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JustinCruse

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  1. While traveling down the interstate a driver of a full size dually 4x4 pick up pulling an enclosed 24-foot cargo trailer hit a piece of debris in the road, causing their right front steer tire to blow out and pull the pickup and trailer into the right-side ditch. The ditch is soft from rain that has occurred in the area over the last week. The driver was able to check the vehicle upright during the accident. The State Patrol arrives on the scene to handle the incident. The Trooper on scene requests a tow truck to be dispatched to the scene to recover the unit from the ditch, advising the tow company the truck has a flat right-front tire that will need to be replaced or the unit will need to be transported from the scene. Upon your arrival on the scene, you advise the trooper you will survey the scene then report back them your plan to recover the causality. You are dispatched to the scene in a medium wrecker equipped with a winch brake with a front axle weight of 5,890 lbs. The rear axle weighs 19,740 lbs. The medium wrecker has a wheelbase of 205 inches. This recovery unit is equipped with 1/2 wire rope with a working load limit of 5,900 lbs. During your walk around you discover the front axle weighs 4,480 lbs with the right front tire flat. The rear axle has a weight of 7,122 lbs. The trailer has a curb weight of 3,426 lbs. The driver shows you an invoice that there are 6,276 lbs of flooring tile inside the trailer with an assortment of tools used to install the tile. While performing your walk around, you notice the path to bring the units out of the ditch is extremely soft without any type of incline. The trucks front axle is mired to tire depth. The rear axle on the truck is mired to body depth. The trailer axles are on a soft surface with trailer axles sitting on the ground. After doing the calculations for the resistance to perform the recovery, what is the total resistance needed to overcome? If the tow truck on the scene is able to perform the recovery, how many lines to the load would be required? Is the tow truck on scene able to anchor effectively? If the truck is able to perform the recovery, will the tow truck be able to transport the units from the scene and maintain tow capacity with an overhang of 90 inches? If able to stay withing tow capacity, will the tow truck have enough braking capacity? Add your answers in the comments and watch for the answers next month! View the full article on WreckMaster.com...
  2. When you talk about having the right “attitude” at work, what does that mean to you? To me, it’s about being a team player and being willing to work with the rest of the team while having a positive, contributing attitude. What are some of the signs that you or another operator may not have the right attitude while at work? Every shop seems to have that one employee that is sitting in the corner drinking his coffee or looking at his phone in the morning with a scowl on his face with a grumpy attitude to back it up. Basically, a team member who is always in a bad mood and doesn’t want to talk with anyone most of the time. They put in just enough effort not to get fired, but nothing more than that. If your thinking your shop doesn't have one of these operators...either you work in a great place or maybe you’re this person and don’t realize it? What are some of the ways you have found work to help keep you in a good attitude at work? I think it starts before work and may need to be re-set throughout the day occasionally. As towers, we don't typically have a set schedule to start each day. We wake up to a call or text, maybe a few people still have a pager, with directions for our first call And of course we need to be there ASAP. The first 10 minutes of your day can easily set the pattern for the rest of the day. Take the extra minute you don't think you have to hit the Keurig button or say good morning to your family. Don't let the day run you. Throughout the day you may need a re-set. Find 10 minutes and instead of looking at what others are doing on social media get out of the truck and walk around a park or a scrap yard or whatever your town has to offer that you enjoy. Maybe if you like a specific drink or snack from your favorite store, add it to your route somehow. Dont be wasting fuel and your bosses time, but if you can take 10 minutes to clear your head, do it. Is there anything a towing company can do for its employees to help improve moral? Most operators just want to feel like they are respected and needed. Offering them to take a random 15 or 30 minute break at 2 in the afternoon is a nice gesture. Maybe even calling them in late one morning a month or letting them leave early. Time off is almost as good if not better than financial compensation in some cases. It helps the employee re-set and hopefully have a little better outlook on their job. Is there a breaking point where an operator may realize towing isn’t for them? This is a demanding job. When you start to think you are getting burned out you are most likely already burned out. It’s no longer safe for you to be doing your job on the side of a highway or in traffic if you are on edge or irritable or just dont care as much any more. Maybe it's just time for a break? Maybe a vacation or a job switch with in the company for a while. Lets face it, life's too short to work a job that you are burned out on. You are no longer doing yourself, your coworkers or employer any good. Find what makes you happy or challenges you and stay focused. Maybe you leave the industry for a bit but it seems with most tow operators they can say “just when I thought I was out, they sucked me back in.” There’s a story about a guy that won the lottery. He promptly quit his job of 18 years as many people would. Shortly after he went to his local landscape supplier and ordered 20,000 tons of manure to be dropped off at his home. He had it all lined up to be dumped at the same time very early one morning. When they started dumping all the lights came on in the house and a man came running out yelling to stop. Turns out the house was actually his old bosses of 18 years. He was simply giving him back all the crap he had given him. Don’t be this guy. You may never win the lottery… and you will just be miserable for 18 years instead. Do what you love, Love what you do- C’ya in the ditch View the full article on WreckMaster.com...
