Equipment Training Part 1 (Revised)
In this video, I review with you the equipment that you’ll find on your carrier. Familiarize yourself with the tools below and shown in this lecture so that when it comes time to perform a recovery you know where to turn to and why.
Why this matters
Perform tasks safer
Operate more efficiently
Make more money
What to have (always)
Spare tie-down straps
Cluster Straps (2)
Wheel lift straps
1.5 ton aluminum jack
Broom and shovel
Plastic jug (Floor dry)
Ball joint block
Work gloves: Wear your gloves and take them off when getting in and out of your truck or a customer’s vehicle. I really like leather ones, I’m kind of old school but you can wear whatever you like that gets the job done.
Over-the-wheel tie down system: The straps stay in place, on the bed of the truck. However, I recommend that in colder climates take off the straps at night and place them inside of your truck, or they will freeze and it’s no fun o deal with at the start fo your shift.
Spare strap (for the above): In case one breaks, you’re prepared.
V-Bridal: It’s what attaches to the wire rope and pulls the vehicle onto the bed. You’ll see that it has all kinds of different attachments; You have the “R” hook, the “Mini J” hook and last but not least the “T” hook. I am not a fan of the t-hook, I’ve had them fall out on me before while towing a car therefore I discourage the use of them.
J-Chain: Simple chain, 8-10 feel long. Mostly used for pick-up trucks, vans or heavier vehicles.
Cluster straps (2): Used with the j-chain, the cluster strap has the same attachments that are on the v-bridal. The J-chain would be used to secure the front of the vehicle, and this cluster strap would secure the back.
Pool noodle: Place it on your wire rope to protect nicer vehicles from getting scratched. (Mercedes, Ferrari, etc.) The last thing you want is a damage claim, avoid them by using this simple trick.
WD-40: Lubrication for ratchets, door hinges, jams, etc.
Wheel lift straps: Used for towing a second car on the back of your flatbed.
Lights: Place on the back of the second vehicle you’re towing to communicate with the drivers behind you. Don’t ever forget to use them.
Gas container: Used for fuel deliveries.
1.5-ton aluminum jack: They’re light and get the job done.
4-way: A situation may require you to remove a tire from the vehicle, or a customer may need you to change a tire out for the spare.
Jump pack: You can use jumper cables, but I have become a fan of these jump packs. They’re efficient and work just as well. Keep them charged and you can save yourself time on the job.
Snatch block: Used on the wire rope to do one of two things; One to change the direction of the wire rope, or two to have a multiplying effect so that the wire rope and the winch can do more work. The snatch block can essentially double your power of pull.
Sister chain: Used to shorten the length of a chain, or as a hook if one breaks on you.
Tailboard chain (My own creation): Used with snatch block, see video for reference.
Broom and shovel: Accident scenes need to be cleaned up. The last thing you want is a claim of not cleaning the rad properly.
Skates: Used for vehicles that will not roll. Maybe the vehicle won’t come out of park, or the keys are lost. This where skates come into play.
Plastic Jug: Filled with floor dry for accidents with oil spills.
4x4’s: Useful for miscellaneous scenarios, over the years I’ve realized how helpful a few pieces of wood can be for a recovery.
Ramps: You can make them yourself, just make sure they fit in your tool box. Used for on-loading lower vehicles, or vehicles with a flat tire.
Ball joint block: Vehicles will often have the ball joint drop out of them. Remove the tire, and use this piece of equipment to get the ball joint up from dragging, then skated onto the truck.
Rollover stick: Used to up-right car that’s rolled over.
My hope with this video is that you can familiarize yourself with the tools of the trade, so that when it comes time for our more advanced videos, and your day on the job, you aren’t lost as to what’s being used and why.