Towing Professionals

Professional Towman and Towing Industry News

Charles County Implements New Tow Program Tow Companies Requested to Submit Application for Tow Service Permit

The Charles County Sheriff’s Office has begun the process of implementing legislation that was signed into law regarding tow services in Charles County. House Bill 1320, which passed in March 2017 and was initiated by Sergeant Jon Burroughs of the CCSO Traffic Operations Unit, ensures oversight and regulation of towing operations within Charles County. In order to operate within Charles County, tow companies must now complete and submit the application for tow service operating in Charles County, MD.

To be considered for a permit, tow companies should visit the Charles County Sheriff’s Office website to download, print, and fill out the application and read through the county tow regulations.For a Level 1 Application, which covers only consensual tow services, the fee is $250. For a Level 2 Application, which covers consensual and non-consensual tow services, the fee is $500. All fees will need to be paid prior to submitting the application. Fees will be […]

Some Truckers Finding Stress Relief in Meditation

Ron Echols is a “stringing driver,” hauling pipe for fracking operations in West Virginia. He carries it all — 40, 60 and 80-foot pipe — while living out of a motel room in the mountains away from his Ohio home. The job can be stressful at times, even dangerous, but he has help to cope with day-to-day pressures: meditation.

“It sort of resets me,” says Echols, who has been driving for 21 years, some of it over the road. “I find breathing meditation to be the simplest and most effective. I think there are benefits physically to it as well. If you concentrate on your breathing, you can’t focus on anything else.”

Echols doesn’t know any other drivers who mediate, and he suggests that the majority of truckers think meditation is “wacky, kooky stuff.” He adds that for the many drivers, meditation comes […]

Know your risk factors for diabetes

Truck drivers have a higher-than-average risk for diabetes, which affects over 30 million Americans. That’s largely because the sedentary nature of truck driving contributes to obesity and lack of physical activity, which increases the risk for Type 2 diabetes.

DIABETES TYPES. Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of diabetes, occurs when the body develops insulin resistance and is unable to use insulin properly. This causes an inability to regulate blood glucose levels properly, causing levels of blood glucose, or sugar, to rise too high.

Only about 5 percent of people who have diabetes have Type 1 diabetes, which is not as straightforward as Type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes typically is diagnosed in children and young adults, according to the American Diabetes Association. It is considered to be caused by an immune reaction in which the body attacks itself. Family history and age are considered risk factors.

SYMPTOMS. Frequent thirst and excessive urination […]

10 TIPS FOR SUMMER TOW TRUCK DRIVING

Whether you’re a fan of warm weather or you prefer to stay inside where it’s air-conditioned, you can’t deny that summer is HERE!  Today is the first day of Summer and the temperatures have been soaring and the sun is blazing. And for tow truck drivers, the change in season means a new set of risks to look out for – roadwork, traffic, weather, sunlight, and heat, to name a few. So, how can a tow truck driver prepare for the new hazards and risks?

 

Check out the following summer tow truck driving tips.

 

1. Be mindful of construction and roadwork.

Summer is prime time for construction, which can mean closed lanes, delays, detours, and traffic. Be extra careful as you navigate through the work zones, which might resemble a maze of pylons more than a road. Pay attention to all road signs and obey them. Slow down, take it easy, and watch for construction […]

Taxes & Trucking for 2018

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that was signed into law by President Trump on Dec. 22, 2017, contains numerous changes that will affect individuals, as well as businesses large and small. The new tax law has both good and bad news for company drivers but mostly good news for owner-operators and fleet operators.

Owner Operators – Sole Proprietors or S-Corporations

Self-employed individuals and companies will get the same deduction they have always had in the past. Owner-operators will still be able to take a per diem for meals and incidentals, just as they have in the past, since they are in business for themselves, and those costs are deductible business expenses. The new law also implements a 20 percent deduction on net business profits of Pass-Throughs which includes S corporation or sole proprietorship to non-corporate taxpayers, including trusts […]

Join Us for the Florida Tow Show 2018, April 5-8!

 

Are you ready for the 2018 Florida Tow Show? The event is full of fantastic sunny weather, meeting new friends in the towing industry, and exciting new models of trucks, equipment, and showpiece rigs. Hotel rooms are selling out fast – there’s special “Tow Show” room rate pricing at great family friendly hotels like the Holiday Inn and the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace. The show itself is at the Orlando Hilton – there are still a few rooms left, so hurry!