  3. You'd be hard pressed to find a towing operator that doesn't know how to jump a dead battery or has never jumped on for a job. But for those that may need a bit of refresher or have never used a portable jump pack before, we've created a handy infographic: Got any tips on jumping batteries? Leave them in the comments below! View the full article on WreckMaster.com...
  4. The students covered Rotator setup followed by lifting an empty sea container to demonstrate the effect of angles on rigging. Next, using two wreckers were setup using two load cells on a clothesline to lift a vehicle. The last module was the upright of cement mixer DAY 4 underway:
  5. 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 have 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 first 40 feet being flat and level which will allow the roll off company to unload 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...
  6. As towers, it can sometimes be hard to remember that the casualty isn’t the most important thing on scene. Yes, what you are there to do is tow a vehicle. But why you are there is to help someone in need. Simply put, you should always take care of the customer before taking care of the casualty. Why? Because it’s the customer, not the casualty, that may feel overwhelmed, unsafe or confused. Because the customer is in more danger than the casualty. Because it’s the customer, not the casualty, that called for assistance. And it’s the customer, not the casualty, that expects good customer service. When you arrive at the scene, before you even start inspecting the casualty, you should speak with the customer. You need to introduce yourself and quickly move the customer to a safe location. WreckMaster recommends putting the customer in the cab of your truck with their seatbelt on while on the road side. At the minimum, the customer should at least be placed on the non-traffic side of a barrier. Speaking with the customer is part of your survey. They may have information about their vehicle that may be important. That said, always be sure to verify what information the customer tells you before beginning your tow. After your survey has been completed and you’ve made all your calculations, you still need to explain to the customer what is going to happen. This is an important conversation to have so they know what steps to take after the casualty has been moved, but also to help put their mind at ease. All conversations with the customer can happen with the customer in the cab of the truck and the operator on the non-traffic side of the scene. Remember, towing a casualty is what your are there to do. Helping someone in need is why you are there. View the full article on WreckMaster.com...
  7. As a WreckMaster Instructor and veteran of the towing industry, what are some of the things that you think carrier operators need to be doing a better? I think Carrier operators should be watching out for themselves a lot better, looking for traffic, looking for hazards. 18 out of 20 towing related injuries happen on a flatbed or roll back, so you need to make yourself the most important person at SCENE. What is the three points rule and why is it important that operators follow it? The three points of contact rule is at when you enter the truck you always have three points of contact one like two hands or two feet one hand and get it out of the truck or exit the truck the same way, always maintaining three points of contact. That way if a car comes close to you you can pull yourself back in the cab. How do you recommend an operator deals with the customer while working roadside? Does the volume of traffic impact this? First and foremost, I think they should be taking care of the customer, getting the customer in their truck’s cabin with a seat belt on or behind the guard rail. The customer needs to come first. The amount of traffic should not matter when it comes to the customer, whether there is one car or 400 car. Is it ever OK to cut corners on a busy road way or if you’re only traveling a short distance? The only shortcut I feel that should be taken is on a busy roadway or interstate. You can tie down one front corner and one rear corner of the casualty until you can get off the roadway, to a rest station or some other safe location to finish tying the other two points down. That way you’re not impeding the flow of traffic and you’re not in any danger as you’re off the roadway. Remember. 18 out of 20 injuries happen in our industry on a carrier. Why is it important to properly survey the casualty and area? The reason it’s important to do a SCENE survey on any casually is there will always be stuff hidden. It may be stuck on a tree stump or on a guard rail, etc. Many different things could happen so what you need to do is survey the situation. You need to calculate what it’s going to take the winch the casualty up on the deck of the carrier. You need to explain to the customer, law enforcement or anyone else on scene what you are going to do. You need to check your no’s to make sure that there are no errors. Finally, you need to execute. Do it once and do it right. What tips would you offer a new carrier operator? My suggestion to a new operator is get as much training before you go out on the road by yourself. Watch videos, go to the WreckMaster website and get the skills and training. Go to WreckMaster, a Level 2/3 class and get some hands-on training. I have had students say they learned more coming to a class than in 20 years experience on the road, that learn a lot of different techniques, even just on the carrier scenario alone! View the full article on WreckMaster.com...
