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JustinCruse

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JustinCruse last won the day on February 19

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  1. Remember these 10 Tips to stay safe while on the job: Click here to download and print this poster View the full article on WreckMaster.com...
  2. You have been dispatch to recover a vehicle that has become stuck while traveling down a gravel road. It has rained for the last week causing the road to wash out the gravel. The driver was traveling at night which limited their visibility of the road condition. The car has a gross vehicle weight of 2749 lbs. The rear axle weighing 1,347 lbs is mired to the axle with the front axle mired to tires with a weight of 1,402 lbs. You have access to the front of the vehicle. QUESTIONS: View the full article on WreckMaster.com...
  3. The phone rings. “Bob and Tom’s Towing, this is Bob, how can I help you?” Different names, different places, but every day, thousands of conversations start just like this and end with something along the lines of: “Thanks for choosing us,” “Hope you have a better day,” or “Good luck!” But the middle is where all the interesting stuff is. That’s where we live, in muck and the mud, the bad day that just got worse. That’s what we’re there for, the chaos! The trick is to not let the chaos rattle and consume you. The words of the poet come to mind: “to keep your wits about you when all about you are losing theirs!” So how do we do it? How do we stand in the middle of the chaos and remain in control? The first aspect is information, joined at the hip with communication - Good communication! That is the most effective weapon in the fight against chaos. What problem could you not solve if the proper information was given with perfect communication? Here’s an example. Bob answers the phone like he always does and from the other end of the line the story starts to unfold. “My ford pickup broke down and needs to be towed.” So Bob proceeds to get a description of the vehicle: a green 2007 Ford F-350. He also gets information regarding the vehicles pickup and drop off locations. A pretty standard call, all things considered. Now Bob relays the info to Tom. Tom then goes out to help the customer. But when Tom pulls up on scene in his F-650 carrier he gets a surprise: not only does he find the bright green pickup, but attached to it is a 35’ 5th wheel trailer. Is Tom equipped to handle this call? Nope! So now he’s scrambling trying to figure out what options he has, while the customer, his wife and three yapping dogs express their concern and displeasure at the prospect of waiting another 30-45 minutes for the other truck to get there to solve the problem. Now, on the one hand, you could say to yourself the guy should have told him that he had a trailer to start with. And that may be true, but there are some questions you need to ask yourself before you go down the road of blaming someone else. Who is the professional? Are you, the operator, responsible for your own actions? Did the dispatcher(Bob) get all the information that was needed to efficiently do the call? Did Bob have the training he needed to understand the situation and know what questions to ask the customer? Did Tom follow up with the customer to make sure the information he received was accurate and complete? The more of these questions you ask, the more you can see that there is plenty of blame to go around. And while pointing the finger at someone else’s mistake may feel better, that is never going to lead to a better place! Taking responsibility for your own action or inaction must be your first move if you want to be successful. When was the last time you participated in or organized a training session with operators and dispatchers? Do your dispatchers have the necessary skills and tools to do their job so well that it makes the operators job easier? Do the operators understand what the office staff needs from them in order to make their jobs easier? Do you and your team truly act like a team? Or is that room filled with people who are less interested in helping each other and more interested shining the light on other’s mistakes? Whatever position you find yourself in, owner, manager, operator, or office staff. Figure out how you can be your best and lift those around you. Actively participate in company training. Ask how you can help your coworkers and teammates. Give honest and constructive feedback, and listen when that is given to you! Take ownership of yourself and see what kind of progress you can make. View the full article on WreckMaster.com...
  4. PRO TIPS: 1. Store your V-Bridle on the right sight of your carrier bed to make it easier to access. 2. Store your towing and service equipment on the right (non-traffic) side of your truck. 3. Store your recovery equipment on the left side of your truck. View the full article on WreckMaster.com...
