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From TowTimes.com - Raising the Bar


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What’s needed to raise the bar of professionalism in the towing and recovery industry? 




What will it take to raise the standards of quality or the motoring public’s expectations our industry?


My first thought would be education and communication. I had a lively discussion with a fellow tower about training and the three levels of TRAA certification. He told me he didn’t see the need or value of a certification certificate at all.


My comment back to him was, that piece of paper shows the motoring public that you are better than the guy down the road. It says something to your employees, customers, law enforcement and insurance companies. It shows that you care. You care about safety, training and certification to counter the bad perceptions of our industry. The perceptions that towing operators are rip-offs, dirty, uneducated and unprofessional.


Let’s continue to raise the bar of expectations for our industry. If we don’t start reaching for a higher goal of earning the respect we need and deserve by continuing with education and communication, we’ll just be the guy down the road.


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There needs to be an established protocol to render services on the side of a roadside that has speed limits in excess of 35 mph. And they need to be adhered to with a zero tolerance. No tire changes should be initiated roadside for operator safety, a lane should be blocked with a blocker vehicle that has the capacity to absorb the impact of an impaired and or distracted driver. Proper PPE should be a  standard industry requirement, to include safety glasses, reflective vest, as well as a hard hat.


These implementations will be costly. They will cost millions of dollars a year to implement. BUT, they will save lives. I strongly believe that these implementations will decrease the fatality as well as injury rates by at least 65%. And they will be worth every penny of the millions of dollars required.


For decades this industry has been demeaned and bullied by the motor clubs, insurance companies, bottom feeders in the industry, as well as motoring public in their prescribed methods to pocket these millions of dollars that should be invoiced, and that would cover safety. And the price has been paid for in souls of the departed, life changing injuries, as well as pain and suffering that has been inflicted upon those who work on the side of the road as well as their families who have to pick up the pieces to move forward. 


If we want to raise the bar, we need to ensure that our people are safe on the side of the road.

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"No tire changes should be initiated roadside for operator safety"


This should be the policy of every Tow Company and Motor Clubs should adhere to this policy as it would save at minimum one life a year.


a lane should be blocked with a blocker vehicle


This should be a requirement on roadways where the speed limit is a minimum 55mph.


A standard industry requirement, to include safety glasses, reflective vest, as well as a hard hat.


OK, safety glasses are going a bit far as they are not going to have any effect on roadside safety in regards to possibly being struck. I prefer reflective clothing over a vest as most fail to put the vest on. The clothing eliminates that safety fail. Yes, I'm good with the safety hard hat. Problem is the hard hat that would benefit our industry professionals are at minimum $150.00. The best ones are over $300.00. There fore the cost factor is going to be an issue for many. Yes, I have been researching them and may or may not purchase one this year. If you think those General Plastic Construction Area Hard Hats are going to benefit a Tow Op on the side of the road. The only thing that will protect is a bump on the occasional head which many of us can relate too.


The answer is never more regulation, it is education and desire to save lives. Most in this industry in all respect to those effected by a loss is reactive rather than proactive. I think to many who were just out there doing their job and could not have avoided the incident that took their life or cause injury to them. Yes, we can think back that maybe this or that could have been done differently. Yes, reviewing these roadside deaths would possibly save lives. Often out of respect for the family we do not ehter into these discussions. When we have ventured into this discussion few want to participate due to the high probability they could be on the list of those injured or whose name is going on the Wall of Fallen.


I generally take so many precautions that I know many think I go overboard. My life has a value, I protect it the best I can. Your family places more of a value on your life than you do. You may or may not know that, but I am sure they worry more and more each and every year. The Odds of being struck increase the longer you are in that situation and they know it. Think Safety

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  • 2 weeks later...

Safety glasses should be work whenever a person is under a vehicle for any reason. As far as hardhats, they need not be worn every time, but they should be accessible. I worked for a company that towed Ford work trucks from a mine on a regular basis. THe mine required PPE. vest, safety glasses, as well as a hard hat. They even checked the expiration date on the hard hat. One of our drivers drove the 112 miles one way only to be rejected at the gate because he did not have his PPE. it was on Thanksgiving Day, so he could not just go to the nearest Tractor Supply to make a purchase. 


55 MPH is way to fast of a speed to set the bar to require roadside protection.  I firmly believe that 35 mph should be the limit.

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