  8. A loaded tractor trailer with a gross vehicle weight of 74,952 lbs has become stuck in a rest area after parking on the off-ramp shoulder. The left side of the unit is on the concrete shoulder. Upon your arrival, you park your wrecker out of the way. Once, you locate the driver, you introduce yourself advising them you will perform a walk around then come back to talk about the recovery process. You ask them if they have a scale ticket for the unit with the current load in it. The driver hands you the scale ticket advising you that the load is a sealed load which will prevent the trailer doors from being opened. The load is a mixed load of general freight. The front axle weighs 10,972 lbs with the right side on gravel. When the driver parked, they had to make sure the whole unit was on the other side of the white painted line. Both of the drive axles on the trailer weigh 15,870 lbs. While performing your walk around you noticed the right side of the drive axles there is mud to the center of the tire. The trailer axles weigh 16,120 lbs which you noted had mud covering to just below the center of the hub. When you complete your survey, you ask the driver if the unit still runs? does the tractor still have air pressure? will the tractor and trailer brakes release? The driver informs you that the unit does run which allows it to build up air pressure which will allow the brakes to be released on the semi and trailer. Launch the test below to fill out your answers! TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE View the full article on WreckMaster.com...
  9. In our almost three decades, we’ve been told repeatedly by operators that they don’t training or that they are too experienced for our courses. We also know from first-hand experience that this is rarely true. That’s why we’re giving you Six Reasons You Need Towing Training: It will keep you safe It goes without saying that towing isn’t the safest profession. Towers are constantly placed in dangerous situations and rarely receive the same respect from the motoring public that first responders do. In North America, one towing operator is killed working roadside roughly once every six days. The only thing that can keep you safe on the side of the road is yourself. With WreckMaster training, you will learn how to safely create a barrier between you and the motoring public as well as best practices for staying safe while on scene. It will keep your equipment in better shape It is the responsibility of every tow operator to know the capabilities and limitations of their equipment. However...that isn’t always the case. The simple truth is that even experienced operators aren’t getting the most of their equipment, or even worse, exceeding what their equipment is capable of. In our training, we teach students not only how to safely operate their equipment, but how to also maintain the health of their tools. You will work faster When you go through WreckMaster training, you learn to take out the guess-work. You learn how to evaluate and calculate every job the right way the first time. This efficiency means you can get your customers on their way faster and you can be on to your next job more quickly. You will make more money WreckMaster can help you make more in a number of ways: When you are more efficient, you spend less time on scene. This means you can take on more jobs. When you know how to properly maintain your equipment, your tools and equipment last longer. When you’re not constantly replacing tools, you’re saving money. WreckMaster certification is proof that you know your stuff. This means you can justify your rates more easily to customers. You become part of a community WreckMaster is a community. For almost three decades, we have been building comradery in the towing and recovery industry. Anyone who has ever attended a WreckMaster training course knows that our industry is strongest when it works together. You will learn something new Not all of our students attend our training by their choice; sometimes they are sent by their company’s owner or manager. Our instructors have heard it all: “I don’t need training, I’ve been in the industry for years.” “There’s nothing you can teach me that I haven’t learned on the road.” After three decades, there is one thing we can say for certain - no one has ever left a WreckMaster course without learning something new. No matter how much you think you know, there is always something else to learn. Join us and help us keep growing the towing industry of tomorrow. Cya in the ditch. View the full article on WreckMaster.com...
