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Re: Teaching a New Generation of Towers


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Hi All ... this past month, I've watched a whole bunch of videos (on different industry sites) of tow parents teaching their youngsters how to load and unload a flatbed carrier. I'm all for teaching the upcoming generations how-to use tow equipment and I incourage youngsters in taking an interest in learning how to tow. They're the future of the towing and recovery industry and at those young ages, they're really impressionable and egar to learn how-to do it. For safety's sake ... may I ask that parents teach them young to work on the non-traffic side of the carriers and wreckers? Teach them that being on the traffic-side is a dangerous place to be. It just makes simple sense to teach them about roadside safety while their young hoping maybe it will take?     R

Randall C. Resch

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I completely agree with your statement here Mr. Resch. My oldest son, due to all the years of riding with me and getting out of the passenger side of the truck and going to the curb side of the truck's controls has made it a habit to him. Now at 17 He actually prefers that side of the truck because he knows the "feel" of the controls on that side. We actually just discussed this the other day when my oldest moved my truck around and off loaded a vehicle from the curb side in our yard. I asked him why he walked around the truck to use that side and he simply stated " I just know this side better". My youngest boy has never been on any calls on the side of the road ( he is 8 ) and does not run the truck alone yet . But my hope is that as he gets older and starts to "take charge" of a load -unload procedure like my older son,  he will get used to running the truck on the curb side the same way.   

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PROFESSIONAL TOWING & RECOVERY IS NOT JUST A JOB.. IT IS A LIFESTYLE

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That's why my son is told and taught to do things from the ditch side. If we could only educate our customers to stay off the highway when we are loading their vehicle. They can't seem to wrap their head around the fact that other motorists don't care about their surroundings.

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HI Cooter ... kudo's to you to teach em' young so they learn the proper mentality of working in this industry.

 

Your comments of clueless customers is something I take extra time to cover in my CHP classes. Customers are clueless as to the dangers of the highway. I personally don't want customers helping me or being outside the tow truck ... even to watch. It's my practice to tell my highway customers that I can't start any tow, recovery or service UNTIL they're seated inside the tow truck with their seatbelts on. Behind the rail and up the embankment are other alternatives. My instructions are clearly spoken and explained to the point of being polite but verbally aggressive to get the point across. And then, I escort them to the truck's cab and ask if they understand my instructions while soliciting their, "yes", response. Over many years, I've had maybe four individuals who didn't want to sit in the truck. It takes tact and calm to simply explain the highway dangers and you just want them to be safe.   R.

Randall C. Resch

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To touch on the subject of having customers set in the cab or up the embankment etc. I have found that starting the highway safety conversation on the phone with the customer when they call for service or whatnot when possible is a great way to get your customer thinking about their safety. I happen to be a "questions" guy. Meaning when a customer calls for a highway disablement, I ask if they are alone, How many passengers are with them if any, Is someone coming to pick you up, Do you need me to arrange transportation, Is L.E. on scene etc.. For instance, If the customer is alone, i will highly recommend the customer move to the passenger side seat and put their seat belt on while they wait for my arrival. Just by mentioning that gets them thinking "hey, this guy must really think its pretty dangerous out here". It has worked for me for the most part. Lets face it, When someone's car breaks down on the highway, their thoughts are not usually on not getting hit by a car. Its on what the repairs are gonna cost, How they are gonna get lil Sarah to her dance class etc.. It also solves the problem of them just jumping right out of the car and standing there with their back to traffic as I pull up and back into position to load the casualty. I cant count how many times I have seen people just pop right out of their car as I pull up. Obviously I am not out of my rig yet so I cant tell them at that point to move. All I can do is cringe as I watch them in the mirror. 

PROFESSIONAL TOWING & RECOVERY IS NOT JUST A JOB.. IT IS A LIFESTYLE

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You make good points Grumps about prior conversations with the customer PRIOR to your arrival. That's a great benefit as long as there's a name and phone number where the tower is able to provide safety instructions. It starts with call takers and dispatchers getting the complete information and passing it on to the tower. That doesn't always happen. You, being in a smaller community and taking the calls yourself gives you an ability to set the tone of safety before you arrive on-scene. I salute your efforts and comments and sharing them within.

 

If you're interested, here's a California case that's really good reading on the subject:

 

https://caselaw.findlaw.com/ca-court-of-appeal/1616140.html#:~:text=Ruben%20Monarrez%20suffered%20catastrophic%20injuries,held%20liable%20for%20Monarrez's%20injuries.

Randall C. Resch

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Thank you Sir. I do have to remind myself more often that not all the operators/members on these forums have to  play Receptionist, Dispatcher and Operator and most important, Bill collector like I do. Lol  😁 But even if I were to hire on additional help I would like to think I would try to implement some sort of dialogue to get the roadside safety message across to prospective customers. I know it may only make a small difference if any really But, We all as a profession have to do and try something, ANYTHING to get these roadside fatalities both civilian and Operators alike down. Also, Although I know legally I am not responsible the moment I take the phone call from a customer  Morally, I feel I am. I dont EVER want to see a news headline that reads " The victim was struck and killed while waiting for Ryan's towing to tow their disabled vehicle" .

Thank you for the link Mr. Resch. I will be sure to give it a read this evening. 

PROFESSIONAL TOWING & RECOVERY IS NOT JUST A JOB.. IT IS A LIFESTYLE

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