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Re: Behind the Wheel (Tow Truck) Training


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I just finished reading of a Philiadelphia court settlement where a tow operator allegedly struck and killed a pedestrian (attached herein).

 

Tow truck crashes bring huge business for attorneys who somewhat know that most tow companies simply assume that their tow driver applicants, or current operators, know how to handle a large tow truck or carrier. It's the same manner that police officers get killed responding to calls in police SUVs (Ford Interceptor ? Tahoe?) when their academy experience has them trained in only a patrol car. Some training is better than no training right? So, at this very moment, if you're an owner with five tow operators operating five of your tow trucks, has each operator attended some kind of training having to do with driving a wrecker or carrier? Accordingly, does your company have monthly or quarterly training? Do you have an Employee Handbook addressing 

problem areas of tow vehicle operations? To that, I pose the question, "What training do you provide to an employee or driver applicant that has to do with responding to calls, safe speed, use of shoulders, expedite, etc? 

 

Fact:  Traffic crashes are a product of the unknown and happen at any time or hour. What have you done to help lessen the impact of a high-dollar lawsuit as the one reported on in Philadelphia?   R.

 

 

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Randall C. Resch

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  • 3 weeks later...

This is exactly why I have been trying to bring my Defensive Driving for the Tow Operator seminar to the tow shows for the past few years. I want to generate interest, or at least discussion and thought about professional training for towing operators. So much of our industry focus is on below the hook training -which is extremely important- but we miss other equally critical areas such as how to drive the darn truck!

 

Thanks for the awareness you bring to this and other important issues outside the normal for our industry. Can't wait to get together when the country opens back up and have a meal to discuss what is next and what the new normal is going to look like.

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Hey Mr. Dude ... what about you putting on a, "behind the wheel", skills course at one of the tow shows? Did you know that, in San Diego, California, to gain a landscaper certificate at the ROP college level, a landscaper's applicant has to pass a driving course using a pick-up truck pulling a trailer, backing through cones, three point turns, straightaway pulling, loading a heavy mower, parking, detaching, chocks, etc? You could do something along those lines ... food for thought eh? So ... can I ask ... when will the country open back to normal?     R

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Randall C. Resch

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On 4/19/2020 at 8:18 PM, rreschran said:

Hey Mr. Dude ... what about you putting on a, "behind the wheel", skills course at one of the tow shows? Did you know that, in San Diego, California, to gain a landscaper certificate at the ROP college level, a landscaper's applicant has to pass a driving course using a pick-up truck pulling a trailer, backing through cones, three point turns, straightaway pulling, loading a heavy mower, parking, detaching, chocks, etc? You could do something along those lines ... food for thought eh? So ... can I ask ... when will the country open back to normal?     R

I would love to, it would have fit nicely into the Towman Games. Maybe next year? The Mid West Regional Tow Show in Mason, Ohio (put on my TRAO and TRAK) has a skills challenge that includes driving maneuvers. Never have had the time to compete, would like to give it a shot and see how rusty I really am!

 

As for when will the country get back to normal, maybe never -although that may not be a bad thing as normal was broken!

 

All joking aside, I see a slow ramp up back towards being productive, not going to happen by this summer. Maybe we will all be allowed to have Thanksgiving Dinner together, doubtful of any large gatherings much before then. As for the damage, many small businesses will never return and even once the workers get back to work their discretionary spending will be lower for a year or two. I honestly think we are in for a 3-5 year period of recession. Just my .02 cents, hope I am proven wrong.

 

Your and my world as trainers will never be the same, people are going to get more comfortable with distance learning and it will become mainstream, negating the draw for in-person hands-on classes. Now, I know not everything we teach can be adapted to online, but much of it could. Imagine doing the classroom portion at the students own pace before the hands-on portion, it would cut down the disruption to the schedule quite a bit. Walk into the yard, do the hands-on practical and ride away in half a day?

 

On this subject, the FMCSA has proposed relaxing the CDL exam standards (at least temporarily) to allow for an exam to be conducted using technology instead of having the examiner ride along in the vehicle with the permit holder. This indicates to me that the US DOT is preparing for a long term disruption to how we do things in person, especially since the state driver licence agencies have until June 30 to submit their plans for review. I take this to mean driver license testing, and other DMV functions, will not return to normal until sometime in 2021.

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