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brian991219 last won the day on August 7 2018

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About brian991219

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    1st Class Contributor

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  • Location
    Hawley, PA

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  • Company
    Fleet Compliance Solutions, LLC
  • WreckMaster Level
  • TRAA NDCP Certification
    Level 2 Medium/Heavy Duty

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  1. Sadly my home state is one that endorses the California regulations. This is destroying the resale value of trucks as well in California since they must be sold out of state. Fortunately the other 13 states do not have CARB like agencies enforcing these rules on existing vehicles, only on new sales of vehicles. If we were forced to update our fleets in Pennsylvania as you are in California many of my friends would be out of business. I am all for clean air but we have to be fiscal responsible in our quest. It is a fact that the advanced EGR and diesel particulate filter systems on modern diesel engines have led to exponential increases in down time for truck owners. Although a windfall for towers to transport these trucks to dealers, once forced to purchase the same technology on tow trucks we began to face the same financial hardships as our customers. Lastly, the EPA is talking out of both sides of it's mouth on this issue, or at least the Trump Administration is. As they are calling for gutting the long standing California exemption they are also prosecuting diesel shops and individual technicians that have developed and installed emission reliability work arounds, or have deleted the EGR systems all together. Yes, it is a Federal crime, however I also understand that a one truck owner operator must be able to keep the wheels rolling to earn and that is not happening when the truck is in the shop every other week facing thousands of dollars in repairs. So does the EPA want to work with small businesses or kill them? Hard to tell by their actions!
  2. We must follow the law in Pennsylvania as well. Really, all tow owners must follow their state laws and contract rules. Here in PA the State Police only restrict who can physically respond to police calls for service. Per our state laws they do not have the legal authority to tell tow services who they may hire for dispatch, shop or other non-public responding positions. They can't even restrict someone from being an owner if they are not qualified to respond to calls, they merely can restrict that person from physically being on scene of a police ordered tow. There is a local towing company in my home town that has been a state police service provider for over 30 years yet is owned by a convicted felon with receiving stolen property and drug/alcohol charges. He is perfectly legal to own the company, just can not respond to any police calls, only owner requests and other direct calls for service. I know we can ask this of towers from all 50 states and get 50 different replies since each state has unique rules. Another notable legal point, states like Tennessee have a second chance law that allows convicted felons that are convicted of disqualifying offenses to petition THP to be allowed to be towers after a certain period of time has passed since their conviction. So, at least in some states, simply being a convicted felon is not always an automatic lifetime disqualifier from being a tower. Pennsylvania just passed a similar law that will allow persons convicted of certain offenses a second chance at professional licenses, towing included, that were at one time a lifetime ban due to the nature of their charges. I do believe that for the penal system to work we need a means of rehabilitating convicts and reintegrating them into society. The concept is that once they have served their sentence they have paid their debt to society and should be able to work and earn an honest way in life. I believe in second chances, although I do agree that one must be selective and careful in how the manage giving those second chances. That said, I believe that we must also be as careful in hiring folks that have no record, they need to earn our trust just the same.
  3. Doesn't everyone! Yes, I have a few pair and one that has not been opened yet. Very comfortable.
  4. Usually I try not to Monday morning quarterback jobs on a public forum, however this one shows a lack of professionalism period. There are many ways to do this job, rotator although nice, is not required. Even with just the truck he had on scene there were better options than what was chosen. I believe this may stem from a lack of care, no or little training and maybe a culture of "who cares" at his company. The risk on this one was at an unacceptable level, no control over the vehicle at all when it came over the guide rail it slammed into the back of his truck. Sorry, not going to happen if I owned the truck. Besides risking damage to the tow truck, he could have been crushed when it swung free. What would have happened if the rigging let lose or maybe the oil pan or fuel tank were punctured? I won't even harp on his lack of proper PPE as I am so tired of preaching about vests, hard hats and other protective gear. I would have rather seen him teeter toter it over the rail than try to lift it free and clear in one shot. As said by others in this thread, it appears that the guide rail ends close by, it could have been winched to an opening wide enough to get it out. Also, judging by the light poles, that appears to be a on-ramp area so there may have even been options to access the vehicle from the rear without blocking traffic or putting the tow truck in a bad spot off road. Even given that in most states towers are relieved of liability for secondary damages during police ordered recoveries that does not give a tower a license to intentionally inflict damage such as ripping off the rear bumper on the guide rail. We still must act with reasonable caution in our care of these vehicles.
