Maintenance and equipment inspection is crucial. Tow Truck Drivers should always inspect their gear before a tow. Safety First!
It's advised that all drivers should run an inspection at the beginning of their shift.
These are some of the most common (and avoidable) problems found during inspection.
Tow Truck batteries should be checked before each tow to make sure they are at a full charge. You definitely do not want to have a battery give out when you need it most! This is a simple test that is usually forgotten.
Make sure all your headlights and emergency lights are fully functioning. If you use a wireless tow light, make sure its actually on the truck and working with a working transmitter.
Winch Line Inspections
Not inspecting your winch line can cause excessive damage and a huge headache on the road. Check for broken wires, damaged hook, kinks, and crushing.
If the cable needs to be replaced, the main problem is not having a replacement cable on hand. We always recommend having an extra winch cable.
Damaged Rigging Hardware
Common problems of these hardware, such as shackles, snatch blocks, pulleys, hooks, and others usually tie back to either misuse and lack of inspection. Make sure the hooks have their latches and they are not missing or broken. Hardware is not bent, broken, or stretched. Never use hardware that has been modified or substituted with other components. Make sure to always follow OSHA and ASME regulations. For further information check out ASME B30.26 – Rigging Hardware.
Bent or Stretched Chain Slings
Just because these slings are made of alloy steel does not mean they are not susceptible to damage. Inspection should be done by a trained professional. Check for Stretched links, cracks, breaks, corrosion, and so on. For further information, check out OSHA Alloy Steel Chain Slings: Guidance on Safe Sling Use
Damaged and Tears in Synthetic Slings and Tie Down Straps
Nylon and Polyester straps are more susceptible to damage. They are also not as durable as winch lines, wire rope assemblies, or alloy chain slings when it comes to abrasion and cut resistance.
Never use any sling, wheel lift strap, cargo tie-down, or tow strap that has any sign of rips, tears, punctures, abrasion, or worn or broken stitching. Dispose and replace the straps. For further information OSHA Synthetic Web Slings: Guidance on Safe Sling Use
Inspecting your gear should not be looked at as a nuisance, but as a peace of mind. Getting to the root of the problem before it actually becomes one.
All gear should be thoroughly inspected before each and every use. Worn or unsafe rigging and safety gear should never be used. Products should be used in strict accordance with all industry and OSHA standards.
Winch Line Inspections and Bent or Stretched Chain Slings should be checked the most because the maintenance of these things is a must and they are the common problems in towing issues.