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Everything posted by rreschran

  1. It sounds like new technology, but, George Jetson was waaaaaay ahead of our time ... flying space-cars, moving sidewalks, robotic maids, talking dogs named Astro, sight on sound telephones, jet-packs for personal flight ... come on. Does this mean the company's drone will subsequently fly/patrol the highways and city streets looking for disabled vehicles? So, fast forward to 50-companies looking for disabled vehicles in the same areas. Will there become the need for air-traffic control to avoid collision? And when two drone (flying over the highway) crash into one another and then drop into moving highway lanes, what's the liability there? The industry has seen its share of towers being creative in attempts to add charges to invoices where insurance companies already balk at paying. So, what will a, "drone scene survey", cost per hour to include the operator's cut? Who's gonna' pay for drone services? Are drones a necessity or simply another way to add excessive charges to a tower's invoice. Personally, I know that much of heavy recovery work that's being conducted occurs to the underside of a truck's frame when attaching chain and cable, so, how will a drone be able to provide assessment shots from the underside of a destroyed semi? I do see a value when a casualty is over a steep embankment though as an aide to photo and video the complexity of a tow or recovery scene, but not as a means to assess a disabled vehicle that's suddenly broke-down. But, like technology that's used in other industries, they're may be a few instances where drone use is proper. To do so (fly commercially) for business purposes, the drone's operators will have to register and take a FAA approved knowledge test to get a remote pilot's license and pass a TSA security background investigation. That's just another form of licensing and going through another background application that has to be passed. Not to be flippant here, but it's hard enough to get towers to attend FREE TIM training or formal industry training, yet alone go through the hassle of attaining a drone pilot's license. At the moment, I personally don't see drones adding anything positive in creating tow operator safety, but keep those ideas coming guys. R.
  2. and .... nowhere does it mention that new smog laws for large trucks will generate millions of dollars into the state's coffers ... Hey ... maybe we could build a bullet train? R.
  3. Great comments here guys ... I appreciate your response. And, YES Ben ... hiring for other positions within the company is valuable, office, sales, parts puller, forklift operator, and tow operators etc., not responding to law enforcement calls unless cleared by the agency's background process. R.
  4. In the world of water hydrology, as little of 6-inches of rushing water has the power to move an automobile. Once that 6-inches reaches the lower portion of a door's seam, water that enters the vehicle's cab adds to its sinkability. If you go back to the 1970 El Nino storms in California's history, more than one full-sized RV was washed down the LA River Basin when vehicle drivers attempted to cross flowing roadways. As much as two-feet of standing can float a semi and trailer. Not to mention, you would never see that the roadway under you has been completely washed out or there's a giant sink hole. I'mm adding a YouTube link of a semi truck and trailer that's taken on a riverboat like quality. R.
  5. I have to ask this of anyone reading these great responses and Tow Force forums ... if there are 4,000 to as many as 6,000 members of the Force, why (?) are only the same handful of participants reacting to these posts? I really like and appreciate seeing new ideas, new attitudes and new mind-sets to help distribute the messages of tow operator safety. The reason I actively participate is to help me learn what towers are thinking and experiencing in-hopes to make me a better instructor for the future. I may sometimes be aggressive and pointed in the way I think, but I firmly believe that we towers can learn solid, life-saving messages to pass-on to our employees, the next generation of tow operators, and most importantly, we old dogs might learn some new tricks. In all honesty, I'll be the first to step-up and admit I don't know everything there is to know about the towing and recovery industry, even after 50-some years in law enforcement, towing and recovery, and as a military contractor. To that I'll say, these forums help to keep me educated and involved. And, not to miss the opportunity to recognize these solid participants, I appreciate all of you who are actively involved in a proactive and professional manner. R.
  6. No matter what California does to fight clean-air ... the fact is ... it's simply killing all tow and trucking companies who are forced to re-new their truck fleets, not just those Mom n' Pop tow companies. Even to go the route of re-powering a California truck with a wrecked out-of-state truck, that too takes time, money and huge effort. But note, the same California smog-crap has been endorsed by as many as 13x additional states where they too are adapting to California standards. R.
  7. "GAAAAAARRRR ... it looks likes' me gots' scurvy in me skivvies!"
