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Truck Struck - 03.14.20 (TN)

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Rush Towing Cookeville Tn. had a Rollback Struck on I-40 mm 284

by a tractor trailer who failed to slow down or move over.

The tow truck operator and his passengers are reported to be OK!

 

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I'm glad to hear the tow operator wasn't hurt. But, on a side note and no disrespect to the company involved ... may I ask, from the last photo, what happended the dent in the headach rack and to cause the winch-cable to be in such nested condition? I blew the photo-size up and can't figure-out how that strike (by the semi) caused damage in those locations. Was that part of this incident?     R.


Randall C. Resch

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As far as the headache rack, I am gonna say that might be old damage. But with the wire rope, my guess is due to the damage to the drivers controls maybe the p.t.o. was engaged and when the semi struck the controls, the damaged /mangled linkage ran the winch untill the operator shut the truck down after the wreck. Just a guess.


There are Tow Truck Drivers, Then There is Towing and Recovery operators...... Which one are you??🤨

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As far as the headache rack goes I'm thinking it is from the side rails it chewed up and threw, the pto.was still engaged and tension was on the bridle when truck was hit , as trailer went down the side of truck and hit car bridle did come off and I'm guessing the back lash caused this to bird nest , I as the operator just stepped back in the truck when I was hit, so moral of the story is im not really concerned about why this and why that but I am very grateful to the lord above that he had Angel's working overtime to protect me and my customers from having any major injuries!

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I too am glad that thankfully you weren't injured. Note: I'm not looking for ways to bash. Yours are interesting photos and the explainations herein seem reasonable to cause backlash as I see looking at the 3rd photo, the knobs of the controls are missing. On the other-hand, I'm one individual curious to look beyond initial impact so to learn what additional damages have been inflicted. In this case, the damages are rare. If there are lessons to be learned from any photo ... my inquiring mind wants to know as I wasn't there to see what happened. May I also ask if you had any flares or cones in-place before impact? Thank you for sharing your pictures.     R.


Randall C. Resch

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32 minutes ago, Rush said:

No sir. I'm only on scene normally 3 to 5 minutes to load and secure

Very very glad to hear you are ok. and I am with you. 3-5 minutes on scene is spot on. Get ahold of it and get your ass outta there. Now dont get me wrong, flares, cones and signage have their place at recovery scenes and such but for a disabled tow off a shoulder, Speed and efficiency are key and more than likely saved your life in this senario. 


There are Tow Truck Drivers, Then There is Towing and Recovery operators...... Which one are you??🤨

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Guys, I wholeheartedly agree with your time estimate that says load em' and go quickly, but Grumps, I'm of a different mindset. I hear what your saying about get in and get out fast, but, what about that difficult highway load, lowered car, missing wheel, or even the crash from hell that requires MORE than three to five minutes to load? A three to five minute load is possible under perfect considerations where load and go doesn't experience any problems. Since 1954, I've confirmed and verified as many as 333x tow operators killed working highway and shoulder events. Without knowing how much time they spent on-scene, highway patrol and fatality investigations and OSHA/FACE/NIOSH-like assessments after-the-fact indicated that many, many towers failed to deploy cones or flares as a means to provide additional advanced emergency warning. And, in California, that single lack of on-scene indentification is repeatedly used against towers in civil lawsuits when a DUI or out-of-control motorist can simply say, "I didn't know it was a tow truck at work", and used it as part of their defense. There are plenty of excuses for not setting flares and cones as there are for working the white-line side. Placing cones or flares, even lighted pucks take only a couple of extra minutes and I believe it's time well-spent to identify the tower's work zone.  Doing nothing defeats any message of advanced emergency warning. This industry is due a culture change that recognizes why tow trucks keep getting hit on the highway? And, I'm sure we can agree that this was perhaps one routine call that went sideways. That's why I asked if something more could have been done? That key question always arises and towers always get blamed for someone else's actions. If you don't believe me, ask Terry Abejuela, Peter Fuerst, or Tommy Anderson as to what they think about using cones or flares to announce one's on-scene presence? Ask yourself, "Does doing nothing violate Federal 49 CFR 392.22 - Emergency signals; stopped commercial motor vehicles?" This is a topic towers will argue until the end of time where to me, there's an obvious action that could be taken; if only to tell Worker's Comp you tried to do something versus nothing.    R.


Randall C. Resch

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I do agree with you Mr. Resch which is why i said in my statement that advanced warning has its place at recoveries and such meaning difficult loads like a low profile, wheel offs etc. Basically a good size up of the situation dictates what if any advanced warning actions will be needed. Using Rush's senario as a guide for my remarks is why I said 3-5 minutes to load. It appears to be a older chevy malibu, up on all 4 tires, I know where the hook up points are on that vehicle so this would be a grab and go in my opinion. It comes down to knowing how long it is going to take, identifying any issues that will take longer and leave you exposed longer. There is a moderate level of common sense and experience needed to decide whether to grab and go or set up your perimeter. I personally will ALWAYS be one that feels the less time I am exposed to the drooling, knuckle dragging motorists on the road, the better off I am.  


There are Tow Truck Drivers, Then There is Towing and Recovery operators...... Which one are you??🤨

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Well said. In this world of lawyering up without common sense, I believe doing more to err on the side of safety lends best in a courtroom environment. Thanks G for you wise words.    R.


Randall C. Resch

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19 hours ago, Rush said:

No sir. I'm only on scene normally 3 to 5 minutes to load and secure

I have been towing for many years now, but it baffles my mind to know how it is possible with a roll back to load, secure,tie down, and load the customer in 3-5 minutes? Maybe I'm to OLD & SLOW at 82.  😂

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On another note I have implemented all types of warning devises and have found it comes down the the amount of time the tow operator is on scene. When every minute counts. if the vehicle can be loaded and moved to a safer location then the minute it takes to deploy a warning devise may not be justified. My issue is that many will spend the time to do a full hook up/tie down rather than move to a safe location.

 

This incident is much like a number of others where the tow operator would have picked up the warning devices and was re-entering the truck. It often does not come down to minutes but seconds. I find that many tow operators do not actually have a plan to react in seconds. On every scene you should visually plan an escape route, position customers away from the danger, even watching out for law enforcement can increase the tow operators ability to react.

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