The top priority for any tow truck operator and driver must be safety at all times. This top priority is not only for themselves but for everyone else involved in the towing situation, regardless of what precipitated the need for a tow truck. Once the tow truck arrives on the scene the driver must assess the situation to determine the best course of action to keep everyone safe at the scene including themselves. There are many different best practices that can increase the safety in an already stressful situation particularly where there is oncoming traffic or inclement weather.
The first thing to consider is other and oncoming traffic in the area. There may be a need to be notify oncoming or nearby traffic that there is an towing incident in progress. Using tools such as cones, flares or flashing lights can warn approaching traffic of the situation. Additionally, persons can be deployed to flag inappropriate circumstances in order to prevent any additional accidents or other traffic safety concerns for anyone on the road at the time.
Everyone involved in the towing incident must maintain a safe distance away from the work area in order to avoid any accidents or injuries from moving vehicles, equipment, debris, fire, or any other unpredictable circumstances. The people in the area would include not only the tow truck driver and individuals involved in a potential Collision or situation but additionally First Responders, and police. All personnel on the towing scene may be required to wear high-visibility apparel depending on the local laws and regulations.
In the event of a collision requiring a tow truck service the tow truck drivers first assignment will be to recover the vehicle and position it safely in order to be removed from the scene. Specialty equipment will be employed at this time to safely and effectively remove the vehicle and transport it to a different location. This involves such specialized equipment as winches and chains.
The tow truck equipment should always be properly serviced and in high functioning order before arriving at the scene. It is the responsibility of the tow truck operator to determine the best approach for recovering and removing the vehicle from the scene. Once the vehicle is moved and safely connected to the tow truck (or on the tow truck if it is a flatbed tow), it must then be properly secured to ensure safe transportation to the destination. The typical scenario will be removing the vehicle from the scene of an accident and taking it to a towing yard or garage. However, the vehicle may be directed by the owner to be returned home depending on whether or not it is operational or if they have another preference for what happens to their vehicle.
Regardless of what happened to require a tow truck getting called the top priority must be safety at all times. A few simple steps and preparations and precautions can go a long way in ensuring that everyone involved and nearby will be safe at all times.