All the affiliated hotels are close enough to walk to the Hilton for the events. This is great, as you’ll be able to enjoy the gorgeous Florida weather. Exhibits are open Friday, April […]

DOT Inspections: What You Should Be Prepared For

U.S. Department of Transportation Seal

Most commercial drivers do not like the mention of DOT inspections, but it doesn’t have to be so hard if you know what’s expected of you. It is advisable to be conversant with the different requirements needed during the various levels of a DOT inspection. A DOT inspection is a routine annual checkup for all commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) weighing over 10,000 pounds to ascertain their safety on the road.

Here is what all commercial drivers should know about a DOT inspection:

Have your paperwork ready
During a level 1 inspection, the driver should be ready for a full DOT inspection and hence have their paperwork near as well as set aside enough time […]

How Far Away are We from Self-Driving Trucks?

Mercedes-Benz Future Truck - 2025With the world’s seemingly unending obsession with technology automation, it should come as no surprise that companies are leading the trucking industry into the future with the development of self-driving technology. In the sweep of advancements that are changing the way we live, work, and play, the trucking industry won’t be left behind. So, how far away are we from self-driving trucks?

Experts are suggesting that self-driving trucks may surface even before self-driving taxis. And although it is predicted that we are at least a decade away from completely autonomous self-driving trucks, several companies have thrown their hat into the ring, and are investing billions of dollars to make this concept a reality.

Self Driving Truck - May 2015 Read more

Fire Extinguishers are Required Safety Equipment in Your Truck(s)!

Fire extinguishers are required by law on all trucks, truck tractors, and buses – except those in driveaway-towaway operations. Per the Code of Federal Regulations 393.95:

A power unit that is used to transport hazardous materials in a quantity that requires placarding (see 177.823) must be equipped with a fire extinguisher having an Underwriters’ Laboratories rating of 10 B:C or more.

A power unit that is not used to transport hazardous materials must be equipped with either:

  1. A fire extinguisher having an Underwriters’ Laboratories rating of 5 B:C or more
  2. Two fire extinguishers, each of which has an Underwriters’ Laboratories rating of 4 B:C or more

The fire extinguisher(s) must be filled and located so that it is readily available for use. The extinguisher(s) must be securely mounted to prevent sliding, rolling, or vertical movement relative to the motor vehicle.

Not only should you be carrying and mounting fire extinguishers as […]

Why Your Business Needs Customer Reviews

You know your company has the very best product and/or service in the industry; however, no one seems to know this but you. In this era of frenzied business competition, how do you make sure people know what you do for your customers? Of the many forms of advertising and marketing, only one can change how someone “feels” about your company. Only one speaks to people, because it’s by a real person. Your best salesperson should tell your story. You need your customers to share their stories – you need customer reviews, testimonials, and recommendations. With these references, you are now the star, instead of simply another player on the field.

Leave us a review on Google! - Customer ReviewsThere is no doubt that it can be difficult to get great customer reviews – if you simply sit back […]

Autumn Safety for Commercial Drivers

Fall is already here - and Winter is just around the corner!

For some of us, it sure doesn’t feel like summer is over – but it’s already here! 
Here are a few autumn safety tips for preparing your truck(s) in advance of the cold weather:

 

Wet leaves on the road are some of the worst conditions!Leaves on the Road

While the fall foliage is breathtaking enough to bring tourists out in droves, they’re sure to be a pain once they hit the pavement. Especially after it rains, they can stick to the pavement and cause slippery conditions. The leaves may not […]

ELD Data Collection May Help Truckers Avoid Roadside Inspections

Mention ELDs in any freight yard or truck stop and you are bound to hear to a wide array of opinions from those that praise them to those whose language is best left out of print. The fact is that they are with us to stay and thanks to some of the data mining experts at ‘Keep Truckin‘, you might find they are a more valuable asset than you would have ever believed.No one in the trucking industry, carrier or driver, benefits from time spent going through roadside inspections, especially, a time-consuming Level 1 inspections.

‘Keep Truckin’ has discovered by carefully studying information collected by their units that the risk of being subjected to this nuisance can be greatly reduced.