  8. ... and if you're in the mood for good, clean, stupid fun, watch the 1970 cult-movie, "Brewster McCloud", where an AMC Gremlin was stuffed with a 390. This link is part of the movie ... the Gremlin appears for a brief couple of moments past 1:43 in the clip. The chase scene in the movie was awesome and shows the actions of some great muscle Camaro's, Road Runner's and the Gremlin. R.
  9. The message to the motoring public,. in southern California is, "Don't drown, drive around". R.
  10. This video represents a great courtroom illustration in showing questionable on-scene safety techniques. BLAM ... that could have been a fatal strike for sure. So, may I ask, where were blocker (police) vehicles, cones, flares and all that "advanced emergency warning" stuff? Although TIM is a big push for cops, towers and first responders ... why wasn't early warning used to its fullest advantage? It's not a cure-all in this day and age of distracted driving, but it sets-up an easy defense in a fatality scenario. From my observation, this crash was a Lookie Lou incident, with no move over action, that could have started with LE parked waaaay back and not tucked-in at the early taper of the off-ramp. No doubt the motorist may have hit a blocker vehicle, but the same rules apply right? Either way the white SUV was going to impact the rear of the Chevy pickup, but swerved to the shoulder to avoid impact. If there was sufficient advanced notice, perhaps the odds would have changed the outcome.I know ... it takes too long ... we weren't told to set cones ... it's not my job ... we were only there a few minutes ... yada, yada, yada. These are just excuses that help create a "perception" of wrong doing on the tower's part, even though they were there in a work mode. The message is clear, but what's it take to get tower's to use these proper tools of safety? Also not, after impact, look how far forward the carrier moved even if the E brake was fully engaged. This is a great video to discuss at your next drivers meeting. R
  11. I believe that driving and winching from high ground is a solid safety practice not to be ignored. Tow truck and carriers are not submarines where it only takes one bad decision to destroy or lose a truck. R
  12. Now, that's tow truck story that doesn't happen very often. I covered this topic in American Towman year's ago regarding snakes, spiders, and other creepers that are always in and near tow truck environments we tower's serve. Rattlesnake bites are common here in Southern California. And, especially now that fall (cooler) weather is coming, rattlesnakes tend to hide in dark, shady places to get out of the sun, and then on-top of rocks and surfaces as weather is cooler in the evenings. Way to go Mike in remaining cool so to keep that heart rate down. I personally never have heard of a rattlesnake letting air out of a tow truck's tires, but stranger things have happened right? Mike ... we're hoping for your speedy and full recovery. R.
  13. Kids certainly have a fascination for big trucks ... especially tow trucks. My grand-kids love em'. These videos are good clean fun. Way to go Becky ... bring on some more. R.
  14. Charles and I talked at length during my visit to Idaho two year's back. He was a really great man and will me missed. Here's wishing the best to Jared in taking over in his father's footsteps. Christine and I send our prayers from Hemet, California. R.
  15. You've got to be kidding me. I'm sorry, but. I just read this year old post and have to jump in here. As an official old-duffer and car affectionadoe, the early 1949 and 1950 Pontiac Chieftain motorcar's had a hood-ornament to bear an American Indian Chief ... while some described the ornament as the headdress of an Indian Maiden. Either way, the ornament was mounted on thousands of Pontiac cars and in NO-WAY offensive to anyone. But, that was way before the world became over-sensitive. So, in the wake of this person's sensitivity ... will the Crazy Horse Statue in Black Hills, South Dakota, have to come down?
  16. Hey Mr. Byoda ... sounds to me that you should to make a trip to Atlantic City to look at the sea of camera vendors at American Towman's Tow Expo this December. American Towman typically showcases products in their April, Buyer's Guide and December's, Product Gateway. For the short term, Google, "Cameras for Tow Trucks" and you'll get a ton of websites to visit, or, ask your other local tower's what systems they're using and what they like and dislike about them. Seeing them up-front and operational at the tow shows is a great way to evaluate different features and learn the nuances of each system. What matter's most is ... how much gold do you have in your magic wheel-barrow to spend on a system with the features you want? Like everything else, there's cheap and there is quality. Happy Shopping. R.
