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The severity of the damage made this a difficult recovery
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Events
Tow Expo Dallas
Dallas, TX.
August 17-19, 2017
AT Exposition
Baltimore, MD.
Nov. 17-19, 2017
AT ShowPlace
Las Vegas, NV.
May 9-11, 2018
Don't Miss It!
CIRT President Bobby Tuttle's "Insurance Strategies for Today's Volatile Market" seminar will provide information on what is happening with the increase of insurance premiums in the towing industry, the types of claims that the underwriters are identifying as causes for increasing premiums and possible strategies that towing companies could employ to help reduce their claims and rates. This seminar will take place during Tow Expo Dallas, August 17-19, 2017 at the Gaylord Texan Resort in Grapevine, Texas.

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American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in TowingJune 21 - June 27, 2017

City, State
RATES
Midwest:
Sheridan, IN
$125
(Pop. 2,665)
West:
Eastsound, WA
$164
(Pop. 4,500)
East:
Blackwood, NJ
$100
(Pop. 4,545)
South:
Byron, GA
$125
(Pop. 2,887)
Light-Duty nonconsensual tow rates as provided by Police Towers of America.
homediv

Anyone In-Charge Here?

messyoffice02 48364By Randall C. Resch

I held a two-day tow operator safety course for a northern California towing company. Present was a law enforcement tow boss who was participating as a student in the class. The safety course consists of two eight-hour day classes that allow me to see the behind-the-scenes operations that occur just outside of the classroom's location.

As this was a weekend class, the owner was having a well-deserved Saturday away to be with his family, leaving the business to run in a general manner.

From my vantage point (and to my dismay), what I observed was not good. Several on-the-clock tow truck drivers were hanging out in the company's office watching TV or sending text messages, while others were seated in their tow trucks for long periods of time with no noticeable activity.

However:

• Tow trucks were filthy; exteriors alone had fingerprints and tobacco spit stains streaking the sides.
• Side-boxes and truck interiors were dirty, smelly, stained.
• Winch cable was bird-nested on several winches.
• Oil and debris was visible on a carrier's deck.
• The yard needed sweeping and trash picked up.
• The driver's room was dirty and unkempt.
• No one thought to clean the restroom and dump its trash can.

It was obvious that, with an absence of management, nothing was getting done and nothing was going to get done. I can imagine what the police tow boss taking the class was thinking; personally, I was embarrassed.

In the towing and recovery environment, there's always something to do. Unfortunately, unless there's direction to delegate or assign tasks, nothing's going to get done. When that concern doesn't come from the company's owner or management, things tend to fall into disrepair and gain an unkempt, unacceptable appearance. It doesn't take long for a facility to take on the appearance of a stereotypical junkyard ... a business impression that shouldn't be allowed to happen.

A company's reputation and visual appearance can make or break its image. When employees are on the clock, there's a reasonable expectation that they are busy taking care of equipment, facility and other menial tasks.

Supervision is oftentimes necessary on the part of absent ownership. Towers and tow company staff should be held accountable in day-to-day responsibilities, that don't include sitting on one's butt, until everything's caught up.

Some might see me as a nosey busybody, and that the company's operations are none of my business. Sorry, I don't see it that way.

Soon after, I had a quiet discussion with the company's owner recommending he appoint or hire a supervisor to care for on-going tasks in his absence, especially when employees are on the clock earning wages.

In this case, the company's boss took my message to heed for the better ... especially after he showed up unexpected the following week.

Randall Resch is American Towman's and Tow Industry Week's Operations Editor, a former California police officer, tow business owner and retired civilian off-road instructor for Navy Special Warfare. Randall is an approved instructor for towers serving the California Highway Patrol's rotation contract. His course is approved by the California law enforcement community. He has written over 500 industry-related articles for print and online, and is a member of the International Towing & Recovery Hall of Fame.
hd-rates

Is Anyone Left Behind?

TB fdd16By Randall C. Resch

Did you look inside?

In the world of total craziness, finding an injured, sleeping or deceased person in a car that's parked in your tow yard shouldn't be a normal happening, but it happens more times than you'd think. You take custody of the vehicle, load it up and head to your shop. In the process of off-loading the vehicle into your storage facility, you unexpectedly spy an injured person or a body that's inside the vehicle.

How could this have happened and who's to blame?

As a former police accident investigator and EMT, I've experienced the chaos of multi-vehicle accidents where patient extraction and their care is the main priority. With critical injuries and multiple victims, it's possible that a victim can (unintentionally) get left behind.

When vehicles are towed, law enforcement is tasked with writing impound forms and authorizations granting legal authority to tow or impound a vehicle. Part of the impound process requires that an inside-outside inventory is conducted of the vehicle. Appropriately, an inventory includes opening the vehicle's doors to have a look-see into the interior.

In several instances where deceased or injured persons were found inside towed vehicles (especially those in wrecks and recoveries), follow-up investigations stated that the deceased were located down on the floorboards and covered by deployed airbags. In many cases, victims were of small physical stature that wound up thrown onto the vehicle's floorboards during impact.

In one crash scenario, paramedics called a victim's friend whose phone number they found in the crashed vehicle The friend was told the victim would be taken to the local metro hospital. Relatives rushed to the hospital, but the victim never arrived. Somehow, the victim was overlooked and he was never removed from the vehicle.

While the process of vehicle inventory generally rests in the hands of the investigating officer, towers should be aware that any towed vehicle could contain a person or persons within. It's of the utmost importance to take time to look inside. As a prelude to towing any vehicle, towers should be aware that certain actions or crimes may have left a body within from homicides (often in the trunk), arson, over-the-embankment recoveries and accidents from frontal impact.

It's especially true of vehicles towed for private-property impounds where children are commonly left while mom or pop bounce to the corner convenience store.

Towers need to be aware that when accident vehicles are carrying unbelted drivers and passengers, they may be thrown forward and down to the floorboards when impact occurs. Especially at the passenger side-seat position and lower floorboards, here's an area that should be visually checked before any wrecked vehicle is loaded into the wheel-lift or onto the carrier.

While wearing appropriate heavy work or nitrile gloves, open the vehicle's doors, push back deployed airbags and carefully look into the dark crevasses where a person could conceivably be trapped. Be sure to wear safety goggles to prevent broken glass fragments getting into your eyes.

Remember, you're looking for a potential injured or deceased person; be ready for that shocking moment when you may come upon a victim still inside the vehicle you're about to tow or transport. In any event, you may save a person's life or at least bring closure to the family who's still looking for their missing loved one.

Randall Resch is American Towman's and Tow Industry Week's Operations Editor, a former California police officer, tow business owner and retired civilian off-road instructor for Navy Special Warfare. Randall is an approved instructor for towers serving the California Highway Patrol's rotation contract. His course is approved by the California law enforcement community. He has written over 500 industry-related articles for print and on-line, and is a member of the International Towing & Recovery Hall of Fame.
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