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Upgraded Safety Patrol Trucks pack better equipment (OH)


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NORTHWOOD, Ohio (WTVG) - If you're stuck on the side of the road, with a flat tire or an empty gas tank, ODOT’s new fleet of safety patrol trucks are better-equipped than ever to help you get to a safe spot.


The four new trucks are bigger and better than ever. The first things you'll notice on this brand new safety patrol truck: a message board, and towing equipment.


Jeff Hoff is the supervisor of the Free Safety Patrol. He explains to 13abc, "Now, instead of having to wait for a tow truck to come down and remove a disabled vehicle or an accident, we're able to move it to the shoulder, so a safe area, that way we can clear the road faster."


That's always been the goal of the Freeway Safety Patrol, but now, they can do it better.


Rebecca Dangelo with ODOT explains, "They can push, pull, whatever they need to do to get them safely off the road for their safety, as well as the traveling public, still traveling on the roadway."


And they can do it quicker.


Hoff says, with the new trucks, "You do get out faster. Because you don't have to get out and go open up doors to get out cones, a sign or whatever you have to do."


The new trucks have been on the road for about five months. And while they're meant to make the roadways safer, it's other drivers that make clearing a disabled vehicle dangerous, even with the added signage and bigger trucks.


"I mean, hopefully, they'll catch on to it eventually,” hopes Hoff. “People will."


If you need assistance from a Safety Patrol Truck, you can call 911 and they'll dispatch a truck to your location.


RESOURCE LINK with video

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This tow truck is equipped with a huge sign board and plenty of reflective cones as an example of what all tow trucks should be outfitted with. However, I personally believe that changing tires and trying to service disabled vehicles on highway shoulders is a dangerous practice and only increases the tow operator's exposure as well as that of their roadside customer ... load em' up and get em'gone when it takes 10-minutes or more to provide service.   R.

Randall C. Resch

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  • 2 weeks later...

I don't do light duty anymore, or roadside service for that matter, I only do heavy duty now. When I did do those types of calls, good luck getting the auto clubs to pay for the tow and service in 1 call. It is a ton safer to get them off the highway but why should it cost the customer 2 of their 4 allotted calls per year? It's not the towman who is charging the second call. When the auto club puts it in as a roadside service, often the club fights you on getting it off to a safer place. Or they even send out a service truck with no tow capabilities in the first place. It's all to make or save a buck for them, it's not about the driver safety or even their customers. Sure, you can get them off the highway to a safe spot to do the service, assuming you're in a tow unit, what happens when the boss gets pissed about having to fight to get fair compensation? He's at the mercy of the auto club most often and is going to take it out on you or at least tell you to perform service on the highway. Look, I'm not saying you're wrong, different companies handle it differently. Even when the operator would rather just tow them off first.

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