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Roadside Danger

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Topic Originally Created by Larry Searles in April of 2011:


As I was reading the latest of seemingly endless notices of yet another downed towing professional, I was reminded of a reoccuring question that I ask my self from time to time. What attracts us to towing ? I think a lot of us are just men who just never got over playing with trucks. But, besides being able to drive on the wrong side of the street and block the intersections at rush hour, isn't part of the attraction the danger involved? Maybe I'm just speaking for myself, but I cant deny that I get a rush when I'm loading a car in the fast lane shoulder and the cars are flying by two feet away causing my pant legs to rustle from the wind. And when I'm under a truck disconnecting a drive shaft, seeing the traffic coming towards me at what looks like a hundred miles an hour! Just like race car drivers, is there something about flirting with danger that gives this profession appeal? Anyone else share these thoughts?


miracle1 said:

Nope!!! The appeal to me is that I can do what many can't.... The danger aspect I could care less about...I take every safety measure, I can take to assure me of going home safely at the end of the day. Kenny


twinbulls said:

I like to help others ... I like trucks...I like flashing lights,, I like to get dirty,

I like to take cars that dont belong to me (repo), I like what we do.. all of it....
And yes some things are dangerous just do your best .and be safe...


brostow13 said:

I'm with Kenny I could care less about the danger aspect .If I could hook
up all vehicles in a parking lot I would be perfectly content.I also agree with
Tim ,I like trucks ,flashing lights and I like what I do ...Towing and Recovery.


towgodess14 said:

It's not about the danger. I love that I can do what a lot of men can't/won't do. I enjoy the look on their faces when they see the Tow Truck Driver is a GIRL. LOL
I enjoy the fact that every day, every tow is different. I get bored really easy.
I love rolling up on a recovery and wondering how the he** they managed to do that, and how am I going to undo it.
There are risks involved in the job, but it's a part of me now and I have a hard time thinking of anything else I would want to do.


Charlie Rittenhouse said:

for one hate working the highway with trucks flying by. it even makes me made at times how fast they go passed with out as much as a brake check. As far as your orignal post you may have a death wish.


DragNTow said:

If I didn't like danger, I wouldn't have gotten married 3 times!!!!!!!!!
Then again maybe I am just a slow learner.
Happy Haulin....................DragNTow


Kyresqtow said:

Why do I stay in it..... because so many times I have done what "everyone else" said couldn't be done... so many times I showed up in my 1 ton to bring a car out to have the police tell me that 2 other companies said it couldn't be done with that size truck... and yet there I was at the end... with the car....

I could care less about the every day towing... it's the recoveries I like.


Graciesdad said:

We got a suv out one time that everyone on the scene said would take a HD to get, we did it with a little 12 ton. They remember that, and are not afraid to call you for the next odd, difficult job.

For some odd reason I love camper / travel trailer wrecks. They are always a challenge to get up-righted without falling apart. I only have a MD truck so its a lot of outside the box thinking involved. Lots to clean up too. Lot of guys whine about clean up, I love it....all the way to the bank.

As for the danger aspect.....I hate it, for my crew and myself. That's why I'm a safety nut and get on the guys often about safety issues. I have fired guys before because I didn't want to have to call their family and tell them something bad. They just were scary lazy with safety. Some people don't need to work in this business.......


quigma1 said:

Your always going to have the danger factor. Working the job site, if its not the danger of hooking the vehicle or the recovery it the moving traffic. Move over laws are a joke unless the law is being enforced by your police departments. I've been brushed and bumped by mirrors several times by moving traffic over the years. It's second nature to me to keep an eye on traffic. In all honesty, It's the biggest fear to me, being taken out working a job on the highway. But I don't let it stop me from doing my job.

I got into this profession doing police towing, then branched out into the other side of it. Commercial, and private towing. Working side by side with law enforcement was the line that hooked me. Being real close to the action, not only involved in the towing part, but involved in other stuff with them as well. Like sitting in on stakeouts, waiting for the bad guys to show up, so you can hook the vehicle and go, hauling stolen goods that they can't fit into the patrol cars, and more. It's better than watching it on TV. The challenges of the accident-recovery and then hearing through the grapevine, that so and so said thank goodness Steve is here.