  5. Depending on the nature of the offense, the job tasks I plan to hire for and any restrictions in my contracts with law enforcement or dispatch clubs YES. I believe in second chances, although that said, some offenses are lifetime disqualifiers for commercial drivers. I apply the CDL standards even to non-CDL drivers, meaning if the offense is a CDL disqualifier then it means you will not drive for me even in a non-CDL (light duty) truck. Ultimately they would need to be able to be fully qualified to run police tows and such. I do not believe in having limited use drivers, meaning they can only be assigned to certain calls because of clearances. Shop employees and those that do not have direct contact with the public will have a more lenient hiring criteria for criminal backgrounds, as those do not directly affect any contracts. When my company was active I had hired drivers with past drug and alcohol charges although I stayed away from felony assault charges. Theft depended upon the nature the crime, time since last convicted and other circumstances.
  6. Topic Originally Created on Tow411 in April of 2012: Here are a few simple tows we have done with the 600R. This truck tows very well, the heavy weight on the steer axle helps a lot, it has 9900 pounds on the steer. The only complaint, it is a little under powered at 5000 foot above sea level, but it gets the job done. The yellow RV is a 1974, front wheel drive with air suspension in the back but well thought out, you pump it up with an onboard electric compressor then close the valve to lock in the ride height, all factory, made towing it and keeping ground clearance a breeze. ltl900tow said: looks good i love that truck, with those fords in the spoons i always pop off the center caps due to they are so brittle Keen1051 said: Not bashing, but why choke up on your L-arms? I always open them up so it will sit in deeper, less chance of coming out in case of sudden stop. Brian991219 said: We have very steep curb cuts and high angles in and out of out driveways and intersections in Albuquerque so it is a balancing act to get the wheels in the spoons, the ride height correct and not drag the rear end or catch the tires where they hang down below the cross bar. I have found it is easy to bottom out the front wheels just coming into a parking lot out here. RobertCAdams said: Truck looks GOOD!!!! Robert gen4towman said: gotta love those fwd gmc motorhomes. GStyle said: I've seen a rv like that, but it was green. Remember Stripes with Bill Murray? Brian Bell said: Nice Looking Job's but I will say I'm super scared of those 19.5's just being held in by lasso straps. They will jump out when you get into a PANIC STOP !!! Trust me BTDT the towed vehicle will be all into your tailboard ... You need a chain or another strap ran straight up or slightly forward up to the front T-hooks or even around the sway bar pulling backwards to your crossbar. I always kept a auto transport style cluster with about 3ft of 5/16 chain on my truck to do this. I could use it to pull cars out of the ditch also. I found this picture in my photobucket the red line is where there needs to be a chain / strap ... You could just go around the spring stack also and leave it with a little slack if dips / hills are a huge issue.. as long as the tires can't lift up out of the L arm then they cant go forward.... I know your thinking that's what the Lasso strap is doing but there will be enough force and or leverage to flip or roll them out. AutoHaus1 said: Good Idea on the hold-back strap. I don't let the laso straps go below the top 1/3 of the tire, and I wrench em down to where the tire complains. danielswt said: I have too seen first hand damages done with 1 tons/trailer combos pushing out of the spoons. Bellboys idea is good, I used to do that. But I prefer to wrap the entire tire, grid, and L-arm completely all the way around with a longer strap. Just have to watch dips with that setup. I still think you need to lose the flames and go with orange fenders reckmaster1 said: I hauled one too, kinda threw me off i had never seen a front wheel drive RV Robert Anaya said: Brian, The truck looks good. Is this one your assigned truck? I towed a few of those a while back, they hold a convention type cruise every year and they run right through here. Pretty cool little rv, no need to pull DL!!! David V said: Those GMC campers are built with the same front end as the old Oldsmobile Tornodo and Cadillac Eldorado. 500 c.i. engine, tranny next to the block, a big chain from the engine output to the tranny input, and I think they even had torsion front suspension didn't they? Lovely old beasts. David V. Brian991219 said: Robert, no I don't have an assigned truck I float thru whatever I need to to get the job done. I have been training one of our drivers who has been here two years on medium duty towing and rotator operation. We have been a little busy so I have been running more calls myself and I like this truck a lot. Everyone else, thanks for your comments and advice, I love how we can all share our expierence without getting our feathers ruffled! Good point on the wheel straps and chain, I have introduced that into my training program, thanks for the reminder. Daniel, I'm with you but the owner decided he likes the flames, for uniformity I would rather have the fenders orange or blue, most likely orange since this truck is the inverse of all our other trucks, meaning where this one is blue ours are orange. Blue Stripe said: Looks good Brian, glad to hear she's staying busy! Chris Flynn, WM 091008 Boardman Towing & Recovery Brian991219 said: Good to hear from you Chris, she is staying very busy, I am at almost 20,000 miles already and have had several chances to use the rotator to it's full capacity. It has turned out to be a very good truck for us, it has filled our light/medium duty gap quite nicely.
