What does a Tow Truck Operator do?

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  • Written By: Haven Esme
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 08 February 2020
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Tow truck operators have a difficult job because of the driving and physical labor involved. The job of the tow truck operator is to move vehicles that either have been broken down or damaged in an accident. When an accident has occurred, towing companies are often called to remove damaged vehicles.

There are several different types of tow trucks. The main types are light duty trucks, medium duty trucks, heavy wreckers, and carriers. The light duty trucks are the smallest class of tow trucks. Light duty trucks are called for a variety of reasons, but they are commonly used to carry a disabled vehicle. They are also commonly used to transport cars from places like auto dealerships and garages.

The medium duty trucks are called for larger accidents. Medium duty trucks are used to transport more than one disabled vehicle and for large commercial vehicles like buses. Tow truck operators don't just have the job of picking up vehicles that have been damaged in accidents. They also work in cooperation with the police and are used to impound cars. When impounding a car, the tow truck operator takes the car to an impound lot that is often managed by the police department.


The job of a tow truck operator isn't just to tow vehicles. Often times, tow truck operators assist with flat tires, perform vehicle repairs, and even bring fuel to a vehicle that has run out of gas. Sometimes when a car isn't running properly, a tow truck operator is called to repair the mechanical problem. Tow truck operators are also required to pick up vehicles that have been abandoned. The truck operator is often notified by an individual that a vehicle has been in the same place for an extended period of time and must be moved for safety reasons.

Many tow truck operators work for private business and companies. Those who don't work for towing companies find jobs with governmental entities such as the fire department or police department. Some tow truck operators find work with salvage companies or service stations.

One requirement for tow truck operators is that they must have a good driving record. They can't have a history of traffic violations and must be mechanically inclined so they can help people with repairs. Some tow truck companies prefer their employees take a drug test to ensure there won't be any accidents while the tow truck operator is on the job. Many individuals become tow truck operators through on-the-job training experience.


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