Driving a tow truck is a responsible job, and as a tow truck driver, you will be performing an essential role in keeping the highways safe. The role of a tow truck driver requires the ability to work calmly in potentially pressurized situations and to complete your task efficiently.
Becoming a Tow Truck Driver
If working as a tow truck driver appeals to you, you may be wondering what it takes to drive a tow truck. You will need to meet several different requirements:
- You need to be at least 18 years old to drive a tow truck.
- you will need to take a physical ability test to ensure you can physically perform the role.
- You need to have a valid state driver’s license before trying to become a tow truck driver.
- To ensure you can drive safely, you will need to pass a vision exam.
- Depending on the size of the tow truck you plan to drive, you may need a Commercial Drivers’ License (CDL). Driving trucks towing over 26,000 pounds will require you to take a CDL.
- You may also need to gain a specific tow truck certification if you plan to drive in a state that requires this qualification.
Getting a Tow Truck Driving License
Towing and Recovery Operator Certification Program (TROCP) administers specific tow truck certifications. These qualifications are not usually compulsory, but they will put you in a more favorable position when applying for tow truck driving jobs.
There are three levels of certification for tow truck drivers:
Level One: Light-duty certification – drivers need a minimum of 90 days of experience working on tow trucks before taking this certification.
Level Two: Medium and heavy-duty certification – drivers need a minimum of one year’s professional experience working on tow trucks, a Level One Certification, and hold a CDL.
Level Three: Heavy-duty certification – drivers need at least two years of professional experience working on tow trucks, a Level Two Certification, and a CDL with endorsements.
How to be a Great Truck Driver
To perform your role as a tow truck driver to the best of your ability, you need to know how to be a great truck driver. Here are some of the qualities you need to be a great truck driver:
Staying calm under pressure is vital for tow truck drivers. Sometimes you will need to attend situations where other drivers may be stressed or angry, especially if you have to tow away their vehicle against their will. Being able to keep a cool head in this situation is vital.
Being a friendly person who gets on with people is an excellent trait for tow truck drivers as you will be dealing with people throughout your work.
Having a responsible attitude to your work is essential when you are a truck driver. You will need to be able to take charge and work efficiently in stressful situations, and also be able to take great care to perform your role carefully without causing damage to other vehicles.