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Re: Hurrying is a Deadly Practice

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In last weekend's CHP Operator's Safety Class, as many as one-half of the attending tow operators were new with three to four months on the job.


On Day-2 Skills, during various techniques and scenarios, several new towers were hustling to get things done. While in the process of moving the tow trucks or carrier's into position, there were four seperate instances where someone didn't set the tow truck's emergency brakes. Although I appreciate their eagerness and excitement to learn, not setting the Ebrake is a deadly practice (or driver behavior) that must be corrected. Each time I was certain to call out to the operator the importance of setting the tow truck's emergency brake as well as using chocks for the appropriate technique at hand. 


Once we returned to the classroom, we had focused discussion of what happens when towers hurry to get things done. I pointed out that there have been nearly 50x operators killed when they hurried to approach their tow situation to not set the Ebrake or shift the truck's transmission to park. Hurrying can cause the tower to trip and potentially fall into traffic lanes. I do understand that exiting or re-entering the tow truck requires faster movement, but running to get chain or equipment isn't necessary. Like everything else in the line-of-work, slow down and make each movement calculated at the moment of arrival to ensure the truck's transmission is in-park or neutral (stick) with the transmission Ebrake fully applied. And, once you've exited the tow truck, get use to setting a chock-block on the downhill side of the truck's rear dual.     R.

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Randall C. Resch

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