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Sensible driving suggests staying on the hard-pack wherever possible. Slow, creeping speeds atop frozen roadway surfaces make the vehicle’s driver ready for obstacles that may unknowingly present. Be mindful of icy surfaces where water or ponds are frozen. Never drive a wrecker onto frozen surfaces for simple fear of breaking through the surface. Your company policy should prohibit drivers from entering or fording streams or frozen/ice environments. When approaching these potential hazards, the acronym GOAL comes into play (Get Out And Look).


Another important item is recognizing pre-existing conditions such as “footprint ice-over”, when vehicles are parked in freezing conditions. In one tragic example, a medium-duty wrecker responded to tow a Class-B propane tanker that broke down the night before. The operator responded the next day on what should have been a routine call. The tanker was parked curbside the day before atop wet-pavement on a sloped street. Overnight, temperatures dropped, creating freezing conditions. The tower backed to the disabled truck

44 • November 2021 |