Towing a disabled vehicle can present many unusual and often dangerous obstacles. The more you know about a vehicle the better equipped you will be to combat any issues you may face. According to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health, you should know the following about a vehicle before towing it.
- Check the type of transmission on the vehicle and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for towing front-wheel drive, real-wheel drive or four-wheel drive vehicles.
- Tow rather than push a vehicle whenever possible.
- Avoid use of flares in case of fuel leaks.
- Turn on disabled vehicle flashers and, if available, place the tow extension stop/turn signals on a visible place on the vehicle being towed.
- Outfit service trucks with emergency equipment, warning signal devices and wheel chocks.
- Equip service trucks with a properly rated fire extinguisher.
- Post the maximum hoisting capacity of the towing unit on the winch mast. Do not remove or paint over information on the manufacturer’s data plate.
- Leave at least three wraps of cable on the winch.
- Operate hoist controls away from the winch drum, travelling cables and sheaves. Keep bystanders away.
- Make sure wheel lifts extend far enough to have clearance when turning.
- Be aware of electrical power lines when the boom is extended.
- After a vehicle is rigged, do a double-check. Make sure all cables and connections are secure before driving.
- Make sure any locking pins are properly engaged.
- Wear sturdy gloves to prevent cuts from cables and sharp objects.
- Do not straddle the tow cable.
- Do not work under a vehicle suspended by a tow truck. Place jack stands or blocking under the frame.
- Do not exceed the towing capacity of the truck, or exceed the limits of the cables, chain, tow bars, etc.
Following these tips will assist you in making sure you know everything you need in order to TowSafe on every call!
Credits: Canadian Centre for Occupational Health. “Garages – Road Service : OSH Answers.” Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, 26 Oct. 2018, www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/safety_haz/garages/road_service.html.