What are the Different Tow Truck Driver Jobs?

Carol Francois

There are three types of tow truck driver jobs: picking up disabled vehicles, removing vehicles without a driver and vehicle delivery. Most tow truck drivers are independent operators. He or she has purchased a tow truck and signs a contract with a tow truck company to use a dispatch service. Clients call a central number, and the job location is assigned to a driver based on his or her current location. Payment is based on the work completed, which provides motivation to perform the different tow truck driver jobs as quickly as possible.

Tow trucks are often called to the scene of an accident in which the vehicle is no longer driveable.
Tow trucks are often called to the scene of an accident in which the vehicle is no longer driveable.

A tow truck driver provides an essential service for motorists. The tow truck is a large truck with a hoist in the back that is used to move vehicles without a driver. The vehicles moved with the tow truck can range from big buses to small cars. The size of the tow truck determines the size of vehicle that can be transported.

A valid tow truck driver's license is required in some states to qualify for tow truck driver jobs. The bare minimum is a valid driver's license, a tow truck and a short band radio to receive communications from the dispatch office. Tow truck companies that have contracts with police departments or property management companies might require all drivers to provide a criminal background check and to have a clean driving record, but this requirement varies throughout the industry.

A tow truck driver is required to pick up disabled vehicles and relocate them. The vehicle could have been involved in an accident or might have experienced a mechanical breakdown. The tow truck lifts the front or rear of the vehicle off the ground, the operator puts the car into neutral, and the tow truck pulls the car to a new location. The cost of this service depends upon the location, timing and the distance traveled.

Vehicles that are illegally parked, abandoned or involved in a crime must be towed to a police-operated or secured lot. Tow truck companies typically bid for this type of work, because it is quite lucrative and provides a steady revenue stream. There is a great deal of variety in the tow truck driver jobs available from this source, and they require different models of tow trucks.

A tow truck also can be used to deliver new or used vehicles. In most circumstances, a flat-bed truck is used in order to minimize the risk of damage to the vehicle. These types of tow truck driver jobs can be scheduled in advance, leaving time for the more lucrative emergency calls.

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Discussion Comments


I recently met a guy who worked as a dispatcher for a tow truck company. He used to drive the trucks but he got hurt and couldn't do the work anymore so he had to get off the road and take an office job.

He said the work was fairly easy and sometimes even fun. It is not a job that I would like to do but also one that I had no idea even existed.


We often think of tow truck drivers as being pretty low on the totem pole but they really do perform an important service and they have helped me out of a few jams for which I am eternally grateful.

About a year ago I got into a fender bender on the highway in rush hour traffic. We had a whole lane blocked and we were getting honked and stared at by every single driver that passed us. But the tow truck got there quickly, got my car cleared away almost immediately and then let me use his smart phone to find a body shop close to my house.

I would have been sunk without his generosity. I am just grateful that there are are working men and women like that who go out every day and go above and beyond the call of duty to help people even when they get disrespected and poorly compensated.

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