If you need a tow truck, you aren't having a good day. Odds are you're worried and angry. The technician operating the tow truck has met numerous customers in the exact predicament today already. If you've ever wondered how to become a tow truck driver, know that patience is a virtue. But there are other requirements.
How to Become a Tow Truck Driver: Basic Requirements
The precise guidelines for tow truck drivers differ from state to state. Many states require individuals to pass a list of licensing programs and tests before they're qualified to operate a tow truck.
People interested in working tow trucks must have a flexible schedule, clean driving record, and excellent interpersonal skills. They must be over 18 capable of passing a drug, a physical, and a vision test. Some towing companies run criminal background checks too.
Federal law compels drivers to have a commercial license before towing over 25,000 pounds. Some states require every professional tow truck driver to possess a commercial license regardless of the weight they expect to tow. To obtain a commercial driver's license, motorists must undergo training, pass a driver's test, and take a written exam.
State laws vary on if tow truck drivers need a particular towing certification. However, most states do require this certification before a driver can get a tow truck driving job.
Many tow drivers pick up their job skills, following an experienced driver to learn about specific strategies, safety procedures, and company policies. The job doesn't necessitate any certain educational degrees or diplomas. Though, many tow companies feel better hiring someone with at least a high school diploma.
After a driver gets some job experience, they can go for certification to prove their skills and further their careers.
A driver who has previous towing experience can get a certificate via the Towing and Recovery Association of America.
The training is online or in-person at three levels:
Level One: Light-duty training obliges drivers to satisfy all state driving requirements and has 90 days of experience functioning as a tow truck operator in the last five years. The certification test, offered at community colleges and towing shows, has 100 questions. Individuals who pass get their certificate via fax within a couple of days.
Level Two: The mid-level certification requires 12 months of work as a medium- or heavy-duty truck driver. A driver also has to satisfy state requirements, possess a Level 1 certification, and maintain a commercial driver's license. The test consists of a written segment on basic knowledge and an oral component to see how drivers manage real-life situations.
Level Three: Heavy-duty certification entails having a commercial driver's license with endorsements, a Level 2 certification, and two years working on a tow truck. The exam has a written part that tests theoretical knowledge and an oral portion that tests real-life situations.
If you want more information on becoming a tow truck driver, contact Buffalo Towing Service.
One of the key objectives of any towing business is to aid a distraught driver in an auto breakdown or accident. The other primary purpose of a towing company is to maintain the law. Towing has been in an unflattering light because of predatory towing and the misunderstandings surrounding it.
Predatory Towing Defined
Many folks will say that predatory towing is the art of picking automobiles for towing by putting spotters in the area at the towing business's request. Some will say that predatory towing is the towing of cars for the single purpose of charging high fees to the driver. Below are a few examples of predatory towing.
Example Number One
Towing businesses can remove illegally parked vehicles from private and public properties. In this case, the tow company's customers are the property owners, and the vehicle owners are the trespassers.
In instances like this, using spotters is quite useful. These individuals help to inconspicuously bring any parking violation in the nearby area to the local towing business. This act is 100% legal.
What is not legal is the towing of a legally parked automobile, also known as predatory towing. Getting rid of a lawfully parked car by a towing company is a violation on the same level as grand theft auto. Tow drivers practicing this predatory towing could get serious jail time.
Example Number Two
Towing services should be able to spot the difference between illegal and legal parking. Though, this example of predatory towing is one all drivers must be cautious about following.
Under typical circumstances with a towed car, the driver has to get it from the towing company's and take care of a fine for the vehicle and violation. However, a few towing businesses are well-known for towing legally parked cars on purpose and charging high fees.
Example Number Three
When towing a car parked illegally, the tow driver must work within any rules listed within the contract the towing company has with the car owner. The tow truck driver must act professionally.
This notion means that towing businesses can't work outside of what property owners or the government states. Towing businesses must act only upon demand by the law or a property owner. Or else, it's predatory towing.
Important Information to Know
The owners of impounded vehicles are frequently so swift to blame someone else for their parking violations, calling any towing action as predatory. This idea undercuts the response to and the effects of real predatory towing. Every driver should know his or her rights when it comes to auto towing.
At Buffalo Towing Service, we want to ensure that drivers with impounded vehicles can get their car back without any issues.
