This is a hazardous job and remaining safe should be your top priority.
First class standards of driving are essential at all times as are following the rules of the road.
Additionally, remember these pointers, which were issued from the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety;
- Always label the container that has the fuel in it. It should be contained in the correct type of portable carrier. It needs a firm screw cap and a spout for pouring.
- Always keep the diesel fuels and gasoline in different containers. Never mix them!
- When you are refueling someone, keep the contact with the fuel container and the opener for the filler.
- Try not to push a vehicle if it can be avoided. Towing it is preferable.
- See what the vehicle you are towing’s transmission is, before you commence the job. Then check carefully with the vehicle manufacturer what their advice is for towing that sort of vehicle. It will be different for front wheel drive, to four wheel drive or rear wheel drive vehicles.
- Always take care to keep well lit. When you are doing a pick up, be as lit up as possible. You want to avoid having to use flares in case there is any spilt or leaking fuel.
- Before towing the damaged vehicle, make sure the flashers are on.
- Owners and managers should ensure that tow trucks have warning signal devices on board, as well as other safety equipment, such as a fire extinguisher and so forth.
- On the tow truck, make sure the information saying what the vehicle’s maximum capacity is, is clearly displayed. This should be on the winch mast of the tow unit. Don’t allow this to be painted over or taken down.
- Never be tempted to tow more than the capacity of your truck.
- The same applies to the limits of the tow bar, cables and chains.
- Ensure that the cable on the winch has a minimum of three wraps.
- When you are using the hoist controls, keep away from the traveling cables and wheel drum.
- Remember to look out for overhead power cables, when you are extending the boom.
- When you have rigged a vehicle, check it properly to make sure all the cables are tightly secured before setting off.
- Check every locking pin is in properly.
- Try and remember to wear strong gloves to stop yourself from being cut by cables and other hazards.
- Don’t straddle the tow cable.
- Never work beneath a car which is being suspended by a tow truck. Always have a jack under the frame.
- Remember to wear high visibility clothing at all times, especially at night.
- Always take your high vis clothing with you, even if you set off in daylight, as a tow trucker, you never know how long you may be!