Proper towing and recovery safety should always be top priority at the scene of an accident. Along with police officers and the ambulance crew, towing companies are part of the first response team at motor vehicle accidents. Towing and recovery companies are called to all types of roadway incidents including breakdowns, collisions, off road recovery and load shift cargo recovery. Regardless of the type of incident, once they arrive on-scene, towing and recovery companies are expected secure the area, providing safety for the vehicles, passengers and themselves.
Proper Personal Safety Gear
Proper towing and safety gear protects the tow truck operator as well. When the towing service arrives, the tow truck operator and any other towing personnel should be wearing proper safety gear to make themselves more visible to other drivers as they work at an accident scene. Operators should, and in some cases are required by federal law to wear high visibility clothing.
The Federal Highway Administration requires that all roadway and emergency workers on or near a federal highway wear a green, orange or yellow fluorescent safety vest that meets American National Standards Institute standards. The tow truck operator should also wear a helmet with the same reflective qualities found in his vest and gloves.
Ensure On Scene Safety
Arriving with the emergency lights on, the operator should monitor any activity around his tow truck when approaching the disabled vehicle. Before getting out of the truck, he will need to check for traffic coming near the accident or disabled vehicle.
For everyone’s safety, oncoming traffic needs to be made aware of the incident. This will prevent any other vehicles become involved or any additional incidents from happening. Flashing lights, flares, cones, barricades and signs should be set up as needed. If necessary, flaggers should be deployed to direct traffic around the scene.
Sight distance to the incident as well as to overall recovery area must be considered and addressed. Any property damage such as fluid leaking onto the roadway, soil contamination from fluid leakage, damage to grass, trees, shrubs should all be identified for clean-up. All operators, first responders and by-standers must be protected from injury by establishing a safe distance around the scene in case of fire, explosion, equipment failure or malfunction.
Proper Recovery & Removal
The tow truck operator must observe proper procedures as he prepares to load a disabled vehicle onto his tow truck and remove it from the scene. This will often require the use of a winch and appropriate rigging such as chains and other hardware. The tow truck, winch, and all necessary hardware must be properly sized for the job at hand.
Attachment to the disabled vehicle should be made to an area of the vehicle that is structurally strong and secure. Proper procedures for securing and towing a vehicle can prevent injury or further damage to the vehicle.
Appropriately Rated Equipment
It is important for the operator to use the appropriately rated towing vehicle for the weight of the cargo he is towing. The gross vehicle weight rating, or GVWR, for light-duty trucks is 10,000 pounds or less. Medium-duty trucks can haul as much as 26,000 pounds, and heavy-duty haulers can move vehicles with a GVWR in excess of 26,000 pounds.
The weight ratings also dictate the types of winches and towing cables that can be used on a particular tow truck. Cables and winches should be inspected regularly to ensure that they are in good working order. The operator should also regularly inspect all splices and connectors that fasten the tow wire to the truck and to its hitching devices.
By using the proper equipment and following proper safety procedures, towing and recovery companies can successfully and safely perform their jobs without any additional damage or injury.
Accurate Towing Service has been providing Towing Service in New Jersey since 1987. We have decades of experience in providing professional towing services. All of our operators are trained and certified in all aspects of Towing and Recovery from off road recovery and emergency vehicle recovery to towing services and tow truck repairs. Contact us for reliable, superior service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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