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Re: Who Uses Cones, Flares, Triangles or Nothing at All?


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I'm constantly amazed at the number of Facebook and YouTube photos or videos where towers post and complain that motorists aren't slowing down or moving over. One tower recently posted a comment that someone ran over one of his triangles that he was setting out. They hit the first of three triangle, but missed him and the parked to truck. Could it be that hitting the triangle brought an immediate wake-up to the motorist who reacted in the nick-of-time to regain focus to the path of their vehicle?


I've heard all of the negative comments that flares, cones and triangles take too long or don't work or whatever ... yada, yada, yada. So, fast forward to the courtroom setting after someone plows into a parked wrecker and someone was killed. Cases like these are frequent, especially in California when a judge, jury or plaintiff's attorney asks, "Mr./Ms. tow truck operator, what did you do to identify your work environment", what's your response going to be? First read Federal 49 CFR 392.22 and CFR 373.95 and formulate your response. In today's dangerous climate of roadside response, is it possible that doing something is better than doing nothing at all? If we know what part of the problem is, why don't we do something "visual" to add to our on-scene defense, truck placement and positioning? This question is based on more than 300+-tow operators killed working shoulder events and when TIM suggests that, "advanced emergency warning", is a good thing. If you've attended a TIM course, why do you think they include a module specific to setting cones? I believe that part of identifying a known problem is to know what tools and techniques are available to each and every scenario ... and then, put them to use. What do you think?  Hey Brian?     R. 

Edited by rreschran

Randall C. Resch

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I myself have gone both ways as far as cones and or flares. depending on the situation depends on what gets put out, If any. A quick load and go on a busy roadway usually gets a quick cone thrown out about 20'-30' behind the casualty. and yes there have been a couple occasions where I have forgotten it back there. If it is more of a recovery or a difficult load where I will be on scene more than say 10 minutes then more traffic devices are deployed. I have been known to put out a couple flares on rolling bends in the roadway during snowstorm work when applicable as well. Some occasions I will also put my tow light on the back of the vehicle I am loading just for that extra warning even though the casualty is going up on the deck. Once it becomes a routine for you you tend to not forget it on there. I also have a little card I made that i keep on my tow light with a hair band I stole from my wife that when I deploy my tow light I take the card off and slip it into my steering wheel cover so It is staring me in the face. That way when I get to where Im going I know to grab my light first. My partner wrote a note on his rear view mirror to try and remember his, but the problem with that is it is always there so he got used to it. Forgets his light all the time. With my way it is something that is out of place normally so it grabs my attention. 


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