Being a tow truck driver requires a number of specialized tools to ensure you have the easiest time possible. It’s not always easy to hook up a vehicle, and the weather and road conditions may not always be in your favor, but there are steps you can take to mitigate issues.
Go into the job knowing the essential tools every repo man needs in their toolkit to ensure you show up prepared for frustrating circumstances. Whether you need to prepare for muddy road conditions, guarantee reliable chains, or have multiple methods of towing, head out with a full kit of resources at your disposal.
An electric winch is the tool that will make or break most towing jobs, and you’ll need to show up with one to be truly prepared for a day’s work. Whether you need to pull a vehicle out of a ditch or haul off a car from the road, the electric winch is the tool for most occasions when it comes to towing. With great versatility and an endless number of applications, the electric winch facilitates most of your towing needs.
Just make sure that you have a winch powerful enough for your needs. Different winches come with different power outputs, meaning that some just don’t have the strength to tow certain vehicles. You don’t want to blow out your winch trying to lift a heavy-duty truck, so double-check that you have the most ideal equipment for your current job.
One last consideration is whether your electric winch draws power from your vehicle, as more powerful winches sap more power from your truck. In a sense, it’s a balancing act of the power you need from your winch vs. the amount of power you can reliably spend on your winch. Don’t just make sure your winch can handle the towing; make sure your truck can handle the winch.
A chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and an electric winch isn’t much without a strong winch cable to back it up. Winch cables are strands of steel tightly woven together to create a sturdy metal rope, enabling tow truck drivers to lift vehicles without the risk of snapping their tether.
But as is the case with the winch itself, tow truck drivers must ensure they have the best cable for the job. Winch cables come in different lengths and thicknesses, creating a spectrum of applications. To deal with heavier vehicles, tow truck drivers will need to invest in thicker cables to avoid snapping the line. Conversely, tow operators can get away with thinner, less costly cables if they typically deal with smaller vehicles. Know what your expected use will be,
Tow Dolly and Tire Net Basket
When you need to tow a car, it’s not always necessary to bust out the heavy-duty straps and cables; sometimes, you can use tire nets and tow dollies. This method of towing is ideal for smaller vehicles that only need to be towed short distances, as it’s easy to put on and puts less stress on the car you need to tow.
The tow dolly requires specific fittings to ensure a secure hold; otherwise, you risk snapping the dolly and netting. You also need to make sure the netting and dolly can handle the vehicle’s weight. As mentioned, this method is ideal for smaller vehicles going a short distance.
Know how much your net can handle and whether the distance is short enough to justify this easier method. The dollies and tire netting come in handy when you need a quick application to get a vehicle from one place to another quickly, so use it wisely when out for a job.
There may be times when you need to tow a vehicle, but the tires don’t have the traction you need to pull it. When you need to get a little bit of a grip, you can turn to tire skates. They can fit under a vehicle’s wheels to give you the traction you need.
Tire skates are simple devices. Place them under the affected tires and make sure the skate’s width is equal to that of the tire. If the skate is too thin, you can place two skates side by side to get the width you need.
During your workday, there may be times when you need to get into a vehicle in order to conduct a successful towing, but you likely won’t have the proper keys. In order for you to get into a car without a hassle, a car lockout kit is essential to keep your job moving along.
These kits allow you access into the vehicle you need to tow, allowing you to get inside and put the car in neutral if you need to. These kids make jobs go by faster and allow you to put less stress on the vehicle when you need to tow it away.
When you need to hit the streets and head to a specific location, you need to know where to go to complete your day’s work. Having a GPS on your phone is commonplace, but it’s not always the best or most reliable choice when running a business.
Phone GPSs can run into routing issues and not show the most efficient directions, causing productivity loss and unnecessary slowdowns. Equip your tow truck with a reliable and high-quality GPS to ensure you know where to go at all times, eliminating unnecessary time loss on the road.
Have What You Need
Tow truck driving can require a number of extra tools and accessories to make the day go by easier. Be aware of the tools every repo man needs in their toolkit to have a productive day on the streets.
Neglecting to get the tools you need can lead to equipment failure or productivity loss; both cases will only cost you in time and budget. Protecting the vehicles you tow and ensuring that you don’t stress your equipment to the point of breaking are the most effective ways to ensure success in this line of work.