  7. Randy I couldn't agree more about the behaviors the "chip" system condones. I am not also a fan of using scanners to chase wrecks, this also caused dangerous driving behaviors. Many years ago, when I was a new towers, we had to have scanners in Pennsylvania not to chase wrecks but to keep the PSP honest. We did not use a true rotation, rather the nearest available system. This left a lot of discretion with the dispatcher as to which towing company was nearest, or available. My scanner was a tool to monitor the requests for service so I could know if I was being passed over, or know to prepare for a call if I knew it was my turn/service area and I just heard the tones go out for an ambulance or rescue truck. Today I would never think of having a scanner in my tow truck, besides being almost useless with the encrypted digital radios that most departments use, the implied liability is too great should you have a wreck responding to a call or just happen to come upon something that the department could use to suspend you from the tow list.
  8. Absolutely yes! I believe in cameras so much that I have dual facing cameras even in all of my personal vehicles. We live in a twisted society where false accusations are commonplace. I really am considering a body am, although there are some legal restrictions on civilian use of body cameras that vary from state to state. I will share a very personal story, one from nearly 30 years ago that illustrates exactly how important cameras really are, and perhaps is where my feelings about them come from. I was an 18 year old kid, fresh out of high school and new CDL holder driving school bus, yes a school bus. All was good until after the first Christmas break when my supervisor changed my assignment to a high school route from an elementary route. Mind you, this was the district I graduated from just 6 months earlier so these were former classmates (underclassmen) of mine. On this route there were two trouble maker girls that I had previous encounters with as a student, and despite me making it known I had no interest in either of them (was already with the girl who became, and still is, my wife). SO there is bad history between us, lots of history! First complaint happened within a week of me being on the route, one of their mothers decided I wasn't driving safely and lodged a complaint with the district. Fortunately, the Director of Transportation knew me well, he was also in charge of the auditorium where I spent most of my time as the student tech director for lighting and audio (geek I know). He dismissed her complaint without so much as a second thought. Next time the girls decided to report me for lewd comments, glances and one even said I tried to touch her. Absolutely not! Now, complaints of this level could not just be swept aside, so there was a full investigation that took all of a day thanks to the cameras we had on the bus. My employer had been very progressive and installed cameras that captured student behavior early on, although the system relied on a portable Mini 8 type camera (very expensive) so we shared one camera among all 44 buses. Each had the box, complete with flashing red light, and the students didn't know if it was actually recording. I had a gut feeling something bad was going to happen so I had the camera in my bus and it clearly showed absolutely nothing had happened when they claimed, and since I was worried I had been changing and keeping tapes since the driving complaint, so I had proof nothing had ever happened. Having this video evidence saved my job, my clean criminal history (must have to teach in the school and be on police rotation) and most importantly -my marriage. I doubt a young couple with a almost 1 year old baby could have survived this type of accusation if I had not been exonerated. It is because of my personal experience with issues like this that I have always kept on top of event data recorders of all types, simple CYA. I can't even imagine how my career track would have been altered, my whole life changed had it not been for that video evidence 30 years ago.