  17. I offer you this challenge based on an earlier fatality where a motorist crashed into the rear of a tow truck and was killed. OK ... you're nervously seated in the star witness box in a tow-related, wrongful-death scenario. You've been named in a high-dollar lawsuit by the family of a DUI motorist who ran into your car carrier while you were parked on the shoulder, emergency amber lights on and six-cones in-position. You were there to tow a car that had no spare. You are asked this very pointed and important question ... "Mr./Ms. Tower, why were you parked on the shoulder and can you describe (if any) what hazards exist." How would you respond? If you're so bold to respond .. do consider the purpose of TIM training and its importance to testimony. Keep in mind ... your testimony is key as to the results of the final judgement. And no ... I'm not an attorney and this not any attempt to practice law. R.
  18. I consulted in a California death-case where a motorcyclist ran into the rear of a carrier pulling-off onto the shoulder to tow a vehicle. The motorcycle was also at speed and failed to slow down and move over. The motorcyclist impacted the rear of the carrier as the carrier was moving from traffic lanes and headed onto the shoulder with his over-head amber lights on. The motorcyclist was lifted off his motorcycle and dropped into traffic lanes where he was struck by another vehicle. The coroner stated the second impact was what caused his fatal injuries. Fast forward to a high-dollar lawsuit where the Plaintiff's "expert witness", threw the tow company and the tower under the proverbial bus insinuating the tow truck's lights most likely blinded the motorcyclist. The Plaintiff's guardian was ultimately awarded a huge, but undisclosed amount when the case settled out of court. In these kinds of cases, the Plaintiff's attorneys focused on the tow company's Employee Handbook, whether or not the tower received, "formal training", from a recognized, tow training entity, and whether or not the tower had received TIMs training. Also important to this case was the premise of the Move-Over Law and the vehicle code law for amber lighting. Their so-called, "expert witness", in his "pay for hire", deposition, used the phrases, "I don't know", and "I don't recall", literally dozens of times. So much for being an expert. Lessons learned? Know the vehicle code laws in your area, towers, get thoroughly trained, and owners, be sure your company has an employee handbook that covers the most important activities regarding your business. I the case mentioned above, I don't think the move-over law applies to this non-highway location. YoBdaBen presents a great question about on-scene preparation. R.
  19. Captain Hudson ... if you have a moment, please call me about this incident 619-807-3177 ... Thanks. R.
  20. I too have the socks and the knit cap to go along with them. I'm waiting for Shane to get me a pair of XL Jerr-Dan Pajamas. Hey Shane .. are you reading this? R.
  21. Hey Moose ... welcome back. I'm glad to see that you noticed that, " the board is active again." There's much to be active about for sure. R
  22. GM ... Thanks for your comments that increase the value of the lesson being taught here. When I teach at FSP quarterly meetings, we have discussions about all of the reasons towers get killed. Although FSP and like programs have better training, I believe that they still are told by the programs themselves to provide those services that place towers in harm's way. R.
  23. ... it does appear that there was a loose-strap at the driver's front, but an unattached strap doesn't hold any value nor does it hold a loose SUV. For me ... I'm entertained at the 33-second mark that includes a double, "WTF", head-scratching moment from the Lookie-Loo's on-scene. I've witnessed a double nose picking before, but this is the first double head scratching incident I've ever seen. R.
  24. An, "arrester bed", is what we American's describe as a, "runaway truck ramp", filled with small-size gravel. Van Reenan's Pass is in South Africa and also is referred to as the N-3 Highway linking Durban and Johannesburg. R.
  25. If there are tire marks across tower's abdomen, the tower was pretty far under the rolling vehicle. In that last, "OH SHIT", moment to stop the roll-away, this is a consistent factor in many tow operator fatalities in the past. Like the recent video of the carrier operator who lost the Suburban-looking SUV from his carrier, he too chased down his roll-away carrier when it started to roll in the opposite direction. Admittedly, I too once chased down a roll-away vehicle and was able to stop it. Sometimes the immediate thought of damaging someone else's property comes to mind, or, the thought of getting fired is a quick thought, or worst yet, someone else could be injured or killed by the roll-away ... I know what it's like to be caught-up in that, "OH SHIT", moment. R
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