While we maintain the law, our philosophy is to treat each vehicle and driver with care and respect. If you need a tow, only trust your car with the most virtuous companies. Contact Buffalo Towing Service today.
If your automobile becomes non-functioning or you're in an accident, you will have to pick a dependable towing service. Besides selecting a tow truck service business that is trustworthy and experienced, you also must put careful thought into the sort of tow that is right for your vehicle and situation. In specific scenarios, flat bed towing is typically the best choice instead of the usual tow dolly.
Traditional towing and flat-bed towing differ because the back of the flat-bed tow truck has a massive bed with a hydraulic incline. This lets the bed be shifted to ground level so that your automobile can be put on the bed with the use of a winch or with its power.
When It's Needed
This towing is usually needed when towing 4-wheel drive and heavy-duty machinery. Also, if your automobile has to be towed a long distance, it might be preferable to get a flat-bed tow since it puts less stress on your vehicle.
Flatbed is usually considered to be one of the safest ways of transporting a vehicle. This is because a flat-bed tow doesn't put any added pressure on your car. Moreover, with this choice, there is no need to drag your vehicle for a long time. This sort of towing is also a favored choice when your car has experienced a breakdown or an electrical power failure.
Also sometimes called car carriers or rollbacks, flat-bed tow trucks also deliver the added advantage of keeping your automobile away from other traffic while it is in transport. After all, if the car isn't on the highway, there's less chance that it will be harmed by surrounding traffic. This is why a flat-bed tow is frequently the desired method for transporting expensive and luxury cars.
While in the process of picking a towing service that does flatbed towing, it is critical to be sure that the company you select has particular experience in this sort of towing. The technician will need to be sure that your car is 100% secured aboard the bed of the tow truck before starting the transport. Call Buffalo Towing Service for all your towing needs.
If your battery dies, don't panic! Typically, something simple has created the problem. Lights that were left on, hot weather conditions, or a lousy alternator are common but very fixable problems that cause batteries to die. In the meantime, you most likely want to get your car up and running until you can get the issue resolved. Here are some tips to jump start your car safely.
Get a set of jumper cables.
They are a real necessity that needs to be in the trunk of your vehicle or a storage bin in your truck.
Be sure both vehicles share similar voltage and are parked close to one other. It is safer to have both cars off before connecting the jumper cables.
Connect the red clip to the positive terminal of the battery. Then connect one of the black clips to the negative terminal of the other battery.
The other black clip is attached to a non-painted metal that should be far away from the battery.
If you see leaking on the battery or significant damage, stop the jump and contact a towing professional.
When the dome light in your vehicle comes on, all cables are correctly connected.
Run the other vehicle for around five to ten minutes, then turn it off so your jump start won't damage their alternator.
Now you can start your vehicle. If the car comes on smoothly, drive it for about 20 minutes to recharge your battery. If the car won't start right after that, or next time in use, it's time for you to replace the battery.
If your car stalls in an area that isn't safe, like on the freeway, at a busy intersection, or in adverse weather conditions, it's recommended not to try to jump your battery. Too much can go wrong, and you can get seriously hurt. Instead, call a tow truck.
Towing companies can transport your vehicle to a safer location and jump your battery. Even if they don't move your car, they can use their emergency lighting to slow down traffic, making the situation quite safer.
If your car is impounded, you'll be paying a storage and towing fee. Your vehicle could even be sold if you don't come to retrieve it. There are regulations and limits which govern car impounds.
A law enforcement officer could have your vehicle impounded if it's blocking traffic, you're stopped and can't legally drive, or you're illegally parked.
You can get your car back with the right documentation after paying the fees. A car and its contents could be impounded as part of some legal proceedings or a criminal investigation. In this instance, the official hold has to be released first.
In most situations, a law enforcement agency doesn't do the towing itself. Instead, it contracts the service out to a private towing company.
Private Property Tows
Owners of private property, including retail shops, restaurants, and apartments, have the right to implement their parking regulations. The hours and limitations have to be displayed along with a telephone number for getting back your vehicle.
If not, contact your local law enforcement agency as the towing company should have notified them within two hours of the tow.
If you return while the wrecker is still hooking up there usually isn't a charge. If they have wholly hooked up your car, you could have to pay a "drop fee" of anywhere around $125-$225 based on vehicle weight.
