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Lets Lower The Statistics...


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 Hey Njsss, we just went through this conversation with the CHP regarding this topic. I believe that the federal Title 49, Section 177.873, is the enabling section.

From my understanding, a heavy operator may tow a disabled vehicle to the nearest place of repair or move it to a safe location to off-load product or make repairs. The tower does not (himself) need the Haz-Mat endorsement when and if the commercial tanker's driver is present, the tanker is properly placarded, and the manifest is on-board within the driver's side door or in plain sight on the passenger side front seat per within the driver’s side door or in plain sight on the passenger-side front seat per 27903. 
Source:  Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration FMCSA Section 383.93
Question 10: Do tow truck operators who hold a CDL require endorsements to tow "endorsable" vehicles?


For CDL endorsement purposes, the nature of the tow truck operations determines the need for endorsements:

If the driver’s towing operations are restricted to emergency "first moves" from the site of a breakdown or accident to the nearest appropriate repair facility, then no CDL endorsement of any kind is required.

If the driver’s towing operations include any "subsequent moves" from one repair or disposal facility to another, then endorsements requisite to the vehicles being towed are required. Exception: Tow truck operators need not obtain a passenger endorsement.


Unless your states highway patrol has special requirements, this information should be the guideline your seeking. I recommend you confirm the requirements by contacting your state's highway patrol and DOT. I hope this helps.     R.

Randall C. Resch

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Thanks Ed for sharing your pics of your blocker/lighting truck. The arrow-board is a key component in providing advanced emergency notice to approaching traffic per requirements of slow-down move-over ... i.e., tow/service vehicle is parked and displaying emergency lighting.  More tow companies need to make this their practice for on-highway calls, especially companies working heavy-duty capacities.


Ed ... may I have your permission to use your van picture in my American Towman seminar in Vegas, Texas and Baltimore regarding, "Building and Advanced Emergency Warning Area", noting kudos to you? Thanks Ed.    R.

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Randall C. Resch

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Sure you have permission to use the pics. I was saying the other day on FB that I want to start the precedent in our area and hopefully the others will follow in some form or another. We built our crash vehicle with this in mind but there are other alternatives as well.


We use it on accident scenes as well...






Sometimes it looks like the message is cut in half but you don't see that with your eyes...only happens in photographs.

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Hello Ed ....I am looking into message boards similar to yours for application in the UK.....do you have a makers name and website link so that I can explore the capabilities, availability  and price .....

How does it lift up into the vertical position ?     Is it electrically operated  or manually operated.... how does it lock into vertical position.?  Can you drive along with it in the vertical position  ?


Does it have a menu of pre planned messages  or  can you put your own message in at the scene of the job   ? 


Many thanks .....    John.



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