The company began by focusing on four key areas;

  • Inspections by cargo types
  • How violations vary state to state
  • Most common types of violations
  • Time period of inspections

Roadside Inspection

Training Announcement: National Traffic Incident Management (TIM) Responder Training

A new coordinated, multi-disciplinary training program developed through the Second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP 2) is available for all emergency responders and those supporting traffic incident management operations. This training puts police, firefighters, state and local departments of transportation, towing and recovery professionals, medical personnel, and other incident responders on the same page, leading to a safer, faster, integrated responder team.

 

Save Lives
– Faster incident response and clearance times result in fewer secondary crashes.
– Training results in less exposure of responder team to moving traffic during recovery.

Save Money
– Less congestion leads to fewer freight and travel delays in backups.
– Fewer secondary crashes save on insurance claims.
– Faster cleanups lead to cost savings for incident personnel.

Save Time
– Smarter response techniques cut congestion clearance time […]

SmartLINQ – Peterbilt’s Built-In Monitoring System

SmartLINQ is a factory installed diagnostic system in all new Peterbilt trucks – including all of the new Petes on our lot!! – and it is designed to help you stay on the road. SmartLINQ helps drivers, fleet owners, and vehicle service and maintenance coordinators by remotely keeping track of engine and aftertreatment diagnostic codes, notifying the appropriate parties of problems that need to be addressed, and instantly giving the driver an easy to understand alert with directions on how to proceed.

SmartLINQ in ActionThe online portal for SmartLINQ, through PACCAR, allows the fleet owner or truck maintenance person to view all of the fleet’s trucks color coded to show their current engine health, allows for customized notifications 24/7/365 of alerts from trucks, and tracks the vehicles through North America.

Read more

U.S. Senate to Consider Bill Opposing Increases in FET

A new bill has been introduced to U.S. Congress that will seek to repeal the federal excise tax (FET), which is at present 12 percent. The FET on heavy duty trucks dates back to 1917 when it was introduced to defray the cost of World War I. The tax on new heavy duty trucks later grew from 3 percent in 1917 up to the 12 percent we see today.

The 12 percent FET on the purchase of heavy duty trucks is a burdensome tax – higher than taxes for all other vehicles, and when combined with recent federal emissions and fuel-economy mandates, can add up to thousands of extra dollars when purchasing a new truck. At its present 12 percent, the FET depresses heavy duty truck sales and, as a result, slows companies from replacing their old […]

Is the Towing Insurance Market Really That Bad?

Article by Hal Kresser, Principal at Hal Kresser Agency

“Tow Truck Market Gets Hit Hard as Carriers Exit Market.” This article appeared in The Insurance News Journal on February 6, 2017 and featured on the front cover.  Simultaneously, it was posted in the Forums section of Tow 411, so it was written before February 6, 2017.  Naturally, a front page article will get the attention and it did!  That magazine is distributed to every insurance company in the country and most agencies. Within just a few weeks I heard from underwriters that they will have to tighten up their requirements and continue to raise rates due to claims. They were also apprehensive because many of their competitors were exiting the market. In their minds the only reason a competitor would exit the market is if they couldn’t make any money. […]

Summer Towing Tips: Avoid Heat Illness, Get Ready for these Common Summer Issues

The hot weather that’s paired with the summer months adds more difficulty to the towing industry. Not only does the heat provide additional health risks for you, but also for your towing truck and for the vehicles of your customers. Here are some summer towing tips for avoiding heat illnesses and dealing with common summertime towing issues to help you ride out the heat waves.

Safety Tips for You

Working out in the sun provides two big threats for truck towers: heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion is an illness that occurs through a combination of exposure to high temperatures and dehydration. While not as serious as heat stroke, failing to intervene may lead to more danger heat related illnesses. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include:

  • Confusion
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Fainting
  • Pale skin
  • Dizziness

 

Heat Stroke

If heat exhaustion is left untreated, you may suffer a heat stroke. A heat stroke […]

Slow Down – Move Over (SDMO) – It’s the Law!

Slow Down Move Over LawSlow Down – Move Over (SDMO) – It’s the Law! Tragically, emergency responders are being struck and killed at traffic incidents in the U.S. on an average of five firefighters a year, one law enforcement officer a month, one tow truck operator a week and one road service person every three days!

Florida Tow Show 2017

Florida Tow Show 2017Join East Coast Truck & Trailer Sales at the
Florida Tow Show International Expo in Orlando, FL
April 20 – 23, 2017
BOOTH #815

Slow Down. Move Over.