  5. A stripped bolt can cause frustration for any operator. Luckily WreckMaster Lead Instructor Casey Burrows has some tips on how to quickly and efficiently address the issue. Source Link
  6. You have been dispatched to recover a skid steer that has become stuck at the bottom of a 15° grade. Due to the location of the skid steer, you have to back down the grade to get close enough to perform the recovery. The tow truck you are operating has a gross vehicle weight of 13,260 lb. With the front axle weighing 5,860 lb while the rear axle weighs 7,400 lb. After successfully winching the wheeled skid steer out, the wrecker's rear axle has become mired to tire depth. The front axle is on a soft surface. On the scene, there is a dump truck at the top of the hill that can be positioned directly in front of the tow truck. There are two attachment points on the rear of the dump truck. You are able to move the wheeled skid steer to position it on the driver's side of the tow truck with it lined up just in front of the rear axle. The bucket has an attachment point on it. The wire rope has been run off the end of the boom to a snatch block attached to the skid loader, from there the line is run through a snatch block attached to the driver's side rear attachment point of the dump truck. From there the line is run through a snatch block that is attached to a two-legged bridle attached to the front of the truck that is stuck. The hook end of the wire rope is then attached to the passenger side of the dump truck. The rear brakes are set on the dump truck with it sitting on hard-packed gravel. The wheeled skid steer is sitting on hard-packed grass with all of its brakes set. The angle of the sheave head is at 90° The angle of snatch block A is at 10° The angle of snatch block B is at 30° The angle of snatch block C is at 70° Take the quiz below to see if you know your stuff! View the full article on WreckMaster.com...
  7. You started in towing long before ever attending a WreckMaster class. How did you get your start in the industry? I was born into the industry. My family’s business has evolved over the course of its 103 year history. Beginning as a blacksmith shop in 1917, the generations of Burrows Heavy Wrecker men have adapted to the changing needs of transportation. I began watching my father and grandfather work their Holmes 750’s and W-45’s at a very early age. When I was seven years old, my father allowed me to run the controls of a wrecker to upright an upset tractor and trailer. That event cemented my desire to join my father and grandfather, wherever and whenever they’d take me along to watch, help and learn the trade. Officially speaking, I began full-time employment with the family’s business in 1997; operating a heavy-duty wrecker. What was it like attending your first WreckMaster class? In 2007 I attended my first WreckMaster course in Louisville, KY. David Bouvia presented the Level 2/3 to a group of operators that I had known and worked with for years. I was 29 years old when I attended this course and had been a professional operator for 10 years. I had convinced myself that nothing useful would be gained by taking a “Light-Duty” class. David laid out the 2/3 curriculum, as he so masterfully does, and showed this egotistical operator that when the foundation hasn’t been properly built, failures and weaknesses will become evident the higher you build. As I reflect upon my learnings from the Level 8/9, the core disciplines taught in the Level 2/3 are essential for preparing an experienced operator for life and work in the ditch. How did you become more involved with WreckMaster? I have been blessed with mentors and leaders that have instilled in me the calling to return to others that which has been given to me. Many great operators and industry professionals have taught me and shared their wisdom with me. My company chose to begin hosting WreckMaster classes to allow a channel for that valuable knowledge and wisdom to reach further into our industry. A dear friend and colleague, Nick Schade of Tony’s Wrecker Service and I worked together to sponsor and produce many classes at our respective companies. In addition to team hosting, Nick has challenged me with applying the WreckMaster Discipline to my daily life and career. Nick and I share photos of jobs, each printing the other’s photos and drawing angles and calculating line loads. I owe a great deal of where I am today to my wonderful friend Nick. In 2015 I was recognized as a WreckMaster Top 10. Then, in 2018 I was surprised with the highest honor bestowed by WreckMaster, the WreckMaster of the year award. I was humbled and filled with immense pride all at the same time. I shared the moment with my family and vowed to be a voice to the industry, taking the elements of professionalism, community, confidence, safety, knowledge and integrity to every operator that will listen. I began traveling with Lead Instructor Scott Aey to learn the ropes of instructing the WreckMaster curriculum. Scott shared his experience and knowledge with me to help prepare me for the opportunity to advance to the position of instructor. I also traveled with Randy Biichle and Kurt Wilson. I learned quickly that each instructor has their own style. But, the strength of the core content is evident and consistent across the entire instructor team. This feature of the WreckMaster brand is what makes it the most sought after and valuable training and certification program in our industry today. I’m proud to represent this company and all that it stands for. What was it like teaching your first WreckMaster class? From 2002 until 2010, I worked as a professional firefighter in addition to