Statistics show that there are about 5.6 million semi trucks registered in the United States today. These trucks are responsible for transporting goods across the country, but they are susceptible to mechanical failure from time to time. If you have recently secured a position as a semi driver, it's important that you know how to prepare your truck for tractor trailer towing.
Here are three things you should be doing before a tow truck arrives to ensure that your semi is ready to be towed in the future.
1. Set up your safety flares.
If you are broken down on the side of the road, it's important that you take precautions to ensure that you remain safe while waiting for a tow truck driver. Drivers might have a difficult time seeing your inoperable truck at night, and you risk being hit unless you take the time to set up your safety flares.
Independent testing shows that three flares can create the equivalent safety zone of a police cruiser with its light bar engaged. Placing these three flares along the roadside leading up to your truck will warn drivers to pass with caution.
2. Disconnect your trailer to make towing easier.
The maximum load a semi can haul is about 80,000 pounds, making them 20 to 30 times heavier than the average passenger vehicle. Since a tow truck likely won't be able to haul both your semi and your fully loaded trailer, it's essential that you disconnect your trailer before the tow truck driver arrives.
By having your trailer disconnected prior to the tow truck driver's arrival, you will be able to reduce the amount of time it takes to get your semi loaded on the tow truck and on its way to the shop for repairs.
3. Contact your insurance company.
If your semi truck breaks down, you will want to contact your insurance company as soon as possible. Many commercial drivers carry insurance policies that help subsidize the cost of towing services.
By letting your insurance company know that you have contacted a tow truck driver, you will be able to provide the necessary payment information when the tow truck driver arrives. Contacting your insurance company immediately after breaking down helps expedite any claim that you will need to file in relation to your towing experience.
Having to tow your semi can be frustrating, but taking the time to set up your flares, disconnect your trailer, and contact your insurance company prior to the tow truck's arrival will help ensure that you get back on the road as quickly as possible.