Slow Down Move OverImagine working in an industry that makes the “Deadliest Catch” fishing industry seem like a cruise ship vacation. If you’re reading this, chances are good you already do. As a tow driver you work in an industry where you’re practically invisible – until it’s almost too late. In some states, you’re also invisible to the law telling people to slow down and move over when passing an incident or emergency on the highway.

TOWMATE WIRELESS TOW LIGHTS PASS FEDERAL SAFETY REGULATIONS ALL 50 STATES

Towmate WirelessThe Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announces its decision to grant TowMate, LLC’s (TowMate) application for a limited two-year exemption to allow motor carriers to operate rechargeable wireless temporary stop, turn, and tail lighting systems during temporary towing operations. Under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs), all required lamps, with the exception of battery-powered lamps used on projecting loads, must be powered by the electrical system of the motor vehicle.

Tractor Trailer Stopped In Second Recycle Fraud Attempt

Tractor Trailer Recycling NJosephOn Feb. 16, at 4:25 p.m., agents watched a white semi-truck with “New Evolution Trucking” name on it enter the yard. The California Department of Justice’s Recycling Fraud Team conducted an investigation into a North Las Vegas storage yard. 

During the investigation they watched the truck as it left at approximately 10:42 p.m. and called for assistance from California Highway Patrol. The driver took a route which would miss the Yermo California Department of Food and Agriculture border checkpoint in.

Towing With A Tesla

TeslaHow do you get a boat out of your drive way without calling a tow man? Drive a Tesla apparently – Towing with a Tesla. The new Model X has a gross weight of 6,000 lbs, goes 0-60 in 3.2 seconds with a P90D modification. Tesla recommends this car to those in the market for an SUV with a need to tow. The model features a smooth interior with comfort designated seating and built in technology and medical grade HEPA filters for added safety.

Beyond the Wash – Detailing for Car Haulers & More

Beyond-the-wash

 

Amazing Need-to-Know Detailing Practices

Every dedicated truck driver knows and feels the love that I am about to express. This is not just a truck you say. Maybe you have a nickname for your truck; Mickey the Hi-Roller, Cab-Stabber or Buddy. For many truckers this is the lovable machine they wake up to at the crack of diesel dawn.

Thanksgiving Special!

Welcome to East Coast Truck and Trailer Sales Newsletter     It's the time of year for giving thanks to those we appreciate. Our Customers.     To all of our customers we will offer FREE shipping on all orders over $200.00 placed between Thur, Nov 27th - Sunday, Nov 30th. (Excludes ODF items and [...]

Towing Benchmark: Municipal Support In Managing The Towing Environment

Towing Benchmark: Municipal Support In Managing The Towing Environment

Distracted Driving at a whole new level

pulled from Toronto Sun
July 21,2010

A Kitchener truck driver is facing a careless driving charge but on the bright side, his tooth doesn’t hurt anymore.

Lambton County OPP say they stopped a big rig driver doing some driving dentistry along Hwy. 402 on Wednesday.

Const. John Reurink told the Sun Saturday it’s the first time he’s ever heard of a driver being pulled over performing dental surgery.

“I’ve never heard of this sort of thing occurring before,” Reurink said, adding he has stopped drivers doing their make-up, reading a map or talking on a cellphone. “Somebody doing an amateur tooth pulling? That’s a first.”

Reurink said it all started June 30 when an officer was on Hwy. 402 in Warwick Township, near Sarnia, and a passing driver pointed him to a tractor trailer being driven “all over the road.”

The officer found the eastbound rig and […]

Tips for Towing Disabled Vehicles

Tips for Towing Disabled Vehicles

By Ann Job of MSN Autos
Sophisticated new vehicles require great care and different types of towing techniques.

Always make certain that the tow truck driver knows the proper way to tow your vehicle.

On occasion, our car, van, truck or sport-utility vehicle can break down and need to be towed.

Decades ago, it wasn’t uncommon to see a friend, family member, neighbor or Good Samaritan towing the stranded vehicle home for a needy driver.

It’s rare to see this today—for good reason.

Towing practices, like today’s vehicles, are more sophisticated than they were years ago— so sophisticated, in fact, that there are more rules and “don’ts” than ever before.

Even AAA, the largest member-supported roadside assistance service in the United States, offers a towing manual for tow truck operators that has “more than 350 pages of details involving every make and model,” said Larry Keller, editor at AAA […]

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