my career as a towing operator. I was a fire instructor during my Fire and Rescue career. I developed and presented training to firefighters at my department and others. My area of focus was training recruit firefighters and new pump operators. Teaching groups of people was not new to me by the time I taught my first WreckMaster class. However, teaching in front of groups of towing operators, some of which had been in the industry for many years was very different. The first priority for me was presenting the information in a way that would challenge a person’s thinking without having them reject the concepts based on the “That’s how I’ve always done it” mentality. I believe that a leader or instructor that can inspire genuine curiosity within their students will be highly successful. A person has to desire to ask themselves the challenging questions and I want to be there to offer the best answer possible. What do you think that WreckMaster offers that the industry is currently missing? To be an industry that offers careers, not just jobs, towing and recovery needs to embrace strategies that empower operators to earn a wage that is consistent with the risk and sacrifices made to deliver the service. To provide that wage, towing companies also need to earn more for their services as well. However, the consumer will not be willing to pay more for the service if it is delivered on par with the way that the general public currently perceives wrecker drivers. Our companies and operators need to enhance their image by increasing their knowledge, conducting themselves in a more professional manner, and working together to make Towing and Recovery a top tier industry; one that is respected as much as Law Enforcement, Fire/Rescue and EMS. Wreckmaster offers the tools to support this change. The model of professionalism, gaining knowledge through training and teamwork are integral to our company. A company or an operator that partners with WreckMaster has and edge over the competition in becoming a more professional and higher compensated representative of the Towing and Recovery Industry. View the full article on WreckMaster.com...
  8. When the driver of a semi pulling a flatbed trailer loaded with a steel coil that weighs 23,348 lb, he discovered the axles on the semi were overweight. You have been contacted to lift the coil high enough off the deck of the trailer to allow the driver to pull the unit forward to re-position it. The steel coil is 4'6" wide with a thickness of 2'2". The height is 3'. You are operating a 30-ton wrecker with a wheelbase of 225". The rear axle weighs 13,500 lb while the front axle weighs 12,500 lb. Once you arrive on the scene, you find the coil is loaded shotgun style. After doing some calculations, you know you will need to have 80" of overhang to perform the lift with the boom at 30 degrees. The wrecker is equipped with a 3/4 steel core wire rope with a WLL of 14,7000 lb. On the wrecker is a WreckMaster 8" buckle with a WLL of 50,000 lb. The rigging on the truck includes a variety of round slings orange 40,000 lb, Blue 21,200 lb, wear-pads, fire hose, coil-edge protectors, Grade 100 chain in 1/2, 5/8 size in lengths from 6' up to 16'. 10"/15-ton snatch blocks. Think you know your stuff? Fill in your answers below and see how you did! View the full article on WreckMaster.com...
  9. This Video is an overview of the changes and updates to the company and how it will benefit those in the towing industry. WreckMaster; Professionalism: is what we represent Confidence: is what we build - Safety: is what we achieve Community: is our strength - Integrity: is who we are - Knowledge: is what we deliver Sign up for the WreckMaster Partner Program:
  10. You have been dispatched to use your winches to lower a 40-yard roll-off dumpster into driveway that has a tree line down both sides creating a canopy over it preventing the roll-off truck from unloading it at the bottom without damaging the trees. The truck you are in is a 16 ton wrecker equipped with dual 15,000 lbs winches that has 150 feet of 1/2 steel core wire rope. The roll-off dumpster has rollers on all four corners which will allow it to roll down the concrete driveway. The curb weight of the empty dumpster is 6,500 lbs. The driveway is sloped towards the house. The layout of the driveway is straight from roadway with it ending right next to the garage. The garage door is to the right of the driveway. The length of the driveway to the spot where the contractor wants the dumpster is 100 foot with the last 40 feet being flat and level which will allow the roll off company to load the dumpster on the flat part of the driveway. The rest of the driveway is at a 15° until it levels off at the bottom of the driveway. The contractor has swept the driveway to remove any debris that was on it. Once the roll-off is unloaded, it is chocked in place with two rubber chock blocks. After performing your survey, you note that there is room in front of the dumpster to position your truck directly in front of it. The front of the dumpster has two attachment points designed to have a two-legged bridle attached to for such instances. On the back of the dumpster, the company has painted its Name, dumpster number, empty weight as well as a list of items not allowed in it. The empty weight is 6,500 lbs. 1/2 inch steel wire rope WLL 7,490 lbs 1/2 inch Grade 100 12 foot Two leg bridle WLL 26,000 lbs @ 60° With the information, you were able to gather during your survey, answer the following questions. 1. What is the resistance of the dumpster? 2. Will the wire rope be within its working load limit if used as a single line? View the full article on WreckMaster.com...