  9. Thank you, love the detail in the pictures. Very well executed example of what being a professional is all about.
  10. Thank you for the kind words Randy, well said and on point about drivers injured in single vehicle crashes. Fact is, rear end collisions are the most common, at 28% of all crashes, and also the easiest to prevent. I will also be doing a mini-clinic version on the show floor, Friday the 16th at 12:45. This is open and free for all attendees, think of it as a primer for what you will learn on Saturday morning.
  11. Very creative, great use of all available resources. You even kept safety in mind with the blocks on the ground to prevent rearward roll away, rigging well within it's capacity and protected from accidental damage. Thank you for sharing.
  12. Randy, Once again we see eye to eye on this. I also do not believe it is the towers problem to clean up remains, bodily fluids and such, however should a tower decide to provide that as an ancillary service they should be able to invoice for it much like the crime scene cleanup crews do. I believe the act of washing it down the drain has run it's course, and as you do in California, it should not be permitted due to the many chances of pollution it presents. Proper site remediation should include proper disposal of all tainted materials, currently towers have no issue in removing oil and other vehicle fluids, debris and such but few towers (at least that I am aware of) provide 100% clean up and remediation services to include proper disposal of bodily fluids. As for the fire department, yes it was a weak excuse. They could have simply refused to respond since it is not an emergency call, leaving it up to the highway department to clean the roadway as it ultimately ended up. The exposure excuse, especially from an Agency that is better trained and suited for this type of exposure than a contract highway construction crew, is suspect at best. As for towers and PTSD, I do agree with you that most tow bosses hide from their responsibility to address this head on, and that is unacceptable. If you are going to respond to police calls for crashes and such there is a very high likelihood your drivers will be exposed to this type of trauma from time to time. Had I not been part of my local volunteer fire department I may not have been properly equipped to deal with fatal accidents when I was actively towing. Even with that training and preparation, quite a few still haunt me to this day. I for one applaud you for presenting your PTSD program, I took advantage of it and appreciated the effort that went into it. None of us are Superman, we all have emotions. It is alright to admit you are not dealing with something well and to seek council, help if you will, before it destroys your mental health.
  13. I recently read this article from Canada where the local fire department refused to return to a crash scene involving a fatality to do a "wash down", meaning hose off the roadway to remove blood and other contaminants to allow it to reopen to traffic. Eventually a highway maintenance contractor came out and did the wash down. One of the concerns from the Fire Chief was limiting his fire fighters to exposure to the trauma, the other was the pollution issues associated with a wash down. I am curious what our industry thinks of these two concerns, and have you ever been asked to clean up human remains that are outside of the vehicle. I have been asked many times to tow vehicles with bodies in them, it is part of the job, but have never been asked to participate in removal of human remains outside of a vehicle before -except during rescue or recovery extractions. What are your thoughts on highway construction or maintenance workers being exposed to this type of trauma, and should they have additional training on PTSD as well as bloodborne pathogens, environmental pollution and such before being tasked with doing wash downs? What about towers, should we have this training as part of our required training to respond to crashes? Below is the link to the story in question from July 17th. https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2019/07/17/ptsd-concerns-take-centre-stage-after-firefighters-refusal-to-clean-up-traumatic-scene-led-to-more-hwy-400-chaos.html
  14. WOW is all I can say! All my coverage together, also being home based, does not add up to your premium increase. That said, northeastern PA is not known for wildfires and I am way above the flood plain, so my exposure to natural disasters is limited. Our largest concerns include wind and hail damage as well as structure collapse form excessive weight of snow on our roofs. Randy, do you think this has anything to do with PG&E declaring bankruptcy after their involvement in the wildfire last year? Or do you think this is more of the insurance underwriters grabbing cash while they can because of a general tightening of the market?
  15. It may or may not be in motion at the exact second that image was captured, however per the article it was broken down at a gas station and that background sure doesn't look like a gas station. Further, if you click the resource link you can see the entire series of images, including the operator pulling out of the gas station and onto the public roadway without lights or secondary attachment. I will stand by my orginal assessment of poor towing practices by the operator of that unit.
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