Every storage facility must meet state requirements for cars towed without consent. For starters, if they get vehicles 24 hours a day, then they must give you your vehicle or let you remove personal property in one hour, any time of the day.
Here are some things you must know to help avoid scams and overcharges.
Submerged in water can be disastrous for your car, particularly your interior, electrical system, and engine. If over half of your vehicle has been immersed in water, continue reading to find out how to recover a car that’s gone in the water.
Contact Your Insurance Company
It doesn’t matter the magnitude of the flood damage, the first thing you must do is contact your insurance company. Flood damage is typically covered by comprehensive (theft and fire) insurance.
Even if you have no collision coverage, you might be covered for whatever replacements or repairs you'll encounter. Your insurance carrier will most likely be swamped with claims, so it's a good idea to begin the process early.
Don’t Start Your Car
You’re tempted to turn the key to see if your automobile still works. However, if there’s water in the engine, trying to start, it could destroy it beyond repair. Try the other tips before attempting to drive your vehicle again.
How Deep was the Car Under Water?
Debris and mud typically leave a waterline on the car, outside and inside. The majority of insurance companies will deem the vehicle damaged beyond repair if water reaches the dashboard or higher.
If this is the case, then have a towing company transport your car to a mechanic for a professional inspection. If the water didn't get above your door bottoms, your automobile is fine.
Look at the Air Cleaner and Oil
If you see water drops on the dipstick, the level of the oil is high, or if the air filter contains water, don’t try to start the car. Call a tow truck and have it taken to a mechanic to get the fluids changed and the water cleared.
Examine All Electrical Systems
Next, inspect your electrical system (if you don’t know how to do so, get an automotive technician to do it for you.
To try it yourself, start your vehicle and then try everything electrical in it: seats, power locks, windows, AC, headlights, interior lights, and turn signals. If something is acting funny, it could be a sign that there’s a problem with your electrical system.
Have a mechanic inspect it. Most likely your insurance will cover any damage.
From your home to the road, getting your vehicle unstuck and back on the road can be a massive pain in the you-know-what. Unless you plan on borrowing Santa’s sled after he’s through with it, you have to be ready for whatever comes your way in the wintertime.
First and foremost, winterized your vehicle. Below are a few winter weather driving tips that will make your journey during the wintertime a safe one. The worst thing is to have to call for towing services and wait in the cold for it to come.
Never, ever pour hot water on our windows to get the ice off. Unless you like the shattered glass look, this is a real no-no.
Instead, crank up your vehicle and cut on the defrosters to aid in softening snow and ice. You can get your car good and warm while you work. When you're ready to start scraping the ice, use a plastic ice scraper. They are less likely to scratch or harm your glass than the metal ones.
Remember that your wipers aren’t constructed to throw off five pounds of snow. Use them after you have cleared off the snow with a snow remover brush. Also, make sure there’s plenty of windshield washer fluid before you venture out into the salt-covered streets.
Snow, Shoveling, And Your Vehicle
You want to get the snow off our vehicle because you don’t want it harming your paint. The best thing is to use snow removal brushes and leave the shovel for your sidewalks and walkways.
Don’t forget getting the snow off your roof. You don’t want a block of snow flying off while you’re driving. Other places not to forget to get the snow off are your mirrors, license plates, tail lights, and headlights.
Carbon monoxide is nothing to play around with. Inspect your tailpipe to make sure it's free of snow whenever your vehicle is running.
When you are ready to hit the streets, shovel around your wheels and under the front and rear bumpers to get rid of any snow. Above all, be cautious out there!
The cold weather is here. Besides incredible changing leaves in the Buffalo area, don’t forget what winter does to your ride. Even driving a block to the store can be an MMA fight between you vs. the weather and other motorists.
With winter comes snow, ice, and sub-zero degrees. All these things can turn a routine drive into an accident waiting to happen.
The weather puts a significant strain on your car, putting demands on equipment and parts you might overlook during the summertime. Just for you, here are some suggestions in preparing your vehicle for the winter.
Cover It Up
If you have a garage or car awning, this is the time to use it. Having to get up before dawn to scrape ice and snow off your windows in freezing temps isn’t a thrill.
Put your car in a dry, warm area makes get going in the morning much more manageable. If you don’t have a car awning or garage, purchase a car cover to keep the cold and snow out.
