The number of vehicles that travel on our roadways increases every year. Therefore, more tow truck operators are needed when a vehicle breaks down, there’s been an accident or an illegal parking situations. The idea of towing disabled vehicles was started back in 1916, with Ernest Holmes, Sr., of Chattanooga, Tennessee. It has become a billion-dollar industry that provides tens of thousands of career opportunities every year. Tow truck drivers need to know the ins and outs of towing and how to deal with people in situations that can be stressful. What exactly does it take to get a registered tow truck operator’s license?
What License is Needed to Drive a Tow Truck
Steps can differ from state to state but in general,
1. Meet age and education requirements. There aren’t any age restrictions set in place to become a tow truck driver, other than being at least 18 years of age. There are lots of companies that will only hire drivers that are older than 21 or 25. These companies can be sure that a potential driver has had more yeas of driving experience. Most companies will also require drivers to have their high school diploma or GED.
2. Have a valid driver’s license with a clean driving record. Getting your standard drivers license is an easy step in the process of becoming a tow truck driver. Tow truck companies will also want to look at your past driving record. It is highly unlikely to be hired if you have speeding tickets, DUIs and other traffic violation. Drivers that will work closely to another state may be required to be certified in that state too.
3. Pass a physical exam. Tow truck drivers don’t just drive trucks. The job can be physically demanding with long hours. Potential drivers will need to pass a vision test, a hearing test and a drug screening. Tow truck drivers cannot operate tow truck equipment if they are under the influence of drugs.
4. Consider getting a commercial driver’s license (CDL). Not all towing companies will require that you have your CDL, but you will need one when a person is operating a truck and cargo that exceeds 26, 001 pounds. This almost always occurs when a towed vehicle is added to a truck. There are extra steps that will need to be taken and will make you more desirable to an employer. A CDL is not required to become a tow truck driver but it can help.
5. Agree to a background check. Vehicles are valuable possessions and so are the items inside them. They need to be taken care of with drivers that can be trusted. If you have a felony on your record you will not be hired. Crimes that may seem minor but show a pattern can also prevent you from being hired. Some states will also want you to be fingerprinted before you can start working.
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