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How to manage unanticipated roadside events

Handling the before, during, and after of an unexpected heavy duty vehicle tow or recovery.

by: Erica Schueller


Downtime is the antithesis of productivity for a fleet operation. When that downtime is unexpected, or becomes an emergency situation, it is even more integral to have a plan in place to efficiently and effectively respond to issues, so the problem does not get exponentially worse.


When an emergency roadside situation occurs, a safe and organized response is crucial. Adhering to these critical steps can minimize not only the loss or damage of cargo but also protect and potentially save the lives of the driver and others on the road who may be in jeopardy.


Having a plan in place to handle the before, during, and after of an unexpected tractor tow or vehicle recovery can help fleets to better plan for these events.

Prep when possible

In preparation for the unexpected, fleets should first vet and select one or several towing and recovery service providers that best suits their needs. When selecting a service provider, review the network they serve. There may be instances where a fleet runs outside of the network, or a fleet may require a nationwide network to provide service.


Once a service provider is selected, the fleet should apply to be added to the towing and recovery company’s account base. Information such as the main fleet contact, purchasing agent, accounts payable staff, and fleet manager should all be provided to the tow company, says Randy Resch, tow operator expert and owner of Randall Resch Training.


Brian Riker suggests dedicated mobile maintenance providers may specialize in certain vehicles or systems, while dedicated towing service providers who also provide some mobile maintenance services may likely offer more general services. Riker is president and chief compliance specialist for Fleet Compliance Solutions, a transportation compliance consulting company for the commercial vehicle market.


Additionally, “they may be more inclined to tow the breakdown into their shop rather than repair it roadside,” Riker advises.


He adds that service providers will also take into consideration how quickly their tower can get off the side of the road.


“On average, a tower or mobile mechanic is struck by a passing vehicle once every six days in the U.S.,” he says.


Read the Entire Article HERE

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