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What Skills Do You Need To Be a Tow Truck Driver?

What Skills Do You Need To Be a Tow Truck Driver?

There are many different skills you must have to be a successful tow truck operator. 

  • While physical skills are the most common, tow truck drivers will also need to have interpersonal skills.
  • Tow truck drivers can also improve on their skills.
  • Tow truck drivers represent their whole company when on the job. 

What Skills Are Needed To Be a Successful Tow Truck Driver?

Tow truck operators quickly respond to incidents that require vehicles to be loaded and transported safely. This could include road accidents and vehicle breakdowns. Tow truck drivers are able to manage these accidents efficiently by using the necessary equipment and skills. 

Being a tow truck driver is not an easy task. Performing the necessary tasks requires you to be dedicated and hardworking. You also must have proper training, licensing, and certifications. The job of a tow truck operator requires you to have interpersonal and physical skills. We will go into details about each different skill tow truck operators use everyday on the job. 

Tow Truck Driver Skills: Physical Labor

Towing Skills

While this may seem like an obvious skill for a tow truck driver, it is still the most crucial. Tow truck drivers are required by OSHA to receive safety training before they ever get behind the wheel. As a tow truck driver, you must be able to safely tow vehicles that are disabled or stuck. You also need to know how to transport that vehicle, without incident, to a location where it can be repaired or removed. These tow truck operations necessitate skills and training.

Heavy Lifting as a Tow Truck Driver

To keep up with the physical demands of the job, you must be in good physical health. Being a tow truck driver require heavy lifting skills. This is due to the fact that they frequently have to lift heavy objects onto their trucks. You must be able to lift and operate heavy machinery such as tow chains and tires. This requires a lot of strength and, if not done properly, can be dangerous to your physical health.

Being Able To Drive For Long Periods of Time

It is very possible that a tow truck driver will be driving for long periods of time. Drivers who spend longer periods of time behind the wheel may experience mentally draining symptoms. Some of these symptoms could contribute to vehicle accidents. Some of these symtpoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Distraction
  • Impatience

Drivers must remain alert and focused on the primary task at hand, driving.

Long periods of driving also have an impact on operator joint or muscle pain. Tow truck drivers are at a particularly high risk of experiencing back, neck, and shoulder pain. Leg, foot, and hand cramps are also common symptoms.

Hooking Up and Transporting Vehicles

Being a tow truck driver means that you must be able to hook up vehicles in a manner that will properly and safely attach the vehicle to the truck. This means that you must understand how to properly secure the vehicle so that it does not disconnect during transport. 

This skill is also important because the driver must be able to transport the vehicle from one location to another without causing damage to the vehicle in tow. 

The last step in the transporting process is to safely unload the vehicle. Which then requires you to be able to securly disconnect the vehicle without causing any damage to the vehicle or to the tow truck. 

Maintaining & Inspecting Tow Trucks

You must conduct vehicle inspections on the tow truck, to ensure that the vehicles it transports are safe and in good condition. This ability will assist you, as a tow truck driver, in identifying potential problems with the truck before towing, which can help to avoid accidents and breakdowns.

Being a tow truck driver means being capable of maintaining the tow truck. This includes ensuring that the truck is serviced and repaired properly as well as ensuring that it is clean and in good working order. This skill is required to keep the tow truck safe and reliable, to keep the tow truck safe, reliable, and functioning properly.

Auto Repair

Sometimes on a job, you may arrive at the scene of an accident or breakdown, and you will be required to perform minor roadside repairs such as changing a tire or jump-starting the vehicle. This is to ensure that the transport of the vehicle will go smoothly. Therefore, you may need to have some auto repair skills in order to complete your tasks.

Non-Labor Tow Truck Operating Skills

Even though most of the required skill sets for tow truck operators have some kind of physical aspect, being a tow truck driver can also be mentally taxing. You may spend the day navigating traffic, dealing with inclement weather, and dealing with irritated vehicle owners, so you must be patient, calm, and mentally strong. Because of this, there are some required “softer” skills that you must have in order to be a successful tow truck operator.

Operators Need To Pay Attention to Detail

An error as a tow truck driver could end up taking someones life. For example, if you do not double check the attachments of the vehicle you are towing, it could potentially disconnect on the road, which is very hazardous for the drivers behind you. 

Therefore, you must have the ability to focus on all aspects of a project or task, no matter how minor. People who pay close attention to detail thoroughly review their work. As a result, the work is generally safer and error-free.

Good Communication as a Truck Driver

In order to obtain the information you need about the location and job status, you must be able to effectively communicate with dispatch. 

You must also be able to communicate with customers as well as be patient and understanding. Tow truck drivers, in general, are required to have excellent customer service skills. This is because they are the first point of contact with customers who are stranded or in need of assistance. As a result, it is critical that they can calm and reassure customers while also providing clear instructions on what to do next.

Tow Truck Operators & Stress Management

Tow truck drivers face a variety of challenges, including ensuring that their vehicle is in good working order, managing their hours correctly, meeting deadlines, getting enough sleep, operating the truck safely, and dealing with dissatisfied customers.

This is why tow truck operators must be able to manage stress while on the job. Employees who are healthier and operate under manageable levels of stress will be happier and more positive regarding their tasks and performance. 

How To Improve Tow Truck Driver Skills

Tow truck drivers are play a critical role when it comes to the safety of our roads. They are in charge of removing disabled vehicles from the road and assisting stranded motorists. While the majority of tow truck drivers are skilled and experienced professionals, there is always room for growth.

Stay Up to Date on Industry News

Because the tow truck industry is constantly changing, you—as a tow truck driver—should stay up to date on the latest news and developments. By doing this, you can learn about new products and services that can help you do your job more effectively.

Be Professional at All Times

As a tow truck driver, you must understand that whenever you are on the job, you are not only representing yourself but also your entire company. Therefore, you must always remember to conduct yourself in a professional manner. This includes treating customers with respect, obeying all traffic laws, and dressing appropriately for the job.

Get a Tow Truck Driver Certification

This is where we come in. Here at Hard hat Trainings, we offer a plethora of training courses for many different industries. For tow truck operators, we have an online Tow Truck Safety Training Course available for purchase today. This safety course will help you expand your knowledge for tow truck operator safety. 

Once you complete this course and pass the final exam, you will be able to access, download, and print out your certification. We also offer the certification as a wallet sized card, in case you are required to have it on you at all times.