  11. Is it worth it for a company to create a traffic management plan, or are they able to just wing it on scene? I would never recommend just “winging” it while on scene. I like to think of a plan like a map; it’s hard to get where you’re going when you don’t have one. When you send your team out without a plan, you’re handicapping them. Having a traffic management plan adds a level of direction to every scene while providing structure that can keep workers, first responders, pedestrians and traffic safe. Is there ever a situation where traffic management / control isn’t required? I think that traffic management should always be in place - whether it’s something as simple as turning on your rotating lights, placing some cones behind your truck or full signage such as arrow-boards. Traffic control is not just for vehicular traffic, it also keeps pedestrian traffic safe. Your beacons, cones and signage act as a way to alert the public, not just divert traffic. Additionally, when you don’t inform the public of an incident ahead with advanced warning, it can lead to secondary accidents. Does the type of roadway or speed limit matter when setting up equipment for controlling traffic? What are some factors that can affect this? Absolutely it does. Speed of the road, the terrain of the road, weather conditions, time of day, volume of traffic - all of these things need to be considered when setting up traffic management. What are some ways first responders can assist with managing traffic? The first thing they need to do is provide advanced warning by putting up signs immediately. Most first responders want to be right at the scene. The best thing for them to do is identify a specific person to be upstream, alerting traffic of the incident ahead. The area, environment and speed of traffic will determine how far back they should be set up. I recommend they are back a minimum of 500 feet setting up initial warnings for any roadway over 30 mph. Remember, the further upstream from the incident they are, the better, but they still need to set up warning signs at set intervals between themselves and the scene of the incident. Are traffic laws different depending on jurisdiction? Where can an operator learn about what they can and can’t do in their area? Operators should research the minimum requirements for traffic management for their province or state. Almost all provinces and states have similar rules and laws designed to create a safe work environment for the motoring public, first responders, towing operators and anyone else in the vicinity. This is true for small incidents AND large ones. I would rather my operator come back with a ticket for too many signs than not enough. My belief is that if you do not have enough advance warning, you may not make it back alive. What kind of rights does an operator have when it comes to traffic management and control? It is the right of any worker or employee to refuse any unsafe work. Every employee has the right to protect themselves and the people they are around, to maintain a safe work environment and to ask police and fire to assist if they feel unsafe. If first responders are pressuring you to hurry and not establish safe traffic management warnings, tell them you feel unsafe and tell them why you feel unsafe. Work with them towards a solution. A lot of times, the operator just wants to be heard. The first responders may only do what is required until they can get a safer work zone in place. Often giving them some insight into the situation can help create a safe scene. View the full article on WreckMaster.com...
  12. Keep a light jacket with your gear As the weather begins to turn colder, dressing in warmer clothes becomes a necessity. Packing a jacket that can keep you warm if the temperature drops is important. I usually recommend something waterproof that can be worn in the rain. Make sure it has the proper reflective striping or that your high-visibility gear can fit over it. Pack a flashlight The change in season means the sun is going down earlier and earlier every night. While most cell phones now come with one installed, we still recommend keeping a battery or crank operated flashlight with your gear or in your truck. This is especially important in the fall and winter when the sun goes down before heavy traffic is finished for the way. Pack some extra socks Plain and simple: having cold feet sucks, having wet feet sucks. The importance of extra socks can never be overstated. Weather appropriate footwear Fall means damp, wet weather and leaves. Make sure your footwear is not only able to keep your feet warm, but also has proper grip to prevent slips and falls. Finding something that can keep your feet dry if you step in a puddle or mud is also important. Stay hydrated This is something that not enough towing operators take seriously and it isn’t just a summer issue. Typically we spend long days either in a truck or on the side of the road. Coffee is often what keeps us running, but proper hydration can keep your energy high and your health in good shape. View the full article on WreckMaster.com...
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