Jump to content
  • Come join the TowForce community.

    Sign in to get started and to receive Tower Down Notices.

Typical Tow Off The Highway?


Recommended Posts

Think I have seen those beds before they have no storage on the passenger side of the truck is that correct?   That is just building danger right into your own truck. 


Luckily had a wide shoulder but still spent too much time on the traffic side. 


The safe?  Operated all controls from inside the cab.  


But the more I see I notice that safety chains and Hi Vis clothing  are just optional for most folks. 

Steve W.

Los Angeles, CA

FSP Operator

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I dont run our self loader all that much but I am one to snatch it up ( from in the cab ) and book it off the highway. If the situation will allow, I will throw one wheel strap on the curb side and beat feet. Once in a safe area, the straps, safety chains and tag light go on. 

Now of course I know that it is obviously illegal to do this and to that I say, I DONT CARE.. Write the ticket. At least I will be alive to answer the summons..

  • Like 2


Link to comment
Share on other sites

His process wasn't terrible.... but he left some room for improvement.   If i did it his way, he could at least have a safety vest or some sort of reflective uniform on.  I also don't like to leave the car down low and bend down to strap it.... I pick it up higher so i can have more viability of oncoming traffic as well as be in a position to run out of harms way quick.  Taking all that time to strap both sides on a busy highway at night isn't for me.



If it was me running my MPL40, typically I would have been putting my wheel lift down a heck of a lot faster in a more fluid motion as i was pulling in and backing up quick.  I would have scooped it up without leaving the cab and slowly headed off the next exit ramp where I would have installed straps and Towmate light bar.  I would take the risk to get off the highway with no straps on a front wheel drive car. 

Back of tshirt.JPG

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for sharing this video Ron and guys ... thanks for the positive comments. The video is an awesome "training tool." As I insert my "opinion" along with the others, I hope these comments are seen as being constructive and not those from the Tow Police? The safety culture as seen in this video is (in my opinion) hasn't reached the industry's main stream. While the hook-up was quick and focused, I believe it can be refined. In a training mode my well-intended observations are:


The Positives:


*  Over-head emergency strobes on with SDMO intent

*  This operator appeared trained, focused and worked quickly 

*  Operator dropped wheellift from within truck cab

*  When departing, operator kept O/head strobes properly to re-enter traffic




Should the operator look to see if the E-Brake is set or not? Should that matter ... the initial pull will decide.

*  Equipment should be stowed on non-traffic side (single box possibility?)

*  On-highway work requires reflective vest

*  Operator passes through "pin/crush-zone" several times

*  Walking with back to traffic

*  Bending-over and working with back to traffic is impossible to react should a wayward vehicle enter the shoulder

*  Use TIM-suggested Peek-a-Boo technique to re-enter


By not applying full safety tie-down (chains, straps and tail-end lights), yes, it's illegal in most states when you're talking the "Letter of the Law" versus "Spirit of the Law". To that point I'll add, the industry lack's a proper safety focus where there's too much attention placed on bling, extra lighs and equipment. There appears to be a lack of safety training to include a lack of focus in lobbying to change existing laws for tower's serving the highways. The way I see it, the vehicle code puts towers in harm's way by requiring full strapping, safety chains and extension lights. Way back then it didn't matter, but working on-highway situations in today's environment, too much time spent on-scene can be deadly.


One prominent tow owner said said, he'll take the ticket versus becoming the next industry statistic, I'll further his sentiment to say, "I'd rather be tried by twelve than carried by six." Accordingly, in my safety courses, I teach towers to work quickly to eliminate deadly exposure by initiating, "Minimal Safety Attachment." Initiate the minimum attachment, and then move forward to a wide-spot, or the first ramp to complete the hook-up process off the highway in any area that provides additional safety. Is it illegal? Yes, per the vehicle code it is. But, it's far safer than being pinned, crushed, crashed, struck or run-over by a distracted or drunk driver. WHen will driver's learn this and when will law enforcment understand that a minimal safety attachment IS an matter of life and death? That in-itself is NOT rocket-science based on the industry's fatality numbers.


But. in this tow operator's defense, his ability was commendable, but, if only to change his hookup process when working on the highway, I believe he could have completed the "minimum safety hookup " to shave perhaps a minute off a really fast 3.5-minute hook-up. Maybe, the on-highway hook-up process should be thought of as working to avoid the angry PPI owner and getting the car off-property?


For carriers ... the process takes a few minutes more but, should take less than 10-minutes to get that "minimum safety hook-up" and away to a safer location. So, consider this, to win the Gold at the Olympics, you hafta' beat the fastest time. To win the "Gold" in the towing and recovery industry means, "Coming home safely to your loved one's."       R.



Randall C. Resch

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What would be great to see from all these guys that do videos of this stuff is a few attempts at a "minimum safety hookup " ,  see how fast a time they can get from pull up to take off.


Maybe a challange  is in order?  Or a TicToc Trend,  or whatever the kids call it these days!!

Steve W.

Los Angeles, CA

FSP Operator

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Unfortunately, your content contains terms that we do not allow. Please edit your content to remove the highlighted words below.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...
Please Sign In or Sign Up