Look At Your Battery
Humans and car batteries have one thing in common: both detest winter.
Even a good functioning battery can be hard to turn over if it doesn’t like the weather. Low temperatures can diminish a battery’s power over 45%. You might want to replace your battery or have a mechanic inspect it before winter comes a-calling.
The tests aren’t 100% accurate, so if you’re concerned, go ahead and buy a new one or a pair of jumper cables.
Just remember to be mindful of your battery posts throughout the year. Use a small wire brush and a mixture of water and baking soda to keep your battery posts clean.
Arrange An Inspection
The same way you get a yearly checkup, it’s not a bad idea to have your vehicle inspected by a licensed automobile professional to ensure all is right. A mechanic can tell you if your parts and systems are in good working condition before winter hits.
Always keep your tank half full and change your oil before the weather gets cold. The last thing you want is to have your car breaks down in the cold, and you have to call a tow truck.
Waiting for a tow to come to you can be exasperating. If you are wondering what to do while waiting for a tow, you should adhere to a few safety procedures. The bottom line is you want the process of getting you and your vehicle off the road to be smooth. Here are some things to do in the meantime:
Before you contact a tow truck, put on your hazard lights. If the part of the street, highway, or rad you’re stuck on is a high-traffic spot, don’t leave your car. It is just way to dangerous. Many individuals are killed every year standing on the side of the road or trying to walk across the highway to an exit ramp.
Belongings and Paperwork
Your vehicle’s registration, insurance papers, and driver’s license is required once the towing service shows up. When your car is ready to be towed, make sure you have all your personal belongings and valuables with you. Gather up your valuables and any items you do not want to be left behind in your vehicle when it is towed.
Keep your doors closed. If another vehicle stops to offer assistance, don’t open your door and most definitely, don’t get out of your car. Crack your window a centimeter and let the individual know that help is on the way. You don’t know another person’s intentions. Stay alert and be safe!
By that same token, don’t be duped by another tow truck showing up to your spot. If it isn’t the towing company you contacted, don’t let the person hook up your vehicle. There are numerous deceitful towing businesses, and they prey on the anxiety of stranded drivers.
Alert the Police
If you are in a deserted spot and you’re uneasy about your safety, tell the towing company on the phone. Next, call the police and ask for an officer to come to you and wait with you for the tow truck. This is why it is best to have the number of a 24-hour tow truck on hand just in case. You don’t want to waste time doing a search on your cell phone when you’re stranded.
The goal is to get to safety as fast as possible. Contact Buffalo Towing whenever you need assistance after an accident.
Some folks think that towing a damaged vehicle is easy. Honestly, it’s difficult and one that shouldn’t be done by a novice. Picking the wrong tow truck can be very pricey. Below are the different types of tow trucks used by most Syracuse towing companies.
A flatbed tow truck is a top choice for numerous towing companies. A flatbed truck has a flatbed that is used for transporting cars, SUVs, motorcycles, and many other light-duty vehicles. A flatbed provides a secure and safe way to move a car without damaging it any more.
Chain and Hook
The top preference for towing companies in the past, the hook and chain tow truck is no longer the first choice. However, most companies do still have one or two available and ready. A chain and hook truck attach a hook to a car, typically in the front. The vehicle is moved with only two wheels on the ground. Since there is a high possibility of damage, another tow truck type is utilized.
Similar to the chain & hook tow truck, a wheel lift tow truck moves a car with just two wheels. Different from the chain and hook, a wheel lift tow truck comes with a metal yoke which is secured to either the back or front wheels. Distributing the weight evenly means there’s little chance of any more damage as compared to a chain and hook tow truck.
Dolly Tow Truck
Tow dollies provide another alternative to lifted and flatbed towing. Having the vehicle just a couple of inches off the ground, a dolly can be linked to numerous vehicles, such as all-terrain, trucks, and tow trucks. Dollies are usually used for lightweight towing tasks.
Special Towing Equipment
Heavy, big equipment and vehicles need special towing equipment. Specialized heavy-duty tow trucks are frequently used for RVs, motor homes, 18-wheelers, coach buses, and so much more.
If you live around Syracuse, NY, Buffalo Towing can manage your all your towing needs - so contact Buffalo Towing today!
We at Buffalo Towing are here to provide tips and ideas regarding towing, accidents, and safety.