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Tow truck driver worries about safety, wants drivers to slow down and move over


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The newscaster said, "In the past year, he has had more than twenty close calls." Really ? ? ? ?" This video is a great example of why the industry needs a huge "culture change" in on-highway safety and the way tower's work white-line incidents. If a single tower has twenty similar situations like young Andy speaks about, it's my opinion he spends too much time working the white-line side. On-scene survival means working quickly enough to attach safety straps and chain to move forward to a wide space, or off the first exit and complete tie-down or strapping away from these D-fools piloting a 4,000-pound weapon. Does the lack of total tie-down or safety chains violate vehicle code law, sure, and it's commendable tower's think that way ... BUT ... could a 1/2 modified attachment save a tower's life?


So, answer me this ... if a tower was nearly struck, why wouldn't they change the method (and techniques) that just might change their destiny? To that point I offer this old ditty, "I'd rather be tried by twelve than carried by six."           R.


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Randall C. Resch

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Randall I agree...and it's a very similar topic I was talking about in another thread. That safety concern has to start with our own actions, procedures & knowledge. Don't wait for our government or anyone else to make the difference. As you stated, if it's too dangerous to do your 4 point tie down...then hook & book. Now I'm not saying I recommend being reckless...you have to have some common sense here. Coming back from the scene with a car hanging off the side of a rollback is not a sensible or accepted procedure. That's where the training comes in I guess. In my own situation, all our wreckers are self loaders. We get on scene at an accident site and the first thing we do is grab the cars & drag them on to the shoulder or a lot...somewhere where everyone involved can be a little safer. Then do your clean up & securement. I have a new carrier being built right now that we are going to be adding every practical safety measure we can to it including a self loading wheel lift. We seldom tow 2 vehicles but want that quick clearance ability. Yea I know...most manufactures don't recommend a car on the wheel lift without 1 loaded on the bed...so I'll take my chances. Bottom line is if he get out of dangers way immediately and then do the "right job", we have a better chance to come home. The common denominator in all these incidents is "Exposure to Danger"...limit that and you will limit your chance of getting hit.


Thanks, and sorry for getting off on a rant...

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Vehicle operators are not going to change. 97% of vehicle operators desire to do the right thing. It is the 3% that give everyone the bad name.


1.)We should push municipalities to add five or ten dollars to each and every traffic citation to pay for blocker vehicles that will be utilized to shield operators who work on the side of a highway.

2.)We as an industry should lobby states to require that drivers education classes NOT be taught online. Let's be realistic, a majority of parents are not the greatest motor vehicle operator that you think you are. And your student driver knows this. 

3.)We on this forum could from developing a format to evaluate severe injuries as well as fatality incidents to study what went wrong. This would be similar to the short synopsis breakdowns that OSHA releases. No company names or operator names are presented. It is not being disrespectful. Being disrespectful is doing nothing.

4.)We have to stop being our own worst enemy. We have to charge for safety and pass that cost on to the consumer. Safety is not cheap. It is less expensive than a lifeflighf and a funeral.  

5.) We need law enforcement to police operators and take enforcement action upon operators who refuse to operate in a safe manner. No vests at roadside, no safety chains, improper securement. 

6.)As an industry we have failed, and you will not like this one, but due to the industry as a whole being a failure, we need to have OSHA step in and step on some people's toes. There is no bigger motivator than seeing another business get raked through the coals , to get ones crap together, than to see OSHA hand out 14,000.00 fines like toothpick sat a banquet. Hate me if you want, curse me for even thinking this way, but overall we are a failure at working in a safe manner to have a goal of bringing everyone home every call every day. Every fatality is a failure. Be it an operator judgement call, a job safety analysis training failure, a policy and procedure failure, or I am a crappy person who only cares about generating cash flow type of owner, or operator.

7.)We should develop  curriculum that allows for an operator to earn an associates degree I transportation alternate contingency technologies.

Example of overview


Date of incident: September 10, 2022

Time of incident: 10:22 pm

Weather condition: Partly cloudy

Lighting condition: Artificial lighting/street pole lamps. 

Lighting effectiveness: averages to good

Roadway material: asphalt

Road Condition: dry well maintained

Operator years of experience: 15

Competent individual on scene: Yes

Person P equipment in use: yes

If yes please list: traffic cones

Number of vehicles involved: 3

Number of persons on scene: 3

Describe the need for service: A box trucks ,16,000 gvwr had suffered a mechanical breakdown. Truck hazard lights were on. Orange traffic cones were set up in a straight line formation. 

Description of incident: A driver stopped to assist box truck operator to get him to the closest safe haven off the Roadway, approximately 150 yards from scene. The driver was in the process of anchoring the box truck with a V bridle and chain. The drivers vehicle was approximately six feet from the casualty parked facing in the same direction as the casualty.  The driver was facing the casualty when a midsized sedan impacted the left rear corner of the box trucks. The car wedged itself under the lift gate of the casualty. The impact of the collision caused the box truck to thrust forward. This forward motion resulted in the driver of the pickup to be violently struck and slammed into the bed and rear bumper of the pickup. 

Injuries sustained: Driver received scrapes, bruising, and swelling to the right side of the body.


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