We asked a sample of our community what advice they would give to a rookie tow truck driver, or even to anyone thinking about whether to become one at all!
Not all the points were totally serious, but even the ones which were said tongue in cheek might have a grain of truth behind them.
We explore what they said in depth here;
- FOOD AND REST
“…You need an in-depth knowledge of every burger van and fast food menu for at least five hundred miles around. You should be able to sleep with a radio in your hand and half an eye open, so you can get to the next call when it comes…”
Although this point was only semi serious, there is a more substantive point to be made about food and rest on shift.
You will need to plan your own day and that means making sure you take all the rest breaks you should do.
You will need to know all the stop offs, food vans and also suitable places for a tow truck to stop. You also need to ensure that you are not too tired to drive your tow truck.
- PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS
“You must…not to want to stay married for any longer. Tow trucking is a really good way of getting dumped!”
Although there are plenty of tow truck drivers who do stay happily married, the decision to become a tow truck driver is not an easy one.
And it is certainly one that you should talk over with your partner before deciding on it.
There is no doubting that trucking, and in particular, tow truck driving is a difficult job.
You may be called out until all hours. You don’t always know when you will return. You can be stuck in traffic – and snow.
The fact is, this is a long distance job and comes with long distance hours!
It is something that both you and your partner need to be prepared for.
- THE COMPANY
“A big company might be better than a smaller one, especially to a beginner. There’s often better pay and conditions and also more chance of benefits with the job. Having said that, sometimes a smaller company may be looking for a newbie to train up, if you are not so worried about the payrates initially. I would say the larger the firm, the more chance of a progression through the pay grade and also the ranks of the company!”
Before you just apply for the first tow trucking job which comes along, maybe you should consider the different types of company there are out there first.
Do you want to work for a larger company or a smaller firm?
As you can see, a lot of truck drivers prefer working for a larger company. This is because there is more likely to be a properly devised pay scale and there may be more chance of a promotion.
Having said this, there are also plenty of tow truck drivers who prefer working for a smaller firm. Although there is likely to be fewer openings in these companies, there is more of a tight knit community.
A smaller company might suit you better if you are less concerned with earning more initially.
- YOUR ATTITUDE
“However bad a day you think you are having, remember, your client is probably having a worse one. Try and think about this when you are being called out at 3am in the morning into a blizzard!”
Finally, being a tow truck driver is not all just about the technicalities of pulling cars stuck in the mud, or giving someone a hook up.
It is also about dealing with drivers as human beings.
When someone has been stranded at the roadside and possibly been in an accident, they will not be at their best.
They may be frightened, confused, cold, hot, thirsty, hungry or even hurt. Try and remember all these things and be as sympathetic as possible to them.