Do you ever hear the stories from your friends in law enforcement about your fellow towers and how l o n g it takes them to do the same job you just did and how you make it look soooo easy? Isn't that a good feeling that they know the difference between you and the other guys?


GregTowzIt said:

Interesting topic for sure!!! I'm in my 20th year in this industry still at the same place I started. I love this job!! It is challenging, ever-changing and I love changing the way people percieve towpersons. Being professional with even the most menial job and treating the customers respectfully helps to change the way they view our industry and helps our company grow as well. There is always the exception to the rule, but I have found that most customers are glad we are there and appreciate not being made to feel stupid because of the situation they are in. The dangers of the job are a part of it and I think that most people should not be on the side of the road attempting to change a tire, etc., without safety training. Not many people carry safety vests to protect themselves anyways. Where I live I would like to see signs informing motorists about the slow down/move over law. Most people do not know about it because it is not widely publicized. To all my fellow operators, stay safe out there and take care!!


nvtowing said:

you should try skydiving instead. Its safer!


nbacdon said:

I guess the whole flirting with danger is a part of this job that I like. But come on people how cool is it that we get to go to work every day and play with trucks. I used to (like 9 years ago) work in a garage installing plows and and truck accessory's but I dont think I could ever go back to working inside.
Donny Swenbeck
Bills Auto Clinic
Salem MA
wm050915 said:
I used to get a small adrenaline rush when working on the side of a busy highway. Now ever since my accident that could have just as easily taken my life I have constant nightmares. I am still sidelined with my injuries, but each time my better half has to go do a call on the highway, I feel sick untill she clears the call. The move over laws are definately under advertised, and under enforced. The attending L.E.O.'s on my accident did not even know about the law. I had to look it up for them in the HTSA, for them to tell me it would be too hard to convict and too much paper work. Advertising the laws in drivers ed, and in the registration offices would be a good start. More signage on the roads too. But for the most part it is all pointless unless Law enforcement agancies are willing to enforce the laws. As for why do we do it if it is so dangerous? I enjoy helping people. I enjoy the look on a little kids face as you pull his parents car out of the ditch, or unlock a cherished pet from a vehicle. When you pull up in a clearly too small truck and perform a magic act cause the guy didn't think you could do it that way. The challange, the opportunity to make a bad situaton better for someone in need, the chance to be a big kid playing with even bigger toys. The opportunity to keep learning new things each and every day with out fail. That is what keeps me doing this. It is a lifestyle not a job. If you do this only as a job, you should be pumping gas or scrubbing porta potties or something. Both of which tend to pay better, and have better hours, and working conditions. Towing is a way of life.     
In Memory of PlanBTransort who said:
I love begin outdoors, in all types of weather, stopping and trying new places for lunch, meeting new people, going to different places, being challenged everyday, its never boring, seeing new and classic cars, seeing others in the industry, body shops, dealerships, mom and pop repair shops,the conversations while under tow, peoples houses and boats and properties when you arrive, defineately not your 9-5 M-F job.
HeavyD said:
The whole flirting with danger is a part of this job that I like. I got hit 5 years ago by a honda doing about 70 the a$$hole didn't even stop . I was ready to get back in the truck the next day even though I could not sit or lie on my back. Who knows the next time could be the last .Now I get a littel nervous hooking up on the freeways hear in LA but I always keep an eye on traffic .
"The Views Expressed Are My Own and Do Not Necessarily Represent
Those Of The Staff, Management, or My Employer."


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Like Mr. Searles initial comment, I too was attracted to the industry for the excitement it brings. While the excitement is an on-going factor, it can't negate the plain and simple fact that, through some of these comments, operators put themselves in harm's way. Playing dodge-ball with moving traffic while standing, walking or working the white-line is a fast track to an early demise. Acccordingly, since Mr. Searles' wrote his post in Tow 411, in April 2011, to date, as many as 170x tow operators were killed on highway/shoulder events or working the white-line. Shouldn't that be a wake-up call?      R. 

Randall C. Resch

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