  10. You believe that towing operators that become complacent in their job can end up being metaphorically asleep at the wheel. What are the dangers of an operator’s job becoming too monotonous? Well to start with, there are the not so metaphorical dangers that most of us are all to familiar with. Things like damaging the vehicle we were sent after, or our equipment/rigging during the recovery or transport. Or even getting involved in a traffic accident because we reached down to grab the tow sheet from the salvage pool! (Umm I may have some first-hand knowledge there…🙄) Those are all very real problems that most of us would agree, happen far too often and could usually be prevented by simply paying attention to the job at hand! Hiding quietly under all of those obvious physical dangers are the mental and emotional issues that are seldom discussed and almost never truly dealt with. When in reality, the vast majority of things we blame for physical problems, such as inattentiveness, forgetfulness or fatigue, are physical symptoms of an underlying mental or emotional problem. Operators are putting themselves in unbelievably demanding situations and rarely considering the mental side of our profession. Many of us talk about making sure we are in good physical shape,(probably not enough) but when was the last time you heard a couple of operators talking about the time they set aside to work on their mental state? When was the last time you as an individual considered the state of mind you are in when you interact with customers? Have you ever in all sincerity asked yourself: “Why am I here?” Yes I know, you have bills to pay and you need a job. I get that. But that is not why you choose to be in the towing and recovery industry. There are plenty of easier ways to make a living. There is something deeper that gets you in that truck every day and when you understand and own that, it is the source for all the drive and passion you will need! Do you have any suggestions for operators to prevent their jobs from becoming too monotonous? First and foremost, find your “Why!” That's not end-all, be-all, but it is definitely the surest foundation. Another big thing for me is to find the different parts of your daily grind that you can turn into a game and make it enjoyable. Every job on this planet has some part that sucks, every single one! The best thing I have found for those things is to take them as a challenge and see if you can figure out a way to master them. If nothing else it is mental exercise and we could all use a healthy dose of that. You’re a strong advocate for discovering the “why” in the workplace. What do you think this means for towers? This was a concept that I was kind of on the edge of understanding for several years. Little flashes of it would come up at times but I never really got a hold of it. Then I read the book “Start With Why” by Simon Sinek and bang! It was like the light turned on and so many things started to fill in the gaps! Finding your why means figuring out what is driving you; your purpose for existing. But it is an incredibly personal process and really depends on the individual. No two why's are exactly the same and that's fantastic, because your why is who you are when you are at your best. That’s what gives you a unique perspective, so when you get someone's perspective on a job when they are at their best amazing things happen! Just think about a team going out to do a recovery and all of them have a solid grasp on who they are and why they are there, and you can see the drive and passion in them working together… man, how could you not be excited to go to work with that in front of you? How can you make towing a meaningful profession? Well first you have to ask yourself “meaningful to who?” It has to start with you. Do you truly feel like your profession is meaningful? If you're answer is not a pretty rapid yes, then in all honesty, you need to get out! There are plenty of other jobs out there and most of them are far less likely to get you killed. This is a dangerous profession! Yes, it should be less dangerous.Yes, we are working on that. But we will never be able to make it as safe as being a librarian. So don't risk your life for something you don't even find meaningful! Hell, why risk it for anything you don't have a burning passion for? This is not an issue for most operators, but what about the public? If you were able to ask the motoring public as a group if our profession was meaningful, it would be met with a resounding “meh.” So right there is one of our industries biggest problems, how do we get our customers to view us as more than just “meh?” I am absolutely convinced that it begins with each individual operator’s self worth! That is the true root of our issues in this industry and nearly everything else is a symptom that can be traced back to that. If I could snap my fingers and do one thing, it would be to show each individual their true worth! Is there any responsibility on the company owner or manager to ensure their operators are challenging themselves in the workplace? I believe that people are far too willing to give that power to someone else. This is something that is not unique to towing - it’s something that we see far too often in society as a whole. Remember: how you conduct yourself in your personal life affects how you conduct yourself in your work life. As towers, we often say “Well those auto clubs are just running us into the ground with those rates,” or “those insurance companies are strangling us with these policies.” Stop conceding your power to those around you! In order to take control of those situations you must first take responsibility for not controlling them to begin with. You have the power to make up your own mind! You have the power to speak or hold your tongue, to move or stand still. You will never be able to take back power from someone if you continue to blame them for things you can control. While I as an owner may have a vested interest in challenging, educating, and inspiring my operators so that they can excel both as individuals, and in their profession, the responsibility lies with the individual! View the full article on WreckMaster.com...
