option right now. Had to think fast & outside the box----alittle. This was 1 of 4 travel trailer rollovers in a 9 day period on this same 3 mile stretch of I94. Overall damage was moderate, no additional damage from lift. Insurance did total unit. Changed a tire with spare, aired one up, and off to the shop. Thanks for looking, be safe. Niemans Towing said: WOW nice job on clearing the road Jamie Dougherty said: You are a braver man than I. It looks like in the photo while you are driving it is already upright, If it was why not spin it and hook it properly on the shoulder? Just a question not trying to bash. JAMIE DOUGHERTY JANEWAY TOWING BigBen835 said: Thanks for replies, both left side tires flat, rims not so good. Again went a 1/4 mile to scale parking lot, and as I stated changed tires and towed properly. And if I would have spun it to the right or rear either way the whole interstate was blocked while hooking for tow. I figured some would not approve but TICK TOCK, TICK TOCK. LOL! Miracle1 said: Not your everyday practice, but it got the job at hand done I'm sure all involved were happy don't see a problem we've all done unorthadox things when in a pinch. stay safe Kenny Kenny Miracle ''Miracles Do Happen Here'' BigWheelRecovery said: Nice show of power that is a different recovery .Thanks Eric TowThis2002 said: Just asking - Did you unfold the under-reach and chain it to the crossbar to keep from swinging? That must have been neat to see driving down the other way(Westbound?)... Soonertator said: I think you did what you had to do. Some on here may criticize but I am willing to bet that the troopers wont even hesitate to call you next time they need some "out of the box" type help. Good job Blue Stripe said: Obviously there were no bridges along your route? LOL There lies the dilemma of doing it the right way, or keeping the state troopers happy. Keeping the state happy is very important. My idea would be to give the trooper 2 choices, we do it this way (the way you did) or I do it the right way here at the scene and its going to take longer. If they choose option A, explain to them that you will need him to escort (behind) you to where ever you're moving it to. Tell them its their responsibility to keep cars from attempting to pass this "wide load". If they can agree to that, then your road is clear in 10 minutes (or however long) Always leave the liability on the PD whenever possible, especially if they're asking you to do something out of the ordinary. Chris Flynn, WM 091008 Boardman Towing & Recovery
  37. 2 points
    Our Leader, Steve Sedberry is always willing to jump in and work beside each of the employees.
  38. 2 points
    My truck has the steel cab, lighter duty trucks went to aluminum before the 650s did... to answer your question about buying it all over again if I had to it’s a catch 22. At the time I purchased this particular truck because I wanted an extended cab, 26k lbs truck with a cab and a half. I also had a falling out with my local international dealerships service department, after a half butted repair on a 4300, so I told them I swore off international, that left me with freightliner or ford, I opted for the ford because of the warranty primarily, and it was almost 10k dollars less then a comparably equipped FL... the only real drawback I found with my truck is the small cab, at 6’2” my legs get very restless driving after a couple hours, and it gets very cramped with a couple passengers. My bed angle with the air ride dumped is right close to 10 degrees, without the shark tail bed... hope this helps anyone looking!
  39. 2 points
    Njsss

    A Medium With A Light

  40. 2 points
    Orcas Tow

    "Hiding" Towmate Transmitter

    I hard wired mine in my overhead light bar, dry & high up for a good un obstructed signal.
  41. 2 points
    EdsTowing

    Lets Lower The Statistics...

    We are sending our Crash Van out on interstate calls where there is a danger factor. Adverse weather, fog & what not...in an attempt to slow people down & move them over. As you can see, it works for the most part...
  42. 2 points
    someotherplace

    Stuck In Park, 4WD & Park Brake

    Yep, no more disconnecting linkage on RAM trucks since 2011-2012 I think. They *look* like you can disconnect it but you can't shift, as you discovered. And, on Mopar fullsize cars since 2008. BUT, there is a release inside the vehicle on most. I usually don't mess with them being full-time PPI as I do not have keys. However if you're on a consent tow there is a release cord inside the cars console, and on the trucks I believe it's to the left of the column in the dash after you pop a panel off. Richard
  43. 2 points
    rreschran

    Lets Lower The Statistics...

