As the operator repositioned himself at the opposite side controls, he began winching the container. Without warning, the assembly over-loaded causing the J-Hook to violently recoil to the tower’s position. He was struck on the head requiring emergency transport where he passed away days later at an area hospital. Scenario Two: A west coast tower worked to upright a rolled-over Ford Expedition resting on its top. Using J-Hook and chain, the tower attached the “J” into the SUV’s open window frame. As winch-in began, the SUV “spun”, causing the J-Hook to jamb sideways and then break (laterally) against the window’s frame. Although the J-Hook was rated at 5,400 pounds, the J-Hooks shank snapped (laterally) launching the broken-shank towards the operator. Luckily, his injuries weren’t debilitating or fatal.
Work the non-traffic side - Stay Safe!
TRAINING AND ACCOUNTABILITY
J-Hooks for recovery have been debated forever and remain a hot topic. Knowing not all operators believe in the safety concern that, using J-Hooks for recovery is “an accident waiting to happen”, I assume the industry’s premier trainers agree with me on this dangerous practice. As in all things towing, a company’s, “Vicarious Liability”, is always exposed. With J-Hooks being an improperly used item for recovery scenarios, companies are reminded that safety training is necessary. It’s a common occurrence to see towers using J-Hooks on recovery scenarios where they shouldn’t. Snatch blocks and rated chain are considered proper equipment for recovery purposes; not J-Hooks and Mini-Js to replace the
AmericanTowman.com | June 2021 • 31