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Linear Blocking and Deployment of 6 cones - Typical securement of the workspace when parking behind a vehicle to providing roadside assistance to a vehicle that does not required towing such as a changing a flat tire or providing an emergency supply of fuel.

their work without other first responders at the scene. Disabled vehicles on the shoulder might not result in law enforcement or other first responders being dispatched to the scene. In these instances, when necessary, a tow truck operator should secure the workspace before performing recovery work. If you are not able to adequately secure your workspace when necessary, request additional assistance. Make sure you are very familiar with and abide by your state and local laws pertaining to the operation of your tow truck. Also be familiar with and abide by your company’s policies. In most if not all States, tow trucks are not considered authorized emergency vehicles. You need to know legally 18 • November 2021 |

what you can and can’t do when parking your tow truck, deploying traffic warning devices, use of emergency lighting, and equipment you are required to carry.

Control Devices (MUTCD) is an excellent resource but does not take the place of formal, qualified training.


Upon arrival at the scene you will have to choose where to safely park your tow truck, whether in front or behind a disabled vehicle. If you anticipate the vehicle will need to be towed, you obviously would park in front of the disabled vehicle. If you don’t know what is wrong with the vehicle or you have been provided information that the disablement is a flat tire, out of fuel, or other disablement that does not require a tow, you might park behind the disabled vehicle. It makes sense to use your tow truck as a blocking vehicle to create a safer incident space when the vehicle does not require towing. Park approximately one and half truck lengths behind the vehicle and offset slightly toward traffic if space allows. Set all brake-locking devices available on the tow truck. In many states, tow trucks are not allowed to block, impede or close traffic. If the incident requires blocking, impeding or closing a traffic lane, law enforcement assistance should be requested.

Prior to responding to any towing or road side service calls, ensure that you are completely prepared. During your pre-trip inspection at the start of your shift, confirm you have all of your Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and that it is in good working condition. PPE can include high-visibility garments that are ANSI 3 compliant. This list also includes ANSI 3-compliant weather garments, hard hat, latex gloves, work gloves, work boots or shoes with an impact-protected toe, safety glasses, and face mask. Make sure all of the safety equipment on your truck is in good operating condition including emergency lighting, triangular reflectors, flares, and traffic cones. Tow truck operators should seek qualified training in the proper use of Temporary Traffic Control (TTC) devices before deploying them in the field. The Manual on Uniform Tr a f f i c


An early version of a directional light bar where the arrow indictor was located under the light bar and had its own control panel.