    Thanks Ed ... I will help to spread your message at the upcoming tow shows. If motorists can't see the arrowboard or its reflective striping, we towers are really working a lost cause. R.
  44. 2 points
    All towers should have TIM training for obvious reasons, but also to have that coveted certificate in their personnel/training file when it comes time to defend a driver and the company against civil lawsuit. A recent high-dollar California lawsuit was based on a tow operator's training as a Freeway Service Patrol operator being sued. His training was heavily attacked, but the tower had FSP, CHP, and current TIM training to uphold his experience. Four-hours time to complete FREE training is chump change to a multi-million dollar lawsuit. And, yes, I am a TIM instructor in California. R.
  45. 2 points
    As seen on youtube: Heavy Duty Operator Rob Long recovering a truck that rolled onto its side.
  46. 2 points
    Njsss

    Close 1 W/Dollies

  47. 2 points
    Donny Callahan

    Pictures Tell The Story

    Pick, rotate, lay down, load and haul oversized allenstowing said: Did it grow between pis 2 and 3? Looks good. Donny Callahan said: I wiggled my nose and made it shorter... Lol... It was 20' high and 10' wide bulldog1635 said: very impressive. looks very close to the wrecker. what size NRC is that ? al, bull dog Donny Callahan said: It's a 40/50 SR The tank really isn't that close... The pictures turned out funky... MTA415 said: sweet graphics!
  48. 2 points
    Ron ... I wholeheartedly nominate Steve and Doc Calitri of American Towman Magazine, and, Clarissa Powell, Tow Times Magazine, for their career participation to the towing and recovery industry. Their publications and tow show presentations have provided towing and recovery professionals the platform in which to share everything having to do with the industry. They've created environments that bring tow professionals to together throughout the world. Thank you for your contributions to the industry. You are true leaders and this recognition is due. Steve, Doc and Clarissa have undoubtedly influenced myself and millions of readers on an international scale ... no small task. I believe this award is befitting to their leadership and committment to the towing and recovery industry. R.
  49. 2 points
    BigBlonde

    AT ShowPlace Las Vegas Roll Call

    Glenn and myself will be there
  50. 2 points
    Whenever something is being towed, additional securements should always be attached. This doesn’t just apply to wreckers - secondary attachment chains should be attached even hauling a trailer, boat trailer or camper. These chains are there for an obvious reason: to prevent an accident in the event of an attachment failure while towing. But why does WreckMaster insist that the secondary attachments are always crossed? It prevents casualty from veering into traffic Probably the most important information on this list, crossing your chains ensures that the casualty will stay behind your truck in the event of a disconnect from the wheel lift/underrearch. If the chains were parallel and went straight back to the casualty, they would be able to veer and swing freely in both directions and potentially into other vehicles. When the chains are crossed, the casualty is prevented from veering too far in either direction and will instead stay behind the wrecker. NOTE: in the event of a disconnect, be sure to slowly change lanes and reduce speed to avoid the casualty from slamming into the back of the wrecker. It affects turning Secondary attachments can be affected by turning in two ways: You can use the shortest amount of chain and it will make less contact with the ground. If the chains were to be connected parallel and go straight back to the casualty, one of the chains would become too tight whenever turning. For example, when a wrecker turns right, the distance between the left side of the wrecker and the left side of the casualty increases. On the opposite side the chain continues to slack thereby making contact with the ground. By crossing the chains, the amount of chain required is reduced and therefore you will minimize the likelihood of your chains contacting the ground. They Can go above or under the under reach When the chains are crossed, whether they go above or below the wheel lift does not matter. Why is this important? It means that securing to the most logical attachment point becomes easier. Cross the chains over the under reach also helps keep the chains from making contact with the ground while turning. There are benefits to both: Crossing the chains beneath requires more chain but they will not interfere with any other equipment such as towing lights or scratch the under reach. Crossing above can scratch the under reach but requires less chain. or Just be sure that whether you cross them above or below the under reach that they will not interfere with any other pieces of equipment, such as the towing lights. View the full article on WreckMaster.com...
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