Towing Operators: Make Sure You Understand the Lingo

Towing Operators Make Sure You Understand the Lingo

After working inthe towing industry for a period of time, you’re bound to pick up a shorthandfor certain classifications, industry terms, and road service items. But with anew generation of drivers taking the wheel, it may seem like a bunch of jumbledletters thrown together. With this in mind, it’s probably best to hit therefresh button on those terms and become reacquainted with them.

Here are a number of industry terms for those in the towing industry that help to make things a little easier:

  • 5P’s – The 5P’s refer to the planning for a vehicle recovery call including park, protect, police, plan, and pull.
  • ANSI – This refers to the American National Standards Institute, which sets industry safety standards and classifications. Standards include ANSI Class I, II, and III traffic safety vests, for example.
  • CCA – CCA or “cold cranking amps” refers to a standard measurement of a battery in a cold environment while also measuring the discharge load in amperes that a brand new, fully-charged battery can deliver for half a minute, all while maintaining terminal voltage that’s equal to or even higher than 1.20 volts per cell.
  • BAC – While not specific to the towing industry, BAC stands for blood alcohol concentration, which can apply to basically anyone who gets behind any wheel, be it a tow truck or commuter car. A commercial driver, in this case, is deemed under the influence with a BAC of .04 percent.
  • FMCSR – Commercial drivers have to adhere to a number of regulations set by a federal governing board. In this case it’s the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations that sets national industry standards that every commercial motor carrier and driver must follow. The FMCSA develops and enforces data-driven regulations that encourage safety and efficiency on the road.
  • DEF – Diesel exhaust fluid is a unique chemical solution added to diesel exhaust to lower harmful pollutants that diesel engines produce.
  • PTO – In other industries, this would stand for “paid time off,” but in towing, it refers to power take-off, which is a device that transfers an engine’s mechanical power to another piece of equipment.
  • MUTCD – The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices is a handbook from the Federal Highway Administration that is a roadmap to help specify the standards by which traffic control devices are used (i.e. traffic cones and barricades).
  • SAE – This is a professional association that produces standards for the auto industry. The Society of Automotive Engineers, as it’s known, sets standards for oil manufacturers, like SAE 5W30 oil.
  • RISK – Okay, this last one isn’t really an abbreviation for anything, but it does stand for all the liabilities that are waiting for tow truck drivers and other commercial drivers on the road if tow truck insurance is not carried by those in the industry. Having tow truck insurance can help protect against the risks of getting behind the wheel and towing someone else’s car. Having this kind of insurance will help to keep drivers safeguarded from the multitude of risks on the road financially and reputationally.

These termsrepresent a small portion of a more complete list of others that are used everyday on the road. It’s important to get familiar with them and learn more bykeeping communication and curiosity open with others in the industry.

About Western Truck Insurance Services
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