  11. 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...
  12. In your opinion, what is it that tow operators aren’t understanding when dealing with customers while on Scene? Customers can be viewed as a type of victim as they are often faced with an unfortunate situation which leaves them somewhat traumatized. While we are not psychologists, we do have to deal with very emotional people. Empathy is the key to communicating in these situations and can help to level emotions and calm a victim. How would you define empathy as it applies to the towing and recovery industry? Empathy is thinking of yourself in the customer's situation. These people are having a bad day and often the operator is their first sounding board, so they may unload. The operator is in control in this situation, so they must remain calm and level headed. When two people are emotional, arguments can ensue and judgement can become clouded. You believe that too many operators are confusing sympathy with empathy. Why is it more important to be empathetic than sympathetic? People don’t typically want others feeling sorry them. Saying you're sorry is sympathetic, but it won't help solve their problem at the moment. Saying you can relate to their predicament and understand their frustration is empathetic. While it may not solve their problem, it can help diffuse the emotion associated with it. What are some of the ways an operator can read how a customer is feeling / understand their emotional state? Customers can be angry, afraid, frustrated and nervous just to name a few of the emotions that the trauma of a breakdown or accident can cause. It’s important to watch their body language or facial expression and not just listen to the words they speak, but their tonality as well. What are the ways you can respond to a customer who is in a difficult emotional state? It is the operator's job to help the customer feel safe and secure and instill confidence in them that they will be able to meet their needs and help solve their problem to get their day back on track in a satisfactory way. What are personas? How would you describe them regarding customer service? Customer service involves communication at a level both parties understand. Identifying an individual's persona will help to reach the understanding necessary to communicate effectively. It’s the difference in communication with a police officer on the scene to the customer of the incident. While these are both examples of who our customer is we use a different demeanor when communicating with these two totally different personas. View the full article on WreckMaster.com...
  13. When customers feel positively about an interaction with a representative of a company, they are more likely to become a repeat customer or recommend your organization to friends and family. Whether you are a dispatcher, operator or owner, your interactions with customers can majorly influence their future decisions to use your services again. Here are some tips to improve customer retention and increase your client’s overall experience: Make a good first impression As the saying goes, “you only have one chance at a first impression.” Customer experience and retention starts with the first contact a customer has with a company – whether it is with an administrator or an operator. Customers who call for a recovery are usually in some sort of distress. It is important to take this into consideration when engaging with them, as they may be more irritable than usual. Being polite, helpful and answer all their questions will go a long way in ensuring their experience with company is viewed positively. “Vehicle issues create a lot of stress for customers,” says Kurt Wilson, Lead Instructor for WreckMaster. “Be sure to introduce yourself to any customers and officials at a scene and be polite.” Use positive language and answer questions Customers want to know what’s going on – it is there vehicle that is being handled, after all. They may have questions about the techniques an operator will use, how it will affect the vehicle and where the vehicle may be going. It is important to respond politely and make sure customer feels like they know what’s going on. “Too many times people who have been in their job for any length of time forget what it is like for someone to experience an accident or need a recovery for the first time,” say Wilson. “Explaining the procedure to them is actually more important than the act itself.” Try and use simplified language that a non-tower would understand and refrain from using slang terms for equipment and operations. Respect makes us stronger Let’s be honest - you’re not going to like everyone you encounter while working. Whether it’s a difficult customer or a disrespectful coworker, problems do arise. It is important to remember that you DO NOT need to like everyone, but you MUST respect them. When towing operators treat their customers and each other with respect, it makes them stronger. How does it make them stronger? It can provide them with a sense of understanding of what the other is going through and allow them to empathize with the person they are struggling with. It also creates a more professional atmosphere, which makes work-life more enjoyable and leaves a better impact on customers. While becoming annoyed or angry during your work day is almost completely unavoidable, you must keep a level of respect for everyone you deal with. Keep a truck and clean uniform Typically, during a recovery, you will be taking the customers vehicle away from them for a short period of time. They will want to know that their vehicle is in the best hands possible. Regardless of an operator’s skills and experience, a uniform that is in disarray or a unkempt truck can cause uncertainty in the eyes of the customer. Create customer service guidelines Every company – especially those offering technical services – should have some sort of organizational handbook. These books generally have information about day-to-day operations, benefits, contact information and employee conduct standards. Adding a detailed set of customer service guidelines can help ensure that all operators and administrative staff are uniform in their approach to dealing with customers. The guidelines do not have to be overly complicated, and there are a number of online resources that can help you write your own for your company. View the full article on WreckMaster.com...
  14. From your experience managing towing companies, what have you noticed about the way operators take ownership and pass blame? When the blame game happens in a towing company, it not only causes issues between coworkers but also with customers. It’s only when everyone in the company - not just operators - take ownership of a problem that these issues start to become minimized. Why is important to take ownership for your mistakes? It is always easier to resolve problems by being proactive instead of reactive. When ownership is taken, all parties involved feel better about the process and how it gets handled.. When the issues are hidden or swept under the rug, it gives off the impression that the company doesn’t care about their customers. When it’s an issue between two coworkers it can build up animosity between them and can lead to a potential “us against them” mentality within the organization. Why do you feel that taking ownership is so important for operators in the towing industry? While taking ownership of one’s mistakes can be a huge hit to a person’s pride, it shows a level of awareness that there is an issue that needs to be resolved. The goal is never to make someone feel like they are inferior about any issue, but to come together as a team to form the quickest and most effective solution. When problems are hidden or ignored, the perception is that company or employee doesn’t care. That’s normally the furthest thing from the truth. It’s the consequences that is often most scary, not the issue. Do you have any examples of when an operators has stepped up to take ownership or has not succeeded when they have tried to pass blame? Pretty much everyone has experienced a situation where something didn’t go as planned or been faced with a less than successful result as the outcome. An example of this in the towing industry would be damaging a door frame or window during an unlock and then trying to blame the vehicle’s owner as if it’s their fault since they are the ones who caused the problem to start with. A tower is typically called out to resolve a bad event, not create it. Another example would be a dispatcher who gets overwhelmed with a flood of calls all at once, causing them to forget about one of the calls they had taken. When the customer calls back in to find out why no one has arrived, the response is key. Making an excuse won’t resolve the situation, but taking ownership and apologizing is a step in the right direction. How do you feel this relates to the WreckMaster philosophy? I believe that WreckMaster is doing more than just teaching towing and recovery techniques. When a student comes to one of our hands-on courses, they get exposed to the idea that being a tow truck operator is true profession, not just a job. We instill in them they must take pride in themselves and the work they perform every day. We teach them that things may not always go exactly as planned and that they need to take ownership when things go poorly. It’s easy to stand up and take credit when someone is impressed, but difficult to own it when someone isn’t happy. How we react in those situations can leave a lasting impression on our coworkers, employers and customers. Normally, we only get one chance at a first impression. Towers not taking the time to make it a good one is one of the reasons that the towing industry doesn’t get the respect it should. As a professional tower and WreckMaster instructor, I honestly believe the majority of towing companies out there have the same goal: help people in their time of need by improving the situation. There is still a lack of training on the customer service side of our industry and that makes taking ownership of a problem difficult for our operators. You believe that following a strict discipline can make positive impacts on individuals both in their career and otherwise. How do you feel that connects to a towing operator? The WreckMaster philosophy is tied to a discipline that creates a guideline for operators to follow. It may sound crazy to some, but that discipline leads to freedom. When an operator takes ownership of the situation that are involved it, it can reduce the stress of their mistake or blame being wrongfully assigned. There’s a lot of freedom that comes with attacking a problem instead of just waiting for it to disappear. WreckMaster not only gives people the confidence to do their job but it shows them there is a lot to be proud of in the industry. View the full article on WreckMaster.com...
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